"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. "

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According to a recent report completed by the Entertainment Software Association in 2018, 64 percent of U.S. households own at least one gaming device, and 60 percent of Americans play video games daily. And though gamers are predominantly male, gamers of all ages and genders are present in the study. The report also shows that consumers spent $36 billion on the gaming industry in 2017, predominantly on content.
Even if you look at it from just a numbers standpoint, it’s clear that the PlayStation 4 is the reigning champion of the current generation of video game consoles, beating out the Xbox One in sales by a rate of about 3-to-1. It gets a boost, too, due to the fact that the PS4 boasts better base performance figures, has some of the best exclusives available right now, and has an extremely active social community on the PSN. We’re also very fond of the fact that Sony has embraced the future of gaming in the form of PSVR – though we’d like to see more titles for the peripheral gear. If this is a sign of things to come, we might be watching the beginning of the end for Microsoft as a console developer.
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".
In 1996, Nintendo released the Game Boy Pocket: a smaller, lighter unit that required fewer batteries. It has space for two AAA batteries, which provide approximately 10 hours of game play.[41] Although, like its predecessor, the Game Boy Pocket has no backlight to allow play in a darkened area, it did notably improve visibility and pixel response-time (mostly eliminating ghosting).[42] The Game Boy Pocket was not a new software platform and played the same software as the original Game Boy model.[43]

Home computers have long used magnetic storage devices. Both tape drives and floppy disk drives were common on early microcomputers. Their popularity is in large part because a tape drive or disk drive can write to any material it can read. However, magnetic media is volatile and can be more easily damaged than game cartridges or optical discs.[88] Among the first consoles to use magnetic media were the Bally Astrocade and APF-M1000, both of which could use cassette tapes through expansions. In Bally's case, this allowed the console to see new game development even after Bally dropped support for it. While magnetic media remained limited in use as a primary form of distribution, three popular subsequent consoles also had expansions available to allow them to use this format. The Starpath Supercharger can load Atari 2600 games from audio cassettes; Starpath used it to cheaply distribute their own games from 1982 to 1984 and today it is used by many programmers to test, distribute, and play homebrew software. The Disk System, a floppy disk-reading add-on to the Famicom (as the NES was known in Japan), was released by Nintendo in 1986 for the Japanese market. Nintendo sold the disks cheaply and sold vending machines where customers could have new games written to their disks up to 500 times.[89] In 1999, Nintendo released another Japan-only floppy disk add-on, the Nintendo 64DD, for the Nintendo 64.
"I credit PlayStation for my enduring fighting game obsession. My buddies and I started with the idiot Tekken 2, graduated to Street Fighter Alpha 3 where I learned the uselessness of combo memorization, moseyed over to Dead or Alive because we were teenage boys, and eventually settled on Guilty Gear. My friends are brothers, and trash talk often ended in fraternal violence. Good times."
Surf the Web: The PS3 includes a cool Web browser (developed by Sony) that lets you surf the Web right out of the box. The Wii has an optional Web browser called the Internet Channel that you can download from the online Wii store for about $5. The Internet Channel is actually a special version of the Opera browser, and it works really well — a number of Web sites (such as Google’s Google Reader RSS reader program) have been optimized for the Wii Internet Channel and the Wii Remote (which acts just like a computer mouse when you’re surfing the Web). Unfortunately, the Xbox 360 doesn’t have a Web browser.
NEC had a hit on its hands in Japan with the PC Engine in 1987, a console that regularly outsold the Famicom (the Japanese NES) and wanted to replicate that success in America. So it turned to a marketing company to repackage the underpowered 16-bit machine and go head-to-head with the dominant players in America: Nintendo and SEGA. Perhaps it was the lack of third-party support. Perhaps it was the absolutely goofy inter-capped name TurboGrafx-16. Whatever the culprit, the Turbo just never made a dent in the American market.
The hybrid design system of the Switch isn’t a gimmick. You can plug the Switch to a TV, unlike any other portable console that came before. Once plugged in, you can play multiplayer games like the ever amazing Mario Kart. The control paddles are removable, so you can use it as a conventional gaming console. Plus, multiple people can join in on the play with a single console. You will have to pay for Nintendo’s online multiplayer games, but it’s far cheaper than what the Xbox Live offers. The Switch is really a one of a kind gaming console you can own and there’s none other like it in the market right now.
Shepherded to market in 1977 by visionary Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, and his head engineer Allan Alcorn, the Atari 2600 was the second home videogame console to use removable, programmable cartridges instead of being a dedicated machine like Atari's own Pong (The Fairchild F beat Atari to the punch by a year). The system was not an immediate success, though. It wasn't until 1979 when the videogame craze truly exploded did the 2600 begin its meteoric path. Atari was quick to license popular arcade games for the machine like Space Invaders, Missile Command, and Pac-Man, which also helped it become the dominant console in American living rooms. By 1982, the 2600 was a $2 billion business for Atari.
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.
A few years ago, Sony launched the Playstation VR, a virtual reality headset designed for both the PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro. We really like it, since it's the least expensive and most comfortable of the big-name tethered VR headsets. The selection of games is also pretty strong for new technology; Rez Infinite is a must-play, revelatory experience in VR (which is amazing when you consider it's an updated version of a 15-year-old game). Rigs: Mechanized Combat League and Battlezone are both very fun, fully developed VR titles where you control big mechanical weapons. And for a standalone expansion that heavily reuses assets, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is a surprisingly fun and visually stunning horror rail shooter.
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.
"My best friend had an Odyssey 2, and I have to say that even though I loved my Atari 2600, I secretly wanted his console as well. K.C. Munchkin was so much better than Pac-Man, Pick Axe Pete was way beyond Donkey Kong on the 2600, and Smithereens was one of the most fun two-player games I had ever played at the time. It may not be as well-known as the Atari 2600, but I will always remember the Odyssey 2 with kind regard."
^ Associated Press (October 19, 1985). "Coleco's Net In Sharp Rise". The New York Times. p. 45. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 13, 2014. Thursday, Coleco said the entire inventory of its troubled Adam personal computer has been sold, along with much of its Colecovision inventory. The company's chairman, Arnold Greenberg, said Coleco expects no more charges against earnings from the two discontinued products.

