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Sega's Dreamcast, the first console with a built-in modem, was released in Japan on November 27, 1998. The Dreamcast initially underperformed in Japan; while interest was initially strong, the company was forced to stop taking preorders due to manufacturing issues, and the system underperformed its sales expectations, with reports of disappointed customers returning Dreamcast consoles to buy PlayStation games and peripherals.
Games released during the fifth generation took advantage of the new 3D technology with a number of notable franchises moving from 2D, such as Metal Gear, Final Fantasy, Mario and The Legend of Zelda, the latter often being considered as one of the best games of all time and being influential not only to its genre but video games as a whole. Other games that were released during this generation such as Crash Bandicoot, GoldenEye 007, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider and FIFA International Soccer were influential in their own genres and started their own franchises that would span multiple generations and consoles. Resident Evil began the "survival horror" genre and Metal Gear Solid popularised the stealth genre as well as storytelling through cinematic cutscenes rendered in game. Gran Turismo and Sega Rally Championship popularised realism in the racing genre with different surfaces and realistic features such as tire grip.
In 1996, Nintendo released the Game Boy Pocket: a smaller, lighter unit that required fewer batteries. It has space for two AAA batteries, which provide approximately 10 hours of game play. Although, like its predecessor, the Game Boy Pocket has no backlight to allow play in a darkened area, it did notably improve visibility and pixel response-time (mostly eliminating ghosting). The Game Boy Pocket was not a new software platform and played the same software as the original Game Boy model.
^ Tracy Fullerton (February 8, 2008). Game Design Workshop: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games. CRC Press. p. 429. ISBN 978-0-240-80974-8. However, when publishers distribute a game on a console system, they must enter into a strict licensing agreement with the console maker, in which they agree to pay a licensing royalty for every unit sold.
The second generation of consoles introduced more powerful capabilities, less hardware limitations than the first generation and coincided with the golden age of arcade video games. Developers had access to basic graphical capabilities of the console allowing them to create sprites of their own choosing and more advanced sound capabilities. Controllers were beginning to include more buttons giving developers more freedom in the type of interactions they could provide to the player.
The PS4 may still have a stronger gaming library than the Xbox One, but the Pro’s improvements are only noticeable in games that have been specifically enhanced for it. The Xbox One X has proven far better at using its extra horsepower to improve the visuals of all games on the platform, enhanced or not. Microsoft is also doubling down on investing in first-party studios, such as Rare, which recently released Sea of Thieves, and the company recently acquired big-name studios like Ninja Theory and Playground Games, as well.
Early console games were commonly created by a single person and could be changed in a short amount of time due to the simplicity of the games at the time. As technology has improved, the development time, complexity and cost of console games has increased where the size of a team for an eighth generation game can number in the hundreds. Similarly, the programming languages used in video game development has changed over time with early games being developed primarily in assembly. As time went on developers had more choice on what they could use based on the availability on the console but some languages became more popular than others.
Since mobile devices have become present in the majority of households at least in the developed countries, there are more and more games created with educational or lifestyle- and health-improvement purposes. For example, mobile games can be used in Speech-language pathology (example — Outloud Apps), children's rehabilitation in hospitals (Finnish startup Rehaboo!), acquiring new useful or healthy habits (Habitica app), memorising things and learning languages (Memrise).
In Europe, downloadable mobile games were introduced by the "Les Games" portal from Orange France, run by In-fusio, in 2000. Whereas before mobile games were usually commissioned directly by handset manufacturers, now also mobile operators started to act as distributors of games. As the operators were not keen on handling potentially hundreds of relationships with one- or two-person developers, mobile aggregators and publishers started to act as a middleman between operators and developers that further reduced the revenue share seen by developers.