From Console to Computer: The Shift to Online Gaming

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David Hucks
David Hucks
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at

Video games have been around for much longer than most of us realize. For example, did you know that the first video game to ever be made is Spacewar!, developed way back in 1962? Even for people who are aware of the gaming industry’s progress throughout the decades, that fact still remains astounding.

The concept of online gaming, on the other hand, is comparatively newer. It was not until the year 1984 that even the first online PC game was available. Online games for consoles came even later. Let’s take a look back down memory lane and see how the world shifted to online gaming over the decades.

PC Gaming: When Did It Go Online?

Islands of Kemai was the first commercial video game that had online gaming and it was released back in 1984 by CompuServe. As is to be expected, it was the PC that got it. The game was also the world’s first online RPG. In later years, online casino games gained a lot of popularity on PC, especially after the year 1994. However, things were somewhat dubious back then, as there was no neutral party at that time to have conducted a thorough review of the online games or the casino sites.

Console Gaming: When Did It Go Online?

It was not until much later that console gamers got a taste of online gaming though, which came with the Dreamcast, and a year later, Sega’s own SegaNet in 2000. The Dreamcast was the first video game console ever to come with a built-in modem to facilitate online gameplay. It is considered to be one of the most underrated consoles of all time, featuring some of the most advanced online games for that timeline.

Which Was the first Online Console Game?

The very first online console game was ChuChu Rocket! and as you might imagine, it was indeed released for the Sega Dreamcast in 1999 by Sonic Team. Now, if you are wondering how ChuChu Rocket! did come before SegaNet, that’s because, prior to SegaNet, Sega did have a one-year partnership with Excite@Home from 1999 to 2000. The game itself was an action-puzzle game that was received well at the time of its release.

Online Gaming Today: PSN and XBL

Almost all video games across all consoles and the PC have an online mode today, even the ones that do not necessarily need them! That’s mainly because the world itself has shifted to an online model where it is much more convenient to play with friends online, rather than hosting a couch multiplayer session. In today’s world, the PlayStation Network and the Xbox Live Network are the two most impactful and popular online gaming platforms for consoles. It can be argued, however, that the PC has a larger online player base than any console.

What about Online PC Gaming Today?

PC gamers do not have to worry about paying for online gaming sessions, which is perhaps the biggest advantage they have over online console games. Both the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live are paid services. If you wish to play games online on any modern console, you must pay a subscription fee. Online gaming on the PC does not have any such requirements, even for the same titles.

The PC also has several unique advantages in some competitive online games like shooters, where a mouse and keyboard allow for superior control. Console gamers cannot compete with that, so games that support mouse and keyboard generally host separate servers for PC and console gamers, but cross platform console competitions are allowed in some titles. The PC also has free online games for everyone to enjoy on their browser, which the consoles do not.

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