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:
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.
After the abortive 32X, Sega entered the fifth generation with the Saturn. Sega released several highly regarded titles for the Saturn, but a series of bad decisions alienated many developers and retailers. While the Saturn was technologically advanced, it was also complex, difficult, and unintuitive to write games for. In particular, programming 3D graphics that could compete with those on Nintendo and Sony's consoles proved exceptionally difficult for third-party developers. Because the Saturn used quadrilaterals, rather than triangles, as its basic polygon, cross platform games had to be completely rewritten to see a Saturn port. The Saturn was also a victim of internal politics at Sega. While the Saturn sold comparably well in Japan, Sega's branches in North America and Europe refused to license localizations of many popular Japanese titles, holding they were ill-suited to Western markets. First-party hits like Sakura Taisen never saw Western releases, while several third-party titles released on both PlayStation and Saturn in Japan, like Grandia and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, were released in North America and Europe as PlayStation exclusives.
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.
PS4 controller is the first one to introduce a light function. This function can show different colours that serve different purposes, depending on the game you play. For example, they can notify the player about critical messages like not having a lot of life left in the game. These lights also ensure that the position of the controller in relation to the console is read even more precisely than before.
In 1983, Nintendo released the Family Computer (or Famicom) in Japan. The Famicom supported high-resolution sprites, larger color palettes, and tiled backgrounds. This allowed Famicom games to be longer and have more detailed graphics. Nintendo began attempts to bring their Famicom to the U.S. after the video game market had crashed. In the U.S., video games were seen as a fad that had already passed. To distinguish its product from older game consoles, Nintendo released their Famicom as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) which used a front-loading cartridge port similar to a VCR, included a plastic "robot" (R.O.B.), and was initially advertised as a toy. The NES was the highest selling console in the history of North America and revitalized the video game market. Mario of Super Mario Bros. became a global icon starting with his NES games. Nintendo took a somewhat unusual stance with third-party developers for its console. Nintendo contractually restricted third-party developers to three NES titles per year and forbade them from developing for other video game consoles. The practice ensured Nintendo's market dominance and prevented the flood of trash titles that had helped kill the Atari, but was ruled illegal late in the console's lifecycle.[23]

This console comes in two versions with either 16 GB of storage or 500 GB. The price difference between the two versions is only $100, which is remarkable. We were very impressed with this console because it’s not just a console. It combines the capabilities of a Playstation and a Roku. In other words, Nvidia Shield is an entertainment center where you can play games, listen to music, or stream Netflix. It comes with a number of accompanying apps and Android TV software. It’s very convenient when you only want a single device for streaming and gaming.
Microsoft kicked off the seventh generation with the release of the Xbox 360 on November 22, 2005, in the United States, December 2, 2005, in Europe, December 10, 2005, in Japan and March 23, 2006, in Australia. It featured market-leading processing power until the Sony PlayStation 3 was released one year later. While the original Xbox 360 "Core" did not include an internal HDD, most Xbox 360 models since have included at least the option to have one. The Xbox 360 optical drive is a DVD9 reader, allowing DVD movies to be played. No Blu-ray drive was included, making big games like Battlefield and Wolfenstein: The New Order require two or more DVDs to play. Up to four controllers can be connected to the console wirelessly on the standard 2.4 GHz spectrum. There are 4 discontinued versions of the Xbox 360: the "Arcade," the "Pro," and the "Elite," and the newer "S" or 'slim' model. The "E" version of the Xbox 360 included 3 configurations: a 4GB internal SSD version which acts like a USB hard drive, a 250 GB HDD version, and a branded 320 GB HDD version. The Xbox 360 is backward compatible with about half the games of the original Xbox library. In 2010, Microsoft released Kinect, allowing for motion-controlled games. The Xbox 360 was discontinued on April 20, 2016.
In 1990, Nintendo finally brought their Super Famicom to market and brought it to the United States as the Super NES (SNES) a year later. Its release marginalized the TurboGrafx and the Neo Geo, but came late enough for Sega to sell several million consoles in North America and gain a strong foothold. The same year the SNES was released Sega released Sonic the Hedgehog, which spiked Genesis sales, similar to Space Invaders on the Atari. Also, by 1992 the first fully licensed NFL Football game was released: NFL Sports Talk Football '93, which was available only on the Genesis. This impact on Genesis sales and the overall interest of realistic sports games would start the trend of licensed sports games being viewed as necessary for the success of a console in the US. While Nintendo enjoyed dominance in Japan and Sega in Europe, the competition between the two was particularly fierce and close in North America. Ultimately, the SNES outsold the Genesis, but only after Sega discontinued the Genesis to focus on the next generation of consoles.
The PlayStation is not just another console, it’s the classic gaming console. While Xbox has emerged as a major contender for the top spot, it’s hard to beat the Playstation’s appeal. The PS 4 does not disappoint, unlike the bulky PS 3 did when it was first released. Right out of the box, the PS 4 is capable of 4k Ultra HD gaming! It comes with high dynamic range graphics. If you want to upgrade the graphics of older games, use the “boost” mode on the PS 4. Now you can play games with the PlayStation VR headset for a truly immersive experience.
Whenever an Interest Saver plan is available we will tell you how long it will last for and how much you need to spend to be eligible for the offer. Don't worry, we will tell you if your order qualifies when you checkout. We make sure that no interest is added to your account for the eligible order, but if you already have a balance on your account you may still be charged interest on that amount. We will charge interest once the plan ends. Read more about how we charge interest in Interest Explained.
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.
Even as Sony successfully marketed the slick and cool PlayStation 2 as a high-tech home media device, Nintendo tried to sell GCN as a simple games player for the whole family -- in hindsight, probably a mistake. GameCube looked like a lunchbox and, save for the fantastic Nintendo-published exclusives like Metroid Prime and Super Mario Sunshine -- it didn't really sport any distinguishing features over its competitors. The machine sold almost exclusively to Nintendo fans and younger gamers, which is why it was also largely shunned by third-parties, whose software usually performed better on other platforms. Nintendo ultimately sold about 22 million GameCube systems worldwide -- roughly 118 million units less than PlayStation 2.
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.
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.

