Whether you want to play games online or watch Netflix, you need to connect your game system to the internet. The Xbox One uses Xbox Live, and the PlayStation 4 uses the PlayStation Network to access online services. In both cases, you need to purchase the premium subscription plan (Xbox Live Gold for Xbox Live, PS Plus for PlayStation Network) to play games online. Both services cost $9.99 per month or $59.99 per year (the better deal by far), and include additional benefits like free games every month.
The SEGA Master System is the videogame console that almost could. Despite its technical superiority to the dominant NES, the machine lacked just one critical thing: Mario. Without this icon and the emergence of Sonic the Hedgehog still five years on the horizon, the Master System ran a far distant second to the NES during the 8-bit generation -- the phoenix-like resurrection of videogames following the Atari 2600-lead industry crash.
The PlayStation 2 (PS2) is the best-selling console of all time, with a total of roughly 155 million units sold to date. When Sony first introduced itself with its CD-reading original PlayStation, it changed the video game industry forever, and it’s fair to say the PS2 would later define it: The PS2’s backward- compatibility with original PlayStation games, DVD playback and developer-friendly kits made it the most successful console in existence.
The 3DO may not be regarded as one of the most monetarily successful systems in gaming history, but it left its mark on the industry all the same. Released by Panasonic in 1993, the 3DO (aka 3DO Interactive Multiplayer) was a 32-bit, disc-based system that had the technological grit to compete with the leading consoles of its time -- the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, etc -- but was inevitably stifled by its lack of third-party support and high launch price (nearly $700). The system could support up to eight controllers and console expansions such as memory cards, modems, video cartridges and more.
Even as Sony successfully marketed the slick and cool PlayStation 2 as a high-tech home media device, Nintendo tried to sell GCN as a simple games player for the whole family -- in hindsight, probably a mistake. GameCube looked like a lunchbox and, save for the fantastic Nintendo-published exclusives like Metroid Prime and Super Mario Sunshine -- it didn't really sport any distinguishing features over its competitors. The machine sold almost exclusively to Nintendo fans and younger gamers, which is why it was also largely shunned by third-parties, whose software usually performed better on other platforms. Nintendo ultimately sold about 22 million GameCube systems worldwide -- roughly 118 million units less than PlayStation 2.

It did not help that NEC marched right into a perfect storm. The Turbo was released in August of 1989, just as the hype wars between the SEGA Genesis, the NES, and incoming Super NES were at a fever pitch. The pack-in game, Keith Courage in Alpha Zones, was an unknown compared to Altered Beast for the Genesis, which was a port of a popular arcade game that looked remarkably close to the coin-op version. Though the launch library had a couple of gems, like the pinballer Alien Crush, there was just no shaking the competition. The Turbo did not benefit from early realization that the machine was just straight-up underpowered compared to the Genesis. It didn't even have a second controller port; you needed to buy a peripheral so two people could play at the same time. It's no wonder the Turbo quickly fell to fourth place behind the NES, Super NES, and Genesis -- and stayed there.

