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.
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.
Though it is admittedly strange-looking and we can’t begin to fathom what the designers were thinking when creating the controller, the Magnavox Odyssey still ranks amongst the best systems of all time for one simple reason: it was the absolute first commercial home gaming console. In fact, though Pong is technically a separate IP, the Odyssey featured the first ping-pong style video game. Truth be told, the short list of games for the system, numbered 28 in total, were more like novelties than the fully-fledged experiences of later consoles. Whatever the case, this Magnavox-built gaming machine was revolutionary, and that makes it special.

Game systems in the eighth generation also faced increasing competition from mobile device platforms such as Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems. Smartphone ownership was estimated to reach roughly a quarter of the world's population by the end of 2014.[61] The proliferation of low-cost games for these devices, such as Angry Birds with over 2 billion downloads worldwide,[62] presents a new challenge to classic video game systems. Microconsoles, cheaper stand-alone devices designed to play games from previously established platforms, also increased options for consumers. Many of these projects were spurred on by the use of new crowdfunding techniques through sites such as Kickstarter. Notable competitors include the GamePop, OUYA, GameStick Android-based systems, the PlayStation TV, the NVIDIA SHIELD and Steam Machines.[63]
If you or your child wants to play games such as Destiny, Battlefield or Fifa with friends online, check which consoles those friends have. If you buy your daughter a PS4 and it turns out all her friends have Xbox Ones, it will be harder for her to join and chat with them in-game. Xbox One and PS4 charge monthly fees for accessing online play, but the services are very reliable and offer in-depth parental controls.

The Xbox 360 has a special place in the hearts of many gamers as the console that really boosted the Xbox brand. The console comes with the famed black wireless controller which you can directly connect to the internet. There’s no need for cable issues like with the Playstations of yore. Also, this console has a whopping 500GB of memory. That’s as much memory as a $500 laptop. You can definitely store dozens of titles and still never run out of memory. The 360 is well designed for hardcore gamers. It’s affordable and you will definitely not regret your purchase.
Inevitably, the Atari 5200 was crushed beneath the technological weight of the ColecoVision, which boasted a jaw-dropping 3.58MHz processor, but when it went the way of the dinosaur, the Atari 5200 left behind the its legacy of four controller ports console design and, of course, the analog joystick. Sure, the Atari 5200 analog stick may have been terrible, but every great idea has to start somewhere, and in the case of the analog controller, it was here.
Order the Xbox One X Battlefield V Gold Rush Special Edition Bundle and enter mankind's greatest conflict: World War 2. Join the ranks on the unique Gold Rush special edition console with full-game downloads of Battlefield V Deluxe Edition, Battlefield 1943, and Battlefield 1 Revolution, one month of EA Access, plus a matching wireless controller. All games require Xbox Live Gold, sold separately.
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.
Order the Xbox One X Battlefield V Gold Rush Special Edition Bundle and enter mankind's greatest conflict: World War 2. Join the ranks on the unique Gold Rush special edition console with full-game downloads of Battlefield V Deluxe Edition, Battlefield 1943, and Battlefield 1 Revolution, one month of EA Access, plus a matching wireless controller. All games require Xbox Live Gold, sold separately.

