Video Games: Solid Entertainment
Don't think you can throw a video game party? Think again!

"Who just shot me? Someone, pass the Cheetos."

You can hear similar phrases nationwide while people like you play video games.

Video games have transcended their confined role as mindless arcade entertainment to an acceptable and common practice capable of creating worlds of their own. 

Before the ‘80s    

Video games, now a multibillion dollar industry, have made their way into the homes of millions worldwide as a source of entertainment.

Pioneer companies such as Atari produced some of the first video game consoles and found great success. However, because of overproduction and dwindling demand, the industry faced a huge crash in 1983.

The bleak future brightened with Nintendo's release of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), bundled with Super Mario Bros., in 1985. Sales once again soared and the market slump ended. Today, almost 30 years later—and after the fall of companies like Atari and Sega—the top consoles of the video game world are:

And since…

Video games have made incredible improvements since the 1980s. The most visible progress comes from the replacement of the once revolutionary eight-bit consoles with consoles that contain monstrous graphics processing units (GPUs) capable of rendering lifelike images.

Video games have penetrated popular culture and found a place in most households. Studies from 2009, conducted by the NPD Group, Port Washington, N.Y., reveal that 63% of Americans played some sort of video game in the past six months. For context, the study says that, in the same time frame, only 53% of Americans went to the movies.

Video games have secured a solid place in the entertainment industry and have garnered millions of supporters.

Types of video game Consoles

More than one use for gaming consoles.

Video game consoles are often broken into two categories: stationary and handheld. Stationary consoles tend to be more expensive, but provide better graphics, inputs for multiple players, and serve more purposes.

Stationary consoles are my No. 1 choice when I play with friends.

Portable handheld consoles have the benefit of being cheaper and easily can be taken on the go, but suffer from weaker hardware and lack of additional multimedia applications.

The pictures on these portable systems will be far less clear and detailed than on their stationary counterparts, but who could pass up playing on the go?

Reasons why Nintendo is leading competitors in sales

In the current business of video game consoles, Nintendo has a clear advantage, based on sales alone. Despite having the weakest hardware yielding the worst graphics among its competitors, the company garnered astonishing sales figures. Market analysts have debated the sources of Nintendo's success. Most agree that low pricing and innovative input methods have made large contributions.

The Nintendo 3DS uses touch-screen technology and the Nintendo Wii U uses motion-sensing technology. So rather than pushing a button on a controller, one could physically do a similar action to control the character in the video game.

Although not revolutionary, these unique input methods have appealed to "casual gamers" and attracted audiences that usually do not purchase video games. "I love turning on my Wii and playing bowling with whoever comes to my house. It's a fun way to pass the time," says casual gamer, Roger, 16.

Read on to learn about the different types of gamers...

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