Nintendo's Wii was released in North America on November 19, 2006, in Japan on December 2, 2006, in Australia on December 7, 2006, and in Europe on December 8, 2006. It is bundled with Wii Sports in all regions except for Japan. Unlike the other systems of the seventh generation, the Wii does not support an internal hard drive, but instead uses 512 MB of internal Flash memory and includes support for removable SD card storage. It also has a maximum resolution output of 480p, making it the only seventh generation console not able to output high-definition graphics. Along with its lower price, the Wii is notable for its unique controller, the Wii Remote, which resembles a TV remote. The system uses a "sensor bar" that emits infrared light that is detected by an infrared camera in the Wii Remote to determine orientation relative to the source of the light. All models, other than the Wii Family Edition and the Wii Mini, are backwards compatible with GameCube games and support up to four GameCube controllers and two memory cards. It also includes the Virtual Console, which allows the purchase and downloading of games from older systems, including those of former competitors. In 2009, Nintendo introduced the 'Wii MotionPlus' expansion, which uses the same technology as the console previously used, but with enhanced motion tracking and sensing to improve gameplay quality.
A video game console is a standardized computing device tailored for video gaming that requires a monitor or television set as an output. These self-contained pieces of electronic equipment weigh between 2 and 9 pounds (1–4 kg) on average, and their compact size allows them to be easily used in a variety of locations with an electrical outlet. 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. Each are usually developed by a single business organization. Dedicated consoles are a subset of these devices only able to play built-in games. Gaming consoles in general are also described as "dedicated" in distinction from the more versatile personal computer and other consumer electronics. 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.
The Sega Dreamcast was considered one of the most innovative consoles of its time. It was the first gaming system with a built-in modem for online play and Internet support. Creative games like the fast-paced Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio (along with the cinematic experience of Shenmue) opened a new world of gaming innovation. Before the XBOX entered the fray, Microsoft offered support to the system, and HALO was originally planned for it. Sadly, on January 31, 2001, Sega announced the discontinuation of the Dreamcast. There is still a dedicated fan base for the Sega Dreamcast where a small handful of independent developers are still making homebrew games for the system.
Whether you want to play games online or watch Netflix, you need to connect your game system to the internet. The Xbox One uses Xbox Live, and the PlayStation 4 uses the PlayStation Network to access online services. In both cases, you need to purchase the premium subscription plan (Xbox Live Gold for Xbox Live, PS Plus for PlayStation Network) to play games online. Both services cost $9.99 per month or $59.99 per year (the better deal by far), and include additional benefits like free games every month.
Sony's PlayStation 3 was released in Japan on November 11, 2006, in North America on November 17, 2006, and in Europe and Australia on March 23, 2007. All PlayStation 3's come with a hard drive and are able to play Blu-ray Disc games and Blu-ray Disc movies out of the box. The PlayStation 3 was the first video game console to support HDMI output out of the box, using full 1080p resolution. Up to seven controllers can connect to the console using Bluetooth. There are 6 discontinued versions of the PS3: a 20 GB HDD version (discontinued in North America and Japan, and was never released in PAL territories), a 40 GB HDD version (discontinued), a 60 GB HDD version (discontinued in North America, Japan and PAL territories), 80 GB HDD version (only in some NTSC territories and PAL territories), a "slim" 120GB HDD version (discontinued), and a "slim" 250 GB version (discontinued). The two current shipping versions of the PlayStation 3 are: a "slim" 160 GB HDD version and a "slim" 320 GB HDD version. The hard drive can be replaced with any standard 2.5" Serial ATA drive and the system has support for removable media storage, such as Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, USB, SD, MiniSD, and CompactFlash (CF) digital media, but only the PlayStation versions up to 80 GB support this. The slim PlayStation 3 consoles (120 GB and up) had removable storage discontinued. All models are backward compatible with the original PlayStation's software library, and the launch models, since discontinued, are also backward compatible with PlayStation 2 games. As a cost-cutting measure, later models removed the Emotion Engine, making them incompatible with PlayStation 2 discs. In 2010, Sony released PlayStation Move, allowing for motion-controlled games. With recent software updates, the PlayStation 3 can play 3D Blu-ray movies and 3D games.
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.
Although fully developed, functional, and with 2 games ready, the few Halcyon units that exist were handmade for investors of the company to try out the product, it is not believed that it ever went into full production or entered the market at all. Less than 12 Main Control Units (Halcyon 200LD, the console itself) are known to exist, but more Halcyon branded Laserdisc players (LD-700, made by Pioneer) exist.
The Nintendo Switch is a very unique case. It works both as a home console and a handheld, with two Joy-Con controllers that connect wirelessly to the system or snap onto the sides when you want to play on the go. They generally feel very good, though the direction buttons on the left Joy-Con aren't nearly as responsive or comfortable as the more conventional direction pads on the DualShock 4 or Xbox One controllers. The Joy-Cons pack some remarkable technology into their small cases, though, including an infrared camera, an NFC reader for Nintendo's Amiibo figures, and the most precise rumble effect we've seen yet. You can also use the Joy-Cons in a gamepad-like grip, or with one in each hand for an incredibly freeing, comfortable gaming experience.
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.
With the original look and feel of the 16-bit home console (only smaller) the Super NES Classic acts as a sort of timepiece for when gaming was reaching its peaks. Some of the best two-player games of its era are included and ready to play, such as Super Mario Kart and Street Fighter II Turbo. Defining games such as Megaman X, Earthbound, Kirby Super Star and Super Mario RPG return, too. Any gamer wanting to relive their youth or introduce new gamers to a simpler time when the Internet was first starting should get the Super NES classic. Included are two wired Super NES Classic controllers for multiplayer action.
