The death of the Sega Dreamcast was one of the biggest heartbreaks in gaming history and the end of the Sega era. The promising console had a huge marketing campaign and was released on 09/09/99, but slowly died due to its massive price cuts and competition with Sony’s PS2. Still, it left behind some great games and memories that will never be forgotten.
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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 Atari shipped the now slightly outdated 7800 across the world.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."
Ask any 90s kid what the best retro multiplayer game console is and they’ll say the Nintendo 64. Before online multiplayer separated people from long distances, games like Mario Party, Golden Eye: 007 and Mario Kart 64 required you and your friends to physically sit next to one another and bond. Every Friday night, kids all around America would invite their friends over for some pepperoni pizza and game for hours on end with their N64.
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.
The PS4 Slim is a cracking little 1080p gaming system that is a great way to jump into Sony's excellent PlayStation ecosystem. It also works with PlayStation VR, too, which is an added bonus. In addition, the original Xbox One and original PS4 consoles, if you can pick them up cheap, still have plenty about them and deliver - a few bells and whistles aside - the same gaming experiences that are delivered on the PS4 Slim and Xbox One S.
With the Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4; console gaming has entered a new level of visual fidelity and online play. Games on the Xbox One console and the PS4 console are bigger, more immersive and more graphically stunning than ever before. Now, with the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X, you can enjoy even better graphics and processing power. Nintendo’s current console, the Switch, may not pack the same graphical punch, but has been enormously successful thanks to a stellar line up of games and the fact it can be used as a home console and a handheld.
"Despite the fact that I played the heck out of the NES, it was more than just a great videogame system to me. It was also the platform that grew my social and bargaining skills. Not only did my friends and family bond with me over sessions of Super Mario Bros. and Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, but my friends in particular started haggling with me because of my obsession with getting new NES games. Baseball cards, comic books, and toys were commodities that I used weekly to talk my way into getting new games out of pals via trade all the time, and the feeling of accomplishment from those trades and the fun I had playing those titles afterward is still something that sticks with me to this day."
Upon its first reveal, the Nintendo Switch marketed itself as a mobile gaming system that not only could be played at home on your television, but also carried around and playable wherever you go. Nintendo’s innovative console makes playing on the go easy and comes with a disassembling controller with split screen options, so you can play with friends.
Xbox One is the latest upgraded version of the Xbox. It showcases multiple improvements from the 360, such as a slim profile, super stylish exterior design and some hardware upgrades. It’s more expensive than the older 360 but you can only play Ultra HD games on Xbox One. It competes closely with the PS 4. Unlike PS 4, Xbox One can play Blu Ray discs. It’s a major plus for those with Blu Rays of triple-A games. What’s more, you can stream movies and TV shows using the console as well. You can definitely connect this to your Netflix account.
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 (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. 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). 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.
"While I still rail against Sony for some of the mistakes that it has made with its most powerful system to date, like removing backwards compatibility and stubbornly refusing to drop the price of the system, I still have fond memories of playing Metal Gear Solid 4 on the system multiple times over around the world, staying up all night long playing Warhawk with a core of dedicated players as the game launched and playing some incredible games of baseball with The Show over the past few years. Sure, it's hit some stumbling blocks, but the PS3 is one of those systems that has yet to showcase its true potential, and it'll be awesome to see what developers can squeeze out of the console in the years to come. "
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.
Fairchild released the Fairchild Video Entertainment System (VES) in 1976. While there had been previous game consoles that used cartridges, either the cartridges had no information and served the same function as flipping switches (the Odyssey) or the console itself was empty (Coleco Telstar) and the cartridge contained all of the game components. The VES, however, contained a programmable microprocessor so its cartridges only needed a single ROM chip to store microprocessor instructions. RCA and Atari soon released their own cartridge-based consoles, the RCA Studio II and the Atari 2600 (originally branded as the Atari Video Computer System), respectively.