Sixth generation of video game consoles
In the history of video games, the sixth-generation era refers to the computer and video games, video game consoles, handheld gaming devices available at the turn of the 21st century, starting in 1998. Platforms in the sixth generation include consoles from four companies: the Sega Dreamcast, Sony PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Microsoft Xbox; this era began on November 27, 1998, with the Japanese release of the Dreamcast, joined by the PlayStation 2 in March 2000, the GameCube and Xbox in 2001. The Dreamcast was the first to be discontinued, in 2001; the GameCube was next, in 2007, the Xbox in 2009, the PlayStation 2 in 2013. Meanwhile, the seventh generation of consoles started in November 2005 with the launch of the Xbox 360. Bit ratings for most consoles fell by the wayside during this era, with the notable exceptions being promotions for the Dreamcast and PS2 that advertised "128-bit graphics" at the start of the generation; the number of "bits" cited in this way in console names refers to the CPU word size, had been used by hardware marketing departments as a "show of power" for many years.
However, there is little to be gained from increasing the word size much beyond 32 or 64 bits because, once this level is reached, performance depends on more varied factors, such as processor clock speed and memory size. The sixth generation of handhelds began with the release of the Neo Geo Pocket Color by SNK in 1998 and Bandai's WonderSwan Color, launched in Japan in 1999. Nintendo maintained its dominant share of the handheld market with the release in 2001 of the Game Boy Advance, which featured many upgrades and new features over the Game Boy; the Game Boy Advance was discontinued around in early 2010. The next generation of handheld consoles began in November 2004, with the North American introduction of the Nintendo DS; the last official Dreamcast games were released in 2002 and 2007. The last GameCube games were released in 2006 and 2007; the last Xbox games were released in 2007 and 2008. Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 was the last game for the PlayStation 2, released in November 2013; the last PS2 game, Final Fantasy XI: Rhapsodies of Vana'diel, was released in May 2015, marking the end of this generation.
The Sony PlayStation 2 achieved sales dominance in this generation, becoming the best-selling console in history, with over 150 million units sold as of February 2011. The Microsoft Xbox had sold over 24 million units as of May 2006, the Nintendo GameCube had sold 22 million units as of September 2010; the Sega Dreamcast, which arrived prior to all of the others and was discontinued in 2001, came in fourth with 9.13 million sold. The sixth generation began to end when the Xbox was succeeded by the Xbox 360 in late 2005. GameCube hardware was still being produced when the Wii was released in late 2006, but as of June 2008 has been ceased. PlayStation 2 sales continued to be strong into End of 2010, due to the system's large software library, continuing software support, affordable price. In February 2008, the PlayStation 2 outsold both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in the United States. Games were still being produced for the PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube as of 2008, while Dreamcast games were discontinued in 2003.
There were still a few games being produced for the Dreamcast in 2004, but they are NAOMI arcade ports released only in Japan, with small print runs. The PlayStation 2 was still being produced after the launch of the Wii U in 2012, making the sixth generation the second longest generation of all time. Sega's Dreamcast was the first console of the generation and had several features to show an advantage from the competition, including Internet gaming as an optional feature through its built-in modem, a web browser; the console is credited with restoring Sega's reputation, damaged by the earlier failures of the Sega Saturn, Sega 32X, Genesis Nomad and Sega CD. Despite this, the Dreamcast was discontinued prematurely due to numerous factors; the impending and much-hyped PlayStation 2 slowed Dreamcast sales due to the fact that the PlayStation 2 had a built-in DVD player and a huge number of PS1 owners looking to upgrade to the new, backwards-compatible console. In addition, Sega's short-lived support/success of its post-Mega Drive products the Mega-CD, 32X and Saturn had left developers and customers skeptical, with some holding out to see whether the Dreamcast or PlayStation 2 would come out on top.
