The Video Game Wars

Brian Paik

Video games are a big market these days. Within the past few years, the
industry has boomed into a very large business. Within this business, there are
three big companies are fighting to be the best. Nintendo\'s N64, Sega\'s Saturn,
and Sony\'s Playstation are the three main systems in this huge market. Because
there are so many games for these systems, and because it is such a big business,
stores specializing in only these games are opening everywhere.
A few days ago, I walked into one of these stores. My friend wanted to
purchase the new nintendo machine. According to the reviews, the system was
supposed to be able to have amazing polygon graphics. Video games coming out
these days are considered good if they consist of many polygonal graphics moving
at a smooth and fast speed. From what he said, I thought that no other video
game system could compare with it. When I entered the store, the walls were
covered with many games for different systems. On one wall, there were
Nintendo\'s games, on another, were Sega\'s games, and on the last, were Sony\'s
games. Surprisingly, Nintendo\'s new games didn\'t look much different than the
other two companies\'. On three corners of the room, there were television sets
displaying the latest and greatest games for each popular console. While
watching these new games, I was in awe.
When I was younger, I remembered playing what those times considered,
"high tech" video games. During those years, the games had little blocky
characters who looked more like a blob than a human being. The music wasn\'t
even music at all. It was more of a bunch of beeping at different pitches.
These characters walked around and jumped over other blocky characters in a two
dimensional environment. The new games that I observed, however, were being
played right off a CD. The characters were digital images of real people, and
the music was in CD quality. The game took place in a completely three
dimensional environment.
These days, companies are competing with each other to bring out cutting
edge video games. The reason the games are so much more realistic than before,
is because each company must bring out a better game than the other. Since they
keep bringing out new games, they get better and better. And when they can\'t
improve games any more for that particular video game machine, the companies
will make a new machine which can handle better games. Already in my life time,
both Nintendo and Sega have created three video game systems. As I mentioned
earlier, while my friends new Nintendo machine was supposed to be amazing, both
Sega and Playstation\'s systems looked just as good. In a few years, however,
all three of those systems will be obsolete, just as the systems in my early
years are obsolete now.
Although new and better systems are coming out all the time, they must
stay cheap enough to buy. Already, the systems are way too expensive. All
three retail for about $200 and that doesn\'t include a game. Games are an
additional $80. Those are big prices, considering that when I was younger,
systems were $80, with games around $20. Those prices, however, are only for
the United States.
In Japan, the country where these systems are made, the video game
market is even bigger. In that country, the same three systems retail for
around $400 with separate games for around $100. The funny thing is, the people
actually buy it.
Both Japan and The US are lucky because the systems are manufactured in
both countries. In countries where they aren\'t manufactured, the people there
have to import, and that is a very expensive thing to do. When I lived in Korea,
many people I knew, bought imported systems from Japan. They paid amounts up to
$800 for a system with additional games being purchased for $150 apiece.
Imports also occur in the United States.
There, die hard video game players sometimes import systems from Japan
before they are released in the USA. When doing that, the purchaser will pay
amounts up to $1000! Why do they do pay these ridicules prices? These video
game players are addicted to the market and are always looking for the best.
Today\'s video games are very entertaining. People spend hours in front
of the television to play these games. Why do they enjoy them so much? Maybe
it\'s the ability to control things like a god. Maybe they just enjoy the way
they games look. I