Started with 'Pong' in the 1970's I remember my uncle buying that 'console' and connecting it to a 13" black and white TV that was probably picked out of the junk pile. My uncle replaced some tubes and got the thing working again so we could play on it. Forward to Atari 2600, I think that was probably the next big evolutionary step.
After that I think PC gaming started taking hold. Commodore 64 was probably the 1st true 'PC' gaming system. My 1st computer was the Apple iie, got the 'double memory from 64 bits to 128, got 2 5 1/4 floppy drives, played games for years. I think soon after, PC gaming on the 8088's started to take over.
My 1st 'multiplayer' experience was in the mid 90's, where my friend and I connected our dial up modem to the University 'internet', and after some complex connections, played Doom against each other. What fun, playing on my 'orange' monochrome monitor, with the PC speaker for the volume. The fact that we could play against each other from different locations was such a novelty.
Got the N64. Played endless amounts of Goldeneye, Star Fox, Turok, etc. By then, I had the 32' Toshiba 'big screen' TV. Many of us AV enthusiasts thought it was better deal than the gold standard Sony Trinitron. Playing 4 player Goldeneye, with cardboard cutouts taped on the screen (when we were trying to be competitive) so we did not cheat and look at the other quadrant. Connected the console to the brand new 'surround sound' Sony receiver I had, and boom, the origins of 'home theater gaming' (but in the living room) started.
I missed the PS/PS2/Xbox era, primarily playing on the PC. Diablo, StarCraft, Half Life, counterstrike and the endless amount of 'really' good PC games emerged. The internet was gaining momentum, AOL being the main source of connecting people. Finally splurged on 'high speed internet' via Cox cable, and have not looked back since. PC resolution put Xbox/PS1/2 to shame. Get 'gaming speakers' and a subwoofer for the PC, and it rivaled console gaming even on the 'home theater'.
By then TV's were getting bigger, and after moving to Arizona, had a 'guys' night out with friends. Went over to a friends house (he was single), and he had a gaming setup. 65" RP 'HD' TV, Xbox, surround sound receiver, and he proceeded to load Halo CE, and PGR. It just totally blew my mind away. Big screen, big sound, and better yet multiplayer 4 player on screen or against 8+ over the internet. Thus the console era restarted.
Got the X360 on launch. Also got the PS3 at launch, as well as the Wii. Started 'building' a real home theater. 133" screen, my 1st projector was a 720p Panasonic. Massive VMPS RM40 speakers for the front, with 7.1 setup. Immersion was phenomenal. Many games were Dolby Digital. I remember playing the 1st Gears of War, and hearing the enemy running up behind me because of the 7.1 setup. Turned around quickly and blasted the shotgun sight unseen. Splatter. Took gaming to another level. The biggest leap forward was Xbox Live, and cross game chat with 8 person chat groups. Made socialization so much easier and much fun.
Kids started getting older, everyone had a Gold account, and everyone wanted to play at the same time, but the kids would fight if they played on the same console. Bought more Xbox 360's, put them all over the house.
Diablo 3 came out. Brought back memories from before the kids were born. Had to have it. Wanted my kids to share the 'experience'. Thus got a bunch of new computers. My home office basically has 5 computer stations, me, wife, 3 kids, and everyone has their own computer. Kids started playing Diablo 3, and it was great fun having them all in the same room, all playing together, but on our own screens. Got the Xbox One (actually got two of them at launch). Put one in the home theater, and the other I connected to my PC. 27" HD monitor. Kids started to prefer playing Xbox on my computer, complaining that there was too much lag on the projector, and the colors, contrast, as well as response times were better when connected to the monitor. Hard to argue with them. I moved the other Xbox One to one of the kids computer, and bought another one for my other son. Thus, up till today, we are playing in my office, Xbox but on monitors, but have sacrificed the 'home theater' experience.
So what to do? Just ordered a new Pre-pro. Looking at the box sitting in front of me, Onkyo PZ 5100 that just got delivered. Just placed an order for 4 new speakers, Mini Philharmonitor's that will be mounted at the wall ceiling junction for Atmos effects. Need to one day order a 4K projector (that one will be hard to sneak into the house without the wife noticing, lol). I am waiting for CEDIA before making my decision (but leaning towards JVC RS520).
With that setup, I suspect I will move back my single player gaming to the home theater and re-enjoy the experience. I will probably also continue to play on the 'regular' Xbox One on the PC monitors when I play with the kids.
Xbox and PS3 Gamertag = Xerostomia
Wii = I'm too lazy to get the number