A Guide to the Different Types of Video Game Platforms

Video games have evolved a lot since their inception—in both how they look and how they’re played. With every passing year, the variety of video game platforms expands. These platforms give gamers different experiences: some virtually catapult you into a fictional world, while others are simpler and better for gaming on the go. To gain a better understanding of the many gaming experiences now available, here’s a guide to some of the different types of video game platforms.

PC

PC gaming is one of the best and oldest ways to experience video games. Playing on a PC has many advantages, including higher-quality visuals and more versatility. More often than not, game visuals are more superior on a PC than on a gaming console—PC gaming allows for more customization via various accessories and options that can enhance your experience. For example, you can use your keyboard and mouse for gameplay, but you also have the option to use a controller. PC gaming also gives you a wider variety of games to play, like the ones available through programs such as Steam. Certain games, such as World of Warcraft and League of Legends, are also only available on PCs.

Consoles

Video game consoles from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have been leading the way in gaming platforms for years now. In fact, a 2018 study from the Pew Research Center states that “84% of teens say they have… access to a game console at home.” Gaming consoles are a bit easier to use compared to PCs because console games are commonly played with controllers. While many companies are already developing next-gen consoles, Sony and Nintendo have also brought back classic consoles in miniature form, such as the NES Classic.  

Mobile

A recent trend in gaming is the increased development of games for mobile phones and tablets. Most people today carry a smartphone with gaming capabilities; the games available on mobile devices range across all different types of genres. This is an area on which the gaming industry has recently capitalized with popular titles such as Clash of ClansFortnite, and Angry Birds. In recent years, mobile gaming has also taken advantage of augmented reality with interactive games such as Pokémon Go and the newly-released Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.

Virtual Reality

Aside from mobile gaming, the gaming industry also continues to push virtual reality forward, making huge strides in the platform. VR puts you in the middle of a virtual world, and it’s one of the most immersive gaming experiences available at the moment. VR requires you to put on a headset, which allows you to see the virtual world; Oculus, Sony, HTC, Samsung, and more brands offer many different types of VR headsets. You’ll also use controls that allow you to “move around” in the virtual world. To use VR safely, make sure you have enough physical space. VR is a gaming platform that may have the most potential beyond gaming, and we’ll continue to see it move forward for years to come.

Arcade

Arcade games may seem like a dying gaming platform, but this is far from the case. The thirst for nostalgia has never been greater, and nothing quenches that thirst like arcade gaming. With games such as PacmanDonkey KongGalaga, and more, this platform was the most popular way to game in the 80s. Back then, people typically had to visit local arcades, restaurants, or movie theaters to get their gaming in. Arcade games typically feature a large machine built for one game. These games are still in production today and are present in entertainment centers such as Dave & Busters and Main Event. You can also buy an arcade station for yourself and build a collection of your own.

Television

An often-overlooked way to play video games is on a television. If you own a smart TV, you can actually download games and play without a console. While every smart TV is different, most of them offer app stores where you can download these games in the same way you would download a mobile game. To play these games, you may need to connect a gaming controller, but you get to enjoy some pretty cool games on a large TV display, which is more affordable than getting a console.

Web Browser

Another easy way to game is to simply use a web browser. Thousands of free games are available on the Internet, from games based on TV shows to classics such as RuneScape and FarmVille. There are also plenty of fun, educational games that can actually help with school, such as Lemonade Stand. The Internet might be the most accessible way for people of all ages to play games today.

Streaming

The final gaming platform in our list is one that is still a new, exciting concept. TV has been transitioning into streaming, and now video games are trying to do the same. In most cases, you have to download a game in order to get good quality—however, Google is looking to make gaming more like Netflix with its cloud gaming service, Stadia. Instead of housing games on one platform, Stadia allows you to game across many platforms by streaming the games in 4K. This would make video games the latest piece of technology to move into the cloud. This will also make gaming easier than ever before and allow you to play wherever you want with a monthly subscription.

 

The many platforms that produce video game titles are vastly different from one another. This has allowed the gaming industry to thrive and provide consumers with many different options. This progression will only continue as games continue to advance at a rate faster than in any other entertainment medium.

Regardless of how you game, many of these different types of video game platforms emit blue light, which can damage your eyes. You want to have a way to protect your eyes when you game—glasses for playing video games from Glassy Eyewear will not only protect your eyes from harmful blue light, but also keep you comfortable and stylish.

A Guide to the Different Types of Video Game Platforms infographic