Nowadays, Nintendo has a reputation for creating strange-looking and -functioning consoles. Even those that were somewhat a commercial failure (we’re looking at you, Wii U) were innovative in their own right. While the Nintendo 64 certainly marked a jump in technological performance, the GameCube was the first of the brand’s consoles to have an appearance as out-there as its performance. That was bolstered by the unique use of mini-optical discs in place of cartridges, an incredibly odd yet effective controller design, and a carry handle mounted to the back of the device for simple portability. Still, in spite of its esoteric format, it featured some of the best games to come out at the time.


Despite its comparably short lifespan, the SEGA Dreamcast was the first system in the sixth generation of video game consoles, which included the PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Xbox. The Dreamcast first hit stores in 1998, over two years before the PS2 and three years before the GameCube and Xbox. Although the Dreamcast had sizable chronological leeway over its contemporaries, it was inevitably stifled by stiff competition and the advent of DVD technology. But before it met its untimely demise in 2001, the Dreamcast certainly left its mark on the console industry.
Despite its astronomical asking price, however, the 3DO boasted an impressive library of games and a wide variety of peripherals. Although the system was lacking in the exclusive games department, it did offer some of the most popular iterations of many big-franchise ports, such as Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo. The 3DO was also among one of the first systems to undergo several hardware iterations, produced independently by several big name manufacturers, such as Sanyo and Goldstar. Other innovations of the 3DO include daisy-chainable controllers, and surround sound audio support.
A major new addition to the market was the trend for corporations to include a large number of "non-gaming" features into their handheld consoles, including cell phones, MP3 players, portable movie players, and PDA-like features. The handheld that started this trend was Nokia's N-Gage, which was released in 2003 and doubled primarily as a mobile phone. It went through a redesign in 2004 and was renamed the N-Gage QD. A second handheld, the Zodiac from Tapwave, was released in 2004; based on the Palm OS, it offered specialized gaming-oriented video and sound capabilities, but it had an unwieldy development kit due to the underlying Palm OS foundation. With more and more PDAs arriving during the previous generation, the difference between consumer electronics and traditional computing began to blur and cheap console technology grew as a result. It was said of PDAs that they were "the computers of handheld gaming" because of their multi-purpose capabilities and the increasingly powerful computer hardware that resided within them. This capability existed to move gaming beyond the last generation's 16-bit limitations; however, PDAs were still geared towards the typical businessman and lacked new, affordable software franchises to compete with dedicated handheld gaming consoles.
"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."
Since this PS4 controller is completely new, there are also some new functions that you cannot find in the earlier ones. Amongst other things, it has a touchpad on the front, which has never been seen before. There are many experienced players that are very ecstatic about this new touchpad feature, which is both a technological advance and something that allows to experience new forms of games.

But a lack of sales does not necessarily mean the console is without merit. The TurboGrafx-16 is home to a solid catalog of games worth playing, such as NEC's attempt at a Mario-like mascot with Bonk's Adventure, the top-down shooter Blazing Lasers, and Namco's side-scrolling horror classic Splatterhouse. These are games worth playing. The Turbo was also the first system to have a CD-drive attachment, the $399 Turbo CD, which was grossly overpriced at $399, but was recognition that the days of cartridges were coming to a close as the new disc medium offered vastly superior storage.
Game systems in the eighth generation also faced increasing competition from mobile device platforms such as Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems. Smartphone ownership was estimated to reach roughly a quarter of the world's population by the end of 2014.[61] The proliferation of low-cost games for these devices, such as Angry Birds with over 2 billion downloads worldwide,[62] presents a new challenge to classic video game systems. Microconsoles, cheaper stand-alone devices designed to play games from previously established platforms, also increased options for consumers. Many of these projects were spurred on by the use of new crowdfunding techniques through sites such as Kickstarter. Notable competitors include the GamePop, OUYA, GameStick Android-based systems, the PlayStation TV, the NVIDIA SHIELD and Steam Machines.[63]
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's PlayStation 2 was released in Japan on March 4, 2000, in North America on October 26, 2000, in Europe on November 24, 2000, and in Australia on November 30, 2000. It was the follow-up to its highly successful PlayStation and was also the first home game console to be able to play DVDs. As was done with the original PlayStation in 2000, Sony redesigned the console in 2004 into a smaller version. As of November 21, 2011 over 140 million PlayStation 2 units have been sold.[45][46] This makes it the best selling home console of all time to date.
Some of the uniqueness of the new PS4 controller can also be attributed to its ability to grasp movement well, which is done in a way you have hardly seen before. It has a gyroscope, which is a thing that exists in reality, even though it sounds like something from a fantasy world. Apart from that, it has an accelerometer. These two things combined make the controller grasp movement quickly and easily, which has never been seen with such a console before. This controller is also the only one that officially supports Microsoft Windows, which is unique in itself. It gets power by charging the battery, which is settled in solid into the controller, and cannot be removed. So if you need a battery for something at home, you cannot count on taking out the battery from your PS4 controller.
Pre-order the Xbox One S Minecraft Creators Bundle (1TB) and be part of a worldwide phenomenon. Jam-packed with a full-game download plus popular content from Minecraft community creators, the bundle includes the Xbox One S console with 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, 4K video streaming, and a wireless controller. Play Minecraft with friends! Build, dig, and craft together with friends who are on PC, mobile, VR, and console.
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

