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
Sony's first foray into the console market kicked off a big change in the long-time, one-on-one war of Nintendo versus SEGA. Not only did the system help open up the doors for Microsoft to enter the market in the following generation, but it also helped transition the industry to a disc-based format, introduced the Dual Shock controller and its classic form (which is still being used and mimicked to this day), and introduced a number of incredibly important and classic titles. Like the SEGA Saturn and Nintendo 64, the PlayStation was among the generation of consoles that helped bring gaming from the 2D days of old to the current 3D content that we're still playing to this day.
Sony decided that its PS2 console was going to be an entertainment system, but not just for video games. DVDs were huge in the early 2000s, and PlayStation 2 brought to the foray a multimedia system that doubled as a DVD player. The data format allowed for bigger games, too, making humungous series that looked like cinematic masterpieces, including Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, God of War, Shadow of the Colossus and Grand Theft Auto III.
Game cartridges consist of a printed circuit board housed inside of a plastic casing, with a connector allowing the device to interface with the console. The circuit board can contain a wide variety of components. All cartridge games contain at the minimum, read only memory with the software written on it. Many cartridges also carry components that increase the original console's power, such as extra RAM or a coprocessor. Components can also be added to extend the original hardware's functionality[81] (such as gyroscopes, rumble packs, tilt-sensors, light sensors, etc.); this is more common on handheld consoles where the user does not interact with the game through a separate video game controller.[82] Cartridges were the first external media to be used with home consoles and remained the most common until continued improvements in capacity in 1995 (the Nintendo 64, released in 1996, was the last mainstream game console to use cartridges).[83] Nevertheless, the relatively high manufacturing costs and limited data capacity compared to optical media at the time saw them completely replaced by the latter for home consoles by the early 21st century, although they are still in use in some handheld video game consoles and in the Nintendo Switch. Due to the aforementioned capabilities of cartridges such as more memory and coprocessors, those factors make it harder to reverse engineer consoles to be used on emulators.

Perhaps more than anything else, the Saturn was a gem for importers and hardcore gamers. The hardware's architecture made it inferior to the PlayStation for three dimensional games (like the popular Tomb Raider) but many proud Saturn owners knew that it was the only console to enjoy the best versions of many 2D fighters, just ask any real Street Fighter fan.


The rapid-fire pace of technology means video game consoles are always changing, from the styling of the controls to the introduction of new video games. Through the ongoing evolution, you can rely on game consoles, such as Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation, to deliver amazingly realistic graphics, dynamic sound quality, and supercharged play. From wireless controls to sleek console design, the video game consoles at RAC represent some of the more advanced gaming innovations available today.
A handheld game console is a lightweight device with a built-in screen, games controls, speakers,[10] and has greater portability than a standard video game console.[3] It is capable of playing multiple games unlike tabletop and handheld electronic game devices. Tabletop and handheld electronic game devices of the 1970s and 1980s are the precursors of handheld game consoles.[11] Mattel introduced the first handheld electronic game with the 1977 release of Auto Race.[12] Later, several companies—including Coleco and Milton Bradley—made their own single-game, lightweight tabletop or handheld electronic game devices.[13] The oldest handheld game console with interchangeable cartridges is the Milton Bradley Microvision in 1979.[14] Nintendo is credited with popularizing the handheld console concept with the Game Boy's release in 1989[11] and continues to dominate the handheld console market.[15][16]
The first true battle of the consoles began in 1991 with the US release of the Super Nintendo. Boasting 16-bit graphics and a superior soundcard than its competition (the audio system was entirely standalone), Nintendo pushed its art style and name branding against SEGA's "SEGA does what Nintendon't" campaign, but in the end it was what Nintendo did – or had, rather – that put the SNES higher on our chart. Despite "hardcore-minded" competition, Nintendo pushed a pedigree of original content, starting with the debut Super Mario World and carried on through titles like Super Metroid, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, F-Zero, Mario Kart, and the dawn of the FX chip which brought the debut of Star Fox. Developer Rare continued to push the console in its later years with the help of Nintendo, introducing larger cart sizes with Donkey Kong Country, and a flood of third party support pushed the Super Nintendo to legendary status with games like Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, Gradius III, Contra III, Mega Man X, Secret of Mana, and many, many more. When it comes to a pure concentration of AAA titles, few consoles – if any – can stand up to the Super NES.
"When I first fired up the Xbox and logged into Xbox Live, I knew that Microsoft was on to something. Prior to that system, console-based online gaming was more or less a supplemental feature, the Xbox was the first to take the concept of online integration and run with it. I've been hooked ever since, if it isn't online-enabled, chances are I'm not playing it."
This concerns the quality of the image displayed on your screen. The resolution is between 480 and 1080 pixels. The quality will be better with a higher number of pixels. One must consider the console that is linked to the screen: some models (PS3, Xbox360) reach the best output only on HD screens. In most cases, handheld consoles have 4.3-inch wide screens and 480 x 272 pixels. Touch screen models have a resolution of 256 x 192 pixels.
The games combine skills and speed of teams that are trying to dominate over one another. Unreal Tournament, Quake, Half-Life, Counter-Strike – and today, also Call of Duty, Battlefield and Halo are all well-known and notorious names to the gamers – and to parents – for their violent approach. FPS games are leading in graphics and remain the coolest and the most dangerous in the gaming world.
The video game console realm is much bigger than you think, ranging from insanely powerful offerings for 4K HDR and virtual reality gaming, through ultra portable picks, all the way to options designed to take you decades down the memory lane. Check out the best picks available on the market at the moment from the likes of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, and get ready to get your gaming on!
If the native 4K resolution gaming with HDR wasn't enough, then the enhanced frame rates and impressive extra physics and post-processing effects really do help remind you that you're playing on a powerhouse piece of hardware. While the fact that the system also delivers a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player as well, which on their own frequently retail for hundreds of pounds, is just mind blowing.
"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 video game console realm is much bigger than you think, ranging from insanely powerful offerings for 4K HDR and virtual reality gaming, through ultra portable picks, all the way to options designed to take you decades down the memory lane. Check out the best picks available on the market at the moment from the likes of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, and get ready to get your gaming on!
Before Mario, before Sonic, arcades around America were making the waves with hits like Space Invaders, Frogger and Pitfall! People were excited about a new technology where they could control little 2D worlds in front of them and play games. Atari saw this as an opportunity and lead the way to a consumer market that allowed video games to be played at home with its Atari 2600 gaming console. The gaming industry got so big it became an unregulated beast, with dozens of games and peripherals that wound up saturating the market and creating the infamous video game crash of 1983. If you’re a historian or want to see where it all started, get the Atari 2600.
*”$15 Starts any new agreement” or “$15 pays your first week” offer is valid only on new agreements entered into 1/27/19-2/23/19. Customers eligible for this offer will pay $15 for the initial rental period until first renewal, up to seven days. Offer does not include tax and fees and charges you may incur. Customer must pay processing fee of $10 in California, New York and Hawaii. After the first week, regular rental rates will apply. Regular rate, term and total cost vary by item selected. Offers will not reduce the total amount necessary to acquire ownership or purchase-option amounts. Cannot be combined with any other promotion. Participating locations only. See Store Manager for complete details.
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.

