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History of the Video Game StartUp

Today September 9th, 2010 celebrates two milestones in gaming. As it is both the 15th anniversary of the original PlayStation’s American release, and the 11th anniversary of the Dreamcast’s launch.

Girl, you don't look a day over 5!

We wanted to do something special and different to celebrate both console’s launch. We thought long and hard about it, and what we come up with will not only celebrate the two consoles above, but all of console-dom.

So ladies and gentlemen sit back and relax, as we take you through the most bizarre journey of video games. The start-up screen.

Poor DreamCast, we hardly knew you! WHY SEGA WHY! 🙁

No better place to start than the console celebrating its 15th anniversary. The PlayStation’s startup is both simple and majestic at the same time. Its that extra music that really sells it.

Sony would continue their legacy with the PlayStation 2’s startup screen, which seems to depict a polygonal city. I could be mistaken

Finally we have the PlayStation 3’s start-up, which honestly just looks lazy in comparison. Some music and a line that moves, really Sony? At 600 bucks a pop, you would have thought someone made enough to design something interesting!

Now we move over to the second birthday boy and his extended family. The Dreamcast’s start-up screen is one of the better ones. As it playfully spells out the console’s name then one of my personal favorite console logos is shown on screen. The music once again is top notch.

The Saturn one is kept nice and simple, but still manages to work well.

The Genesis one was much simpler (simpler times those days) with an announcer simply saying, “SEGA” not even Genesis or anything. There are of course variations to this, most famous being the ones attached to Sonic games in which the blue hedgehog would run across the screen.

The Sonic-itized version.

I just want to say the Master Sytstem’s one is awesome. Its rather simple, but it really does play on your nostalgic bone. With the old school sound effects.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETytDSLg7-Y

Almost forgot one, I’m sure Sega wishes it could forget it! The Sega CD intro screen. The start-up itself is pretty barebones, and the logo is AWFUL. Who designed that thing? But the music really does sound like music you would have heard in games in those days.

We’ve now done Sony and Sega minus their handhelds, but those weren’t the only two company in the game. So we can’t have a celebration without some guests so here are some other key start-up screens from gaming’s past and present.

Starting with the original Xbox, Microsoft took it in almost a sci-fi manner. The color scheme probably helped with the decision, but it really does stand out. And is the first on our list, in which the music is rather intense.

The 360’s start-up follows the legacy of the original. And subtlety is also influenced by the console’s console choice. Where as the original Xbox’s start-up was black and green, and felt more sci-fi, the 360’s is white and green and in ways feels more adventurous. Its fast moving, but focused.

As a special treat, here is the startup that welcomes you to the NXE (I so want to say experience, but it makes no sense with NXE) And like noted above, it really does make the console seem more fast-paced and exciting.

Nintendo for the most part avoided start-up screens, maybe a benefit/downside of the cartidge format until the GameCube era. However, there does exist a start-up screen for the N64 DD, which was only released in Japan. As you could imagine there is a focus put on Mario and the playful nature of the company.

As noted though, the Gamecube was really the first Nintendo console (again gonna ignore the handhelds for this article) to feature any type of start-up. And I could be mistaken, but it was also the first start-up that was interactive in some manner. As you were able to play around with the logo, as well as get various sound effects if you held down the right buttons. Below, you will find the three possible start-ups for the Gamecube.

Nintendo once again returned to their non-start-up screen ways with the Wii. Instead, you get some silly warning screen EVERY time you try and start your console. And in its place, are Wii loading screen icons as you go from menu to front screen.

And while they aren’t officially start-up screens, Nintendo decides to have some fun when you are downloading things onto your device with these lovely throwbacks.

Standard Version

Fire Mario Edition

Now that was Nintendo’s short-live run with a start-up screen. Here are some odd and ends one to round up this part-ay!

The Neo-Geo one is pretty basic, and way too much text for a start-up screen in my opinion. The music is okay, but not something you write home to mom about.

They got it right the second time however with the NeoGeo CD as the logo comes to life as the text dances around the CD before settling at the bottom. Though the logo is scary as all hell. I mean it looks like a demented clown and a way too happy creature. I’m just saying.

The Amiga CD 32 starts off extremely strong, but the finish really brings it down as I feel it stays on the final image way too long.

The Atari Jaguar’s start-up screen has an identity crisis. It starts off strong with the roar in the background, making you take it a bit serious, but then the most gamely game music of all-time starts up and you really have to chuckle. Of course, this is all topped off with an ugly as sin box that pops into the middle of the screen.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is not often a writer says this, but ignore EVERYTHING I wrote before this sentence. We have an undisputed champion of video game start-up screens, and its a contender that came from behind. I want everyone to brace themselves for 60 mph of awesomeness. Here it is, the 3D0 intro.

Thank you for taking the trip with us through the bizarre history of the video game start-up. Like most things, there are some good and some bad, and some truly head-scratching ones (looking at you Jaguar!)

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Earl Rufus

The owner of this little chunk of the internet. Enjoys having a good time and being rather snarky!

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