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.
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".
While it doesn’t quite have the oomph to play the latest 4K, 60 fps releases for Xbox One or PS4, the Switch can play Doom (2016) at a smooth 30 fps anywhere you want to, and that’s more than good enough for a lot of gamers. In addition to contemporary titles like the Wolfenstein II port, the Switch has also proved itself as a fantastic venue for reviving modern classics, such as Skyrim, L.A. Noire, and Dark Souls Remastered.
It also comes with new exclusive game titles, additional buttons and a lower price, making it a smart choice for both seasoned gamers and new Nintendo fans. The redesign of the 2DS, in comparison with the 3DS, is mostly physical. Certain features, like the speakers, card slot, stylus and power button, were relocated. It has additional new buttons, including an analog C stick and secondary trigger ZL/ZR buttons to enhance gameplay. The clamshell’s hinge now protrudes behind the device, instead of being more internally hidden, and houses the front-facing camera and microphones. This destroys the clean lines of the 2DS XL when closed and makes selfies look awkward unless you take that into account and adjust the angle. The included stylus is much smaller than its previous iteration, making it slightly harder for adults to grip. However, Nintendo’s choice to completely omit the 3D display makes the device less top-heavy and more balanced and easier to hold. In fact, the 2DS XL is thinner and lighter overall, making it easier to hold for lengthy gaming sessions. All existing DS and 3DS games can be played, though now only in 2D. New exclusive titles that launched with the 2DS XL include Xenoblade Chronicles and Fire Emblem Warriors, as well as the Super NES Virtual Console games.
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.
Looking at the system's library (which is nearing 2,000 titles at the time of this writing), there are a number of games that were not only breakout releases, but have defined what we're playing today. Grand Theft Auto III and Guitar Hero are two that paved the way for some of this generation's most popular genres, and when you're talking about software as an art form, you needn't look any further than titles like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.
"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."
You need a good gamepad to play games, and both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have them. The Xbox One gamepad is a slightly updated version of the Xbox 360 controller, with a more rounded feel and trigger buttons that offer individual force feedback. The DualShock 4, the PS4's gamepad, is a completely overhauled controller that keeps the best parts of the DualShock 3 and fixes the worst. The analog sticks feel better, the triggers are more responsive, and the controller just feels nicer in the hand. It even features a built-in speaker and a potentially useful touchpad in the middle.
The rapid-fire pace of technology means video game consoles are always changing, from the styling of the controls to the introduction of new video games. Through the ongoing evolution, you can rely on game consoles, such as Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation, to deliver amazingly realistic graphics, dynamic sound quality, and supercharged play. From wireless controls to sleek console design, the video game consoles at RAC represent some of the more advanced gaming innovations available today.
The Wii U is the gaming console between the classic Wii and the latest Nintendo Switch. It’s one of those consoles that you might love or hate. Most people prefer to wait for the Switch, but Wii U has some features that Switch notably lacks. It’s better than the Wii and has backward compatibility Switch lacks. Also, as the older console, Wii U is more affordable than the Switch. That being said, as all Wiis go, the Wii U is highly family friendly. This is the best gaming console if you want to enjoy an interactive game with kids.
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.
PlayStation has always been known for listening to their users and taking their input and advice into consideration and development of the products they offer. That is why they have also used this input in the development of joysticks and triggers. They have been re-designed based on specific advice and tips that users have come up with. They have a surface that makes it easier to hold them and they do not glide or slip out of your hands when you play.
Ralph Baer's original Odyssey is the machine that started the home videogame industry. Others may have popularized it beyond measure, such as the Atari 2600 and NES, but the Odyssey series is truly the genesis. The Odyssey was limited, though (all games were onboard, the paddle-like controller was clumsy compared to the joystick), and so Magnavox, the manufacturer of the console, pressed forward with the Odyssey 2. It aped the blockbuster Atari 2600 -- now its chief rival in 1978 -- in many ways, such as using the then-traditional one-button joystick and interchangeable cartridges. While the Odyssey 2's resolution is lower than the 2600, the console surpassed Atari’s in a handful of technical areas -- such as the out-of-the-box inclusion of a full keyboard for easy programming and edutainment software and the availability of an optional speech synthesizer.
"When no amount of solder could salvage my aging 2600, in 1986 I needed a replacement. My mom suggested the 7800 since it played the older games as well as new ones. I bought one with my paper route money and was happy with my purchase...until a week later when Nintendo started airing the "Now You're Playing With Power" commercials and showing Super Mario Bros., an arcade game I was currently playing at a 7-eleven game room. "
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.
The first handheld game console released in the fourth generation was the Game Boy, on April 21, 1989. It went on to dominate handheld sales by an extremely large margin, despite featuring a low-contrast, unlit monochrome screen while all three of its leading competitors had color. Three major franchises made their debut on the Game Boy: Tetris, the Game Boy's killer application; Pokémon; and Kirby. With some design (Game Boy Pocket, Game Boy Light) and hardware (Game Boy Color) changes, it continued in production in some form until 2008, enjoying a better than 18-year run. The Atari Lynx included hardware-accelerated color graphics, a backlight, and the ability to link up to sixteen units together in an early example of network play when its competitors could only link 2 or 4 consoles (or none at all), but its comparatively short battery life (approximately 4.5 hours on a set of alkaline cells, versus 35 hours for the Game Boy), high price, and weak games library made it one of the worst-selling handheld game systems of all time, with less than 500,000 units sold.