"Yeah, the PS2 is the system that helped land me a permanent job at IGN, but that's one of just many a fond memory of Sony's awesome console sequel. What really sticks out for me, though, was the huge buzz that the system had garnered in my neighborhood because it had Tekken Tag Tournament. Tekken Tag was THE game in our local arcades, and when a friend of mine convinced his girlfriend to buy him an import PS2 with Tekken Tag along with it, it was like having an extra Christmas. Our whole crew spent months learning techniques, brushing up on our skills and having an all around great time with our Tekken parties."
T3 has reviewed all the best video game consoles going, from Microsoft's 4K powerhouse the Xbox One X, through to Sony's rival PS4 Pro, and onto Nintendo's hot hybrid, the Nintendo Switch, and we've tucked hundreds of hours under our belt playing their best games, too. As such, our tech experts are perfectly positioned to help you find your perfect gaming console.
Nintendo launched the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection alongside the Wii and Nintendo DS, which utilized GameSpy's servers to offer free online multiplayer. In addition, Nintendo's Wii Shop Channel allowed for the digital distribution of downloadable games, emulated titles, and Wii applications known as "Channels", which provided functionality such as access to Netflix, YouTube and an Internet browser, as well as online-enabled contests such as the Check Mii Out Channel and Everybody Votes Channel. Nintendo's WiiConnect24 service offered information and videos of upcoming software through the Wii's downloadable Nintendo Channel, which also allowed users to download demos from the Wii console to a nearby Nintendo DS through a local wireless connection. Other WiiConnect24 services included dedicated channels for weather and news. WiiConnect24 also enabled a message board that allowed a connected Wii to receive messages from games, installed Channels and other users' consoles. In the summer of 2014, these services were discontinued, reportedly to let developers work harder on Wii U functionality. In 2018, the Wii Shop Channel was discontinued, ending digital distribution of Virtual Console games, WiiWare, and Wii Channels to Wii consoles.
Nintendo understands that not all consoles are meant for the living room. The current-gen handheld consoles include the New Nintendo 2DS and 3DS XL, as well as the Nintendo Switch. Though the hardware of the DS XLs isn’t comparable to traditional consoles, they allow you to game wherever you are. You can play AAA titles on them, and some even allow for 3D gameplay. If you want something more powerful and versatile, which allows for handheld gameplay as well as traditional couch-and-TV-based gaming, for both solo and multiplayer fun, go with the Switch.
Sony's flagship, the PS4 Pro is a powerhouse system in its own right, allowing gamers to play their games in dynamic 4K (resolutions can upscale up to 4K with some tech wizardry) and with HDR enabled, too. The latest revision of the console is also quieter than ever (CUH-7200), which fixed one of the more minor issues some reviewers found with the launch model.
Sony couldn’t have dreamt up a better follow-up to their original home gaming console than the PlayStation 2. In fact, this console still sits at the top in regards to numbers, having sold more than any other console in existence – home, handheld, or otherwise. It’s true, however, that those numbers may have been helped by the fact that there weren’t much in the way of competitor’s releases for years – though not by much, as the performance of the gaming machine stands on its own. This console was also the birthplace of some of the most memorable games of all time, including a concept that seemed too strange to work, but ended up being a smash hit: the Disney/Square Enix action RPG, Kingdom Hearts.
The following tables contain video game consoles and handheld game consoles that have sold at least 1 million units worldwide either through to consumers or inside retail channels. Each console include sales from every iteration unless otherwise noted. The years correspond to when the home or handheld game console was first released—excluding test markets. Each year links to the corresponding "year in video gaming".
The PS3's game library, while already stellar, continues to get better and better. We've seen the release of fantastic, exclusive games Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Killzone 2, Flower, Warhawk, LittleBigPlanet and Infamous (among others), and let's not forget about cross-platform games like Grand Theft Auto IV, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Fallout 3, BioShock and many, many more. Keep in mind that the system currently has yet to see releases from some of Sony's biggest franchises, including God of War, Gran Turismo or a Team ICO title, though all are on the way.
Though the Intellivision never managed to dethrone the Atari 2600 as the top system of its era, the console brought forth many considerable innovations: along with the advanced graphics, the system offered an add-on that brought speech to games, and it also introduced the concept of downloadable games with its ahead-of-its-time, test-marketed PlayCable that offered Intellivision games distributed over television cable.
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!
We then evaluated each console’s interface, looking for a smart layout that’s easy to use. We navigated through menus, adjusted the settings and compared ease of use. We approached this process twice over, first as gamers looking for quick access to new titles and already-installed games, and secondly as novice or non-gamer users looking for multimedia tools and apps. We found that the best consoles are the ones that make your favorite apps and games easy to access from a central place.
Given that there’s a relatively small selection of games for each console that take full advantage of these features, we currently do not recommend that you buy a new TV for the sake of high-resolution console gaming. Currently, no game console requires you to own a 4K or HDR-compatible TV, so you can buy that new console and hold off on buying the TV until you’ve done more research, found games you feel are worth upgrading for, or are otherwise ready to commit.
Current-gen consoles offer top-tier gaming and premium graphics but for an equally premium price. If you’re watching your budget, consider second-generation consoles like the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U or PlayStation 3. You can also opt for a handheld console. Though they lack the power of high-end consoles, the New Nintendo 2DS and 3DS XL both have extensive game libraries and great functionality, and they let you game anywhere.
"i love...5 Star...While the ps4 platform itself is a great technological advancement I don't agree with the fact that you buy a game cd for $40 or $50 but then have to pay an additional fee to enjoy playing online with your friends personally I think that is a little ridiculous I appreciate that it's internet capable but I don't agree with having to pay for online gaming after so much money has already been shelled out...Have had a PlayStation 4 for about a year and just bought a new one for gift because to me it beats out both the Xbox One and Wii U, which I also own, and the base PS4 is a great starter console for younger players."
Gaming consoles span several major brands, including Nintendo, Playstation, and Xbox. They also span several generations, with the PS4 console being the latest Playstation and the Xbox One X console being the latest from Microsoft. If you’re looking to play at home, traditional gaming consoles offer stunning HD graphic capabilities thanks to Blu-Ray technology, and the Wii gives you the chance to get active too. If you want to be able to take interactive gaming with you on the move, handheld models also offer up 3D graphics, touchscreen control, WiFi and 3G connectivity, movie and video playback as well as incredible gameplay.