In 1983, the video game business suffered a much more severe crash. A flood of low-quality video games by smaller companies (especially for the 2600), industry leader Atari hyping games such as E.T and a 2600 version of Pac-Man that were poorly received, and a growing number of home computer users caused consumers and retailers to lose faith in video game consoles. Most video game companies filed for bankruptcy, or moved into other industries, abandoning their game consoles. A group of employees from Mattel Electronics formed the INTV Corporation and bought the rights for the Intellivision. INTV alone continued to manufacture the Intellivision in small quantities and release new Intellivision games until 1991. All other North American game consoles were discontinued by 1984. Revenues generated by the video game industry fell by 97% during the crash.
"The PS2 holds the honor of being my first major purchase on my own -- as in my parents didn't help me one bit. I worked all summer at Wal-Mart dreaming of Smugglers Run, Silent Scope, and the ability to finally play DVDs. I even started buying DVDs in June preparing for the October launch date. I waited nine hours in line at Meijer (I was No. 1, bitches) to get that blue box, and I loved every second of it."
Welcome to the eighth game console generation. The rise of 4K gaming. The remarkable arrival of the hybrid console-handheld. It's been several years since the Microsoft Xbox One and the Sony PlayStation 4 came out, with both systems getting more powerful variants partway through their life cycles. If that isn't enough, the newer Nintendo Switch has established itself as a retail powerhouse (even if it isn't a graphical powerhouse), with the ability to play connected to a TV like a home console or on the go like a handheld. Let's see how these systems compare against each other.
It starts with a black screen. A woman’s voice. She speaks Japanese, and your eyes are wired to the subtitles. You have waited many months – if not years – for this game. Finally, you are sitting here. With sweaty hands and light in your eyes. The rest of the world disappeared around you, when you inserted the game disk into your console. Now it is only you, your controller and a long game. The graphics come up on the screen, the familiar melody starts to play, and your head explodes in a wild euphoria. FINALLY!
Gamers around the world share videos with friends and fans alike on websites such as YouTube and Twitch. Here you can find live streams of your favorite gamers playing the latest AAA and indie titles, or even watch e-sports competitions. There are also millions of other popular gaming-related videos, including strategies, gaming news, rage quits, walkthroughs, fail compilations, achievements, tips, game reviews and more. Individual games and gamers alike have garnered cult followings online. It’s also easy to find more niche subcultures. They exist for bigger topics, like for certain console or game studios, as well as for more precise interests, such as a particular game franchise or character.
Nowadays, it’s the industry standard that new consoles have internet connectivity and basic online multiplayer abilities for other users of that same console. However, at least for the time being, you cannot play with a friend who owns a different console than you. Xbox Live, Microsoft’s online multiplayer network, only works with other recent Xbox consoles; the PlayStation Network – Sony’s equivalent – is similarly restricted as is Nintendo Switch Online. Even playing with people who are on older systems isn’t really a possibility at this point.
"Believe it or not, my fondest memory of the Saturn had nothing to do with getting one -- but rather, drooling over the games I wanted before I did. Reading magazine articles and ogling ads that featured Albert Odyssey, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Burning Rangers, NiGHTs and Dragon Force had me second-guessing my choice to go with PlayStation and Nintendo 64. The day I finally got the system, and most of the titles I mentioned, was a good day indeed."
The Xbox One even upgrades the famous controller. It now has Bluetooth connectivity and works with Windows 10 without the need for an adapter. If you are a PC gamer, this would be a major bonus feature. Of course, you can enjoy exclusive Xbox titles like the megastar Halo franchise, which you can play in 4k. The console is backward compatible with all Xbox games. The Xbox One definitely stands out for its multimedia capabilities. It’s not just a gaming console but a fully-fledged entertainment center. It’s something both hardcore and casual gamers can love.
Simply put, the Nintendo Switch is the best console for younger gamers and the second system of the day for mature gamers. If you can afford to have two consoles in your life you absolutely owe it to yourself to experience its magic, but if you can't then you really need to weigh up what you prize more - graphical fidelity and breadth of gaming ecosystem, or incredible gaming portability.
