Sony's PlayStation 2 was released in Japan on March 4, 2000, in North America on October 26, 2000, in Europe on November 24, 2000, and in Australia on November 30, 2000. It was the follow-up to its highly successful PlayStation and was also the first home game console to be able to play DVDs. As was done with the original PlayStation in 2000, Sony redesigned the console in 2004 into a smaller version. As of November 21, 2011 over 140 million PlayStation 2 units have been sold. This makes it the best selling home console of all time to date.
It isn't difficult to prove why the software lineup was so successful considering the recent release and success of Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection. Just tick down the list and you'll find a bundle of absolutely brilliant games. The Phantasy Star and Shining Force series combined to offer role playing options that were equal to, if not better than anything available from the competition and titles like Ecco the Dolphin and Comix Zone offered dashes of edgy action that were highly original at the time.
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 Switch is for people who really like Nintendo’s own games. Although other publishers do occasionally support the console (Switch can run Fortnite and Minecraft, for example) it’s the beautiful homegrown titles, such as Super Mario, Mario Kart and The Legend of Zelda, that most Switch owners are here for. Its online store is also packed with most of the best smaller independent games of the past few years.
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.
"By the time the Atari 7800 launched, it looked like old news to me. I was hooked on my Commodore 64 and the NES was exploding. However, all that changed when the 7800 became the only place to play one of my all-time favorite arcade games: Food Fight. Then I suddenly coveted the console. It became my "Food Fight machine" that also happened to play pretty good ports of Joust, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, and Xevious."
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.
Alternatively known as the PC Engine (which is a better and more approachable name, in our opinion), the TurboGrafx-16 was originally developed to compete with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and was the first console released in the 16-bit era of gaming. It was also marketed as a 16-bit console, though it actually functioned on an 8-bit CPU. The confusion over the name, the deception in regards to performance, and poor marketing across the board led to this system failing to break into the American market effectively. And it didn’t help that it eventually had to compete with the Genesis and Super NES, the two best consoles to come out of the era. All told, the system was a valiant effort, thwarted mostly by circumstance.
You don’t have to buy the current machines if all you fancy is a few hours of nostalgic button bashing. Nintendo has released two retro machines, The Mini NES (£50) and Mini SNES (£70), which both provide more than 20 built-in games, while Sony’s PlayStation Classic (£90) comes crammed with favourites from the original PlayStation. Nothing brings a family together at Christmas like Double Dragon II: The Revenge.
The Odyssey initially sold about 100,000 units, making it moderately successful, and it was not until Atari's arcade game Pong popularized video games that the public began to take more notice of the emerging industry. By autumn 1975, Magnavox, bowing to the popularity of Pong, canceled the Odyssey and released a scaled-down version that played only Pong and hockey, the Odyssey 100. A second, "higher end" console, the Odyssey 200, was released with the 100 and added on-screen scoring, up to four players, and a third game—Smash. Almost simultaneously released with Atari's own home Pong console through Sears, these consoles jump-started the consumer market. All three of the new consoles used simpler designs than the original Odyssey did with no board game pieces or extra cartridges. In the years that followed, the market saw many companies rushing similar consoles to market. After General Instrument released their inexpensive microchips, each containing a complete console on a single chip, many small developers began releasing consoles that looked different externally, but internally were playing exactly the same games. Most of the consoles from this era were dedicated consoles playing only the games that came with the console. These video game consoles were often just called video games because there was little reason to distinguish the two yet. While a few companies like Atari, Magnavox, and newcomer Coleco pushed the envelope, the market became flooded with simple, similar video games.