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Though it is admittedly strange-looking and we can’t begin to fathom what the designers were thinking when creating the controller, the Magnavox Odyssey still ranks amongst the best systems of all time for one simple reason: it was the absolute first commercial home gaming console. In fact, though Pong is technically a separate IP, the Odyssey featured the first ping-pong style video game. Truth be told, the short list of games for the system, numbered 28 in total, were more like novelties than the fully-fledged experiences of later consoles. Whatever the case, this Magnavox-built gaming machine was revolutionary, and that makes it special.
The library of original titles introduced on the PlayStation can read like a history lesson in videogames. The likes of Metal Gear Solid, Gran Turismo, Resident Evil, Tony Hawk and much, much more were seen here for the first time, and these franchises continue to be some of the biggest in all of gaming. Were it not for the PlayStation, a number of genres that we take for granted these days may never have come to fruition, or at least been popularized so well.
^ Pereira, Joseph (November 16, 1992). "Technology (A Special Report): At Our Leisure --- (Not So) Great Expectations: Hand-held Video Games Will Get Better, But Big Improvements May Take a While". The Wall Street Journal. p. R10. ISSN 0099-9660. Meanwhile, Nintendo, the first on the market with its black-and-white Game Boy, has sold approximately 7.5 million portable systems, analysts estimate. Sega has sold about 1.6 million units of its color Game Gear system, while Atari Inc. has sold about one million units of its $99 Lynx color portable system.
It isn't difficult to prove why the software lineup was so successful considering the recent release and success of Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection. Just tick down the list and you'll find a bundle of absolutely brilliant games. The Phantasy Star and Shining Force series combined to offer role playing options that were equal to, if not better than anything available from the competition and titles like Ecco the Dolphin and Comix Zone offered dashes of edgy action that were highly original at the time.
The Nintendo 3DS XL features a C stick for better in-game controls, NFC connectivity, and compatibility with amiibo figures. A Nintendo-rich library of 3DS titles is at your fingertips, headed by a host of Super Mario, Donkey Kong, and Legend of Zelda games. Overall, this is a great option for users who like a high-quality portable gaming experience at a reasonable price point.
"I credit PlayStation for my enduring fighting game obsession. My buddies and I started with the idiot Tekken 2, graduated to Street Fighter Alpha 3 where I learned the uselessness of combo memorization, moseyed over to Dead or Alive because we were teenage boys, and eventually settled on Guilty Gear. My friends are brothers, and trash talk often ended in fraternal violence. Good times."
Apart from the mentioned buttons you can also find shoulder buttons, R1 and L1 and triggers, R2 and L2. There are also analogue buttons and a touchpad with a click-function, which also functions as a button and is therefore described as such. A real fan will only cast a short glance over the buttons before concluding that many changes have taken place. Before there used to be a start button and a select button, but now they are combined together with the options buttons, which is something completely new and something to get used to.
While it doesn’t quite have the oomph to play the latest 4K, 60 fps releases for Xbox One or PS4, the Switch can play Doom (2016) at a smooth 30 fps anywhere you want to, and that’s more than good enough for a lot of gamers. In addition to contemporary titles like the Wolfenstein II port, the Switch has also proved itself as a fantastic venue for reviving modern classics, such as Skyrim, L.A. Noire, and Dark Souls Remastered.
The Xbox 360 has a special place in the hearts of many gamers as the console that really boosted the Xbox brand. The console comes with the famed black wireless controller which you can directly connect to the internet. There’s no need for cable issues like with the Playstations of yore. Also, this console has a whopping 500GB of memory. That’s as much memory as a $500 laptop. You can definitely store dozens of titles and still never run out of memory. The 360 is well designed for hardcore gamers. It’s affordable and you will definitely not regret your purchase.
"I actually liked the Atari 5200, primarily because of the games I had for it, such as Pengo, Mountain King, The Dreadnaught Factor, and one of my favorite games of all-time, Pitfall II: The Lost Caverns. Now, was the machine an over-sized mess with controllers that broke way too easy? Yes. But if consoles are defined by their games, then on a personal level, the 5200 remains near and dear for not only these titles, but for being a part of my discovery of videogames in the early eighties."
The Dreamcast was Sega's last video game console and was the first of the generation's consoles to be discontinued. Sega implemented a special type of optical media called the GD-ROM. These discs were created in order to prevent software piracy, which had been more easily done with consoles of the previous generation; however, this format was soon cracked as well. It also sported a 33.6Kb or 56k modem which could be used to access the Internet or play some games that took advantage of this feature, such as Phantasy Star Online, making it the first console with built-in Internet connectivity. An add-on for an Ethernet port allowed one to access broad band Internet though it did not come with the system. The Dreamcast was discontinued in March 2001, and Sega transitioned to software developing/publishing only.
Virtual life games have come from strategy genre, but the competition element here is replaced with care for the characters, construction of scenarios and home as a central topic. In The Sims you can, for example, design a family and a house for them, and let different dramas play themselves out. The central game activity is in controlling the characters’ actions, which develops their life in a certain direction.
"I never owned a TurboGrafx and never wanted one, but I do remember one of my co-workers' eyes lighting up when he was describing to me Bonk's Adventure after he went and saw it at a retailer's show. His animated description was enough for me to get excited along with him, and when it eventually came out I was right there with him all jazzed about this crazy prehistoric platformer."
Order the Xbox One X Battlefield V Gold Rush Special Edition Bundle and enter mankind's greatest conflict: World War 2. Join the ranks on the unique Gold Rush special edition console with full-game downloads of Battlefield V Deluxe Edition, Battlefield 1943, and Battlefield 1 Revolution, one month of EA Access, plus a matching wireless controller. All games require Xbox Live Gold, sold separately.
Nintendo instituted a strict licensing program to ensure that the industry crash – with its glut of games of questionable quality -- would not happen with the NES. No unlicensed games would be tolerated on the NES platform. All games would have to be approved by Nintendo and third parties could only create a certain number of games a year for the NES, while the same games could not be made for competing consoles for two years.