In adventure games the puzzle is in focus. In this genre the player is presented with a mystery which has to be solved by investigating the environment and talking with characters in the game. There are many types of these games, but most often they involve a detective team that tries to uncover hidden connections in the world of the game. In adventure games the central activity is to collect and combine objects and information to get access to more of the background story.
The library of original titles introduced on the PlayStation can read like a history lesson in videogames. The likes of Metal Gear Solid, Gran Turismo, Resident Evil, Tony Hawk and much, much more were seen here for the first time, and these franchises continue to be some of the biggest in all of gaming. Were it not for the PlayStation, a number of genres that we take for granted these days may never have come to fruition, or at least been popularized so well.
Each console on the list ahead was selected for its influence on the industry and the gaming culture as a whole, with special consideration for their benchmark titles, peripherals, monetary success, and total hardware sold. But beyond sales figures and critical reception, one of the biggest contributing factors in our ranking process was our lasting impressions of each console, and how it contributed to our love for gaming and inspired us to become involved in the industry.
Xbox One: With comparable performance to PS4 but a narrower selection of exclusive games, this console adds the ability to play 4K Blu-ray discs, to control your TV viewing and to connect with your PC (via the Xbox Play Anywhere feature), making it a good choice for people who want the console as a 4K media hub as well as to play games. It also has admirable accessibility support.
The PlayStation 4 Pro version antes up the frame rates for its PS4 games – many to 60 fps – bringing 4K high definition gaming and video streaming, as well as twice the GPU power of a standard PS4. The PlayStation 4’s huge library includes 1,648 games, all of which can be played in HD with its Pro version. The system is also good for its multimedia functionality, playing Blu-ray discs, as well as streaming TV, music and more with dedicated apps and downloadable games on its PlayStation Store. Due to its popularity, there’s always someone willing to play online with you, so you’ll never miss out on the fun.
^ Jump up to: a b Bandai released three WonderSwan iterations.[61] A March 2003 Famitsu article reported the original (March 1999)[62] and color (December 2000)[62] versions sold approximately 3 million units combined,[63] while the SwanCrystal (July 2002)[61] sold over 200 thousand units.[63] Bandai announced the transition from hardware to third-party development in February 2003 due to declining sales and will supply software to the competitor's Game Boy Advance by March 2004.[64] Average weekly Famitsu sales during the transition were only a couple hundred units,[1] and the SwanCrystal went build to order starting in autumn 2003.[63] WonderSwan hardware designer Koto claimed over 3.5 million were sold.[65]
The massive popularity of Let's Plays on YouTube and game streaming on Twitch has brought capturing game footage to the mainstream, so both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 feature built-in capture options. The Kinect lets you record clips just by saying "Xbox, record that," and thanks to the latest update you can easily capture what you're playing just by double-tapping the Xbox button on your gamepad and pressing X or Y to save a screenshot or video clip. You can also snap the Game DVR app to the side of the screen to record up to five minutes of footage on demand.
At Rent-A-Center, you have your pick of state-of-the-art game consoles, including the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. How do you know which rent-to-own video game console to select? It comes down to comfort, ease of control, and the selection of video games. The best way to determine if you prefer the Xbox or PlayStation is to stop by your nearest Rent-A-Center location to try the gaming systems.
Xbox One: With comparable performance to PS4 but a narrower selection of exclusive games, this console adds the ability to play 4K Blu-ray discs, to control your TV viewing and to connect with your PC (via the Xbox Play Anywhere feature), making it a good choice for people who want the console as a 4K media hub as well as to play games. It also has admirable accessibility support.
Everything started with a collaboration with Nintendo. The first game console was introduced in 1994. An innovative platform that brought CD-ROM as a data storage into the market. Marketing was targeted at 15-30-year-old men – and not the children audience that consoles were traditionally oriented towards. This strategy showed to be a huge success and was therefore maintained in connection with the launch of Playstation 2 that came out in 2000. The bestseller sold over 140 million copies. The third one in the series came out in 2007, the forth in 2013.
It's also worth mentioning that like the PlayStation 2 and DVDs before it, the PlayStation 3 put Blu-ray players into millions of homes world-wide and helped it overtake HD-DVD as the HD format war winner. Coupled with downloadable videos via the PlayStation Network, the PlayStation 3 also serves as much more than a gaming device, which is certainly a plus.
Nowadays, it’s the industry standard that new consoles have internet connectivity and basic online multiplayer abilities for other users of that same console. However, at least for the time being, you cannot play with a friend who owns a different console than you. Xbox Live, Microsoft’s online multiplayer network, only works with other recent Xbox consoles; the PlayStation Network – Sony’s equivalent – is similarly restricted as is Nintendo Switch Online. Even playing with people who are on older systems isn’t really a possibility at this point.

But knowledge of this, along with adjusting the parental controls on your console, makes any game console infinitely more kid-friendly. Beyond that, it comes down to game selection: If a console doesn’t have a variety of kid-friendly games, it probably isn’t the best choice for the family room. A handful of games on the Xbox and PlayStation are great for kids, but again, neither console is really geared toward children.
In strategy games, the focus is not on a single character, but on a whole army. Just like role-playing games, they take their point of departure in the classic fiction genres like fantasy and science fiction, but there are also many strategy games based on historical events. Strategy games are about putting together the right units and using them strategically. Here the central activity consists of being economical with the resources, prioritizing certain units and leading them into battle. Many strategy games can be played online, but not in the same way as MMORPG. In online role-playing games the virtual world is permanent: the world continues to exist even when the player leaves. In online strategy games the world is temporary: it is created by a group of players within a single gameplay, and it ceases to exist when the last player has gone out.
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[81] (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.[82] 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).[83] 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.
There are three major consoles: the Sony PlayStation 4, the Microsoft Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch. The PS4 and Xbox One are very similar in terms of technology (they’re basically mid-range PCs), providing high-end graphical performance, especially if you purchase the more expensive PS4 Pro or Xbox One X, which include full support for 4K television displays. Both machines also let you easily stream your gaming online so others can watch, if you have teens who care about that.

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.


NEC brought the first fourth-generation console to market with their PC Engine (or TurboGrafx16) when Hudson Soft approached them with an advanced graphics chip. Hudson had previously approached Nintendo, only to be rebuffed by a company still raking in the profits of the NES. The TurboGrafx used the unusual HuCard format to store games. The small size of these proprietary cards allowed NEC to re-release the console as a handheld game console. The PC Engine enjoyed brisk sales in Japan, but its North American counterpart, the TurboGrafx, lagged behind the competition. The console never saw an official release in Europe, but clones and North American imports were available in some markets starting in 1990. NEC advertised their console as "16-bit" to highlight its advances over the NES. This started the trend of all subsequent fourth generations consoles being advertised as 16 bit. Many people still refer to this generation as the 16-bit generation and often refer to the third generation as "8-bit".
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