Sound For Games – Console History and The Purpose Of Game Musicr

1ST Generation

Magnavox Odyssey –

  • Made By Magnavox
  • Released in 1972
  • It creates analog audio, which is sent to the antenna of the TV along with the composite video into an RF signal.


Odyssey 300-

  • Released in 1975
  • Made by Magnavox
  • Created analog audio sent through to the TV vie and atenna into an RF signal.

odyssey 300

I prefer the Odyssey 300 mainly because its has better hardware and I love the bright yellow design, which is why I would choose it over the Magnavox Odyssey.

2nd Generation

Atari 2600-

  • Made By Atari
  • Released in 1977
  • 2 channels of 1-bit monaural sound with 4-bit volume control



  • Made by Smiths Engineering
  • Released in 1979
  • For the sound it had a piezo beeper


If I had to choose one from the 2nd generation I would choose the Atari mainly because I love the design and colours as well as the hardware which is better than the microvision, it is also more popular which means there will be more games on it.

3rd Generation  

Famicom –

  • Made by Nintendo
  • Released in 1983 in Japan, 1985 in North America and 1986 in Europe
  • The Ricoh RP2C33, used by the Famicom Disk System, adds one extra sound channel with primitive wavetable, Produces waves using 64 × 64 custom wavetables with 33 volume settings. Although the latest FamiTracker version supports volume envelopes that go all the way up to 32, the volume column in the pattern editor will max out at 0x0F.1920px-NES-Console-Set

Master System-

  • Made By Sega
  • Released in 1986
  • Made to compete with Nintendos console.
  • Sound is provided by the SN76489 PSG chip.


I would pick the famicom mainly because it is made by Nintendo which means there will be lots more games and will be so much more popular.

4th Generation 

NEC Turbografx16-

  • Made by NEC
  • Released in 1987, 1989 in North America, 1990 in Europe
  • Each channel had a frequency of 111.87 kHz for single cycle of 32 samples (while not in D/A mode) with a bit depth of 5 bits. Each channel also was allotted 20 bytes (32×5 bits) of RAM for sample data.


Super Famicom-

  • Made by Nintendo
  • Released in 1990
  • The audio subsystem consists of an 8-bit Sony SPC700, a 16-bit DSP, 64 kB[e] of SRAM shared by the two chips, and a 64 byte boot ROM.

super famicom

If I had to choose one from the 4th generation it would have to be the Super Famicom mainly because its made by Nintendo and the hardware is much better.

5TH Generation  

Playstation 1-

  • Made by Sony
  • Released in 1994 in Japan, 1995 in North America and Europe
  • The PS1 was the first console to use a disk for both audio and video together, this allowed bigger audio and music to be used in games which made a better experience.


Atari Jaguar-

  • Released in 1993
  • Was the last Atari console
  • Made by Atari
  • CD quality sound, sound channels limited by software, full stereo capabities

atri jaguar

I would obviously choose the playstation 1 because of great hardware as well as great games like Crash Bandicoot.

6th Generation

Playstation 2-

  • Made by Sony
  • Released in Japan, North America and Europe in 2000
  • Still most successful console of all time
  • Audio: “SPU1+SPU2” (SPU1 is actually the CPU clocked at 8 MHz and SPU2 is PS1 SPU)
  • Sound Memory: 2 MB



  • Made by Nintendo
  • Released in 2001
  • Sound goest through its audio and input/output (I/O) processors.


I would choose the Playstation 2 over the Gamecube mainly because of amazing hardware for its generation, amazing games and because it is the most popular console in history so my friends will most likely have it too.

7th Generation  

Playstation 3-

  • Made by Sony
  • Released in Japan and North America in 2007 and Europe in 2007
  • First console to have blu ray


Xbox 360-

  • Made by Microsoft
  • Released in 2005
  • the audio is handled by the ATI Xenos

xbox 360

I would choose the Playstation 3 over the xbox 360 mainly because of the exclusive games like Uncharted which is one of my favourite games.

8th Generation  

Playstation 4-

  • Made by Sony
  • Released in North America and Europe in 2013 and Japan in 2014


Xbox One-

  • Made by Microsoft
  • Released in 2013
  • Supports 7.1 surround sound

xbox one

I would choose the PS4 over the xbox one because it has better hardware and software also I prefer the exclusive games overall.

The Purpose Of Game Music 

Action-   When it comes to action games and action music there are a lot of factors and elements that go along with it. The music must go with the gameplay, and must go with what’s going on like the story or certain scenes. My own definition of action games is a mixture of intense, fast paced gameplay that makes your heart beat faster and gets your blood pumping. Some other factors and elements are that when it comes to action the music is usually loud and other the top to go with the gameplay in those action-packed levels or scenes, this also adds to the entertainment value of the game and players will enjoy it much more. A good example of this is action games like Far Cry 3, this is a highly action packed and intense game with one of the best story’s I have played in a video game however, there is a certain mission where you have to burn large plantations of marijuana and the music that goes with it seems to make you so hyped and pumped it, its my favourite mission in the game and all time.


