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.
Bought as a present for someone who's very much into 8-bit retro gaming and he loves it. Console itself looks good and it all works perfectly. Would have been nice if the wireless joysticks weren't quite so directional - but more of a minor gripe. Joysticks are authentic Atari i.e. adequate but not great. There are joystick ports on the front so you could use any better ones you may have kicking around. One thing to watch is that the TV connectors are AV rather than HDMI (wasn't an issue for me).
"Finding the good videogames on Saturn was like a game in itself. By the end of the system's short life, stores rarely carried more than one or two copies of even the biggest games and so my friends and I would go on massive road trips around the state to track them down. I still remember the joy we had when we found Panzer Dragoon Saga. That single copy got passed around until everyone had a go before we set off in search of the next rare release."
With over 725 games in its library, the SNES was one of the best consoles that came into the market with third-party support. Due to its previous promising history and savvy business deals, Nintendo got an early public relations advantage with third-party developer Capcom, giving them the first console port of Street Fighter II. Nintendo went above and beyond with the SNES by developing the Super FX chip, allowing 3D capabilities with titles like Starfox and Doom without adding on any unnecessary hardware. For anyone wanting to relive the definitive early 90s gaming experience, the SNES wins hands down. 
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.
The Xbox One X contains six trillion floating point operations per second with 326GB/s and 12GB GDDR5 RAM, giving it the most graphical horsepower in rendering native 4K HD graphics at 60 frames per second. This makes games like Call Of Duty: WWII have a heightened sense of realism, detailing everything from flowing hair, rays of the sun and clothing fiber. All Xbox One games are compatible and run better on the Xbox One X in Full HD display as well. Microsoft even plans on bringing Original Xbox and Xbox 360 backward compatibility to the system too.

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.
In the mid-1990s, various manufacturers shifted to optical media, specifically CD-ROM, for games. Although they were slower at loading game data than the cartridges available at that time, they were significantly cheaper to manufacture and had a larger capacity than the existing cartridge technology. NEC released the first CD-based gaming system, the TurboGrafx-CD (an add-on for the TurboGrafx-16), in December 4, 1988 in Japan and August 1, 1990 in the United States. Sega followed suit with the Sega CD (an add-on for the Sega Genesis) in Japan on December 12, 1991; Commodore stepped into the ring shortly after with the Amiga-CD32, the first 32-bit game console, on September 17, 1993. During the later half of the 1990s, optical media began to supplant cartridges due to their greater storage capacity and cheaper manufacturing costs, with the CD-based PlayStation significantly outpacing the cartridge-based Nintendo 64 in terms of sales. By the early 21st century, all of the major home consoles used optical media, usually DVD-ROM or similar discs, which are widely replacing CD-ROM for data storage. The PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One systems use even higher-capacity Blu-ray optical discs for games and movies, while the Xbox 360 formerly used HD DVDs in the form of an external USB player add-on for video playback before it was discontinued. However, Microsoft still supports those who bought the accessory. Nintendo's GameCube, Wii, and Wii U, meanwhile, use proprietary disc formats based on then-current industry standard discs—the GameCube's discs are based on mini-DVDs, the Wii's on DVDs and the Wii U's are believed to be based on Blu-rays. These discs offer somewhat smaller storage capacities compared to the formats they are based on, though the difference is significantly smaller compared to the gap between the N64's cartridges and CDs.
The third major handheld of the fourth generation was the Game Gear. It featured graphics capabilities roughly comparable to the Master System (better colours, but lower resolution), a ready made games library by using the "Master-Gear" adapter to play cartridges from the older console, and the opportunity to be converted into a portable TV using a cheap tuner adaptor, but it also suffered some of the same shortcomings as the Lynx. While it sold more than twenty times as many units as the Lynx, its bulky design - slightly larger than even the original Game Boy; relatively poor battery life - only a little better than the Lynx; and later arrival in the marketplace - competing for sales amongst the remaining buyers who didn't already have a Game Boy - hampered its overall popularity despite being more closely competitive to the Nintendo in terms of price and breadth of software library.[28] Sega eventually retired the Game Gear in 1997, a year before Nintendo released the first examples of the Game Boy Color, to focus on the Nomad and non-portable console products. Other handheld consoles released during the fourth generation included the TurboExpress, a handheld version of the TurboGrafx-16 released by NEC in 1990, and the Game Boy Pocket, an improved model of the Game Boy released about two years before the debut of the Game Boy Color. While the TurboExpress was another early pioneer of color handheld gaming technology and had the added benefit of using the same game cartridges or 'HuCards' as the TurboGrafx16, it had even worse battery life than the Lynx and Game Gear - about three hours on six contemporary AA batteries - selling only 1.5 million units.[27]

