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.
There's no "I" in team and the days of being limited to solo gaming are long gone. Online play lets you join forces and complete missions co-operatively, or go head-to-head with real people from around the world instantaneously. A premier online gaming experience backed by dedicated servers offers fast, smooth connections, but often comes with a small monthly or yearly fee. If you want to play with your friends make sure you know which consoles they're using, that way you're not left on the sideline.

Gamers around the world share videos with friends and fans alike on websites such as YouTube and Twitch. Here you can find live streams of your favorite gamers playing the latest AAA and indie titles, or even watch e-sports competitions. There are also millions of other popular gaming-related videos, including strategies, gaming news, rage quits, walkthroughs, fail compilations, achievements, tips, game reviews and more. Individual games and gamers alike have garnered cult followings online. It’s also easy to find more niche subcultures. They exist for bigger topics, like for certain console or game studios, as well as for more precise interests, such as a particular game franchise or character.
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.
While the fourth generation had seen NEC's TurboGrafx-CD and Sega's Sega CD add-ons, it was not until the fifth generation that CD-based consoles and games began to seriously compete with cartridges. CD-ROMs were significantly cheaper to manufacture and distribute than cartridges were, and gave developers room to add cinematic cut-scenes, pre-recorded soundtracks, and voice acting that made more serious storytelling possible. NEC had been developing a successor to the TurboGrafx-16 as early as 1990, and presented a prototype, dubbed the "Iron Man," to developers in 1992, but shelved the project as the CD-ROM² System managed to extend the console's market viability in Japan into the mid-90s. When sales started to dry up, NEC rushed its old project to the market. The PC-FX, a CD-based, 32-bit console, had highly advanced, detailed 2D graphics capabilities, and better full-motion video than any other system on the market. It was, however, incapable of handling 3D graphics, forfeiting its chances at seriously competing with Sony and Sega. The console was limited to a niche market of dating sims and visual novels in Japan, and never saw release in Western markets.
Many video games are available for multiple platforms, like Minecraft for example. However, some games are made exclusively for a specific console. So if you’re dying to play Halo or Forza, you'll need an Xbox. Heard great things about Uncharted or The Last of Us? Sony’s PlayStation is the only place they are available. Likewise, any title in Nintendo’s Mario or Zelda franchises can only be played on its devices.
This concerns the quality of the image displayed on your screen. The resolution is between 480 and 1080 pixels. The quality will be better with a higher number of pixels. One must consider the console that is linked to the screen: some models (PS3, Xbox360) reach the best output only on HD screens. In most cases, handheld consoles have 4.3-inch wide screens and 480 x 272 pixels. Touch screen models have a resolution of 256 x 192 pixels.
"While I still rail against Sony for some of the mistakes that it has made with its most powerful system to date, like removing backwards compatibility and stubbornly refusing to drop the price of the system, I still have fond memories of playing Metal Gear Solid 4 on the system multiple times over around the world, staying up all night long playing Warhawk with a core of dedicated players as the game launched and playing some incredible games of baseball with The Show over the past few years. Sure, it's hit some stumbling blocks, but the PS3 is one of those systems that has yet to showcase its true potential, and it'll be awesome to see what developers can squeeze out of the console in the years to come. "
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.
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.
However, Sega's success ultimately proved to be short-lived. Sony announced their own upcoming system, the PlayStation 2, in the fall of 1999; while they had few details on their system, many consumers ultimately held off on buying a system until Sony's own system launched. The PS2 released a year later and received immense critical acclaim. The PS2 quickly outsold the Dreamcast, eventually going on to become the best-selling video game console of all time while the Dreamcast's own sales stagnated.
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.
^ "Coleco Industries sales report" (Press release). PR Newswire. April 17, 1984. Archived from the original on November 4, 2013. Retrieved November 3, 2013. 'First quarter sales of ColecoVision were substantial, although much less that [sic] those for the year ago quarter,' Greenberg said in a prepared statement. He said the company has sold 2 million ColecoVision games since its introduction in 1982.

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.
"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."
N64 fans will cry foul and suggest that GoldenEye made first-person shooters possible on a console, but it was Halo that modernized the genre. Almost every FPS that came after Halo utilized its control scheme and a modified version of its health system. But where Halo truly succeeded was in providing console gamers with the first-of-its-kind 16-player LAN battles. Halo was the first shooter that made PC gamers jealous and it signaled the beginning of a power shift in the genre.

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.


