The SEGA Master System is the videogame console that almost could. Despite its technical superiority to the dominant NES, the machine lacked just one critical thing: Mario. Without this icon and the emergence of Sonic the Hedgehog still five years on the horizon, the Master System ran a far distant second to the NES during the 8-bit generation -- the phoenix-like resurrection of videogames following the Atari 2600-lead industry crash.
You'd also be doing yourself an injustice as a gamer if you were to ignore Nintendo's 3DS and 2DS family of portable consoles as well, and under no circumstances should you completely rule out Sony's largely forgotten portable, the PlayStation Vita. All these handhelds now have sizeable libraries of games and, due to their age and current dominance by the Nintendo Switch, are going cheaper than ever before, making  them a savvy choice for gamers looking for big portable bang for their buck.

Though the Genesis is undoubtedly the brand’s most famous video game console, it was not their first. In fact, there were actually three predecessors: the SG-1000, the SG-1000 II (a slightly updated version of the former), and the Master System – of which the latter was the most commercially successful. The Master System’s biggest problem? Nintendo already had a stellar reputation around much of the world and had a brilliant licensing strategy that kept Sega from acquiring NES-exclusive titles that were in high demand. Still, most agree that without the Master System, the Genesis may never have come to fruition – and that’s something.
^ Associated Press (October 19, 1985). "Coleco's Net In Sharp Rise". The New York Times. p. 45. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 13, 2014. Thursday, Coleco said the entire inventory of its troubled Adam personal computer has been sold, along with much of its Colecovision inventory. The company's chairman, Arnold Greenberg, said Coleco expects no more charges against earnings from the two discontinued products.
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**Worry-Free Guarantee terms are subject to change. See your contract for specific terms and conditions. “All without credit” and “no credit needed” do not mean or imply that no inquiry will be made of credit history or creditworthiness. We may check past transactional history, but no established FICO score or credit history is necessary. Rental agreement requires, at minimum, verification of residence, income, and 4 personal references. 6 Months Same as Cash period ends 184 days after start of the new agreement. 4 Months Same as Cash period ends 123 days after start of the new agreement. "Free Same-Day Delivery” applies to in-store agreements completed before 4 p.m. for in-stock items and delivered to addresses within the normal service area of the store. Some exceptions may apply. Rent-A-Center services and maintains the merchandise while on rent (or in NJ, for duration stated on agreement); set-up does not include connection of gas appliances. See Store Manager for complete details. Competitor Price Match offer valid on new agreements only. Price match may adjust the weekly rate, term and/or total price to match our rent/lease to own competitors’ advertised prices. The item must be the identical item, size, model number, quality and condition. The entire printed ad, online price or digital version of the ad must be presented for proof of competitors’ price. The price of the item must be listed and valid at the time of price match. We reserve the right to verify a competitor’s advertised price and the availability of the item. Offer valid on in-stock items only. For model upgrades, simply return the product you are currently renting and open a new agreement for another model. You can return your product and pause your payments. To restart an agreement on a returned product, Rent-A-Center will retain your payment records for two years. Thereafter, simply bring in your last payment receipt for reinstatement. Beats, Beats by Dr. Dre and the circle b logo are registered trade and service marks of Beats Electronics, LLC. PS4 logo is a trademark of Sony and Xbox One logo is a trademark of Microsoft. Intel, the Intel logo, the Intel Inside logo and Intel Core are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks, registered trademarks and/or service marks, indicated or otherwise, are the properties of their respective owners.
We’ve tested gaming consoles rigorously for over four years. Our most recent evaluations took over 80 hours. Our writer and product tester is a lifetime avid gamer who thoroughly researched and tested each of the consoles, pushing each to their limit to test their quality, features, performance and ease of use. We considered each console’s interface, gaming and video playback, exclusives, price features and overall ease of use, all while examining how effective each console would be for users of all gaming experience levels and budgets.
For proof of just how far we’ve come since the days of Space Invaders, look to the Xbox One. Released around five years ago, this 8th generation gaming console is a powerhouse of technological advancement, offering up incredibly crisp HD graphics, speedy processing (even with absurdly detailed game worlds), and features critically-acclaimed controllers. There are a couple problems with this console, however – namely, many once-exclusive developers have jumped ship in favor of cross-platform game creation, leaving it with few worthwhile exclusive titles, and the fact that, technically, the bare bones console runs games at a lower graphical rate than the PS4. Still, PS4 aside, this console blows the doors off of anything that came before it.

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.


