Hot diggety damn, this stuff was super big news back in the day!
Believe it or not, there was a time online multiplayer wasn’t a thing in most games. Hell, if you had a console, handheld or otherwise, it probably wasn’t even possible yet! I remember the PlayStation 2 changing this, and then later the Nintendo DS being able to connect to WiFi. This did some pretty major things for console gaming, since you were no longer restricted to local multiplayer if you wanted to have a good time with friends. Cross-country shenanigans? Sure, invite people from the other side of the world if you want to!
It was revolutionary. For the first time in ever, you didn’t need friends or a second Nintendo handheld to complete your Pokedex. As lame as it sounds, that’s a pretty big deal, especially considering how that paved the road for much more widespread (and slightly more accessible) competitive scenes in all kinds of games, Pokemon especially. (Fighters like Smash Bros also enjoyed this, to a degree, but online isn’t a great competitive experience, what with milliseconds making differences and internet speeds still not being mighty reliable.
And now it’s been long enough for us to not pay it much mind, just using it without realizing how amazing it is that we can do this now. But hey, that’s only natural. I mean, the wheel’s pretty normal, right? Back in the really old days, we had to make do without them!
We’ve come a long way already, I wonder what the next big possibility will be, and how it will influence the game scene. (VR is already sort of here, so that doesn’t count anymore?)