An important aspect of video games is how the player can communicate with the software and give instructions in the game. Digital input modules are the physical link between the player and the game. The controller is the most common module. It can be found on the video game in game rooms or with game consoles. The simplest form was first used by Atari. It looks like an airplane controller: a joystick to control the direction of the action and a button to act specifically, like jumping, opening the door, shooting someone. The second version was the classic controller, first represented by Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The directional controller is on the left for the left thumb. By putting the controller down, the other fingers will be freed and you can put more buttons, like “start” and “pause”. The addition of more buttons creates more choice and complexity for the player.
The new technology
This form has been the most dominant in the last twenty years. The only changes were the addition of more buttons and the modification of the shape so that the hand could hold better. Recently, with the release of the Wii, there has been a big change in the shape and function of the controller. It looks like a remote control because the majority of the public is more comfortable with this type of device. It was more natural to point it at the television. In addition, the Wiimote has an accelerometer inside. It adds a new dimension to the game. Instead of just pressing buttons, the player can control his character with actions. For example, if someone wanted to hit a tennis ball, the player could make the gesture and in the game, the action was done on the screen.
Controllers are not the only possibilities to interact with the game. In the computer field, the keyboard and mouse are the most used modules since the computer has other uses than games. When the mode of communication between the player and the game changes, the type of games changes. The majority of PC games are more complicated, the genres of role-playing, strategy, or adventure games. These games can be very similar depending on an accounting or word processing program where the user clicks on menus or areas on the screen to perform actions. Finally, digital input modules are not limited to the examples cited. For example, there are new games that require exclusive modules to play. In “Guitar Hero”, the player uses a module that looks like a guitar. The goal of the game is to push the buttons in the correct order. In the same idea, the “Dance, Dance, Revolution” series where the player taps the buttons with his feet following the rhythm and following the instructions on the screen. The interface means to determine the way of playing.
the arrival of portable consoles
Nowadays, society has become more mobile, the player must be able to take his game wherever he wants to go. This was already the case before with video games. However, apart from the card game, it was extremely difficult to take the games with you due to various factors such as counters, dice, etc. and the setting in which the player had to play was sometimes complex. Pocket-sized video games are innovative because they allow the player a great deal of freedom. The first portable game appeared in 1980, “the Play and Watch – the Coin and the Watch”, a simple and monotonous game. In 1989, Nintendo launched a portable game system called “Gameboy” which was a huge success; more than 100 million Gameboy have been sold since its launch.
However, the Gameboy was a targeted product aimed at tweens as well as younger people. It is true that at the beginning, graphics were limited (black and white) and colors were only introduced 10 years later. On the other hand, the major problem with portable games was the preference for small size overpower. It is only in the last decade that video games started to have an impact on gaming due to new technologies. In 2004, the launch of the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP marked a new wave in the portable gaming markets. The power processor was paired with recent consoles with additional options. The DS was a portable gaming unit composed of 2 screens, the top was touch-sensitive which gave a new tool to the game as well as to the designers. The market share increased thanks to adult purchases of the DS.
The PlayStation was mainly aimed at teenagers and young adults in order to create a complete portable media. Indeed, the PlayStation has the ability to combine a music and movie player in a portable console. However, the device that could usher in an era of mobile gaming is the handheld phone. Like earlier versions of portable gaming units, early cell phones were used to call and save numbers from games, and other features were integrated. The cell phone became a multi-functional device, with a digital camera, mp3, and even a GPS was added to it. We can take the example of the Apple iPhone which has the Mac OsX system and has the same functions as an Apple. We can see that during the last five years, the mobile gaming market has increased dramatically. Today games represent a $2.6 billion market and are expected to reach $11 billion by 2010. One might ask why such an increase but the main reason for this boom is only accessibility. The cell phone has become necessary and indispensable in the society in which we live.