The Atari 5200 was designed and marketed as Atari's answer to the Intellivision, but soon after its release in 1982, it became a more direct competitor to the Colecovision instead, which released that same year. The 5200 had some notable feature variations over its competitors, however, such as its analog joystick, four controller ports, and start, pause, and reset buttons. Based off of the Atari 400/800 home computer systems, the Atari 5200 came with a 1.79 MHz processor, 16KB of RAM, and was capable of producing an image with a maximum resolution of 320x192 pixels. While that may not sound like a lot now with consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 boasting high-end processors and video output of 1920x1080 resolution, but at the time it blew away the Intellivision's sub-1MHz processor.

With the original look and feel of the 16-bit home console (only smaller) the Super NES Classic acts as a sort of timepiece for when gaming was reaching its peaks. Some of the best two-player games of its era are included and ready to play, such as Super Mario Kart and Street Fighter II Turbo. Defining games such as Megaman X, Earthbound, Kirby Super Star and Super Mario RPG return, too. Any gamer wanting to relive their youth or introduce new gamers to a simpler time when the Internet was first starting should get the Super NES classic. Included are two wired Super NES Classic controllers for multiplayer action.
All seventh and eighth generation consoles offer some kind of Internet games distribution service, allowing users to download games for a fee onto some form of non-volatile storage, typically a hard disk or flash memory. Recently, the console manufacturers have been taking advantage of internet distribution with games, video streaming services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and film trailers being available.
The PS4 may still have a stronger gaming library than the Xbox One, but the Pro’s improvements are only noticeable in games that have been specifically enhanced for it. The Xbox One X has proven far better at using its extra horsepower to improve the visuals of all games on the platform, enhanced or not. Microsoft is also doubling down on investing in first-party studios, such as Rare, which recently released Sea of Thieves, and the company recently acquired big-name studios like Ninja Theory and Playground Games, as well.

The Wii was a huge hit when it was originally introduced. It’s still one of the most fun gaming consoles to own. You know all the bad rep gaming consoles get because everyone is sitting down and pushing buttons on a controller? Well, the Wii lets you get up and play video games. It’s highly interactive. For example, you can use the Wii controller as a tennis racket to play virtual tennis in front of your TV screen. There are games specifically designed for the Wii to play as close to real-life as possible. It’s almost like augmented reality in a sense.


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.
Why stop your console gaming after you leave the couch? Take your home console gaming experience anywhere, any place you want with Nintendo Switch. Or enjoy the freedom of dedicated portable systems like the PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, 3DS XL, and 2DS that let you slay dragons, outrun zombies, or win the Stanley Cup while on the bus, during school break, or on a plane. Many of the larger franchise games on systems like PS4 and Xbox One also have companion apps for your smartphone or tablet, letting you do everything from chatting with teammates to customizing your in-game gear to participating in the thick of the action.

The hybrid design system of the Switch isn’t a gimmick. You can plug the Switch to a TV, unlike any other portable console that came before. Once plugged in, you can play multiplayer games like the ever amazing Mario Kart. The control paddles are removable, so you can use it as a conventional gaming console. Plus, multiple people can join in on the play with a single console. You will have to pay for Nintendo’s online multiplayer games, but it’s far cheaper than what the Xbox Live offers. The Switch is really a one of a kind gaming console you can own and there’s none other like it in the market right now.
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Bringing up the rear of our 4-console podium is the super stylish Xbox One S. This is Microsoft's revision to the original Xbox One and, simply put, it is smaller, quieter and aesthetically far more pleasing. It can't do the native 4K resolutions of the Xbox One X, but it still comes packing its lush Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray player and still lets you tap into Xbox's impressive gaming ecosystem.
The Nintendo Switch is a very unique case. It works both as a home console and a handheld, with two Joy-Con controllers that connect wirelessly to the system or snap onto the sides when you want to play on the go. They generally feel very good, though the direction buttons on the left Joy-Con aren't nearly as responsive or comfortable as the more conventional direction pads on the DualShock 4 or Xbox One controllers. The Joy-Cons pack some remarkable technology into their small cases, though, including an infrared camera, an NFC reader for Nintendo's Amiibo figures, and the most precise rumble effect we've seen yet. You can also use the Joy-Cons in a gamepad-like grip, or with one in each hand for an incredibly freeing, comfortable gaming experience.

Bought as a present for someone who's very much into 8-bit retro gaming and he loves it. Console itself looks good and it all works perfectly. Would have been nice if the wireless joysticks weren't quite so directional - but more of a minor gripe. Joysticks are authentic Atari i.e. adequate but not great. There are joystick ports on the front so you could use any better ones you may have kicking around. One thing to watch is that the TV connectors are AV rather than HDMI (wasn't an issue for me).

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.
The gaming community is not without its issues, however. From video game release dates being delayed repeatedly to sexism against female characters and gamers, this dynamic community has as many battles and growing pains to deal with in real life, just as in a video game. But considering how fast this community is growing – and given how many new branches within the community have recently appeared and come to thrive – it’s proof that this is a vibrant community that gamers of any skill level can contribute to, appreciate and share with others.

You can choose a model with 500GB, 1TB or 2TB of storage in the default white color scheme, or opt for a special edition or a bundle for a more unique look. The One S is 40 percent smaller than the original Xbox One, and its elimination of the bulky power brick lets it fit neatly into your home entertainment center. Along with its refined size and high-quality hardware come HDR and 4K capabilities, although they aren’t fully available for gaming. Inside its modern-looking chassis, the Xbox One S houses a 1.75GHz eight-core AMD custom CPU and 8GB of DDR3 RAM. Microsoft offers unique controller customization options – you can customize colors for the controller, joysticks and other buttons, with over a billion combinations available including sports team themes and metallic touches. And although Xbox consoles aren’t known for having many exclusive titles, they have tons of backward-compatible games and a variety of apps available, like YouTube, HBO, Pandora, ESPN and others.