Sega's decision to implement a GD-ROM for storage medium did save costs but it did not compare well against the PS2's much touted DVD capabilities. Sega was either unable or unwilling to spend the advertising money necessary to compete with Sony, which themselves took massive losses on the PlayStation 2 to gain market-share. With the announcements of the Xbox and GameCube in late 2000, Sega's console was considered by some to be outdated only two years after its release; the previous losses from the Saturn, 32X, Sega/Mega-CD, stagnation of sales due to the PlayStation 2, impending competition from Microsoft and Nintendo caused Sega's revenue to shrink and announce their intention on killing the system in early 2001, dropping the system and leaving the console market in early 2004 in Japan and much earlier in other countries. Sega announced it would shut down SegaNet, an online gaming community that supported online-capable Dreamcast titles. Due to user outcry over the decision, Sega delayed the service's closure by an additional 6 mont
A cherry blossom is a flower of several trees of genus Prunus the Japanese cherry, Prunus serrulata, called sakura after the Japanese. They are distributed in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere including Japan, India, Korea, Mainland China, West Siberia, Iran and Afghanistan. Along with the chrysanthemum, the cherry blossom is considered the national flower of Japan. All varieties of cherry blossom trees produce edible cherries. Edible cherries come from cultivars of the related species Prunus avium and Prunus cerasus. "Hanami" is the centuries-old practice of drinking under a blooming ume tree. The custom is said to have started during the Nara period, when it was ume blossoms that people admired in the beginning, but by the Heian period cherry blossoms came to attract more attention, hanami was synonymous with sakura. From on, in both waka and haiku, "flowers" meant "cherry blossoms"; the custom was limited to the elite of the Imperial Court, but soon spread to samurai society and, by the Edo period, to the common people as well.
Tokugawa Yoshimune planted areas of cherry blossom trees to encourage this. Under the sakura trees, people had drank sake in cheerful feasts; every year the Japanese Meteorological Agency and the public track the sakura zensen as it moves northward up the archipelago with the approach of warmer weather via nightly forecasts following the weather segment of news programs. The blossoming begins in Okinawa in January, reaches Kyoto and Tokyo at the end of March or the beginning of April, it proceeds into areas at the higher altitudes and northward, arriving in Hokkaido a few weeks later. Japanese pay close attention to these forecasts and turn out in large numbers at parks and temples with family and friends to hold flower-viewing parties. Hanami festivals celebrate the beauty of the cherry blossom and for many are a chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful view; the custom of hanami dates back many centuries in Japan. The eighth-century chronicle Nihon Shoki records hanami festivals being held as early as the third century AD.
Most Japanese schools and public buildings have cherry blossom trees outside of them. Since the fiscal and school year both begin in April, in many parts of Honshu, the first day of work or school coincides with the cherry blossom season; the Japan Cherry Blossom Association developed a list of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots with at least one location in every prefecture. In Japan, cherry blossoms symbolize clouds due to their nature of blooming en masse, besides being an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life, an aspect of Japanese cultural tradition, associated with Buddhist influence, and, embodied in the concept of mono no aware; the association of the cherry blossom with mono no aware dates back to 18th-century scholar Motoori Norinaga. The transience of the blossoms, the exquisite beauty and volatility, has been associated with mortality and graceful and acceptance of destiny and karma. There is at least one popular folk song meant for the shakuhachi, titled "Sakura", several pop songs.
The flower is represented on all manner of consumer goods in Japan, including kimono and dishware. The Sakurakai or Cherry Blossom Society was the name chosen by young officers within the Imperial Japanese Army in September 1930 for their secret society established with the goal of reorganizing the state along totalitarian militaristic lines, via a military coup d'état if necessary. During World War II, the cherry blossom was used to motivate the Japanese people, to stoke nationalism and militarism among the populace. Prior to the war, they were used in propaganda to inspire "Japanese spirit", as in the "Song of Young Japan", exulting in "warriors" who were "ready like the myriad cherry blossoms to scatter". In 1932, Akiko Yosano's poetry urged Japanese soldiers to endure sufferings in China and compared the dead soldiers to cherry blossoms. Arguments that the plans for the Battle of Leyte Gulf, involving all Japanese ships, would expose Japan to serious danger if they failed, were countered with the plea that the Navy be permitted to "bloom as flowers of death".