This is a list of home video game consoles in chronological order, which includes the very first home video game consoles ever created, such as first generation Pong consoles, from the first ever cartridge console Odyssey, ranging from the major video game companies such as Magnavox, Atari, Nintendo, Sega, NEC, 3DO, SNK, Sony, Microsoft to secondary market consoles.
The biggest games from third-party publishers like EA and Activision are almost all cross-platform, so it comes down to which exclusives appeal to you more. Games made by Sony will probably only come out on the PS4. Games made by Microsoft will probably only come out on the Xbox One. Of course, Windows 10 availability for nearly all of Microsoft's major releases means that you can play most of the big Xbox One exclusives on your PC if you want, while PS4 exclusives remain solidly PS4-only. It gives Sony an edge, but it doesn't represent an advantage for consumers; exclusivity only limits, and doesn't improve the experience for anyone besides the publisher and manufacturer.
The PS4 may still have a stronger gaming library than the Xbox One, but the Pro’s improvements are only noticeable in games that have been specifically enhanced for it. The Xbox One X has proven far better at using its extra horsepower to improve the visuals of all games on the platform, enhanced or not. Microsoft is also doubling down on investing in first-party studios, such as Rare, which recently released Sea of Thieves, and the company recently acquired big-name studios like Ninja Theory and Playground Games, as well.
Though Sony’s PlayStation overshadowed it in sales, the Nintendo 64 had a stable fan base from its previous generational consoles. The Nintendo 64 was one of the first consoles that not only allowed up to four controllers for multiplayer but also introduced the world to rumble control capability with its Rumble Pak functionality. Even to this day, debatably, the Nintendo 64 is one of the most accessible multiplayer systems around, perfect for those millennial parties yearning for nostalgia and simple offline multiplayer fun.
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.
The 3DO may not be regarded as one of the most monetarily successful systems in gaming history, but it left its mark on the industry all the same. Released by Panasonic in 1993, the 3DO (aka 3DO Interactive Multiplayer) was a 32-bit, disc-based system that had the technological grit to compete with the leading consoles of its time -- the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, etc -- but was inevitably stifled by its lack of third-party support and high launch price (nearly $700). The system could support up to eight controllers and console expansions such as memory cards, modems, video cartridges and more.
^ Jump up to: a b 10–13 million, not including recent Brazil sales figures.[45][46] Screen Digest wrote in a 1995 publication that the Master System's active installed user base in Western Europe peaked at 6.25 million in 1993. Those countries that peaked are France at 1.6 million, the United Kingdom at 1.35 million, Germany at 700 thousand, Spain at 550 thousand, the Netherlands at 200 thousand, and other Western European countries at 1.4 million. However, Belgium peaked in 1991 with 600 thousand, and Italy in 1992 with 400 thousand. Thus it is estimated approximately 6.8 million units were purchased in this part of Europe.[47] 1 million were sold in Japan as of 1986.[48] 2 million were sold in the United States.[49] 8 million were sold by Tectoy in Brazil as of 2016.[50]
But beyond its hardware innovations, the Xbox 360 marked a huge software push in terms of creating an all encompassing media and gaming platform. The Xbox 360 launched with a completely revised Xbox Live online networking system, which enabled new and unprecedented ways of accessing video, audio, and game content, as well as connecting with friends. Xbox Live has since grown to be one of the most successful console-based online gaming networks ever created, with over 17 million members as of January, 2009. Through its extensive online-integration, which allows for practically boundless optimization, feature additions, and improvements, the Xbox 360 has drastically extended the lasting appeal and life expectancy of the average console.

