There’s never been a more exciting time to be a gamer. The range of experiences offered by today’s games is unprecedented, and knowing what you want is the first step in creating your dream gaming getup. Do you want cutting-edge graphics and gameplay that only 4K and HDR provide? Prefer to take your game worlds on-the-go? Enjoy revisiting amazing retro games from yesteryear? Think of Best Buy as your well-stocked gaming quartermaster, ready at a moment's notice with all of the best video game deals, gadgets, games, and high-powered consoles to elevate your gaming to the highest level.
"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."
These games speak for themselves: typical simulations or arcade games of different types of sports. The games we are looking at here offer a lot of entertainment and have an online function with a base of players from all over the world. This genre has never been bigger, and it is closely tied to the real world. The players you see in these games create an authenticity to the sports games that other genres are striving to provide. It can be, for example, football, hockey or racing. In any case, the players’ success depends on being able to get an overview of the game and act fast. The competition is the main element here, which also means these games add another type of online socializing. That is exactly what makes them so unique in comparison to other genres. FIFA is the standard-bearer here – you can find it, and many others, at Coolshop.
Xbox One: With comparable performance to PS4 but a narrower selection of exclusive games, this console adds the ability to play 4K Blu-ray discs, to control your TV viewing and to connect with your PC (via the Xbox Play Anywhere feature), making it a good choice for people who want the console as a 4K media hub as well as to play games. It also has admirable accessibility support.
Sega scaled down and adapted their Sega System 16 (used to power arcade hits like Altered Beast and Shinobi) into the Mega Drive (sold as the Genesis in North America) and released it with a near arcade-perfect port of Altered Beast. Sega's console met lukewarm sales in Japan, but skyrocketed to first place in PAL markets, and made major inroads in North America. Propelled by its effective "Genesis does what Nintendon't" marketing campaign, Sega capitalized on the Genesis's technological superiority over the NES, faithful ports of popular arcade games, and competitive pricing. The arcade gaming company SNK developed the high end Neo Geo MVS arcade system which used interchangeable cartridges similar to home consoles. Building on the success of the MVS, SNK repackaged the NeoGeo as the Neo Geo AES home console. Though technologically superior to the other fourth-generation consoles, the AES and its games were prohibitively expensive, which kept sales low and prevented it from expanding outside its niche market and into serious competition with Nintendo and Sega. The AES did, however, amass a dedicated cult following, allowing it to see new releases into the 2000s. Fourth generation graphics chips allowed these consoles to reproduce the art styles that were becoming popular in arcades and on home computers. These games often featured lavish background scenery, huge characters, broader color palettes, and increased emphasis on dithering and texture. Games written specifically for the NES, like Megaman, Shatterhand, and Super Mario Bros. 3 were able to work cleverly within its limitations. Ports of the increasingly detailed arcade and home computer games came up with various solutions. For example, when Capcom released Strider in the arcade they created an entirely separate Strider game for the NES that only incorporated themes and characters from the arcade.
For a good 10-something years, Nintendo was the undisputed champion of the home video game console market, thanks to their brilliant marketing, exclusives strategy, and overall tech. But the closest they ever came to being dethroned in that time was at the hands of Sega and their Genesis console. Granted the SNES still outsold the Genesis by around 20 million units, but that was a big deal for the much smaller game developer. The Genesis also introduced the world to one of the mainstays of gaming that’s still around today, Sonic the Hedgehog. This gaming machine would go on to become Sega’s greatest achievement from a hardware perspective and still sparks debate today over whether it or the SNES was a better console.
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.
We know, it isn’t exactly a legacy name in the gaming industry. But we’d like to point out the Fire TV gaming edition as a great pick for those looking for an affordable console. Keep in mind that this works only with the Amazon Fire TV. So if you already own one, then this is probably the best console you can own. If not, you will get an Amazon Fire TV, a game controller, and a 32GB microSD card with the package. Right off the shelf, the Gaming Edition includes two critically acclaimed games! So that’s a major plus.
