Arcade Games – These were the first types of games that were developed for the general public. They are normally operated by inserting coins into the machine for a chance to play. There are many different styles of arcade games ranging from twitch style games such as Asteroids to shooters like T2: Judgement Day. These are featured out side department stores, in restaurants and in arcades – which are disappearing rapidly these days. This platform is expensive so it is normally a type of game that is owned by a business rather than featured in the home, although certain gamers will buy these machines for home use.
Console Games – These types of games are played on a machine that is connected to a television set and featured in homes. They began with early units such as the Atari 2600 and have progressed to today’s XBox 360, Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii. These games have various types of media format that they accept ranging from old school cartridge based systems to the modern DVD and downloadable content games. They are usually longer in terms of play and are operated by a controller that mimics the controller set up on an arcade game machine, with the exception of the Wii which uses a remote style controller. There are literally hundreds of games across all genres for console systems and they are the preferred choice of the majority of the world’s gamers today.
Handheld Games – These are similar to console gaming systems, but they are substantially smaller to make them easily held with two hands and completely portable. Many of the titles available on a console system are ported to portable systems, but there are also games made just for these systems. Since they cost less than a console, many gamers prefer to have a handheld unit they can take with them. The disadvantages are the smaller screen size and also the fact that the require charging or replacing the batteries on a regular basis.
Massively Multiplayer Online Games – These are games which have been designed to be played with either a computer or a console video game wherein players will be working cooperatively or challenging one another in the same vast game world. These games are usually subscription based and usually allow players to create just one profile with many characters. The rise of the internet made these popular for PC gamers, but broadband cable internet has made them popular for consoles now, as well.
Mobile Games – With the arrival of today’s smart phones, consumers can now download and play games on their mobile phones with or without a constant internet connection. These games, called apps on the iPhone, are generally very simple to play, but they are now growing in complexity as the technology improves. Most of these games are not yet multi player.
Online Games – These games played over the web as their name implies, but they are not always about interacting with other players in a shared world. Sometimes they are slots or bingo style games that are more traditional in nature or even card games such as Magic: The Gathering Online. There are as many types of online games as there are genres and styles of games themselves.
Personal Computer Games – These games are played on home computers such as a PC or a Mac and they are generally far more complex than those offered on consoles. The games are generally able to feature high powered graphics, sound and other capabilities that exceed the ability of console games. Since PCs can hook up easily to the net, many of these games feature online capacity. Special gaming computers are also developed these days just for gamers.