We do test them, of course. We’ve spent a lot of time playing video games on these consoles and even more thinking about what they can do. We make sure that everything we like about these products works and delivers like advertised. That includes playing all kinds of games, checking the quality of the internet connectivity, factoring in quality and quantity of exclusives, and checking if developers are currently making games for the platform.
And then there's Nintendo, which tends to run almost purely on exclusives. Mario and Link are pure gold, and Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are two of the best games in their respective series (Breath of the Wild was also released on the Wii U). Add Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, and the clever Nintendo Labo sets and you have a lot of Nintendo-only games. The trade-off is fewer current AAA games like Call of Duty (though Bethesda has ported Doom, Skyrim, and Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus to the system).
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.

The hardware was undeniably more advanced than the Atari 2600, with the ability to display higher resolution graphics and a more versatile color palette. The gamepads also showed how more advanced the system was over the "simple" Atari: these controllers featured a unique disc input system that predates the Nintendo thumb pad innovation, and offered a versatile telephone-like keypad as well as four action buttons, two on each side. Games made for the Intellivision featured specific overlays with artwork that slipped right on top of these 12 buttons to make it easy to understand which button does what.
The video game console realm is much bigger than you think, ranging from insanely powerful offerings for 4K HDR and virtual reality gaming, through ultra portable picks, all the way to options designed to take you decades down the memory lane. Check out the best picks available on the market at the moment from the likes of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, and get ready to get your gaming on!
"4k woo...Love it...This is a very great product sold at a very good sale price the quality of the video output is amazing and the audio quality is very surreal that's not even adding the price of the game which is amazing because it also came with around 50 dollars worth of free stuff so for only around 2 $230 instead of 400 this could not be a better deal it can't be beat...Xbox One S came to my attention for differente reasons, number one price, the price is great is you are a beginner to moderate player, you will have great graphics and a lot of fun, the game is not a physical copy, but to compare a $70 bucks physical copy I am happy."
The Atari 7800 was originally designed to succeed the Atari 5200 in 1984, but the system's launch was shelved when Atari was sold to new owners who wanted to focus on the computer market instead. The console was, instead, officially launched two years later in response to Nintendo and SEGA entering the US home console market with the Nintendo Entertainment System and Master System respectively. Many of the console's planned features, such as a high score saving cartridge, were never released.
This concerns the quality of the image displayed on your screen. The resolution is between 480 and 1080 pixels. The quality will be better with a higher number of pixels. One must consider the console that is linked to the screen: some models (PS3, Xbox360) reach the best output only on HD screens. In most cases, handheld consoles have 4.3-inch wide screens and 480 x 272 pixels. Touch screen models have a resolution of 256 x 192 pixels.
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.
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]
Most cities have small, local game stores where you can often find deeply discounted – albeit used – consoles and games. If that doesn’t bother you, it’s a wonderful way to save money. You can also save a ton by buying used accessories. By shopping at these local retailers, not only are you helping out a small business, but you’re also connecting with your local gaming scene – a value that’s too great to pass up. Most of the time, the people running these stores are avid gamers as well and can give you recommendations and keep you notified of upcoming releases, sales and in-store events.
"I actually liked the Atari 5200, primarily because of the games I had for it, such as Pengo, Mountain King, The Dreadnaught Factor, and one of my favorite games of all-time, Pitfall II: The Lost Caverns. Now, was the machine an over-sized mess with controllers that broke way too easy? Yes. But if consoles are defined by their games, then on a personal level, the 5200 remains near and dear for not only these titles, but for being a part of my discovery of videogames in the early eighties."

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.
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