The last message of the forces on Peleliu was "Sakura, Sakura" — cherry blossoms. Japanese pilots would paint them on the sides of their planes before embarking on a suicide mission, or take branches of the trees with them on their missions. A cherry blossom painted on the side of the bomber symbolized the intensity and ephemerality of life; the first kamikaze unit had a subunit called wild cherry blossom. The government encouraged the people to believe that the souls of downed warriors were reincarnated in the blossoms. In its colonial enterprises, Imperial Japan planted cherry trees as a means of "claiming occupied territory as Japanese space". Cherry blossoms are a prevalent symbol in Irezumi, the traditional art of Japanese tattoos. In tattoo art, cherry blossoms are combined with other classic Japanese symbols like koi fish, dragons or tigers, it was used for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics mascot Someity. Japan has a wide variety of cherry blossoms; the following species and varieties are used
USB is an industry standard that establishes specifications for cables and protocols for connection and power supply between personal computers and their peripheral devices. Released in 1996, the USB standard is maintained by the USB Implementers Forum. There have been three generations of USB specifications: USB 2.0 and USB 3.x. USB was designed to standardize the connection of peripherals like keyboards, pointing devices, digital still and video cameras, portable media players, disk drives and network adapters to personal computers, both to communicate and to supply electric power, it has replaced interfaces such as serial ports and parallel ports, has become commonplace on a wide range of devices. USB connectors have been replacing other types for battery chargers of portable devices; this section is intended to allow fast identification of USB receptacles on equipment. Further diagrams and discussion of plugs and receptacles can be found in the main article above; the Universal Serial Bus was developed to simplify and improve the interface between personal computers and peripheral devices, when compared with existing standard or ad-hoc proprietary interfaces.
From the computer user's perspective, the USB interface improved ease of use in several ways. The USB interface is self-configuring, so the user need not adjust settings on the device and interface for speed or data format, or configure interrupts, input/output addresses, or direct memory access channels. USB connectors are standardized at the host, so any peripheral can use any available receptacle. USB takes full advantage of the additional processing power that can be economically put into peripheral devices so that they can manage themselves; the USB interface is "hot pluggable", meaning devices can be exchanged without rebooting the host computer. Small devices can be powered directly from displacing extra power supply cables; because use of the USB logos is only permitted after compliance testing, the user can have confidence that a USB device will work as expected without extensive interaction with settings and configuration. Installation of a device relying on the USB standard requires minimal operator action.
When a device is plugged into a port on a running personal computer system, it is either automatically configured using existing device drivers, or the system prompts the user to locate a driver, installed and configured automatically. For hardware manufacturers and software developers, the USB standard eliminates the requirement to develop proprietary interfaces to new peripherals; the wide range of transfer speeds available from a USB interface suits devices ranging from keyboards and mice up to streaming video interfaces. A USB interface can be designed to provide the best available latency for time-critical functions, or can be set up to do background transfers of bulk data with little impact on system resources; the USB interface is generalized with no signal lines dedicated to only one function of one device. USB cables are limited in length, as the standard was meant to connect to peripherals on the same table-top, not between rooms or between buildings. However, a USB port can be connected to a gateway.
USB has "master-slave" protocol for addressing peripheral devices. Some extension to this limitation is possible through USB On-The-Go. A host cannot "broadcast" signals to all peripherals at once, each must be addressed individually; some high speed peripheral devices require sustained speeds not available in the USB standard. While converters exist between certain "legacy" interfaces and USB, they may not provide full implementation of the legacy hardware. For a product developer, use of USB requires implementation of a complex protocol and implies an "intelligent" controller in the peripheral device. Developers of USB devices intended for public sale must obtain a USB ID which requires a fee paid to the Implementers' Forum. Developers of products that use the USB specification must sign an agreement with Implementer's Forum. Use of the USB logos on the product require annual fees and membership in the organization. A group of seven companies began the development of USB in 1994: Compaq, DEC, IBM, Microsoft, NEC, Nortel.
