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The Video Game Wars Essay, Research Paper

The Video Game Wars

Brian Paik

Expository Writing

10/8/96

Video games are a big market these days. Within the past few years, the industry has boomed into a very large business. Within this business, there are three big companies are fighting to be the best. Nintendo?s N64, Sega?s Saturn, and Sony?s Playstation are the three main systems in this huge market. Because there are so many games for these systems, and because it is such a big business, stores specializing in only these games are opening everywhere.

A few days ago, I walked into one of these stores. My friend wanted to purchase the new nintendo machine. According to the reviews, the system was supposed to be able to have amazing polygon graphics. Video games coming out these days are considered good if they consist of many polygonal graphics moving at a smooth and fast speed. From what he said, I thought that no other video game system could compare with it. When I entered the store, the walls were covered with many games for different systems. On one wall, there were Nintendo?s games, on another, were Sega?s games, and on the last, were Sony?s games. Surprisingly, Nintendo?s new games didn?t look much different than the other two companies?. On three corners of the room, there were television sets displaying the latest and greatest games for each popular console. While watching these new games, I was in awe.

When I was younger, I remembered playing what those times considered, “high tech” video games. During those years, the games had little blocky characters who looked more like a blob than a human being. The music wasn?t even music at all. It was more of a bunch of beeping at different pitches. These characters walked around and jumped over other blocky characters in a two dimensional environment. The new games that I observed, however, were being played right off a CD. The characters were digital images of real people, and the music was in CD quality. The game took place in a completely three dimensional environment.

These days, companies are competing with each other to bring out cutting edge video games. The reason the games are so much more realistic than before, is because each company must bring out a better game than the other. Since they keep bringing out new games, they get better and better. And when they can?t improve games any more for that particular video game machine, the companies will make a new machine which can handle better games. Already in my life time, both Nintendo and Sega have created three video game systems. As I mentioned earlier, while my friends new Nintendo machine was supposed to be amazing, both Sega and Playstation?s systems looked just as good. In a few years, however, all three of those systems will be obsolete, just as the systems in my early years are obsolete now.

Although new and better systems are coming out all the time, they must stay cheap enough to buy. Already, the systems are way too expensive. All three retail for about $200 and that doesn?t include a game. Games are an additional $80. Those are big prices, considering that when I was younger, systems were $80, with games around $20. Those prices, however, are only for the United States.

In Japan, the country where these systems are made, the video game market is even bigger. In that country, the same three systems retail for around $400 with separate games for around $100. The funny thing is, the people actually buy it.

Both Japan and The US are lucky because the systems are manufactured in both countries. In countries where they aren?t manufactured, the people there have to import, and that is a very expensive thing to do. When I lived in Korea, many people I knew, bought imported systems from Japan. They paid amounts up to $800 for a system with additional games being purchased for $150 apiece. Imports also occur in the United States.

There, die hard video game players sometimes import systems from Japan before they are released in the USA. When doing that, the purchaser will pay amounts up to $1000! Why do they do pay these ridicules prices? These video game players are addicted to the market and are always looking for the best.

Today?s video games are very entertaining. People spend hours in front of the television to play these games. Why do they enjoy them so much? Maybe it?s the ability to control things like a god. Maybe they just enjoy the way they games look. I don?t know the answer to that, but what I do know, is that it is a very big business.

Who will be the eventual winner in the video game wars? Right now, it is probably Nintendo in first place, Sony in second, with Sega at the bottom. The reason for this, is because Nintendo is the newest, and Sega the oldest. In a few years, however, it could totally change. Sega will eventually bring out a new system which will be better than both the N64 and Playstation. Then, Sega will be in first place. That too, will eventually change.

It is a never ending battle and no one will eventually win. Just as in other businesses, new companies will be formed, and old companies will die. For the time being, however, people will enjoy playing the newest and most high tech video games.


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