"Mere weeks after I bought the Dreamcast, my VMU--or "Virtual Memory Unit," aka memory card with a useless LCD screen--started beeping at me in desperate want of new batteries. I never even unplugged the thing from the controller, must've shipped with bum batteries. I dutifully loaded the VMU with a fresh set, and in less than a month it was beeping again. That was the only time I bothered, and now that beeping triggers in me a response not too unlike the salivation of Pavlov's dogs. Except I pine for Marvel vs. Capcom 2, not Kibbles 'n Bits. "
In many ways Xbox was the first. It was the first console in this generation and came to the market 4 years after its predecessor. Microsoft came to a conclusion that the original Xbox was so expensive to manufacture, that it would never bring profit, and that is why they quickly came up with a replacement. This is not to say that Xbox 360 was rushed. In spite of some technical problems (that were quite significant), it has almost defined the modern console’s attributes.
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.
The Nintendo 3DS XL features a C stick for better in-game controls, NFC connectivity, and compatibility with amiibo figures. A Nintendo-rich library of 3DS titles is at your fingertips, headed by a host of Super Mario, Donkey Kong, and Legend of Zelda games. Overall, this is a great option for users who like a high-quality portable gaming experience at a reasonable price point.
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We researched and evaluated seven gaming consoles to recommend the best ones for your family gaming and entertainment needs. Our overall winner is the Xbox One X. The console has a full artillery of features, powerful hardware and a large selection of current and backwards-compatible games that are fun for new and seasoned gamers of all ages to enjoy. With the Xbox One X, you have access to free apps for streaming videos, listening to music, watching sports, getting gaming news and even chatting online. 

Handheld game consoles are great for gaming in a comfy bed, on your morning commute or just someplace out of the house. Unlike your mobile phone, a handheld console is designed specifically for gaming and offers a large library that isn't full of Bejeweled or Candy Crush clones. Whether you want a quick, relaxing experience (like Animal Crossing or Stardew Valley) or something you can really sink your teeth into (like the latest Zelda and Mario games), consoles like PlayStation Vita and Nintendo Switch offer a lot of different experiences to choose from.
Bought as a present for someone who's very much into 8-bit retro gaming and he loves it. Console itself looks good and it all works perfectly. Would have been nice if the wireless joysticks weren't quite so directional - but more of a minor gripe. Joysticks are authentic Atari i.e. adequate but not great. There are joystick ports on the front so you could use any better ones you may have kicking around. One thing to watch is that the TV connectors are AV rather than HDMI (wasn't an issue for me).
There’s an argument to be made that, without the Nintendo Entertainment System, video games may never have become the massively popular medium they are today. And nobody, even the brand themselves, could have guessed that this system would be such a game-changer (no pun intended). Suddenly, home consoles were just as capable as their full-sized arcade counterparts – perhaps even more so. And the long list of superb Nintendo exclusive games only made the proposition of purchasing this gaming device even stronger. Find a 30-something gamer and we’d put down money that the NES played at least a small part in getting them into video games. All that and more is why the Nintendo Entertainment System is the greatest gaming console ever created.
^ 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.'
Want extras? We've got those, too! Gear up with all the accessories that bring your Nintendo games—or any additional ones in your collection—to life. Transform your space into a gaming headquarters with headphones and other equipment that help you interact with anyone else at the controls. Immerse yourself in the moment—there's no better time than now.
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!
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.
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.
SEGA was hoping to get the jump on Sony before it released the PlayStation that holiday season. While the Saturn ended up losing the popularity contest to both Sony and Nintendo it was host to a library of classic titles that epitomize the early days of SEGA's innovation in software. NiGHTS into Dreams, the Virtua Fighter and Panzer Dragon series are all examples of exclusive titles that made the console a fan favorite.

"The Dreamcast launch was a huge deal for me. In fact, the day before the launch, this really amazing girl came into my work and asked me out. And we were on a date that was going so well, but I kept looking at my watch thinking, "I have to get ready for the DC launch." Yeah, I chose the Dreamcast over hooking up with a hot girl and I'd do it again."
Nintendo is reinventing the brand’s consoles with Switch. Think of Switch as a combination of a conventional console and the Nintendo DS. In that, it’s a gaming console that is also highly portable but is better than either a conventional or a portable console. The Switch has its own library, which is already filled with excellent titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Splatoon 2. The Switch is arguably the best family-friendly gaming console released after 2016. It’s affordable, portable, and offers a unique gaming experience regardless of age. You can use it at home or take it with you to school or work.
The hardware specs are stellar, as expected from Sony. The controller is great too. We got the DualShock 4 controllers that have been improved from the previous design. It’s actually hailed as one of the top gamepads ever designed. You can use the DualShock 4 controller as a PC controller too if needed. The PS 4 has an exclusive title library that will not disappoint a devout gamer. The lineup includes a number of legacy titles and even some indie games. Major titles like “The Last of Us” are PlayStation exclusive. With the great library of games, impressive controller, and super duper graphics, this is one of the best gaming consoles to own.
Gamers around the world share videos with friends and fans alike on websites such as YouTube and Twitch. Here you can find live streams of your favorite gamers playing the latest AAA and indie titles, or even watch e-sports competitions. There are also millions of other popular gaming-related videos, including strategies, gaming news, rage quits, walkthroughs, fail compilations, achievements, tips, game reviews and more. Individual games and gamers alike have garnered cult followings online. It’s also easy to find more niche subcultures. They exist for bigger topics, like for certain console or game studios, as well as for more precise interests, such as a particular game franchise or character.
"The fact that it was the Neo-Geo's King of Fighters games that allowed me to bond with my female acquaintance-turned girlfriend-turned wife sticks out most in mind. While most folks in the crowd of gamers we were hanging around with were stringent Street Fighter players who didn't care one iota about KOF, my interest in the SNK series and the girl playing it went hand in hand. Our constant matches against one another allowed us to talk for hours, which led to us getting to know each other better before eventually falling in love. Sure, there were a lot of other contributing factors that led to our relationship becoming what it did, but it was KOF that was the ice breaker, and that's pretty awesome."

