Probably the best example of a system that was marred by bad timing, the Dreamcast should, from a technological standpoint, go down as one of Sega’s crowning achievements. Unfortunately, after a largely successful release, the console was eclipsed by news of the upcoming release of the PlayStation 2. Regardless, the Dreamcast was a wonderful gaming machine and afforded many the opportunity to play some of the most immersive and stylized games of their time – including a port of the extremely popular arcade game, Crazy Taxi. Though it was another step in Sega’s inevitable downfall, the Dreamcast was a much better console than for which it was given credit.

And so was born the NeoGeo Multi Video System to make it easy and cost effective for arcade owners to place a larger assortment of games in their establishments. Because the NeoGeo MVS was a cartridge-based system similar to home consoles, SNK made a consumer version of the arcade hardware called the NeoGeo Advanced Entertainment System. Inside the console the hardware was identical to the system SNK used for the arcade units, and compared to the Super NES and SEGA Genesis on the market the NeoGeo absolutely trounced its competition in visual and audio capabilities.
^ Jump up to: a b "Bandai to Launch WonderSwan Color in Dec". Jiji Press English News Service. August 30, 2000. A new colored version of Bandai Co.'s <7967> WonderSwan handheld game machine will hit Japanese stores in early December, the Japanese game maker said Wednesday. [...] The original WonderSwan, with its black-and-white displays, has sold 1.55 million units since its debut in March 1999.

One trait that remains peculiar to the fourth generation is the huge number of exclusive games. Both Sega and Nintendo were very successful and their consoles developed massive libraries of games. Both consoles had to be programmed in assembly to get the most out of them. A game optimized for the Genesis could take advantage of its faster CPU and sound chip. A game optimized for the SNES could take advantage of its graphics and its flexible, clean sound chip. Some game series, like Castlevania, saw separate system exclusive releases rather than an attempt to port one game to disparate platforms. When compact disc (CD) technology became available midway through the fourth generation, each company attempted to integrate it into their existing consoles in different ways. NEC and Sega released CD add-ons to their consoles in the form of the TurboGrafx-CD and Sega CD, but both were only moderately successful. NEC also released the TurboDuo which combined the TurboGrafx-16 and its TurboGrafx-CD add-on (along with the RAM and BIOS upgrade from the Super System Card) into one unit. SNK released a third version of the NeoGeo, the Neo Geo CD, allowing the company to release its games on a cheaper medium than the AES's expensive cartridges, but it reached the market after Nintendo and Sega had already sold tens of millions of consoles each. Nintendo partnered with Sony to work on a CD add-on for the SNES, but the deal fell apart when they realized how much control Sony wanted. Sony would use their work with Nintendo as the basis for their PlayStation game console. While CDs became an increasingly visible part of the market, CD-reading technology was still expensive in the 1990s, limiting NEC's and Sega's add-ons' sales.


Many believe that games are sheer entertainment: they are fun! And that can possibly make video games sound a little mundane – but there are countless gamers out there that see video games as exactly that: simple and comfortable way to pass time. There does not necessarily have to be an emotional connection to the game – it is played for sheer amusement.


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.


PlayStation Vita is a handheld game console developed by Sony Computer Entertainment.[75] It is the successor to the PlayStation Portable as part of the PlayStation brand of gaming devices. It was released in Japan on December 17, 2011[76] and was released in Europe and North America on February 22, 2012.[77][78] The handheld includes two analog sticks, a 5-inch (130 mm) OLED/LCD multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, and supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and optional 3G. Internally, the PS Vita features a 4 core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor and a 4 core SGX543MP4+ graphics processing unit, as well as LiveArea software as its main user interface, which succeeds the XrossMediaBar.[79][80]
The PlayStation 4 Pro version antes up the frame rates for its PS4 games – many to 60 fps – bringing 4K high definition gaming and video streaming, as well as twice the GPU power of a standard PS4. The PlayStation 4’s huge library includes 1,648 games, all of which can be played in HD with its Pro version. The system is also good for its multimedia functionality, playing Blu-ray discs, as well as streaming TV, music and more with dedicated apps and downloadable games on its PlayStation Store. Due to its popularity, there’s always someone willing to play online with you, so you’ll never miss out on the fun.
Finally, those looking for some great retro gaming action should not overlook Nintendo's NES Classic Mini or SNES Classic Mini, as both are tidy little emulation stations that allow you to play plenty of classic video games from the 80s and 90s, while Sony lovers should not less the PlayStation Classic pass them by either, which is a remake of the original PlayStation that allows you play 20 fan favourites by emulation, too.
The sales showed it as well, with the first true console war ending in an important Nintendo victory on both the hardware and software front. The Super NES's library was the start, or continuation in some cases, of franchises that are still alive and well today both on a first party and third party front – proof of its legacy. The Super NES controller laid groundwork for the now-mainstream four-button face of both the PlayStation and Xbox controllers, and the experimental first steps into 3D gaming (both real and faked via the FX chip and Mode 7 technology respectively) laid the groundwork for the industry’s future.
Another console designed to be technologically superior to the Atari 2600, the ColecoVision was intended to be a more powerful second generation home console with the ability to have its basic hardware expanded through later releases. Like the Intellivision, this gaming console featured a rotary and number pad controller, but saw a stronger initial release thanks largely to the fact that the system came bundled with Nintendo’s Donkey Kong – one of the most popular games of its time. This short-lived console was killed off prematurely, however, as the parent brand pulled out of the video game industry in 1985 – causing the ColecoVision to be discontinued the same year.