Sony led the charge on the mid-generation console update with the PS4 Pro but, by taking its time, Microsoft gave us the better hardware in the Xbox One X. It offers the same 4K Blu-ray and HDR video playback as the One S, while also bringing that visual enhancement to games. Microsoft wasn’t exaggerating when they told us that the Xbox One X is the most powerful home gaming console ever sold. It won’t be getting VR, however — which may disappoint those hoping it could be an inexpensive entry point to high-quality VR experiences.
The Xbox One X came highly recommended by our testers for serious gamers looking for incredible display quality, tons of storage, and the added bonus of being able to use the device for streaming TV and video. “This console is able to process a massive open world video game worth ~40 GB of space,” explained one of our reviewers. “With such a huge game, graphics are still displayed in 4K and looks phenomenal.” Our testers didn’t like that downloading a game could be quite time consuming, and one of our reviewers wished the controller came with a USB wire for charging. Bottom line: “For the retail price, this 1TB device with 4K display, that is capable of multitasking on many different things is incredible,” gushed one of our reviewers.
Many video games are available for multiple platforms, like Minecraft for example. However, some games are made exclusively for a specific console. So if you’re dying to play Halo or Forza, you'll need an Xbox. Heard great things about Uncharted or The Last of Us? Sony’s PlayStation is the only place they are available. Likewise, any title in Nintendo’s Mario or Zelda franchises can only be played on its devices.
Finally, those looking for some great retro gaming action should not overlook Nintendo's NES Classic Mini or SNES Classic Mini, as both are tidy little emulation stations that allow you to play plenty of classic video games from the 80s and 90s, while Sony lovers should not less the PlayStation Classic pass them by either, which is a remake of the original PlayStation that allows you play 20 fan favourites by emulation, too.
Meanwhile, the commercial failure of the Virtual Boy reportedly did little to alter Nintendo's development approach and focus on innovation. According to Game Over, Nintendo laid blame for the machine's faults directly on its creator, Gunpei Yokoi. The commercial failure of the Virtual Boy was said by members of the video game press to be a contributing factor to Yokoi's withdrawal from Nintendo, although he had planned to retire years prior and finished another more successful project for the company, the Game Boy Pocket, which was released shortly before his departure.
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.
You can enjoy console-style gaming just like you do on a Playstation or an Xbox. The console is powered by a 2 GHz quad-core processor and has a dedicated GPU. So it’s quite powerful. It’s supported by Alexa, Amazon’s own voice-controlled personal assistant. You can easily say something like “Alexa, play Shovel Knight,” and the game will be ready to play. The console and the accompanying smart TV supports Ultra HD and 4k gaming. Plus, the Fire TV supports over 15,000 apps and games you can install. Overall, it’s a great option for those who want a multimedia experience including gaming.
The Wii console is highly family friendly. So it’s one of the best consoles to enjoy playing games with kids. Wii has many exclusive titles, and the controller comes with different variations. You can buy different types of controllers to improve the interactivity of games. For example, you can get a controller shaped like a steering wheel to play racing games. You even get free games with an original purchase. Wii is super fun to use and the whole family can join in. It’s still one of the few consoles that promote physical activity with games.
The company was already seeing insane success with the Famicom in Japan with its release in 1983, and after two years, it was time to bring that success to a new territory. After a failed attempt to partner with Atari to bring the system to the US, the company decided to do the job itself. The Famicom hardware was given a sleeker, more Western-friendly appearance, and the NES was born. The initial release in 1985 was only a test in specific US markets, but it was shipped across the country after the Holiday season in 1986.
Today's games are bigger, better, and more immersive than ever. You can find incredible games across a wide range of genres. Most major game franchises are available on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, while the Nintendo Switch offers a large selection of games suited for kids and families. For the most realistic visual experiences, upgrade to the PlayStation 4 Pro or Xbox One S to enjoy breathtaking 4K and HDR gaming. Exclusive titles are available for each console, which further underscores the need to plan ahead and pick up the right system for your must-own games. Explore the massive collections of previously played games at great deals and give your older consoles like the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii U continued life.