Another console designed to be technologically superior to the Atari 2600, the ColecoVision was intended to be a more powerful second generation home console with the ability to have its basic hardware expanded through later releases. Like the Intellivision, this gaming console featured a rotary and number pad controller, but saw a stronger initial release thanks largely to the fact that the system came bundled with Nintendo’s Donkey Kong – one of the most popular games of its time. This short-lived console was killed off prematurely, however, as the parent brand pulled out of the video game industry in 1985 – causing the ColecoVision to be discontinued the same year.
While Sony and Microsoft were battling it out over social networks, graphical and processing capabilities, and a pair of failed motion-camera peripherals, Nintendo was quietly working on what would go down as their most innovative console to date. The Wii was released to wildly successful sales, so much so that they hadn’t actually produced enough consoles to meet demand. And while the controller scheme was foreign to gamers as a whole, it worked well and turned the Wii into something of a party console – which people turned to for entertainment when they had company over. In fact, the game that shipped with the console (Wii Sports) would end up being one of its all-time most popular games. And for good reason: it was a hell of a lot of fun.
A few years ago, Sony launched the Playstation VR, a virtual reality headset designed for both the PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro. We really like it, since it's the least expensive and most comfortable of the big-name tethered VR headsets. The selection of games is also pretty strong for new technology; Rez Infinite is a must-play, revelatory experience in VR (which is amazing when you consider it's an updated version of a 15-year-old game). Rigs: Mechanized Combat League and Battlezone are both very fun, fully developed VR titles where you control big mechanical weapons. And for a standalone expansion that heavily reuses assets, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is a surprisingly fun and visually stunning horror rail shooter.
There's no "I" in team and the days of being limited to solo gaming are long gone. Online play lets you join forces and complete missions co-operatively, or go head-to-head with real people from around the world instantaneously. A premier online gaming experience backed by dedicated servers offers fast, smooth connections, but often comes with a small monthly or yearly fee. If you want to play with your friends make sure you know which consoles they're using, that way you're not left on the sideline.
Whether you prefer sports, war simulation or racing; you’ll find the titles will keep you entertained with our range of PSP, Xbox, Playstation and PC games. Find all the accessories you need to complete your gaming experience from headphones and headsets to gaming chairs, controllers and memory cards. Not forgetting the consoles themselves, shop for a PS3, Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii or if retro gaming is more your thing, a SNES or N64.
For handheld game consoles, the seventh generation began with the release of the Nintendo DS on November 21, 2004. This handheld was based on a design fundamentally different from the Game Boy and other handheld video game systems. The Nintendo DS offered new modes of input over previous generations such as a touch screen, the ability to connect wirelessly using IEEE 802.11b, as well as a microphone to speak to in-game NPCs. On December 12, 2004, Sony released its first handheld, PlayStation Portable (PSP). The PlayStation Portable was marketed at launch to an above 25-year-old or "core gamer" market, while the Nintendo DS proved to be popular with both core gamers and new customers. Nokia revived its N-Gage platform in the form of a service for selected S60 devices. This new service launched on April 3, 2008. Other less-popular handheld systems released during this generation include the Gizmondo (launched on March 19, 2005 and discontinued in February 2006) and the GP2X (launched on November 10, 2005 and discontinued in August 2008). The GP2X Wiz, Pandora, and Gizmondo 2 were scheduled for release in 2009. Another aspect of the seventh generation was the beginning of direct competition between dedicated handheld gaming devices, and increasingly powerful PDA/cell phone devices such as the iPhone and iPod Touch, and the latter being aggressively marketed for gaming purposes. Simple games such as Tetris and Solitaire had existed for PDA devices since their introduction, but by 2009 PDAs and phones had grown sufficiently powerful to where complex graphical games could be implemented, with the advantage of distribution over wireless broadband.
Nintendo lags behind its competitors in raw power, but makes up for it in form factor. The Switch is a small tablet rather than a bigger, blocky console, and you can play it on the go with its built-in 720p screen. The compromise comes in a resolution that tops out at 1080p when connected to a TV, and generally poorer performance in terms of frame rate and effects than the PS4 and Xbox One.
The PlayStation 4 goes a step further, however, with a dedicated Share button right on the DualShock 4 controller. At any point you can tap it to save the last 15 minutes of gameplay, grab a screenshot of what you're playing, or start streaming live to PSN or Twitch. The longer capture length and more convenient setup makes the PS4 the better system for recording or streaming your games.