Graphics processors keep getting updated, and video games follow suit, becoming more spectacular but also quite demanding. PC gamers are painfully familiar with the trend of needing a video card upgrade every couple of years when they want to play the latest games at an acceptable frame rate. But you don't need to be sitting around waiting for a new game's release date to come when eBay has such an enormous back-catalogue of older games to choose from!
^ Jump up to: a b "Sega Corporation Annual Report 2001" (PDF). Sega Corporation. August 1, 2001. p. 14. Retrieved November 2, 2015. A total of 3.39 million hardware units and 23.87 million software units were sold worldwide during fiscal 2001, for respective totals of 8.20 million units and 51.63 million units since Dreamcast was first brought to market.
^ Herman, Leonard (1997). Phoenix: the fall & rise of videogames (2nd ed.). Union, NJ: Rolenta Press. p. 20. ISBN 0-9643848-2-5. Retrieved 16 February 2012. Like Pong, Telstar could only play video tennis but it retailed at an inexpensive $50 that made it attractive to most families that were on a budget. Coleco managed to sell over a million units that year.
The first true battle of the consoles began in 1991 with the US release of the Super Nintendo. Boasting 16-bit graphics and a superior soundcard than its competition (the audio system was entirely standalone), Nintendo pushed its art style and name branding against SEGA's "SEGA does what Nintendon't" campaign, but in the end it was what Nintendo did – or had, rather – that put the SNES higher on our chart. Despite "hardcore-minded" competition, Nintendo pushed a pedigree of original content, starting with the debut Super Mario World and carried on through titles like Super Metroid, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, F-Zero, Mario Kart, and the dawn of the FX chip which brought the debut of Star Fox. Developer Rare continued to push the console in its later years with the help of Nintendo, introducing larger cart sizes with Donkey Kong Country, and a flood of third party support pushed the Super Nintendo to legendary status with games like Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, Gradius III, Contra III, Mega Man X, Secret of Mana, and many, many more. When it comes to a pure concentration of AAA titles, few consoles – if any – can stand up to the Super NES.
After the sluggish sales in Japan, Sega pursued a different strategy in other areas. The system launched in North America with 18 titles, including the much-anticipated Sonic Adventure. A big part of marketing their system to North America was taking advantage of the turn of the century and North America's tendency to end a products price tag with the number 9. They came up with the slogan "9/9/99 for $199", and the system initially sold briskly. Despite Japan having a year head start on North America, by the end of 1999 the Dreamcast had sold 2 million units in North America versus only 1 million in Japan, and at the end of the year Sega controlled 31% of the American video game market. The Dreamcast went on to launch in Europe on October 14, 1999 and in Australia on November 30, 1999.
Born from a failed attempt to create a console with Nintendo, Sony's PlayStation would not only dominate its generation but become the first console to sell over 100 million units by expanding the video game market. Sony actively courted third parties and provided them with convenient c libraries to write their games. Sony had built the console from the start as a 3D, disc-based system, and emphasized its 3D graphics that would come to be viewed as the future of gaming. The PlayStation's CD technology won over several developers who had been releasing titles for Nintendo and Sega's fourth generation consoles, such as Konami, Namco, Capcom, and Square. CDs were far cheaper to manufacture and distribute than cartridges were, meaning developers could release larger batches of games at higher profit margins; Nintendo's console, on the other hand, used cartridges, unwittingly keeping third-party developers away. The PlayStation's internal architecture was simpler and more intuitive to program for, giving the console an edge over Sega's Saturn.

"After mastering Pitfall II on my Atari 2600, a friend of mine invited me over to his house to help him get through the 5200 version of the game – it was a spot-on conversion, so all my skills carried over. But where the 2600 version ended, the 5200 edition continued on with Pitfall Harry wandering into a new cave with harder enemies and a new area to explore. Unfortunately, after about two minutes in the new area my friend had to bolt for dinner...and then he moved away the next week. So I never got a chance to play that extra part of Pitfall II."
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.
We then evaluated each console’s interface, looking for a smart layout that’s easy to use. We navigated through menus, adjusted the settings and compared ease of use. We approached this process twice over, first as gamers looking for quick access to new titles and already-installed games, and secondly as novice or non-gamer users looking for multimedia tools and apps. We found that the best consoles are the ones that make your favorite apps and games easy to access from a central place.
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. 
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.
Though it holds only 4GB, the Xbox 360 E console is expandable with an added on media hard drive up to 500 GB. The Xbox 360 E console is a nice staple in the current gaming console market, with over 1,200 Xbox 360 games in its library and counting, on-demand HD movies, TV streaming, as well as a built-in DVD player so gamers will never get bored. Though the Xbox 360 is nearing its lifespan on the current market, its latest model is a well-established updated version of its former self, bettering it in every way from reliability to price, and assuring a long life to come as a complete console.
Colecovision's claim to fame was its incredible accuracy in bringing current-generation arcade hits home. Coleco aggressively went after the rights to produce home versions of games that were enjoying success in game rooms, and the powerful hardware inside the Colecovision made it possible for programmers to produce close-to-perfect adaptations. Or, at least, far better adaptations than either the aging Atari 2600 or Intellivision systems could provide. Coleco even produced peripherals such as steering wheels and trackballs to even more closely convert the arcade experience for the home.
Eighth-generation Nintendo consoles (Nintendo 3DS and Wii U) took advantage of the services provided by the Nintendo Network, including purchase and download of full titles, Virtual Console games, downloadable games (including most DSiWare/WiiWare titles), DLC, non-gaming apps, game demos, and other material. Nintendo Network also allowed online-gaming support to be provided either for free or for a premium cost. Nintendo also offered its own social network in the form of Miiverse, which was shut down in 2017.