Bringing up the rear of our 4-console podium is the super stylish Xbox One S. This is Microsoft's revision to the original Xbox One and, simply put, it is smaller, quieter and aesthetically far more pleasing. It can't do the native 4K resolutions of the Xbox One X, but it still comes packing its lush Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray player and still lets you tap into Xbox's impressive gaming ecosystem.


The price tag reflected the power of the system: the NeoGeo home console cost more than 800 dollars, with individual games exceeding $200 a piece. The justification for the price was in the physical size of the games: where Super NES and Genesis cartridges were as large as 16 megabits in size at the time, NeoGeo games could get as big as 330 megabits…more than 20 times bigger!


As a platform, the Dreamcast brought SEGA's biggest franchises to the next generation, including Sonic the Hedgehog and Virtua Fighter, but also introduced new series like Crazy Taxi to the gaming community. Unfortunately, the Dreamcast was SEGA's last venture into console territory; but its impact, legacy, and notable franchises are still evidenced today.
N64 fans will cry foul and suggest that GoldenEye made first-person shooters possible on a console, but it was Halo that modernized the genre. Almost every FPS that came after Halo utilized its control scheme and a modified version of its health system. But where Halo truly succeeded was in providing console gamers with the first-of-its-kind 16-player LAN battles. Halo was the first shooter that made PC gamers jealous and it signaled the beginning of a power shift in the genre.
"I knew the retail days on the NeoGeo were numbered, but I actually sold one of these beasts when I was merely a sales associate at a Babbages back in 1990. A son dragged his mother in and she started asking questions like "does the NeoGeo have better graphics than the Super NES?" I did not lie...it definitely does and I told her so. She bought it and a game for a $1000 receipt. I couldn't believe anyone would actually shell out the dough for it, but I witnessed it firsthand."
The Wii was a huge hit when it was originally introduced. It’s still one of the most fun gaming consoles to own. You know all the bad rep gaming consoles get because everyone is sitting down and pushing buttons on a controller? Well, the Wii lets you get up and play video games. It’s highly interactive. For example, you can use the Wii controller as a tennis racket to play virtual tennis in front of your TV screen. There are games specifically designed for the Wii to play as close to real-life as possible. It’s almost like augmented reality in a sense.
The Xbox One X is massively powerful and comes at a steep price - it's the most expensive console on the market right now. But compared to the equivalent gaming PC, it’s exceptionally good value for money. It offers true [email protected] gameplay across a range of games, and even if you don't have a 4K TV, you will see a significant boost in graphical performance. 
Sony decided that its PS2 console was going to be an entertainment system, but not just for video games. DVDs were huge in the early 2000s, and PlayStation 2 brought to the foray a multimedia system that doubled as a DVD player. The data format allowed for bigger games, too, making humungous series that looked like cinematic masterpieces, including Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, God of War, Shadow of the Colossus and Grand Theft Auto III.
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To add to that, it has a long line of outputs, which means you get more options with this than with the earlier models that did not have this exciting and useful opportunity. You can, for example, connect a pair of earphones to it, which makes it possible to talk and listen to the audio at the same time. This means that when you sit and play, you feel even more immersed in the game, and you forget the time and the place, and the only thing that exists in this moment is just this game and this unique universe you have jumped into.

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.


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.
All major gaming consoles give you an impressive mix of cross-platform and exclusive games, from Gears of War to Fifa 16. If you’re keen on multiplayer action, the Xbox offers you Xbox Live, allowing you to hook up online with the worldwide Xbox player community. Across all of our major gaming consoles, jaw-dropping graphics combine with substantial system memory so you can download and store games, videos, music and more for a complete home entertainment system.
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