The Switch also has the advantage of third-party controllers. The PS4 and Xbox One are very dedicated to their first-party gamepads, with only a few third-party wired options available unless you want to shell out a significant amount of money for a SCUF or Evil Controllers product. The Switch features the first-party option of the excellent Switch Pro Controller, which feels very similar to the Xbox One wireless controller, and works with third-party gamepads from 8Bitdo and Hori. The ability to switch out your Joy-Cons for an 8Bitdo SN30 Pro or Switch Pro Controller is a huge boon, along with the sheer flexibility afforded by the Joy-Cons themselves.
PlayStation 4 Pro is the newest addition to the product range and is an amazing and powerful game console: when you turn the camera over the landscapes, when the explosions are blasting in your ears and when the speed is up on the seventh gear, you feel it. PlayStation 4 Pro is a sharper game experience, the colours catch your eye, and thanks to the higher resolution, GPU-power and more frames per second you get a gaming experience that reminds of that of high-end gaming computers. PlayStation 4 Pro is for you, who goes all in. For you, who plays on console but has missed the depth and GPU-power that you get when gaming on a PC.
During its lifetime, Game Boy would face and beat multiple contenders in the mobile gaming market like Sega’s Game Gear and the Atari Lynx. Its launch included hit titles like Super Mario Land, Baseball and Tetris. Players could even buy a cable link to play multiplayer games. Along the way, the chubby grey console got a smaller model called the Game Boy Pocket and a colored iteration called the Game Boy Color. If you’ve ever wondered why games are on smartphones, just look to the Game Boy. 

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. 

^ 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]
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.