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.
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.
With the failure of the Atari 7800, and with the Atari Lynx on the losing side of the fight against Nintendo's Game Boy, Atari gave the videogame console market one last shot with the Atari Jaguar. The company decided to focus on the numbers game in attracting the gamer: where the Super NES and Genesis were touting the cutting edge of 16-bit technology, the Atari Jaguar surpassed this with whopping 64-bits of raw processing power, the first of its kind in the home market!
As the first high-definition game console ever introduced, the Xbox 360 represents a milestone in videogame hardware history. The Xbox 360 represents a first-time shift in standalone platforms to crisp, clean, high-definition graphics with advanced shading and physics effects. While these features were long-since a staple of PC gaming, they had never before been seen in the console market. Additionally, the Xbox 360 was also the first console to hit the market with an integrated wireless controller system. Although wireless controller solutions were present in previous game systems, wireless connectivity could only be achieved through external dongle attachments.
This concerns the quality of the image displayed on your screen. The resolution is between 480 and 1080 pixels. The quality will be better with a higher number of pixels. One must consider the console that is linked to the screen: some models (PS3, Xbox360) reach the best output only on HD screens. In most cases, handheld consoles have 4.3-inch wide screens and 480 x 272 pixels. Touch screen models have a resolution of 256 x 192 pixels.
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.
The PlayStation 3 may still be coming into its own, but it has already had a great number of titles see their release on the system and, along with the Xbox 360, it has helped completely redefine what people think about gaming in terms of online accessibility and functionality. Gone are the days when everything you played on a console was burned onto a disc. Online systems like the PlayStation Network have introduced the ability to buy and play complete games without having to leave your couch, not to mention the advent of downloadable content that can expand games exponentially.
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.

Bringing up the rear of our 4-console podium is the super stylish Xbox One S. This is Microsoft's revision to the original Xbox One and, simply put, it is smaller, quieter and aesthetically far more pleasing. It can't do the native 4K resolutions of the Xbox One X, but it still comes packing its lush Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray player and still lets you tap into Xbox's impressive gaming ecosystem.

Though it doesn’t quite measure up to the greatness of the original, the Super Nintendo was a superb successor to the NES for many reasons. For starters, the better graphics and processors made for a smoother and better-looking experience, which was only bolstered by the brand’s commitment to releasing a suite of excellent exclusive games. Even the games that were released to both the SNES and the Genesis seemed to play just a little bit better on the former. It also helps that the Super Nintendo was the starting point to one of the greatest racing franchises in gaming history: Mario Kart. If the NES was a lightning strike, the SNES was lightning striking twice.
^ Pereira, Joseph (November 16, 1992). "Technology (A Special Report): At Our Leisure --- (Not So) Great Expectations: Hand-held Video Games Will Get Better, But Big Improvements May Take a While". The Wall Street Journal. p. R10. ISSN 0099-9660. Meanwhile, Nintendo, the first on the market with its black-and-white Game Boy, has sold approximately 7.5 million portable systems, analysts estimate. Sega has sold about 1.6 million units of its color Game Gear system, while Atari Inc. has sold about one million units of its $99 Lynx color portable system.
SEGA was hoping to get the jump on Sony before it released the PlayStation that holiday season. While the Saturn ended up losing the popularity contest to both Sony and Nintendo it was host to a library of classic titles that epitomize the early days of SEGA's innovation in software. NiGHTS into Dreams, the Virtua Fighter and Panzer Dragon series are all examples of exclusive titles that made the console a fan favorite.
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.
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.
Given that there’s a relatively small selection of games for each console that take full advantage of these features, we currently do not recommend that you buy a new TV for the sake of high-resolution console gaming. Currently, no game console requires you to own a 4K or HDR-compatible TV, so you can buy that new console and hold off on buying the TV until you’ve done more research, found games you feel are worth upgrading for, or are otherwise ready to commit.
"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."
However, Sega's success ultimately proved to be short-lived. Sony announced their own upcoming system, the PlayStation 2, in the fall of 1999; while they had few details on their system, many consumers ultimately held off on buying a system until Sony's own system launched. The PS2 released a year later and received immense critical acclaim. The PS2 quickly outsold the Dreamcast, eventually going on to become the best-selling video game console of all time while the Dreamcast's own sales stagnated.
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