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.
NEC had a hit on its hands in Japan with the PC Engine in 1987, a console that regularly outsold the Famicom (the Japanese NES) and wanted to replicate that success in America. So it turned to a marketing company to repackage the underpowered 16-bit machine and go head-to-head with the dominant players in America: Nintendo and SEGA. Perhaps it was the lack of third-party support. Perhaps it was the absolutely goofy inter-capped name TurboGrafx-16. Whatever the culprit, the Turbo just never made a dent in the American market.
The price tag reflected the power of the system: the NeoGeo home console cost more than 800 dollars, with individual games exceeding $200 a piece. The justification for the price was in the physical size of the games: where Super NES and Genesis cartridges were as large as 16 megabits in size at the time, NeoGeo games could get as big as 330 megabits…more than 20 times bigger!
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.
In many ways Xbox was the first. It was the first console in this generation and came to the market 4 years after its predecessor. Microsoft came to a conclusion that the original Xbox was so expensive to manufacture, that it would never bring profit, and that is why they quickly came up with a replacement. This is not to say that Xbox 360 was rushed. In spite of some technical problems (that were quite significant), it has almost defined the modern console’s attributes.

Will Greenwald has been covering consumer technology for a decade, and has served on the editorial staffs of CNET.com, Sound & Vision, and Maximum PC. His work and analysis has been seen in GamePro, Tested.com, Geek.com, and several other publications. He currently covers consumer electronics in the PC Labs as the in-house home entertainment expert... See Full Bio


Enjoy immersive adventures with this Xbox One X game console. Its Scorpio engine processor provides enhanced speed and clarity, and the 1TB HDD lets you store and access your favorite titles directly on the console. The enhanced graphics engine of this Xbox One X game console lets you view your games and Blu-ray movies on the latest 4K televisions.
Gaming consoles are obviously a luxury, but they are rapidly becoming the center of living rooms and entertainment centers, since they combine gaming, listening to music, watching videos, chatting with friends, browsing the web, livestreaming, shopping and more. Consoles are a fantastic way to combine all of your digital entertainment into a single place. Consider your gaming habits, title preferences (past, present and future) along with your budget to ensure you find the perfect console for your needs.
You could also pick up a mini retro console like the NES Classic Mini or the SNES Classic Mini. These come preloaded with games, which means you can't buy extra titles for them, so they're a bit more limited. They're also less powerful than modern consoles, don't connect to the internet, and are designed with retro-loving big kids in mind. Still, little ones will probably still find them fun too.
All major gaming consoles give you an impressive mix of cross-platform and exclusive games, from Gears of War to Fifa 16. If you’re keen on multiplayer action, the Xbox offers you Xbox Live, allowing you to hook up online with the worldwide Xbox player community. Across all of our major gaming consoles, jaw-dropping graphics combine with substantial system memory so you can download and store games, videos, music and more for a complete home entertainment system.
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