The goal was to make it fundamentally easier to connect external devices to PCs by replacing the multitude of connectors at the back of PCs, addressing the usability issues of existing interfaces, simplifying software configuration of all devices connected to USB, as well as permitting greater data rates for external devices. Ajay Bhatt and his team worked on the standard at Intel; the original USB 1.0 specification, introduced in January 1996, defined data transfer rates of 1.5 Mbit/s Low Speed and 12 Mbit/s Full Speed. Microsoft Windows 95, OSR 2.1 provided OEM support for the devices. The first used version of USB was 1.1, released in September 1998. The 12 Mbit/s data rate was intended for higher-speed devices such as disk drives, the lower 1.5 Mbit/s rate for low data
Digital video recorder
A digital video recorder is an electronic device that records video in a digital format to a disk drive, USB flash drive, SD memory card, SSD or other local or networked mass storage device. The term includes set-top boxes with direct to disk recording, portable media players and TV gateways with recording capability, digital camcorders. Personal computers are connected to video capture devices and used as DVRs. Many DVRs are classified as consumer electronic devices. Consumer digital video recorders ReplayTV and TiVo were launched at the 1999 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Microsoft demonstrated a unit with DVR capability, but this did not become available until the end of 1999 for full DVR features in Dish Network's DISHplayer receivers. TiVo shipped their first units on March 31, 1999. ReplayTV won the "Best of Show" award in the video category with Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen as an early investor and board member, but TiVo was more successful commercially. Legal action by media companies forced ReplayTV to remove many features such as automatic commercial skip and the sharing of recordings over the Internet, but newer devices have regained these functions while adding complementary abilities, such as recording onto DVDs and programming and remote control facilities using PDAs, networked PCs, Web browsers.
In contrast to VCRs, hard-disk based digital video recorders make "time shifting" more convenient and allow for functions such as pausing live TV, instant replay, chasing playback and skipping over advertising during playback. Many DVRs use the MPEG format for compressing the digital video. Video recording capabilities have become an essential part of the modern set-top box, as TV viewers have wanted to take control of their viewing experiences; as consumers have been able to converge increasing amounts of video content on their set-tops, delivered by traditional'broadcast' cable and terrestrial as well as IP networks, the ability to capture programming and view it whenever they want has become a must-have function for many consumers. At the 1999 CES, Dish Network demonstrated the hardware that would have DVR capability with the assistance of Microsoft software. Which included WebTV Networks internet TV. By the end of 1999 the Dishplayer had full DVR capabilities and within a year, over 200,000 units were sold.
In the UK, digital video recorders are referred to as "plus boxes". Freeview+ have been around in the UK since the late 2000s. British Sky Broadcasting markets a popular combined receiver and DVR as Sky+. TiVo launched a UK model in 2000, is no longer supported, except for third party services, the continuation of TiVo through Virgin Media in 2010. South African based Africa Satellite TV beamer Multichoice launched their DVR, available on their DStv platform. In addition to ReplayTV and TiVo, there are a number of other suppliers of digital terrestrial DVRs, including Thomson, Fusion, Pace Micro Technology, Humax, VBox Communications, AC Ryan Playon and Advanced Digital Broadcast. Many satellite, cable and IPTV companies are incorporating digital video recording functions into their set-top box, such as with DirecTiVo, DISHPlayer/DishDVR, Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8xxx from Time Warner, Total Home DVR from AT&T U-verse, Motorola DCT6412 from Comcast and others, Moxi Media Center by Digeo, or Sky+.
Astro introduced their DVR system, called Astro MAX, the first PVR in Malaysia but was phased out two years after its introduction. In the case of digital television, there is no encoding necessary in the DVR since the signal is a digitally encoded MPEG stream; the digital video recorder stores the digital stream directly to disk. Having the broadcaster involved with, sometimes subsidizing, the design of the DVR can lead to features such as the ability to use interactive TV on recorded shows, pre-loading of programs, or directly recording encrypted digital streams, it can, however force the manufacturer to implement non-skippable advertisements and automatically expiring recordings. In the United States, the FCC has ruled that starting on July 1, 2007, consumers will be able to purchase a set-top box from a third-party company, rather than being forced to purchase or rent the set-top box from their cable company; this ruling only applies to "navigation devices," otherwise known as a cable television set-top box, not to the security functions that control the user's access to the content of the cable operator.
