Created By: WaxingName on September 4, 2012 Last Edited By: WaxingName on October 24, 2012

The Sixth Generation of Console Video Games

Useful Notes page describing the this era of video games + index of games of this era

Name Space:
Page Type:

Edit this any way you want, it's Up for Grabs

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

Community Feedback Replies: 8
  • September 7, 2012
    I deleted Twilight Princess, since it was originally planned as a Gamecube title, but actually debuted as a Wii title instead. The Gamecube version was released about 2-3 months after the Wii version, so Twilight Princess belongs there. I'll make the edit.
  • September 7, 2012
    ^But I put Twilight Princess here because it was planned and developed as a Game Cube title. I really do think it goes here instead because the Wii version was just a special case of "Port First". It was only put on the Wii because the Wii's hardware was just slightly enhanced Game Cube hardware and they needed something to be quickly done. Besides, the Game Cube version of Twilight Princess is considered the official canon version.

    But alright. I'll leave it off for now until we can get more agreement on what to do about that, even if I may not personally agree with it.
  • September 7, 2012
    Wouldn't both versions be considered canon?

    It tells the exact same story, regardless which system you play it on. Unless you mean to say the Gamecube version is considered canon, by virtue of Link being lefthanded, which is nitpicking.
  • September 7, 2012
    ^The layouts of the Game Cube version are used in Link's Crossbow Training and Super Smash Bros Brawl, even though the Wii version undoubtedly sold more. So, if they don't see it as "canon", it seems Nintendo considers the Game Cube version more official than the Wii version.
  • September 7, 2012

    That doesn't mean the Wii version isn't canon, simply due the maps being reversed. Both versions tell the exact same story. So, unless Nintendo's said that the Wii version doesn't count, or that the Gamecube version's the official one, they're both considered canon.
  • October 18, 2012
    They're both canonical in the sense that remakes and ports are the same story.

    But The Gamecube version is how it was intended to be experienced in terms of how things are oriented, maps used in later games, official artwork etc. It's a Gamecube game even though the Wii version debuted first.
  • October 18, 2012
    ^Perhaps we can include the game on both pages, since someone did that with Sonic 3 D Blast?
  • October 19, 2012
    "Outdated hardware" isn't what killed the Dreamcast, guys (hell, while it was alive, it outperformed comparable PS 2 software - although it's likely that that wouldn't have lasted if the Dreamcast hadn't died as soon as it did). Hype surrounding the PS 2, as well as distrust in Sega (based on all the Genesis add-ons, all the gaffes surrounding the Saturn outside of Japan, etc) is what killed the Dreamcast.

    I'm modifying the text to reflect this.