I was just reflecting today on how 90ties were certainly era of “heavy” graphics, real-time rendering, texture mapping, and other techniques that made computer games more realistic and playing more attractive. Programmers were developing techniques to take out the most from hardware, graphic processing engines were optimized to make playing more fluid in 3D virtual worlds. On desktop computers that 3DRealms engine was behind the most realistic games like Doom, Wolfenstein castle, Spear of Destiny, Duke Nukem and others, gaming consoles were still limited to 2d graphics with classic arcade style games, until Nintendo released N64 in 1997.
I wish I bought that console back then, with 64bit power for graphics under the hood, still dont have one to this day. For those that dont know, the label on the chip is Silicon Graphics (SGI). Back in 2000, I visited SGI in their headquarters in Mountain View in Silicon Valley. Huge corporate building park housed the R&D for famous IRIX operating system and powerful mainframes and workstations built for advanced heavy graphics tasks. That park is now home of well known Google Inc. One of the meeting rooms of SGI welcomed my group of collegues when we made Hollywood blockbuster special effects, where SGI machines were used.
So eventually I would like to end up owning one part of SGI graphic marvels hooked to my TV set, even though I know the technology is not as high end as todays Xbox 360 or PS3.
As you know, Nintendo realized that it is worth listening customers and not industry, and released Wii 10 years after N64. Far behind its rival PlayStation 3 in terms of graphics and audio capabilities but unique with its new user/machine interface in the form of its game controller equipped with accelerometers.
The new gaming experience triggers more user attention than the super realistic graphics nowadays when the high definition becomes commodity. The latest reports from business news state that on average Nintendo Wii does not spend more than 1 hour on shelves in shops! Might get one of them too, I think Ella would like one.