The overall net effect on digital video recorders and related technology is unlikely to be substantial as standalone DVRs are readily available on the open market. In Europe Free-To-Air and Pay TV TV gateways with multiple tuners have whole house recording capabilities allowing recording of TV programs to Network Attached Storage or attached USB storage, recorded programs are shared across the home network to tablet, smartphone, PC, Smart TV. In 2003 many Satellite and Cable providers introduced dual-tuner digital video recorders. In the UK, BSkyB introduced their first PVR Sky+ with dual tuner support in 2001; these machines have two independent tuners within the same receiver. The main use for this feature is the capability to record a live program while watching another live program or
Linux for PlayStation 2
Linux for PlayStation 2 is a kit released by Sony Computer Entertainment in 2002 that allows the PlayStation 2 console to be used as a personal computer. It included a Linux-based operating system, a USB keyboard and mouse, a VGA adapter, a PS2 network adapter, a 40 GB hard disk drive. An 8 MB memory card is required, it is recommended that a user of Linux for PlayStation 2 have some basic knowledge of Linux before installing and using it, due to the command-line interface for installation. The official site for the project was closed at the end of October 2009 and communities like ps2dev are no longer active. There is still a small group of enthusiasts that meets on Freenode in the channel #sps2; the Linux Kit turns the PlayStation 2 into a full-fledged computer system, but it does not allow for use of the DVD-ROM drive except to read PS1 and PS2 discs due to piracy concerns by Sony. Although the HDD included with the Linux Kit is not compatible with PlayStation 2 games, reformatting the HDD with the utility disc provided with the retail HDD enables use with PlayStation 2 games but erases PS2 Linux, though there is a driver that allows PS2 Linux to operate once copied onto the APA partition created by the utility disc.
The Network Adaptor included. The kit supports display on RGB monitors using a VGA cable provided with the Linux Kit, or television sets with the normal cable included with the PlayStation 2 unit; the PS2 Linux distribution is based on Kondara MNU/Linux, a Japanese distribution itself based on Red Hat Linux. PS2 Linux is similar to Red Hat Linux 6, has most of the features one might expect in a Red Hat Linux 6 system; the stock kernel is Linux 2.2.1, but it can be upgraded to a newer version such as 2.2.21, 2.2.26 or 2.4.17. The Linux kit's primary purpose is amateur software development, but it can be used as one would use any other computer, although the small amount of memory in the PS2 limits its applications. Noted open source software that compiles on the kit includes Mozilla Suite, XChat, Pidgin. Lightweight applications better suited to the PS2's 32MB of RAM include xv, Dillo and AbiWord; the default window manager is Window Maker, but it is possible to install and use Fluxbox and FVWM.
The USB ports of the console can be connected to external devices, such as printers, flash drives, CD drives. With PS2 Linux, a user can program their own games that will work under PS2 Linux, but not on an unmodified PlayStation 2. Free open source code for games are available for download from PS2 Linux support sites. There is little difference between PS2 Linux and the Linux software used on the more expensive system used by professional licensed PlayStation game programmers; some amateur-created games are submitted to a competition such as the Independent Games Festival's annual competition. It is possible for an amateur to sell games or software that they develop using PS2 Linux, with certain restrictions detailed in the End User License Agreement; the amateur cannot make and sell game CDs and DVDs, but can sell the game through an online download. As of 2003, this kit is no longer sold in the US due to the entire allocation of NTSC kits being sold out, but it is available through import or through an auction site, such as eBay.
Some incorrectly speculate it was used as an attempt to help classify the PS2 as a computer to achieve tax exempt status from certain EU taxes that apply to game consoles and not computers. Despite this, Sony lost the case in June 2006; the kit was released in the spirit of the earlier Net Yaroze. PlayStation and Sony ended their support of hobbyist programmers with the support of Linux on the PlayStation 3 being discontinued; the original version of the PS2 Linux kit worked on only the Japanese SCPH-10000, SCPH-15000 and SCPH-18000 PlayStation 2 models. It came with a PCMCIA interface card which had a 10/100 Ethernet port and an external IDE hard drive enclosure; this kit cannot be used with any model PS2 because these models removed the PCMCIA port. Versions of the PS2 Linux kit use an interface similar to the HDD interface/Ethernet sold for network play This kit locates the hard drive internal to the PS2, in the MultiBay. With this kit, only the SCPH-30000 model of PlayStation 2 is supported.
