Welcome to the eighth game console generation. The rise of 4K gaming. The remarkable arrival of the hybrid console-handheld. It's been several years since the Microsoft Xbox One and the Sony PlayStation 4 came out, with both systems getting more powerful variants partway through their life cycles. If that isn't enough, the newer Nintendo Switch has established itself as a retail powerhouse (even if it isn't a graphical powerhouse), with the ability to play connected to a TV like a home console or on the go like a handheld. Let's see how these systems compare against each other.
Each new generation of console hardware made use of the rapid development of processing technology. Newer machines could output a greater range of colors, more sprites, and introduced graphical technologies such as scaling, and vector graphics. One way console makers marketed these advances to consumers was through the measurement of "bits". The TurboGrafx-16, Genesis, and Super NES were among the first consoles to advertise the fact that they contained 16-bit processors. This fourth generation of console hardware was often referred to as the 16-bit era and the previous generation as the 8-bit. The bit-value of a console referred to the word length of a console's processor (although the value was sometimes misused, for example, the TurboGrafx 16 had only an 8-bit CPU, and the Genesis/Mega Drive had the 16/32-bit Motorola 68000, but both had a 16-bit dedicated graphics processor). As the graphical performance of console hardware is dependent on many factors, using bits was a crude way to gauge a console's overall ability. For example, the NES, Commodore 64, Apple II, and Atari 2600 all used a very similar 8-bit CPU. The difference in their processing power is due to other causes. For example, the Commodore 64 contains 64 kilobytes of RAM and the Atari 2600 has much less at 128 bytes of RAM. The jump from 8-bit machines to 16-bit machines to 32-bit machines made a noticeable difference in performance, so consoles from certain generations are frequently referred to as 8-bit or 16-bit consoles. However, the "bits" in a console are no longer a major factor in their performance. The Nintendo 64, for example, has been outpaced by several 32-bit machines. Aside from some "128 Bit" advertising slogans at the beginning of the sixth generation, marketing with bits largely stopped after the fifth generation.
"It's hard to narrow down my fondest PS3 memory -- namely because I'm still making them. I guess through all the SingStar parties at my apartment, getting my first Platinum Trophy, and getting goose bumps while watching the E3 2009 Uncharted 2: Among Thieves demo, my favorite memory is when I was lugging my PS3 back into work, my IGN bag broke, and the system tumbled to the concrete. Other than a dinged corner, the system was still in tip-top shape. An Xbox 360 would've shattered like the T-1000 in Terminator 2."
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.
The big change in performance didn't come at the start of this console generation, but halfway through it. Both Sony and Microsoft released enhanced, 4K-capable versions of their game systems: the aforementioned PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. They're significantly more powerful than the original models, capable of reaching up to 4K resolution with high dynamic range (HDR) graphics. Notice I say "up to," because not all games will hit 4K even if you have a 4K TV, and often you'll see a bump in rendered resolution to somewhere between 1080p and 4K, which is then upconverted to 4K before going out to the TV.
"I remember getting the dreadful 2600 version of Donkey Kong for Christmas and seeing the god awful Intellivision edition at my friends place. And then I saw the game come out as a pack-in for the Colecovision. Even when I was 10 I knew there was shenanigans at play – clearly Coleco intentionally sabotaged the other versions to make sure that Coleco's own console version was the one everyone wanted. It worked: I really, really wanted a Colecovision after playing its version of Donkey Kong at a toy store. "
But a lack of sales does not necessarily mean the console is without merit. The TurboGrafx-16 is home to a solid catalog of games worth playing, such as NEC's attempt at a Mario-like mascot with Bonk's Adventure, the top-down shooter Blazing Lasers, and Namco's side-scrolling horror classic Splatterhouse. These are games worth playing. The Turbo was also the first system to have a CD-drive attachment, the $399 Turbo CD, which was grossly overpriced at $399, but was recognition that the days of cartridges were coming to a close as the new disc medium offered vastly superior storage.
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.
"A technology geek to the end, I had greatly anticipated the arrival of high-definition consoles, so when Nintendo chose to stay conservative with Wii's graphics, I wasn't sure what to think of the system. I remember finally getting it, though. Not with Metroid Prime 3: Corruption -- I played it early on and the controls still needed work -- but with Wii Sports bowling. So simple. So effortless. So much flippin' fun! Nintendo had talked blue and red oceans, ranted on about expanded audiences, and it was all gibberish. But rolling that virtual bowling ball with a realistic flick of the wrist felt so incredibly natural that I didn't want to put the Wii remote down. That was when I finally understood what the company really hoped to achieve with the console."
Doubling as a Blu-ray/DVD player with built-in Wi-Fi, the PlayStation 3 currently has a library of over 1,400 games. This is not including its playable PlayStation 2 library of 3,874 games and PlayStation One with 2,513. The versatile and current gaming console still packs a punch, delivering a powerful home entertainment system not only good for gaming, but video chat, Internet access, digital photo viewing and digital audio and video.
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.
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.
Sega's Dreamcast, the first console with a built-in modem, was released in Japan on November 27, 1998. The Dreamcast initially underperformed in Japan; while interest was initially strong, the company was forced to stop taking preorders due to manufacturing issues, and the system underperformed its sales expectations, with reports of disappointed customers returning Dreamcast consoles to buy PlayStation games and peripherals.
After the abortive 32X, Sega entered the fifth generation with the Saturn. Sega released several highly regarded titles for the Saturn, but a series of bad decisions alienated many developers and retailers. While the Saturn was technologically advanced, it was also complex, difficult, and unintuitive to write games for. In particular, programming 3D graphics that could compete with those on Nintendo and Sony's consoles proved exceptionally difficult for third-party developers. Because the Saturn used quadrilaterals, rather than triangles, as its basic polygon, cross platform games had to be completely rewritten to see a Saturn port. The Saturn was also a victim of internal politics at Sega. While the Saturn sold comparably well in Japan, Sega's branches in North America and Europe refused to license localizations of many popular Japanese titles, holding they were ill-suited to Western markets. First-party hits like Sakura Taisen never saw Western releases, while several third-party titles released on both PlayStation and Saturn in Japan, like Grandia and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, were released in North America and Europe as PlayStation exclusives.
Whether you prefer sports, war simulation or racing; you’ll find the titles will keep you entertained with our range of PSP, Xbox, Playstation and PC games. Find all the accessories you need to complete your gaming experience from headphones and headsets to gaming chairs, controllers and memory cards. Not forgetting the consoles themselves, shop for a PS3, Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii or if retro gaming is more your thing, a SNES or N64.
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.