Though they’ve only been around for a bit more than half a century, home video game consoles have had a long and tumultuous lifespan. And the industry has been a battlefield for competing brands throughout the entirety of it – with everyone vying for a seat at the top. As such, we’ve seen a lot of different consoles with different levels of success for each.
Playing games is about entertainment and company, fun and adventure. It is about an escape from reality. With a game from Coolshop you can be exactly who you want to be. You can save the world in the past, future and present – and destroy it again. Explore habitable planets, underground caves and abandoned buildings. Save princesses and fight monsters.
“Though it has an expensive upfront cost, it pays out tenfold with a wide selection of games that fit anyone’s style, mind-blowing graphics, and a variety of entertainment options,” one of our testers declared of the PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB Console. Our reviewers also liked the simple setup — “You can easily get connected in under five minutes,” noted one tester. And while the online functionality, which you need to play most of the popular games, requires a $60/year membership, one of our reviewers explained its value: “It is worth noting, however, that you get a lot in return for this service, including free games every month that you keep for as long as your membership is active.” Our testers also mentioned long update times and download speeds, but felt the overall product was a great buy “for serious gamers.”
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.[90] 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 is also another kind who see games as a form of escape. An escape from boredom, maybe – but also a way to distract your mind, so that you temporarily forget the everyday struggles. Gaming is a form of de-stress, and that, among other things, is why it is so popular. It is just nice to get in a fictional character’s shoes and take on an adventure.
Graphics processors keep getting updated, and video games follow suit, becoming more spectacular but also quite demanding. PC gamers are painfully familiar with the trend of needing a video card upgrade every couple of years when they want to play the latest games at an acceptable frame rate. But you don't need to be sitting around waiting for a new game's release date to come when eBay has such an enormous back-catalogue of older games to choose from!
Graphics processors keep getting updated, and video games follow suit, becoming more spectacular but also quite demanding. PC gamers are painfully familiar with the trend of needing a video card upgrade every couple of years when they want to play the latest games at an acceptable frame rate. But you don't need to be sitting around waiting for a new game's release date to come when eBay has such an enormous back-catalogue of older games to choose from!

The big change in performance didn't come at the start of this console generation, but halfway through it. Both Sony and Microsoft released enhanced, 4K-capable versions of their game systems: the aforementioned PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. They're significantly more powerful than the original models, capable of reaching up to 4K resolution with high dynamic range (HDR) graphics. Notice I say "up to," because not all games will hit 4K even if you have a 4K TV, and often you'll see a bump in rendered resolution to somewhere between 1080p and 4K, which is then upconverted to 4K before going out to the TV.
While there are more multiplatform games than exclusives, it’s important to keep in mind that most cross-platform games really only work on the latest Xbox and PlayStation devices, since those systems have such similar capabilities. Nintendo’s consoles, however, have fun and unique features but aren’t nearly as powerful as the others, which makes it harder for developers to create comparable versions of their games for Nintendo consoles. But with the advent of the Switch, Nintendo has begun collaborating with third-party game developer companies, and now games available on the Switch have improved greatly both graphics- and capacity-wise. The lesson here is to discover what kinds of games you and your family like to play, then choose a console that supports most of them.
“Though it has an expensive upfront cost, it pays out tenfold with a wide selection of games that fit anyone’s style, mind-blowing graphics, and a variety of entertainment options,” one of our testers declared of the PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB Console. Our reviewers also liked the simple setup — “You can easily get connected in under five minutes,” noted one tester. And while the online functionality, which you need to play most of the popular games, requires a $60/year membership, one of our reviewers explained its value: “It is worth noting, however, that you get a lot in return for this service, including free games every month that you keep for as long as your membership is active.” Our testers also mentioned long update times and download speeds, but felt the overall product was a great buy “for serious gamers.”

To add to that, it has a long line of outputs, which means you get more options with this than with the earlier models that did not have this exciting and useful opportunity. You can, for example, connect a pair of earphones to it, which makes it possible to talk and listen to the audio at the same time. This means that when you sit and play, you feel even more immersed in the game, and you forget the time and the place, and the only thing that exists in this moment is just this game and this unique universe you have jumped into.
If you ever wondered why we have ESRB ratings, you can blame the Sega Genesis. The console was marketed more towards the big boys and can be seen in the subtle differences in cross platform games; Mortal Kombat for Genesis has blood compared to the SNES. Sega’s games carried a different tonality to the market, too – Sonic The Hedgehog brought faster game play; Streets of Rage gave players nitty-gritty beat ‘em ups; and multiple sports games series with leagues like the NHL, NFL, NBA and FIFA. Sega would later introduce the well-received six-button control pad that’d replicate the arcade button scheme joysticks for gaming familiarity.
The third major handheld of the fourth generation was the Game Gear. It featured graphics capabilities roughly comparable to the Master System (better colours, but lower resolution), a ready made games library by using the "Master-Gear" adapter to play cartridges from the older console, and the opportunity to be converted into a portable TV using a cheap tuner adaptor, but it also suffered some of the same shortcomings as the Lynx. While it sold more than twenty times as many units as the Lynx, its bulky design - slightly larger than even the original Game Boy; relatively poor battery life - only a little better than the Lynx; and later arrival in the marketplace - competing for sales amongst the remaining buyers who didn't already have a Game Boy - hampered its overall popularity despite being more closely competitive to the Nintendo in terms of price and breadth of software library.[28] Sega eventually retired the Game Gear in 1997, a year before Nintendo released the first examples of the Game Boy Color, to focus on the Nomad and non-portable console products. Other handheld consoles released during the fourth generation included the TurboExpress, a handheld version of the TurboGrafx-16 released by NEC in 1990, and the Game Boy Pocket, an improved model of the Game Boy released about two years before the debut of the Game Boy Color. While the TurboExpress was another early pioneer of color handheld gaming technology and had the added benefit of using the same game cartridges or 'HuCards' as the TurboGrafx16, it had even worse battery life than the Lynx and Game Gear - about three hours on six contemporary AA batteries - selling only 1.5 million units.[27]
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