The Nintendo 64 and the GameCube were capable, sustainable consoles with excellent support and fantastic games, but the increased competition from Microsoft and Sony made it difficult for Nintendo to see the same victory it did in the previous years. After two attempts to repeat the success it had with the NES and Super NES, Nintendo decided to shake things up and offer gaming experiences that stray from the expected.
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:

If you ever wondered why we have ESRB ratings, you can blame the Sega Genesis. The console was marketed more towards the big boys and can be seen in the subtle differences in cross platform games; Mortal Kombat for Genesis has blood compared to the SNES. Sega’s games carried a different tonality to the market, too – Sonic The Hedgehog brought faster game play; Streets of Rage gave players nitty-gritty beat ‘em ups; and multiple sports games series with leagues like the NHL, NFL, NBA and FIFA. Sega would later introduce the well-received six-button control pad that’d replicate the arcade button scheme joysticks for gaming familiarity.
The Atari 7800 was a sleek and capable videogame console released in 1986. While it had a solid offering of its own games, the 7800 featured a prime system feature: full, built-in compatibility with the Atari 2600. While consoles of the past could play Atari 2600 games through the use of an optional adapter, the 7800 accepted these cartridges right in the main slot and played them without any extra add-ons.

Perhaps more than anything else, the Saturn was a gem for importers and hardcore gamers. The hardware's architecture made it inferior to the PlayStation for three dimensional games (like the popular Tomb Raider) but many proud Saturn owners knew that it was the only console to enjoy the best versions of many 2D fighters, just ask any real Street Fighter fan.
"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."
"Nice !...Love it...I mean in order to play multiple player game you have to buy xbox live playstation too I got for friday the 13th game if I got a newer laptop n pc version of game id save a bundle in long run but like few apps...Was a little upset I bought a xbox brand new and the remote not work, the xbox powered on when I turned it on by the xbox not the remote."
Upon its first reveal, the Nintendo Switch marketed itself as a mobile gaming system that not only could be played at home on your television, but also carried around and playable wherever you go. Nintendo’s innovative console makes playing on the go easy and comes with a disassembling controller with split screen options, so you can play with friends.
Nintendo lags behind its competitors in raw power, but makes up for it in form factor. The Switch is a small tablet rather than a bigger, blocky console, and you can play it on the go with its built-in 720p screen. The compromise comes in a resolution that tops out at 1080p when connected to a TV, and generally poorer performance in terms of frame rate and effects than the PS4 and Xbox One.

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.


Marketing speak aside, the system was, indeed, a capable piece of hardware when compared to the generation it was intended to compete with: it definitely surpassed the Genesis and Super NES in 2D and 3D capabilities. The controller revisited gaming ideals of a previous gaming generation with its keypad and game specific overlays, something familiar to those that grew up on the Intellivision, Atari 5200 or Colecovision. It also offered the potential for CD gaming with a future add-on that seamlessly docked right on top of the main system.
Several consoles such as the Master System and the TurboGrafx-16 have used different types of smart cards as an external medium. These cards function similar to simple cartridges. Information is stored on a chip that is housed in plastic. Cards are more compact and simpler than cartridges, though. This makes them cheaper to produce and smaller, but limits what can be done with them. Cards cannot hold extra components, and common cartridge techniques like bank switching (a technique used to create very large games) were impossible to miniaturize into a card in the late 1980s.[84][85] Compact Discs reduced much of the need for cards. Optical Discs can hold more information than cards, and are cheaper to produce. The Nintendo GameCube and the PlayStation 2 use memory cards for storage, but the PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo Switch are currently the only modern systems to use cards for game distribution. Nintendo has long used cartridges with their Game Boy line of hand held consoles because of their durability, small size, stability (not shaking and vibrating the handheld when it is in use), and low battery consumption. Nintendo switched to cards starting with the DS, because advances in memory technology made putting extra memory on the cartridge unnecessary.[86] The PlayStation Vita uses Sony's own proprietary flash-memory Vita cards as one method of game distribution.[87]
^ Associated Press (October 19, 1985). "Coleco's Net In Sharp Rise". The New York Times. p. 45. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 13, 2014. Thursday, Coleco said the entire inventory of its troubled Adam personal computer has been sold, along with much of its Colecovision inventory. The company's chairman, Arnold Greenberg, said Coleco expects no more charges against earnings from the two discontinued products.
"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."
As the name suggests, shooter games are about shooting. You have to be fast on the trigger. This applies, no matter if you are on a space station far into the future or at the front in the Second World War, where the bullets are flying past your ears. Shoot or be shot. That is the essence of it. Shooter games are often played with others, and here is where the game activity becomes about more than just mastering the techniques. For example, when playing in a team, it is also important to coordinate your actions with teammates and complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Gaming consoles are designed primarily for adults, as they can advertise mature games with scary or inappropriate content. Additionally, their interfaces can be rather utilitarian, making them hard for young children to use. Also, if you save your credit card information on the system for game purchases, it may be easy for your child to buy games without your permission. Some consoles have media streaming apps on them as well, making it easy for your kids to access shows or movies they shouldn’t view.