"I begged Santa to get us an Atari for Christmas 1980, and my parents decided to give me my wish...but they planned it as the final present I opened by stuffing it as far behind the tree as possible. Unfortunately, I grabbed a present I probably shouldn't have, "Bowling" for the 2600...pretty much destroying any Christmastime strategy my folks planned out. I still feel guilty about that."
At one point in the 1980s the video game industry was dying from over saturation until Nintendo took a chance with its first console: the Nintendo Entertainment System. Nintendo set its sights on making sure that third-party developers were licensed and abided by strict rules like releasing two games a year to prevent “shovelware” and prohibiting those games on other consoles. It worked.
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.
"For me, I'll never forget my best friend and I renting Army Men and Metal Gear Solid a few days after I finally picked up a PlayStation. Army Men sucked (of course), so we popped MGS in and kicked back in my basement. In an instant, our lives changed. One game blew the doors off what I thought a videogame could be, and my perspective hasn't been the same since."
After the sluggish sales in Japan, Sega pursued a different strategy in other areas. The system launched in North America with 18 titles, including the much-anticipated Sonic Adventure. A big part of marketing their system to North America was taking advantage of the turn of the century and North America's tendency to end a products price tag with the number 9. They came up with the slogan "9/9/99 for $199", and the system initially sold briskly. Despite Japan having a year head start on North America, by the end of 1999 the Dreamcast had sold 2 million units in North America versus only 1 million in Japan, and at the end of the year Sega controlled 31% of the American video game market. The Dreamcast went on to launch in Europe on October 14, 1999 and in Australia on November 30, 1999.
The world of tablets can be quite expensive. This is a great solution for people like me who don't want to commit to a tablet which costs hundreds of pounds. Build quality is great and feature are really good too. The Xbox controller is ace, it lets me play on my xbox whilst allowing my girlfriend to watch telly so we're both pleased! Totally recommend.
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. The proliferation of low-cost games for these devices, such as Angry Birds with over 2 billion downloads worldwide, 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.
It also comes with new exclusive game titles, additional buttons and a lower price, making it a smart choice for both seasoned gamers and new Nintendo fans. The redesign of the 2DS, in comparison with the 3DS, is mostly physical. Certain features, like the speakers, card slot, stylus and power button, were relocated. It has additional new buttons, including an analog C stick and secondary trigger ZL/ZR buttons to enhance gameplay. The clamshell’s hinge now protrudes behind the device, instead of being more internally hidden, and houses the front-facing camera and microphones. This destroys the clean lines of the 2DS XL when closed and makes selfies look awkward unless you take that into account and adjust the angle. The included stylus is much smaller than its previous iteration, making it slightly harder for adults to grip. However, Nintendo’s choice to completely omit the 3D display makes the device less top-heavy and more balanced and easier to hold. In fact, the 2DS XL is thinner and lighter overall, making it easier to hold for lengthy gaming sessions. All existing DS and 3DS games can be played, though now only in 2D. New exclusive titles that launched with the 2DS XL include Xenoblade Chronicles and Fire Emblem Warriors, as well as the Super NES Virtual Console games.
The Nintendo 64 and the GameCube were capable, sustainable consoles with excellent support and fantastic games, but the increased competition from Microsoft and Sony made it difficult for Nintendo to see the same victory it did in the previous years. After two attempts to repeat the success it had with the NES and Super NES, Nintendo decided to shake things up and offer gaming experiences that stray from the expected.
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.
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.
New gaming consoles cost between $130 and $500, and includes traditional consoles as well as handheld and hybrid consoles. Prices increase according to processing power, but there are other factors to consider such as game selection and home entertainment center multimedia options, like streaming video. Special or limited edition consoles can cost more.
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.
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.