Let’s go back in time.
Before the invention of high speed Internet connections, multi-player video games were mostly played locally on video game consoles or in arcades. However, around the change of the millennium, online gaming began to emerge. We saw the release of games like Counter Strike and Halo, in which players could connect to each other and play together with virtually no lag in connection.
While fighting games were every bit as complex and competitive as first person shooter and strategy games, these connections were simply not enough to properly connect gamers.
In fighting games, some combos (strings of punches and kicks, etc. chained together) require timing that literally comes down to 1/60th of a second. Without a near perfect connection, playing fighting games properly over an Internet connection just didn’t seem plausible, and so fighting games went largely unnoticed.
Things started to change…
In 2008, Street Fighter 4 was released. While it wasn’t the first fighting game capable of bringing players together over an Internet connection, it was certainly the biggest mainstream release that brought the attention of average gamers to the fighting game genre. It featured a net code that allowed for players with reasonably good connections to play together with almost no lag in game-play. Since its release, the fighting game genre has been booming. We’ve seen games like Tekken 6, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, and Mortal Kombat 9 all released with great success in the time since.
Okay. Neat. Fighting games are more popular now. So what?
Don’t worry. Your video game history lesson is not in vain. I’m going somewhere with it all.
It’s simply a comment on how technology has affected the trend of video gaming history. When the connection couldn’t have been improved between players in a physical sense, the problem was solved with software. This is just one small innovation in gaming technology, but it has had an unprecedented effect on gaming culture. If this rapid change in technology continues, which seems very likely, we can expect even more great things from professional developers in the future.
What will come from this technology boom?
As far as what exactly will come from this high speed technology development…we can only speculate for now. Personally, I think it’s only a matter of time before we start developing some kind of augmented reality game…but maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.
Whatever comes next, I know I’m looking forward to it. This is definitely a perfect time to be a gamer.