Arcade Games – As the first publicly accessible gaming platform ever developed, arcade games were the fore runners of today’s consoles. They are larger than consoles and instead of having a TV, they usually contain one or more built in monitors which allow for the player to either stand at the machine or sit on a ride that operates the game. The machine features controls and is operated by coins. Since these units are large and bulky on top of being extremely expensive, they are not the typical choice for at home gamers, but some collectors do buy these machines, mainly after they have become vintage. The types of businesses that have these machines are generally stores, movie theater complexes and the last of the arcades in the world today.
Console Games – This is the most common platform for today’s gamers and there are many console video gaming systems on the market from makers like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. These machines differ from PC in that they only play video games and serve no other function. They are generally composed of a primary unit that plays the game disc, at least one controller and are connected with a TV set that acts as their monitor. Some of these systems can connect to the web over a broadband or DSL connection and offer multiplayer gaming. All different types of games are offered for consoles ranging from sports games to role playing titles.
Handheld Video Games – These are usually made by the same manufacturers who create console systems and often the same games are available on handheld and console systems. Portability is the primary reason gamers choose this type of system, but for others the main reason is that there are specific games developed just for this platform. The main draw back to this kind of platform is the fact that the units are battery powered so while they can be moved from place to place, they will be running on batteries that must be replaced or charged on a regular basis.
Massively Multiplayer Online Games – This is a platform that is not controlled by the player the way that a console or handheld system is. Instead, a company runs the games and console or PC systems can connect in order to play. These games feature thousands or even hundreds of thousands of players all connected from their homes to join in on the gaming. Usually, players create a profile and within that profile they create characters. Shooter and role playing titles commonly utilize this platform.
Mobile Games – The arrival of complex and sophisticated smart phones has made mobile gaming a whole new platform that consumers have embraced at a rapid pace. The games are usually less complex than on a console or even a handheld gaming system that has all its resources dedicated to games, but these downloadable games are quite popular for consumers who already have a phone.
Online Games – This is a platform that uses either a standard internet connection or a broadband connection, if using a console gaming system. It differs from a network for massively multiplayer games in that the games offered are generally one on one instead of group play. These games can come in all types, but commonly they would be card games, one on one strategy games and similar titles.
Personal Computer Games – The personal computer can perform a huge range of tasks in a gamer’s daily life, but for those who play on their PC or Mac, this is one of the most powerful platforms possible. Long before a console system has the technology available, a PC will have new upgrades that can take gaming to the next level. Today there are even specific machines built just for gaming.