The Sixth Generation of Console Video Games YKTTW Discussion

The Sixth Generation of Console Video Games
Useful Notes page describing the this era of video games + index of games of this era
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(permanent link) added: 2012-09-04 18:23:17 sponsor: WaxingName (last reply: 2012-10-24 12:26:22)

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The Sixth Generation of Console Video Games was a time of the maturing of the video game industry. It was a time when many trends were started that would reach their height in the Seventh Generation.

The first out of the gate this time was Sega. The Sega Dreamcast was touted for its online features, with online play and downloadable games, as well as reviving the Sonic the Hedgehog series that was strangely on hiatus during the fifth generation. However, Sony Computer Entertainment, fresh off a huge victory in last generations Console Wars, was gearing up to release the PlayStation 2. The hype surrounding this console, as well as many dubious or bad decisions on Sega's part in previous generations leaving them with a shaky public opinion, led to insufficient sales to keep Sega afloat, leading to the quick end of the Dreamcast in early 2001, and the former console maker going third-party.

Software giant Microsoft made the surprising announcement that they were going to enter the video game industry with a console based on PC hardware: the Xbox. It released shortly after the Dreamcast's demise, in November 2001. Coming in a scant few days later was Nintendo with the GameCube, their first console to use optical discs, albeit based on mini-DVDs rather than the standard 8-inch size used by other consoles.

It was in this generation where Multi-Platform games started to become much more common. Unlike previous generations, the consoles were fairly close in terms of features and system specs, so games could now be more easily produced for the PS2, Xbox, and GCN all at once, though this was later just reduced to PS2 and Xbox for reasons described below.

Online gaming for consoles emerged in this era. Online gaming was already prevalent on PCs, and there were some early experiments with online with the Satellaview for the Super Famicom and the Nintendo 64 DD, but this generation saw the rise of online gaming as a standard for consoles. The Sega Dreamcast was noted for its highly detailed online services that were ahead of its time, but, as mentioned above, the Dreamcast's short lifespan rendered it Too Good to Last. The most successful online system of the sixth generation was Xbox Live, which was supported by several games both first-party and third-party because of its ease of setup. Its success spurned Sony to boost support for the PS2's online features, which didn't do as well as Xbox Live but still did reasonably well. Nintendo also had the intention of entering the online space with the GameCube, using a broadband and modem adapter for this purpose instead of built-in features. Unfortunately, it was discovered rather quickly that the cable could be used to hack into the GameCube, leading to piracy. Nintendo, having a long-standing fear of piracy, responded by quickly discontinuing the adapter and releasing an Updated Re-release of the game that made hacking possible: Phantasy Star Online. Thus, the GameCube was rendered as the only console of the generation without online features.

In this generation, teenagers and young adults became the majority demographic for video games. The industry as a whole saw a steady shift towards Darker and Edgier since the 16-bit era, but it was this generation where demographics really changed. Dark and violent video games like God of War, Resident Evil 4, and Grand Theft Auto redefined the medium as primarily for the older crowd rather than for kids. Nintendo's reputation for being the uncool kid's game company put them in a bad position because of these trends, which wasn't helped by the GameCube's toylike appearance. Sony and Microsoft, on the other hand, developed a more "core" reputation because of the many darker game released on their consoles.

Please namespace every entry on this page, it's going to be an index.


Consoles of this era

New IPs on these consoles

Games of Previous IPs

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