Suspense-   Suspense music goes great with scary games especially ones with a great story and those jump scares however, there are a few other elements that go into suspense music in videogames. My own definition of suspense or intense games is gaining a faster heart beat in games that scare you are the story makes you feel emotional, basically games that make you emotional with a weird feeling. As I said there are a lot of elements that go into making suspenseful videogame music, for example, it needs to get very intense at the very intense or scary parts in the game so the music has to be made around the game especially when it comes to music that’s just used for one level or a certain scene. A game that I have played which is really scary and intense is Outlast and is one of the scariest games I’ve ever played, it has a great story but one of the main factors that make the game so good is the music and the sound effects. When it comes to scary games like outlast the music can make a massive difference, having really intense music or sound effects in the right parts of the game can make the player 10x more scared.  


Intro Sequence– Intro music is very important and obviously comes at the very start of the game when you run it, all though it may not make much of a difference when it comes to the actual game and gameplay, it might just change your mood when you start the game or get you hyped up and excited to play the game. A game that has good intro music is Uncharted, they have used the theme tune in many uncharteds sometimes they have been chopped and changed. But what makes it so good is that it makes you happy to be playing the game again and can change your mood. The tune isn’t really intense or action type tunes however, it reminds yu about the game itself and what makes it unique as well as special. Uncharted is one of my favourite games and is a really good game, the intro music isn’t just used in the intro but is used in trailers in the game itself, on the menu etc. It is used many times.


Interactive Adaptive Music- When it comes to interactive music, which is when the music changes depending on your actions and success within the game, there are many games like this for example, guitar hero is a massive game and has sold many, worldwide. However, the game that I’ll be looking at is Rayman Legends. Within Rayman Legends there are some special music levels, which allow you play songs depending on how you do on the level. There are many different elements and factors that go into an interactive music game or level for example, the game has to be very fun for the players or else they would just simply not enjoy obviously this is a big factor when it comes to videogames anyway, another factor is that that game has to be challenging as well as rewarding, this will make players want o continue playing the game/level. I have played many different interactive music games that require you to perform actions like guitar hero or wii music, but the one that stands out for me is Rayman Legends because the music levels are just so fun to play and I enjoyed them so much.


Ineffective Game Music

This music is very ineffective mainly because it doesn’t suit the game and that the music is just terrible in general, its as if the developer had too much fun and started messing about on the keyboard, I chose this because i hated the music and I feel that it just ruins the gameplay and the feel of the game in general. The game is just a random online flash game that hasn’t had much effort put into, so you cant really expect the game music to be amazing, but it would have been better with no music at all.

Nyan Cat- The nyan cat theme music is known for its annoying and loud screeching sounds, its now used for a lot of memes around for internet and is laughed at everywhere, all though the game Nyan cat is actually popular and a lot of people enjoy it, the game music is just laughable.


Sonic The Hedgehog- This is another soundtrack, like nyan cat, thats is used all over the internet as pranks to annoy other people online, mainly because its also very annoying and loud. It can be very irritating as well as very annoying to the extent that you just want to knock yourself out, personally I do not like it and neither this al ot of other people.


Creating a Sound Effect Asset Library-  In this section of the post I will be discussing about the production process of creating sound effect libraries and the ways they are exported as well as how you can import them into Unity and trigger them to play inside of a game. So, the first thing I did was plan out what types of sounds i wanted to record, I decided to record 10 types each very different and unique in its own way, like mechanical sounds or natural.

After I went out to record all these sounds using an app on my phone, I got many sounds like cars, drills, scanner/printer I explored across the college to find a wide range of sounds. After I recorded all of these sounds I moved onto setting up the hardware and software environments, the software i used for all the samples was a software called Logic Pro, which is really good because it allows you to edit music and sounds in a wide variety of ways. I used this on a Mac which has really good hardware, im not sure what the specs are but they’re decent.

After importing all the sounds into Logic i then moved onto making my second volume, at the start of the project we got told to make 2 volumes, volume 1 and volume 2. In volume 1 we put the 10 original sounds in which are all unedited and not touched, in volume 2 we put all 10 sounds in and edited them and manipulated them. I did many things to these sounds when manipulating them for example, I would change the eq of the sound in order to make it sound better, for some I even changed the decibel and different points of the sound so it would get louder and quieter at different times this can add to suspense and tempo depending on the type of sound. Another thing i would do is stretch the sound and change the speeds, so by stretching I could make the sound slower and make it sound cool as well very weird.

I exported my files in MP3 because I feel this is the best and most widely used, there are many other file types that music and sound can be exported into, for example MP4 is a great one and is used a lot for videos as well as movies this is widely used as well. Another file type is Qiff which is used for Macs quicktime software which is used to watch the videos and movies on the MAC itself. They’re are many other file types that music can be exported to but these are some of the most known ones. After recording all the sounds, editing and exporting them I would then proceed to import it into my Unity project which would allow me to play different sound at certain points inside y game. For example if I wanted a sound effect to play every time I attack something or pickup something or do any kind of action I would code it so that sound effect plays when i do that action. I would do this by using a piece of code that tells the game to pay the sound at the point for example I could make it play a punch sound every time I press the punch button. Unity_3D_logo Editorshot


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