It seems that these days, no one is completely surprised about how fast technology seems to evolve. Within a short while, we went from having a telephone confined to one room with a wire to being able to access the entirety of the world wide web in our pocket.
The same goes for video games: Pong’s white dot moving across the screen, to eventually having Tomb Raider’s interactive 3D environment (and even movies starring Angelina Jolie).
Fast forward even from Tomb Raider, the games that we have these days leave the processing power of a PlayStation 1 or Nintendo 64 for dead. Over the years, you’ll be able to see some trends in gaming setups, just like fashion.
So let's take a look at some gaming setups over the years.
1980s + early 1990s
During this time, consoles really dominated the gaming industry. Brands like Atari and Nintendo were the king, and a lot of the gaming setups were just simply in the family’s lounge.
Large, boxy, and clunky televisions were on top of a table for the family to both watch TV and enjoy playing video games. During the 80s, video games like Super Mario Bros, Metroid, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, and so on were some of the most played games at the time.
This was a period where arcades were still pretty dominant, and a lot of the home consoles tried to imitate arcade machines - which is why a lot of the early games required a joystick.
In the 90s, Sony’s PlayStation console massively changed the gaming world. Games were now mostly in 3D. Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, Tomb Raider, and Crash Bandicoot were some of the most played PS1 games.
The 80s and 90s overall saw a lot of TV and console setups in a lounge-like area. Playtime was also a lot shorter than nowadays, due to games being quite limited and the fact that someone else may want to use the TV.
PC gamers, on the other hand, used monitors that were also quite boxy and bulky. At this time, there weren’t really any gaming-specific PCs. A desk with a slide-out keyboard was the bee's knees around this time, but still many people preferred a device that was designed solely for gaming.
Late 1990s + Early 2000s
The late 90s saw a significant boost in the world of PC gaming, thanks to titles like Half-Life, Quake, StarCraft, Diablo, and Unreal Tournament. During this time, online games with multiplayer started to emerge but it was quite limited due to the fact that most people had to use dial-up internet.
Sony then released the PlayStation 2, and it was a worldwide success. Microsoft also began its journey with Xbox. Between these two consoles, games like GTA San Andreas, Halo, Call of Duty, etc. really made gaming as addictive as it is now.
Still, setups were often in the lounge, but as TVs and consoles started to get a little bit more affordable and accessible - a lot of kids and teens were able to have their own TV in their room with their console.
2010s - Now
YouTube was a huge turning point in the timeline of gaming. People were able to watch and upload gaming content for the world to see. This brought the community together, while also being quite helpful and promotional for the actual game companies.
YouTube channels like IGN and Machinima allowed content creators to be a part of the platform, and soon after YouTubers like Elpresador and Boogie2988 began to rise. There seemed to be a huge interest in the whole “raging” culture of video games during this time.
TVs got larger and thinner and we seemed to go from 720p to 4k in a blink of an eye. For PC gamers, dual monitor setups started to be the norm. YouTubers are to thank for lots of young gamers aspiring to be pros and entertainers that can earn a living off the website.
Nowadays, very young children even manage to have their own PC in their bedroom. Mobile gaming is actually the most popular gaming platform in the world, so gone are the days of having to go to a store to get a physical game cartridge.
The 2020s in particular saw a massive interest in gaming setups looking like a Christmas tree. Every gamer these days seems to want to have color bars and RGB light-up computers.
So much has happened since games went from the arcade and into people’s houses, and we wonder what the future will hold. In the future, it is likely that VR gaming will get more and more realistic, and cloud gaming will be able to fully take off.
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