A video game console is a standardized computing device tailored for video gaming that requires a monitor or television set as an output.[2] These self-contained pieces of electronic equipment[2] weigh between 2 and 9 pounds (1–4 kg) on average,[3] and their compact size allows them to be easily used in a variety of locations with an electrical outlet.[3] Handheld controllers are commonly used as input devices. Video game consoles may use one or more storage media like hard disk drives, optical discs, and memory cards for content.[3] Each are usually developed by a single business organization.[2] Dedicated consoles are a subset of these devices only able to play built-in games.[4][5] Gaming consoles in general are also described as "dedicated" in distinction from the more versatile personal computer and other consumer electronics.[6][7][8] Sanders Associates engineer Ralph H. Baer along with company employees Bill Harrison and Bill Rusch licensed their television gaming technology to contemporary major TV manufacturer Magnavox. This resulted in Magnavox Odyssey's 1972 release—the first commercially available video game console.[9]

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.
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.
The Nintendo Switch is the first Nintendo console to utilize a paid online system instead of a free one. The new service is necessary to play online, and allows users to play emulated games from the Virtual Console service. The paid service was officially launched in 2018, although a free trial of many of its features had been available up until then. The system offers digital software downloads through the Nintendo eShop directly from the console, cloud save backups, and facilitates voice chat and party matching in multiplayer online titles such as Splatoon 2, through use of an external smartphone application.
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.
^ Tabuchi, Hiroko (March 23, 2010). "Nintendo to Make 3-D Version of Its DS Handheld Game". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 4, 2010. 'We wanted to give the gaming industry a head’s up about what to expect from Nintendo at E3,' said Ken Toyoda, chief spokesman at Nintendo. 'We'll invite people to play with the new device then.'

We all remember our first experience with a game console, whether it was in the local club, at a friend’s place or home in the living room. It was addictive – and we could not get enough. It can be difficult to choose, which game console to settle on – no matter if you are a hardcore fan of a certain console and go determinedly for the newest model, or if you are a beginner and have to make your first choice. To make it easier we will outline the different brands here:
Nintendo was the last to release a fifth generation console with their Nintendo 64, and when they finally released their console in North America, it came with only two launch titles. Partly to curb piracy and partly as a result of Nintendo's failed disc projects with Sony (as SNES-CD) and Philips, Nintendo used cartridges for their console. The higher cost of cartridges drove many third party developers to the PlayStation. The Nintendo 64 could handle 3D polygons better than any console released before it, but its games often lacked the cut-scenes, soundtracks, and voice-overs that became standard on PlayStation discs. Nintendo released several highly acclaimed titles, such as Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and the Nintendo 64 was able to sell tens of millions of units on the strength of first-party titles alone, but its constant struggles against Sony would make the Nintendo 64 the last home console to use cartridges as a medium for game distribution until the Nintendo Switch in 2017.
"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." 

The PlayStation 2 (PS2) is the best-selling console of all time, with a total of roughly 155 million units sold to date. When Sony first introduced itself with its CD-reading original PlayStation, it changed the video game industry forever, and it’s fair to say the PS2 would later define it: The PS2’s backward- compatibility with original PlayStation games, DVD playback and developer-friendly kits made it the most successful console in existence.
There are different types of gamepads suitable for video games: pistols, fishing rods, tennis rackets, golf clubs, boxing gloves, dance mats, joysticks and even musical instruments for games like Guitar Hero, DJ Hero, or Rock Band. Some steering wheels have a gearshift, pedals and force feedback to feel the acceleration, loss of speed, jolts, crashes, etc.
For proof of just how far we’ve come since the days of Space Invaders, look to the Xbox One. Released around five years ago, this 8th generation gaming console is a powerhouse of technological advancement, offering up incredibly crisp HD graphics, speedy processing (even with absurdly detailed game worlds), and features critically-acclaimed controllers. There are a couple problems with this console, however – namely, many once-exclusive developers have jumped ship in favor of cross-platform game creation, leaving it with few worthwhile exclusive titles, and the fact that, technically, the bare bones console runs games at a lower graphical rate than the PS4. Still, PS4 aside, this console blows the doors off of anything that came before it.
Each new generation of console hardware made use of the rapid development of processing technology. Newer machines could output a greater range of colors, more sprites, and introduced graphical technologies such as scaling, and vector graphics. One way console makers marketed these advances to consumers was through the measurement of "bits". The TurboGrafx-16, Genesis, and Super NES were among the first consoles to advertise the fact that they contained 16-bit processors. This fourth generation of console hardware was often referred to as the 16-bit era and the previous generation as the 8-bit. The bit-value of a console referred to the word length of a console's processor (although the value was sometimes misused, for example, the TurboGrafx 16 had only an 8-bit CPU, and the Genesis/Mega Drive had the 16/32-bit Motorola 68000, but both had a 16-bit dedicated graphics processor). As the graphical performance of console hardware is dependent on many factors, using bits was a crude way to gauge a console's overall ability. For example, the NES, Commodore 64, Apple II, and Atari 2600 all used a very similar 8-bit CPU. The difference in their processing power is due to other causes. For example, the Commodore 64 contains 64 kilobytes of RAM and the Atari 2600 has much less at 128 bytes of RAM. The jump from 8-bit machines to 16-bit machines to 32-bit machines made a noticeable difference in performance, so consoles from certain generations are frequently referred to as 8-bit or 16-bit consoles. However, the "bits" in a console are no longer a major factor in their performance. The Nintendo 64, for example, has been outpaced by several 32-bit machines.[91] Aside from some "128 Bit" advertising slogans at the beginning of the sixth generation, marketing with bits largely stopped after the fifth generation.
During this time home computers gained greater prominence as a way of playing video games. The gaming console industry nonetheless continued to thrive alongside home computers, due to the advantages of much lower prices, easier portability, circuitry specifically dedicated towards gaming, the ability to be played on a television set (which PCs of the time could not do in most cases), and intensive first party software support from manufacturers who were essentially banking their entire future on their consoles.[29]
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