The Switch has proven to be a boon for third-party publishers and indie developers, too. The ability to play nearly any game in either home console or handheld mode breathes new life into older and smaller titles that were previously limited to TV-based systems. This has resulted in a surge of ports and remakes of classic games from the last few console generations like Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2, Dark Souls, Katamari Damacy, Okami, and Onimusha: Warlords. If that isn't enough, the system has received an explosion of excellent indie games including Dead Cells, Hollow Knight, Night in the Woods, Stardew Valley, and Undertale. It's a fantastic selection for a system that's been around for less than two years (even if we're still waiting for a Switch port of Super Mario Maker).


Because of the cost of the system very few retailers were willing to stock the NeoGeo home console and it quietly disappeared less than two years after its debut. SNK attempted to revive the unit with the NeoGeo CD, but it, too, failed to attract the necessary audience. The arcade version, however, has seen extremely fantastic success and has been the vehicle that drove many fighting hits including the King of Fighter, Fatal Fury, and Samurai Shodown series.
One trait that remains peculiar to the fourth generation is the huge number of exclusive games. Both Sega and Nintendo were very successful and their consoles developed massive libraries of games. Both consoles had to be programmed in assembly to get the most out of them. A game optimized for the Genesis could take advantage of its faster CPU and sound chip. A game optimized for the SNES could take advantage of its graphics and its flexible, clean sound chip. Some game series, like Castlevania, saw separate system exclusive releases rather than an attempt to port one game to disparate platforms. When compact disc (CD) technology became available midway through the fourth generation, each company attempted to integrate it into their existing consoles in different ways. NEC and Sega released CD add-ons to their consoles in the form of the TurboGrafx-CD and Sega CD, but both were only moderately successful. NEC also released the TurboDuo which combined the TurboGrafx-16 and its TurboGrafx-CD add-on (along with the RAM and BIOS upgrade from the Super System Card) into one unit. SNK released a third version of the NeoGeo, the Neo Geo CD, allowing the company to release its games on a cheaper medium than the AES's expensive cartridges, but it reached the market after Nintendo and Sega had already sold tens of millions of consoles each. Nintendo partnered with Sony to work on a CD add-on for the SNES, but the deal fell apart when they realized how much control Sony wanted. Sony would use their work with Nintendo as the basis for their PlayStation game console. While CDs became an increasingly visible part of the market, CD-reading technology was still expensive in the 1990s, limiting NEC's and Sega's add-ons' sales.
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