A games console is the perfect Christmas present – it’s exciting, it’s cool and everyone can join in on the day (as long as you’ve had the foresight to sneak it out of its packaging on Christmas Eve to download the inevitable six hours of system updates). But selecting which machine to opt for is complicated and confusing, and if you get it wrong you may end up with yet another unloved gadget crammed in the cupboard where you keep the air fryer and mini candyfloss machine.
The Sega Dreamcast was considered one of the most innovative consoles of its time. It was the first gaming system with a built-in modem for online play and Internet support. Creative games like the fast-paced Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio (along with the cinematic experience of Shenmue) opened a new world of gaming innovation. Before the XBOX entered the fray, Microsoft offered support to the system, and HALO was originally planned for it. Sadly, on January 31, 2001, Sega announced the discontinuation of the Dreamcast. There is still a dedicated fan base for the Sega Dreamcast where a small handful of independent developers are still making homebrew games for the system. 
In the mid-1990s, various manufacturers shifted to optical media, specifically CD-ROM, for games. Although they were slower at loading game data than the cartridges available at that time, they were significantly cheaper to manufacture and had a larger capacity than the existing cartridge technology. NEC released the first CD-based gaming system, the TurboGrafx-CD (an add-on for the TurboGrafx-16), in December 4, 1988 in Japan and August 1, 1990 in the United States. Sega followed suit with the Sega CD (an add-on for the Sega Genesis) in Japan on December 12, 1991; Commodore stepped into the ring shortly after with the Amiga-CD32, the first 32-bit game console, on September 17, 1993. During the later half of the 1990s, optical media began to supplant cartridges due to their greater storage capacity and cheaper manufacturing costs, with the CD-based PlayStation significantly outpacing the cartridge-based Nintendo 64 in terms of sales. By the early 21st century, all of the major home consoles used optical media, usually DVD-ROM or similar discs, which are widely replacing CD-ROM for data storage. The PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One systems use even higher-capacity Blu-ray optical discs for games and movies, while the Xbox 360 formerly used HD DVDs in the form of an external USB player add-on for video playback before it was discontinued. However, Microsoft still supports those who bought the accessory. Nintendo's GameCube, Wii, and Wii U, meanwhile, use proprietary disc formats based on then-current industry standard discs—the GameCube's discs are based on mini-DVDs, the Wii's on DVDs and the Wii U's are believed to be based on Blu-rays. These discs offer somewhat smaller storage capacities compared to the formats they are based on, though the difference is significantly smaller compared to the gap between the N64's cartridges and CDs.
With the 7800 launch, Atari put a focus on "budget" gaming, with many games selling for less than $19.99. Because the system was all ready to go back in 1984, most of the launch titles were arcade titles from several years prior. The system was very capable in visuals as seen in games like the bundled Pole Position II. But its sound system lacked: the system designers created a cheap sound chip that could be included in cartridges, but to keep costs low, Atari limited the sound chip in very few titles. With Nintendo locking up third-parties with its two-year exclusivity agreement, Atari also had a hard time convincing third-party companies to produce games for its console – as a result, the company went after the rights to popular games that were available only for computers.
At Rent-A-Center, you have your pick of state-of-the-art game consoles, including the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. How do you know which rent-to-own video game console to select? It comes down to comfort, ease of control, and the selection of video games. The best way to determine if you prefer the Xbox or PlayStation is to stop by your nearest Rent-A-Center location to try the gaming systems.

Stepping up to 4K gaming requires paying a premium, however. The PS4 Pro tacks an extra $100 onto the price, while the Xbox One X adds $200. That means 4K gaming and enhanced PlayStation VR performance on the PlayStation 4 (recommended for the excellent Tetris Effect) will cost you $400, while experiencing Forza Horizon 4 in 4K on the Xbox One will run $500.
Forster 2011, p. 92: "The test release of the Atari 7800 went by practically unnoticed [...] And so the Atari 7800 collected dust for two years, until the international success of the Nintendo Entertainment System quickly changed the minds of Atari's new management. [...] Atari shipped the now slightly outdated 7800 across the world. [...] Only a few thousand 7800 consoles were shipped in the US during the first marketing attempt."
"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."
But knowledge of this, along with adjusting the parental controls on your console, makes any game console infinitely more kid-friendly. Beyond that, it comes down to game selection: If a console doesn’t have a variety of kid-friendly games, it probably isn’t the best choice for the family room. A handful of games on the Xbox and PlayStation are great for kids, but again, neither console is really geared toward children.
"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."
Born from a failed attempt to create a console with Nintendo, Sony's PlayStation would not only dominate its generation but become the first console to sell over 100 million units by expanding the video game market. Sony actively courted third parties and provided them with convenient c libraries to write their games. Sony had built the console from the start as a 3D, disc-based system, and emphasized its 3D graphics that would come to be viewed as the future of gaming. The PlayStation's CD technology won over several developers who had been releasing titles for Nintendo and Sega's fourth generation consoles, such as Konami, Namco, Capcom, and Square. CDs were far cheaper to manufacture and distribute than cartridges were, meaning developers could release larger batches of games at higher profit margins; Nintendo's console, on the other hand, used cartridges, unwittingly keeping third-party developers away. The PlayStation's internal architecture was simpler and more intuitive to program for, giving the console an edge over Sega's Saturn.
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