The first video games were made available to consumers in 1971. The first ones released were Computer Space and Pong in 1971 and 1972 respectively. They were later followed in 1972 by the home console Magnavox Odyssey. Since then, the video game industry has seen tremendous growth in the games produced. Currently, there are games of every kind available to cover all kinds of consumers. You can get free bingo games online alongside your favourite classics.

Modern video games are much more complex and have provided players with a whole range of options. This has made modern video games even more exciting for the consumer. With the release of the first home console, Atari Pong, video games saw a rise in popularity. However, this also led to an increase in the number of video games released and user feedback on the ways that these games should be played.

In contrast to modern video games, retro video games have a limited number of options and are designed to fit within a particular genre. This allows for players to enjoy a more nostalgic experience. Each game is built according to a set of design rules specific for each game genre. The type of game can be classified as either arcade (or at least computer) or cartridge-based. Arcade games were typically developed and manufactured by a single manufacturer, while cartridge-based games were developed by a single company but distributed and sold through multiple retailers.

The differences between retro and modern video games can be classified broadly into:

  1. Aesthetics

Retro games by definition are predominantly creative in nature as opposed to being primarily functional or recreational. It can be argued that most modern video gaming is best described as recreation or functional while retro games remain creative in nature without being primarily interactive or inter-active. This is due to the fact that most modern video games are programmed with the goal of providing an addictive experience which engages the player on a number of different levels such as entertainment, learning, desire and achievement features (where “retro” refers to an older form of entertainment).

  1. Computer systems

Since the beginning of the video gaming industry, there has been a wide variety of video game types. The history of this technology is constantly evolving and innovative changes are always being made to push the industry forward. There have been a number of different innovations that are changing the way that people play games and these include: 3-D graphics, motion control, network access and online multiplayer gaming services. Changes such as these have added new ways to play video games and used different technologies to offer a unique gaming experience to the players.

The history of gaming consoles is inextricably interwoven with the history of video games. Arcade games were some of the earliest examples of interactive media, and while there were many forms of entertainment before, they were limited to passive experiences like theatre or books. With arcade games, the machine offered players an experience that was more directly engaging than what was possible before.

The first console was released in the 1970s. It allowed players to play the games at home instead of going to the arcade machine. This meant they could play more often and on their own schedule.


  1. Graphics and interface

Modern gaming systems usually support graphical displays, which provide a variety of features such as 3D graphics, pseudo-3D graphics, animations and other visuals. On the other hand, retro games are usually played on consoles which have limited features including non-graphical game options (although some retro consoles also had graphical capabilities).

In addition to having limited graphical displays, many older video games do not support sound. This includes music with each level being represented through sound effects. Non-playable characters (NPCs) in the game may have an audio clip in order to create an extra level of realism for the players.

With increasing technology, many retro video games were unable to compete with modern video games as their style and graphics became dated by the 1990s. However, even with the advancement in technology, there are still some game genres that have not evolved much from their roots. These include first person shoot ‘em ups (FPS), text adventures and real time strategy (RTS) games.

  1. Hardware

The hardware that a game is played on is another factor in determining whether it will be considered a retro game. This includes the type of hardware and the combined speed of both the processor and the graphics. Factors such as these are important in determining compatibility. Older games will generally have slower processors, but are well received because of their increase in immersion.

Many retro games can only be run on specific consoles. Some games, however, can be played on newer systems that have comparable capabilities.

  1. Gameplay

Many games from the 1980s featured the same level of complexity and maturity as modern games, despite being created decades prior. Games such as Pac-Man followed a very simple path with clear goals and objectives, while games such as “Dune II” allow players to focus on military strategy rather than simply running around in order to complete the level objectives, although both require a great deal of skill and dexterity with their controls (such as jumping). Video games generate quite a bit of nostalgia from many players across the globe, which has led many older platforms to be given support by modern game consoles.

This refers to the characteristics of the gameplay itself. Games that have been retro-fitted with modern features are no longer considered to be “retro”. Retro games often feature a single player mode, much like more recent games do today. Retro games also have more involvement with the player, in that some games would require the player to actually be in front of the machine to complete a level or task.

  1. Input devices and accessories

Video game controllers have changed over time. The most popular controllers are the gamepad and the joystick, although they are not limited to just these two. Video game mouses are also common in retro games, although they often have a lower number of buttons than modern mice do. In addition to these two devices, some systems have supported other input devices such as joysticks, light guns and dance pads. In 2007, Nintendo introduced the Wii Remote for support with first-person video games (FPS) including “Super Mario Galaxy” and “FIFA Football” series. The gamepad is now the most commonly used controller for FPSs; however, some developers may still use a joystick or mouse as well.

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