First, Second, Third Generation, etc.


Established Member
Hey guys, this is something that's been kinda bugging me for awhile now. What do gaming experts (I guess...) consider the definition of First Generation titles, Second Generation, etc? Are First Generation games games released in a console's first year of it's lifetime? I'm asking because more than half of my Saturn titles were released in 1995 (the console's first year on the USA market). In my opinion, the best games for ANY system are the games released in it's first year or year and a half on the market. Especially in the PSX's case. I just don't know what to call them. They're not launch titles, are they first generation titles or what?

Damn... I'm rambling WAY too much. Okay, to make all this short.

What's YOUR definition of the whole generation thing?
It is a little vague, but I consider 1st gen titles to be those immediately following the release of the console (i.e the launch titles, plus the next few months of releases). 2nd gen is harder to define, but I'd consider a 2nd gen title to be one that offers a substantial increase in quality of at least one aspect of the gameplay, eg graphics, style even plot. Beyond that, I dunno...too hard to tell. Can a 2nd gen title be considered 1st gen if the quality is poor? Possibly.

As for the best games being released in the first year, I'd have to disagree. Many of the better titles for most systems come out later; Nights, Shenmue/II, Ikaruga, Radient Silvergun for that matter. I find that more often first year releases are rush jobs - buggy as hell with little variety, innovation doesn't often arrive until the console has matured a bit.

Of course, I'm generalising wildly here and these are just my opinions, but you did ask for them.
I would have to agree with curtis , when a system first games are released the developers have not learned to code yet to optimize the systems true capabilitites , in fact these first games are games that were designed with another system in mind or even the pc , they just simply port them over . might want to rethink that. Most of the first party games were made for that console. Some however have been ported over from the previous system, eg.) Eternal Darkness, Animal Crossing. Now third pary however is a different story. Most of their first games are arcade ports, ports from other consoles, etc.
Originally posted by BJammzz@Jan. 03 2003, 6:10 pm might want to rethink that.

Or he might not, seeing as how you basically agreed with what he said. It's true that in the past especially the first year of a console's lifespan doesn't see much quality.. Most good games are bogged down with technical problems because no-one has acclimatised to the systems workings properly.
Basically the "industry" uses this rough definition when figuring out what generation a game fits into.

1st - Games that were started before console launch and are released at launch or within a few months of it (less than 4-5 months after)

2nd - Games that were started before console launch and are released at least 5-6 months after the system launch.

3rd - Games that were started after console launch and released 6-12 months after 2nd gen games.

After that each generation is usually somewhere between 6-12 months after the previous one. If you look at the releases for most consoles you will see the games coming in waves. The times when most games come out normally signals a new generation of games. Additionally generations can also be seen as any games that come out at about the same time as a new version of a sports series but this doesn't always fit in.

The whole generation thing is pretty much useless after about 3 or 4 generations as the game releases start to spread out. Most generations begin just after launch, before christmas and before summer (may-june).
i don't think it's really dependent on time, i think there are certain titles that determine when a "new" generation of games starts, ie. sonic marking the 2nd generation of genesis carts and sonic 2/ecco/streets of rage 2 marking the third or fourth. as far as quality goes that's pretty subjective, while i can remember all of the 1st generation genesis games and for the most part enjoy them more than what came later in the case of the dreamcast it was the 3rd gen games that really kicked ass