^ Buchanan, Levi (March 20, 2009). "Genesis vs. SNES: By the Numbers". IGN. Retrieved October 31, 2013. Nintendo moved 49.1 million Super NES consoles over the course of the generation and beyond, far surpassing the Genesis, which sold a still impressive 29 million units. [...] The Master System sold an anemic 13 million to the NES count of 62 million.
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The second contribution, Xbox Live, proved a testbed for the version that's become so beloved on Xbox 360. Though the SEGA Dreamcast had broadband gameplay, Xbox's Live service was the first that managed to capture a high level of quality among a large number of games. It gave us the first iteration of a Friends List and even had a few Xbox Live Arcade titles. The service kicked off with MechAssault and continues on through Halo 2, a game which is still played online by hundreds of thousands of gamers. With Live, the Xbox showed us the future of console gaming.
"I remember being the first of the game magazines to get a demo of the 3DO "Interactive Multiplayer" from Trip Hawkins for VideoGames & Computer Entertainment magazine. Trip is a great marketing guy, and I was fascinated by his presentation. However, despite the cool concept and some decent games, it was clear an $800 game system was never going to compete."
More than just a clearance house for lightly-aged AAA titles, the Switch also offers an ever-growing catalog of fantastic first-party games like Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as well as excellent indies such as Stardew Valley, Celeste, and Dead Cells. Add in some forward-looking experiments with Nintendo Labo, and the Switch is looking like an incredibly well-rounded platform with something unique to offer everyone.
Despite its astronomical asking price, however, the 3DO boasted an impressive library of games and a wide variety of peripherals. Although the system was lacking in the exclusive games department, it did offer some of the most popular iterations of many big-franchise ports, such as Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo. The 3DO was also among one of the first systems to undergo several hardware iterations, produced independently by several big name manufacturers, such as Sanyo and Goldstar. Other innovations of the 3DO include daisy-chainable controllers, and surround sound audio support.
One of the Master System's quirkiest (and coolest) features, though, was the 3D Glasses peripheral. The thick, wraparound shades may have looked a little clunky from the outside, but the effect was positively stunning. Sadly, like the Master System itself, the peripheral was under-supported with just over a half-dozen games, including Maze Hunter 3D and Space Harrier 3D.
As its second disc-based console, SEGA sought to learn from the mistakes it made with the Saturn with the Dreamcast. The Dreamcast marked a comprehensive overhaul of SEGA's marketing and design strategy, aiming for a more diverse audience with quality software and a number of technological innovations. The Dreamcast was the first console to incorporate a built-in modem for online play, and while the networking lacked the polish and refinement of its successors, it was the first time users could seamlessly power on and play with users around the globe. Additionally, the Dreamcast also launched its own proprietary disc format, GD-ROM, which boasted an extra 500 MBs of data capacity over CDs.
The gaming community is not without its issues, however. From video game release dates being delayed repeatedly to sexism against female characters and gamers, this dynamic community has as many battles and growing pains to deal with in real life, just as in a video game. But considering how fast this community is growing – and given how many new branches within the community have recently appeared and come to thrive – it’s proof that this is a vibrant community that gamers of any skill level can contribute to, appreciate and share with others.

