Thursday, May 19, 2011

Remember Pong?

Older readers may recall the original video game, creatively named 'Pong', which in my mind came out about the time colour television came to Adelaide (early seventies). Basically, players controlled a graphic bar which moved up and down 'their' side of the tv screen. A 'ball' shuttled back and forth between the bats. The idea was of course to move you bar up and down your side of the screen to hit the ball back to your opponent. They would try and return it the same way. If you missed the ball, your opponent scored a point. Here is a modern java based imitation from which you can get an idea of how it works.

What's made me reminisce like this? The fact that we recently became the proud owners of a Playstation 3. The people in the electronic shops must love seeing middle aged gamers come into their stores saying 'it's time to upgrade'. And if you're buying a telly for the first time in ages, why not get the modern equivalent of the toy you wanted as a kid and still want as an adult? So you end up walking out with the full complement.

It becomes immediately obvious when you look in the stores that there are about three main gaming console 'brands', and that the games are different for each. It's pretty blatant market segmentation, but that's capitalism for ya. Anyways... why did we get a playstation? Afterall, that meant that we couldn't play Mario (an old favorite) as he works for Nintendo (I think), so there must be a good reason.

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