The kit does though work well with models newer than SCPH-30000 with the exception that the Ethernet connection tended to freeze after a short period of use. Thus the newer SCPH-50000 PlayStation 2 model will only work with PS2 Linux with an updated network adapter driver, which must be transferred to the PlayStation 2 HDD by using either an older model PlayStation 2 to transfer the driver or a Linux PC with an IDE port. Both methods involve swapping HDDs; this is due to the inability to use USB Mass Storage devices with the old kernel shipped with the kit. The slim SCPH-70000 PlayStation 2 model does not work with PS2 Linux at all, due to the lack of a hard drive interface, though a few early models in this revision had solder pads of an IDE interface on the motherboard that could be used (but required
Video game console
A video game console is a computer device that outputs a video signal or visual image to display a video game that one or more people can play. The term "video game console" is used to distinguish a console machine designed for consumers to use for playing video games, in contrast to arcade machines or home computers. An arcade machine consists of a video game computer, game controller and speakers housed in large chassis. A home computer is a personal computer designed for home use for a variety of purposes, such as bookkeeping, accessing the Internet and playing video games. While arcades and computers are expensive or “technical” devices, video game consoles were designed with affordability and accessibility to the general public in mind. Unlike similar consumer electronics such as music players and movie players, which use industry-wide standard formats, video game consoles use proprietary formats which compete with each other for market share. There are various types of video game consoles, including home video game consoles, handheld game consoles and dedicated consoles.
Although Ralph Baer had built working game consoles by 1966, it was nearly a decade before the Pong game made them commonplace in regular people's living rooms. Through evolution over the 1990s and 2000s, game consoles have expanded to offer additional functions such as CD players, DVD players, Blu-ray disc players, web browsers, set-top boxes and more; the first video games appeared in the 1960s. They were played on massive computers connected to vector displays, not analog televisions. Ralph H. Baer conceived the idea of a home video game in 1951. In the late 1960s, while working for Sanders Associates, Baer created a series of video game console designs. One of these designs, which gained the nickname of the 1966 "Brown Box", featured changeable game modes and was demonstrated to several TV manufacturers leading to an agreement between Sanders Associates and Magnavox. In 1972, Magnavox released the Magnavox Odyssey, the first home video game console which could be connected to a TV set. Ralph Baer's initial design had called for a huge row of switches that would allow players to turn on and off certain components of the console to create different games like tennis, volleyball and chase.
Magnavox replaced the switch design with separate cartridges for each game. Although Baer had sketched up ideas for cartridges that could include new components for new games, the carts released by Magnavox all served the same function as the switches and allowed players to choose from the Odyssey's built-in games; the Odyssey sold about 100,000 units, making it moderately successful, it was not until Atari's arcade game Pong popularized video games that the public began to take more notice of the emerging industry. By autumn 1975, bowing to the popularity of Pong, canceled the Odyssey and released a scaled-down version that played only Pong and hockey, the Odyssey 100. A second, "higher end" console, the Odyssey 200, was released with the 100 and added on-screen scoring, up to four players, a third game—Smash. Released with Atari's own home Pong console through Sears, these consoles jump-started the consumer market. All three of the new consoles used simpler designs than the original Odyssey did with no board game pieces or extra cartridges.
In the years that followed, the market saw many companies rushing similar consoles to market. After General Instrument released their inexpensive microchips, each containing a complete console on a single chip, many small developers began releasing consoles that looked different externally, but internally were playing the same games. Most of the consoles from this era were dedicated consoles playing only the games that came with the console; these video game consoles were just called video games because there was little reason to distinguish the two yet. While a few companies like Atari and newcomer Coleco pushed the envelope, the market became flooded with simple, similar video games. Fairchild released the Fairchild Video Entertainment System in 1976. While there had been previous game consoles that used cartridges, either the cartridges had no information and served the same function as flipping switches or the console itself was empty and the cartridge contained all of the game components.
The VES, contained a programmable microprocessor so its cartridges only needed a single ROM chip to store microprocessor instructions. RCA and Atari soon released their own cartridge-based consoles, the RCA Studio II and the Atari 2600, respectively; the first handheld game console with interchangeable cartridges was the Microvision designed by Smith Engineering, distributed and sold by Milton-Bradley in 1979. Crippled by a small, fragile LCD display and a narrow selection of games, it was discontinued two years later; the Epoch Game Pocket Computer was released in Japan in 1984. The Game Pocket Computer featured an LCD screen with 75 X 64 resolution and could produce graphics at about the same level as early Atari 2600 games; the system sold poorly, as a result, only five games were made for it. Nintendo's Game & Watch series of dedicated game systems proved more successful, it helped to establish handheld gaming as popular and lasted until 1991. Many Game & Watch games were re-released on Nintendo's subsequent handheld systems.