Gaming industry today is bigger than the film and music industries, if we look at the yearly turnover. With the constant innovation, gaming universe is reaching its golden age. The heavy stakeholders have budgets that can make Hollywood feel embarrassed. The best authors, actors and designers have become a part of the community in the gaming world, but as the industry has grown, it has also gotten reduced to a smaller number of core genres: MMORPGs, first-person shooters, sports games, action games and strategy games. There are differences in the structures across these popular genres on PC and consoles, but ultimately, we can filter it down to those few.


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.
"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."
Gaming consoles are obviously a luxury, but they are rapidly becoming the center of living rooms and entertainment centers, since they combine gaming, listening to music, watching videos, chatting with friends, browsing the web, livestreaming, shopping and more. Consoles are a fantastic way to combine all of your digital entertainment into a single place. Consider your gaming habits, title preferences (past, present and future) along with your budget to ensure you find the perfect console for your needs.
"The PS2 holds the honor of being my first major purchase on my own -- as in my parents didn't help me one bit. I worked all summer at Wal-Mart dreaming of Smugglers Run, Silent Scope, and the ability to finally play DVDs. I even started buying DVDs in June preparing for the October launch date. I waited nine hours in line at Meijer (I was No. 1, bitches) to get that blue box, and I loved every second of it."
"So cool!...Its fun....As can be but has super Mario maker on the back and a little mario on the front looks ok on display by other yellow and red things I guess...This is a great handheld system with mario maker pre installed you can create your own levels from previous super mario games or even take on other people's created stages in a 100 mario challenge."
Both the Xbox One S and the PlayStation 4 can play Blu-ray movies and access a variety of online streaming services like Netflix and Hulu Plus. The Xbox One S goes two extra steps with television integration and Ultra HD Blu-ray playback. An HDMI pass-through lets you run your cable or satellite box through the system, though without a Kinect you'll need a third-party infrared blaster to control it. This incorporates live television through your cable or satellite provider into the Xbox One's menu system. You can also add over-the-air television with a third-party USB tuner. The OneGuide program guide displays both live television and what content is available on services like Hulu Plus and Machinima, giving you total control over what you watch, and you can even enjoy a split screen view of what's on television while you play your favorite game or browse the web, thanks to the Xbox One's Snap feature. If that isn't enough, the Xbox One S can play Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, which means you can watch 4K HDR movies on physical media. Bizarrely, Sony didn't add this feature to the PS4 Pro.
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.

"While I was certainly skeptical of the Jaguar, my appreciation for the Lynx led me to at least give the system polite consideration. That was until I played Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy on a demo Jaguar at an Incredible Universe. (Oh man, remember those stores?) It had a lion in military dress barking orders at me prior to one of the blandest side-scrolling shooter stages ever. The console got better with games like Alien vs. Predator, but that first impression was tough to overcome. However, the homebrew Jag scene is pretty cool."
For handheld game consoles, the fifth generation began with the release of the Virtual Boy on July 21, 1995.[30] Nintendo extensively advertised the Virtual Boy, and claimed to have spent US$25 million on early promotional activities.[31] The Virtual Boy was discontinued in late 1995 in Japan and in early 1996 in North America. Nintendo discontinued the system without fanfare, avoiding an official press release.[31] Taken as a whole, the marketing campaign was commonly thought of as a failure.[32] The Virtual Boy was overwhelmingly panned by critics and was a commercial failure.[33] The Virtual Boy failed for a number of reasons, among them "its high price, the discomfort caused by play [...] and what was widely judged to have been a poorly handled marketing campaign."[32]
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