2000s Decade Recap - Video Games

There has never been a more exciting time for video gamers then the first decade of the new millennium. Over the course of ten years we saw the once powerful Sega become software exclusive, Microsoft enter the console race, Sony's Playstation 2 become the most played console in history, the emergence of online console gaming, Nintendo's introduction of motion controls and console exclusive franchises that finally toppled Hollywood's offering, while casual gamers finally jumped into the game. Join us at WatchMojo.com as we replay the decade for you and recount its top gaming milestones.
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2000s Decade Recap - Video Games


What Kind of decade was it?

Well, the gaming industry was shaken up with the introduction of online gaming, motion controls and a 3-way race between industry titans to win the hearts and minds of gamers by releasing dozens of new console exclusive franchises.

Yeah, that’s the kind of decade it was for video games.

-The 2000s started with a bang as Sega shocked the world by leaving the video game hardware business with plans to produce cross platform software. This effectively did the unthinkable by bringing previous mortal enemies together. (Sonic Games on Nintendo Consoles, ex. “Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games”).

Meanwhile, the Sony PlayStation brand ventured light years ahead of its competition to become the most successful console in history due to its huge library of games, which included popular exclusive titles, such as “Final Fantasy X”, “Gran Turismo”, “God of War”, “Ratchet and Clank” and “Jak and Daxter” (Split screen display of all 5 titles). The inclusion of DVD playback didn’t hurt either.

-In 2001, Nintendo fought back with its purple GameCube. However, the tiny console was the first to launch without a Mario Bros. platformer at the helm, and would ultimately fail to measure up to expectations (Footage of “Luigi’s Mansion”), this resulted in the fate of the entire company being called into question, despite several high profile releases for the system which included “Super Smash Bros. Melee”, a cell shaded “Legend of Zelda” (The Wind Waker) and several exclusive mature rated games from the Resident Evil series (RE Remake, Resident Evil 4).

Simultaneously, Microsoft caused a sea change when they entered the video game biz with a take no prisoners attitude, and a little help from a little popular game called “Halo”.

-In 2002, Microsoft released “Xbox Live”, a revolutionary and highly successful online gaming model. It introduced several innovations that would become mainstays in competitive gaming, such as Gamerscores.

-In 2004, Sony invaded portable gaming with the PSP. Luckily for Nintendo, their DS remained more popular due to its appeal to casual audience (Brain Age), their strong franchises (Pokemon) and the inclusion of touch screen technology.

-In 2005, Microsoft axed their system only 4 years into its lifecycle in order to first to release the next piece of hardware. The Xbox 360 was uber powerful, stylish and immensely popular from day one. However, extreme hardware failures brought gaming the dreaded “Red Ring of Death”. This problem caused over 50% of consoles to fail. Several hardware versions later, the problem remained and Microsoft wisely chose to extend their warranty to 3 years, at a cost of over 1 Billion dollars to the company. Oh yah, and this time Halo would be complimented by several A+ exclusive titles such as “Gears of War” and “Left for Dead”.

That same year, the instrument-based musical phenomenon began, though initially confined to the PS2 with “Guitar Hero”, musical games eventually swept the gaming landscape and franchises such as the multi-platform “Rockband” allowed gamers to rock out with their entire group of friends!

-In 2006, The Big N changed tactics and stopped trying to compete with the other console makers on the basis of power. They released the Wii with motion controls, a free copy of Wii Sports and a price edge, it was 350 dollars cheaper then Sony’s new Blu Ray powered behemoth. And despite Nintendo being the only one not to support High Def Gaming, audiences didn’t seem to mind. “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess” and “Wii Fit” ensured a decent balance for the hardcore and casual gamer.

-2007 saw the release of the PC’s biggest game “Crysis”, a title meant to topple the console offerings. However, it required extremely expensive top-of-the-line hardware that few gamers possessed.

-2008 was the year of drive-bys as Grand Theft Auto 4 made its way to the top of the charts, despite the concerns of frazzled parents.

-By 2009 Nintendo had become overrun by countless throwaway party titles and useless controller accessories (Carnival Games, Raving Rabbids, Wii Zapper), and the company admitted that its motion controller was flawed. This resulted in the release of “Wii Motion Plus”, an attachment that gave the system near 1 to 1 motion to movement ability (Wii Sports Resort).

At the same time, The PlayStation brand had recovered from several blows to the chin, and released the PS3 Slim, which finally lured in gamers with a sleek package and many A+ exclusive titles such as “Little Big Planet”, “Resistance: Fall of Man” and the “Uncharted” series. Sony also refreshed their portable offering with the PSP Go, the first download only system that boldly irked retail chains, and gamers alike as the system remained the home to uglier versions of their console counterparts.

The real bombshell of the year was that Activision’s Modern Warfare 2 earned 550 million dollars in its first 5 days on the market, a success that leveled all previous sales records for an entertainment product.

As the decade came to an end, Microsoft and Sony announced their own visions of motion-controlled gaming. However, gamers would have to wait for the following decade before getting a chance to play with Project Natal and the Motion Wand.
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