The VES continued to be sold at a profit after 1977, both Bally and Magnavox brought their own programmable cartridge-based consoles to the market. However, i
Video on demand
Video on demand is a programming system which allows users to select and watch/listen to video or audio content such as movies and TV shows whenever they choose, rather than at a scheduled broadcast time, the method that prevailed with over-the-air programming during the 20th century. IPTV technology is used to bring VOD to televisions and personal computers. Television VOD systems can stream content through either a set-top box, a computer or other device, allowing viewing in real time, or download it to a device such as a computer, digital video recorder or portable media player for viewing at any time; the majority of cable- and telephone company–based television providers offer: VOD streaming, whereby a user selects a video program and it begins to play on the television set, or downloading to a digital video recorder rented or purchased from the provider, or downloading onto a PC or to a portable device, for viewing in the future. Internet television, using the Internet, is an popular form of video on demand.
VOD can be accessed via desktop client applications such as the Samsung iCloud online content store. Some airlines offer VOD as in-flight entertainment to passengers through individually controlled video screens embedded in seatbacks or armrests or offered via portable media players; some video on demand services, such as Netflix, use a subscription model that requires users to pay a monthly fee to access a bundled set of content, movies shows. Other services, such as YouTube, use an advertising - model. Downloading and streaming video on demand systems provide the user with all of the features of Portable media players and DVD players; some VOD systems that store and stream programs from hard disk drives use a memory buffer to allow the user to fast forward and rewind digital videos. It is possible to put video servers on local area networks, in which case they can provide rapid response to users. Cable companies have reeled out their own versions of video on demand services through apps, allowing for TV access anywhere where there is a device, internet compatible.
In addition to cable services launching apps that offer on demand video, they have combined it with offering live streaming services as well. The recent launches of apps from cable companies have the phrases "go" or "watch" are attempts to compete with Subscription Video on Demand services since they lack having live news, etc. Streaming video servers can serve a wider community via a WAN, in which case the responsiveness may be reduced. Download VOD services are practical to homes equipped with DSL connections. Servers for traditional cable and telco VOD services are placed at the cable head-end serving a particular market as well as cable hubs in larger markets. In the telco world, they are placed in either the central office, or a newly created location called a Video Head-End Office; the first video on demand systems used tapes. GTE started as a trial in 1990 with AT&T providing all components. By 1992 VOD servers were supplying encoded digital video from disks and DRAM. In the US, the 1982 anti-trust break-up of AT&T resulted in a number of smaller telephone companies called Baby Bells.
Following this the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 prohibited telephone companies from providing video services within their operating regions. In 1993 the National Communication and Information Infrastructure was proposed and passed by the US House and Senate, thus opening the way for the seven Baby Bells—Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, NYNEX, Pacific Telesis, Southwestern Bell, US West—to implement VOD systems. All of these companies and others began holding trials to set up systems for supplying video on demand over telephone and cable lines. In November 1992, Bell Atlantic announced a VOD trial. IBM was developing video server code-named Tiger Shark. Concurrently Digital Equipment was developing a scalable video server. Bell Atlantic selected IBM and in April 1993 the system became the first VOD over ADSL to be deployed outside the lab, serving 50 video streams. In June 1993, US West filed for a system consisting of the Digital Equipment Corporation Interactive Information Server, with Scientific Atlanta providing the network, 3DO as the set-top box, with video streams and other information to be deployed to 2500 homes.
In 1994–1995 US West went on to file for VOD at several cities: 330,000 subscribers in Denver, 290,000 in Minneapolis, 140,000 in Portland. Many VOD trials were held with various combinations of server and set-top. Of these the primary players in the US were the telephone companies, using DEC, Oracle, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, USA Video, nCube, SGI, other servers; the DEC server system was used in more of these trials than any other. The DEC VOD server architecture used interactive gateways to set up video streams and other information for delivery from any of a large number of VAX servers, enabling it in 1993 to support more than 100,000 streams with full VCR-like functionality. In 1994, it would upgrade to a DEC Alpha–based computer for its VOD servers, allowing it to support more than a million users. By 1994 the Oracle scalable VOD system used massively parallel processors to support from 500 to 30,000 users; the SGI system supported 4000 users. The servers connected to networks of increasing size to support video stream delivery to whole cities.
In the UK, from September 1994, a VOD service formed a major part of the Cambridge Digital Interactive Television Trial in England. This provided video and data to 250 homes and a number of sc