This list does not include other types of video game consoles such as handheld game consoles, which are usually of lower computational power than home consoles due to their smaller size, microconsoles, which are usually low-cost Android-based devices that rely on downloading, or dedicated consoles past the First Generation, which have games built in and do not use any form of physical media. Consoles have been redesigned from time to time to improve their market appeal. Redesigned models are not listed on their own.
Nintendo has come along way from its eight-bit handheld Gameboy system to its now robust and powerful face-tracking, 3D-capable, Wi-Fi-enabled Nintendo 3DS XL system. It can play local and online multiplayer, so you and other 3DS owners around the world or in the neighborhood can play games such as Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart 7. The Nintendo 3DS XL measures 1.5 x 7.1 x 5.1 inches, weighs 1.1 pounds and comes in a variety of unique colors.
The Switch is for people who really like Nintendo’s own games. Although other publishers do occasionally support the console (Switch can run Fortnite and Minecraft, for example) it’s the beautiful homegrown titles, such as Super Mario, Mario Kart and The Legend of Zelda, that most Switch owners are here for. Its online store is also packed with most of the best smaller independent games of the past few years.
Sony's online game distribution is known as the PlayStation Network (PSN). At launch, this service offered free online gaming, but now offers content through a paid service called PlayStation Plus, launched at the beginning of the eighth generation. The service offers downloadable content such as classic PlayStation games, high definition games and movie trailers, and original games such as flOw and Everyday Shooter as well as some games that also release on physical media, such as Warhawk and Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. A networking service, dubbed PlayStation Home, was released in December 2008, alongside video and audio streaming services.
There are different types of gamepads suitable for video games: pistols, fishing rods, tennis rackets, golf clubs, boxing gloves, dance mats, joysticks and even musical instruments for games like Guitar Hero, DJ Hero, or Rock Band. Some steering wheels have a gearshift, pedals and force feedback to feel the acceleration, loss of speed, jolts, crashes, etc.
There are many different buttons on a controller and these buttons have never really changed much for this type of controller. The symbols that have always been there, are still there, and they will stay there. Some of the different buttons you can find on a PS4 controller are a PS button, “share” button, “options” button and direction buttons. There are also many different action buttons. Many know them for the geometric shapes on the buttons, which have over time become iconic and every player knows the difference between them and the function for each one. Those are triangle circle, x and a square.
"Before writing about games for a living, I worked full time as a technician at a cable TV company in Connecticut and was a game hobbyist on the side. When the NFL went on strike in 1982, we thought it'd be a goof to offer a "replacement" to "Monday Night Football" by getting some local kids to play Intellivision Football on our public-access channel and do play-by-play over it. When "MNF" came back on after the strike ended a couple of months later, the public-access director started getting calls asking where our "show" went, so we started doing a sports-based video-game show as a regular thing for a while, taking calls and demonstrating some of the new games. We had no idea people would be so into it."
"I'll never forget the time my launch Xbox 360 red ringed. It was a rainy day in March. I wore my green cardigan and she wore a FEAR faceplate. It was love. True love. But then she died on me. Maybe I pushed her power button one too many times. I couldn't help myself – I liked playing games in HD and with Microsoft's amazing online service. She just couldn't handle the strain. Sure, she was easy to replace. And so was the next one that died. But I'll never forget my first. Especially not after I had a picture of her red rings tattooed on my chest. Rest in peace, little 360. Rest in peace."
The first handheld game console with interchangeable cartridges was the Microvision designed by Smith Engineering, and distributed and sold by Milton-Bradley in 1979. Crippled by a small, fragile LCD display and a very narrow selection of games, it was discontinued two years later. The Epoch Game Pocket Computer was released in Japan in 1984. The Game Pocket Computer featured an LCD screen with 75 X 64 resolution and could produce graphics at about the same level as early Atari 2600 games. The system sold very poorly, and as a result, only five games were made for it. Nintendo's Game & Watch series of dedicated game systems proved more successful. It helped to establish handheld gaming as popular and lasted until 1991. Many Game & Watch games were later re-released on Nintendo's subsequent handheld systems.