Like the Wii, the Wii U comes with its own set of exclusive games designed especially for the console. It plays all Wii classics and works seamlessly with older Wii accessories. If you want a faster and better looking Wii that still plays all your favorite games like Mario and Zelda, then Wii U is a great option. If you are a Mario fan, then Wii U is definitely the best console to own. The console is also unique because the Wii U gamepad has its own touchscreen. So it’s like a Nintendo DS, but not as portable. Wii U is pretty great for playing the kid-friendly classics.
"For me, I'll never forget my best friend and I renting Army Men and Metal Gear Solid a few days after I finally picked up a PlayStation. Army Men sucked (of course), so we popped MGS in and kicked back in my basement. In an instant, our lives changed. One game blew the doors off what I thought a videogame could be, and my perspective hasn't been the same since."
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h Sony stopped divulging individual platform sales starting with 2012 fiscal reports,[18][19] and continues to sporadically.[20] PlayStation 2: 138.8 million units sold as of Sony's first fiscal quarter ending June 2009 (Q1 FY2009).[21] Sony sold 16.2 million units from Q2 FY2009 until March 31, 2012.[22] It was discontinued worldwide on January 4, 2013.[23] PlayStation 3: A Sony press release reported 80 million sold as of November 2, 2013.[24] 3.4 million were shipped in 2014 and 0.4 million in the first quarter of 2015.[25] PlayStation Portable: 52.9 million units sold as of Q1 FY2009.[21] Sony sold 23.4 million units from Q2 FY2009 until March 31, 2012.[26] On June 3, 2014, IGN reported a sales figure of 80 million,[27] but the Associated Press noted "More than 76 million PSP machines were sold, as of two years ago, the last time a tally was taken."[28] Shipments to North America ended in January 2014, and to Japan in June 2014. Shipments to Europe ended during the latter part of 2014.[28] IGN reported in mid-November that 82 million PSP were manufactured and shipped at end of production.[29] PlayStation Vita: 4 million reported by The Guardian on January 4, 2013.[23] Glixel stated in June 2017 that 15 million were sold,[30] while the Electronic Entertainment Design and Research suggests a couple million less by end of 2015.[31]
Nintendo instituted a strict licensing program to ensure that the industry crash – with its glut of games of questionable quality -- would not happen with the NES. No unlicensed games would be tolerated on the NES platform. All games would have to be approved by Nintendo and third parties could only create a certain number of games a year for the NES, while the same games could not be made for competing consoles for two years.
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.
The newest heavy-duty console to hit the market – the Xbox One X – has 4K HDR playback and the most powerful gaming console processor on the market. The Xbox One S and PlayStation 4 Pro also have some 4K and/or HDR playback abilities, though to a lesser degree than the One X. Any of these is a smart choice if you have a compatible TV and access to 4K games and video, and they can make for the perfect binge session of Netflix’s latest 4K content.

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.
You need to make payments on top of your minimum payment if you want to pay off your Interest Saver plan before it runs out and interest starts being charged. Step by step instructions on how to do this are shown on your statement, or you can read more in Your Statement Explained. If you do not make at least your minimum payment, your plan may come to an end early, and you will be charged interest straight away in addition to a late payment charge.
The Xbox One and PS4 also offer access to old games, but in different ways. The Xbox One will let you put your old Xbox 360 games into the drive and play them (although only a selection of games are compatible). You can also play dozens of classic Xbox titles by buying a Game Pass subscription. The PS4 does not play old PS3 discs, but it offers a subscription service, called PlayStation Now, which lets you stream and play a huge selection of favourite PlayStation titles from yesteryear.
The Odyssey also launched the very first home light gun ever produced, called the Shooting Gallery. The games for the Odyssey consisted of straightforward, single-function titles like Baseball, Basketball, Ski, and more. Due to the simplicity of the console, there weren’t any third-party games designed for it. But the precedent established by the Odyssey paved the way for subsequent systems -- a legacy that has secured the console a place in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
The Atari 5200 was designed and marketed as Atari's answer to the Intellivision, but soon after its release in 1982, it became a more direct competitor to the Colecovision instead, which released that same year. The 5200 had some notable feature variations over its competitors, however, such as its analog joystick, four controller ports, and start, pause, and reset buttons. Based off of the Atari 400/800 home computer systems, the Atari 5200 came with a 1.79 MHz processor, 16KB of RAM, and was capable of producing an image with a maximum resolution of 320x192 pixels. While that may not sound like a lot now with consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 boasting high-end processors and video output of 1920x1080 resolution, but at the time it blew away the Intellivision's sub-1MHz processor.
Nowadays, it’s the industry standard that new consoles have internet connectivity and basic online multiplayer abilities for other users of that same console. However, at least for the time being, you cannot play with a friend who owns a different console than you. Xbox Live, Microsoft’s online multiplayer network, only works with other recent Xbox consoles; the PlayStation Network – Sony’s equivalent – is similarly restricted as is Nintendo Switch Online. Even playing with people who are on older systems isn’t really a possibility at this point.
The Odyssey also launched the very first home light gun ever produced, called the Shooting Gallery. The games for the Odyssey consisted of straightforward, single-function titles like Baseball, Basketball, Ski, and more. Due to the simplicity of the console, there weren’t any third-party games designed for it. But the precedent established by the Odyssey paved the way for subsequent systems -- a legacy that has secured the console a place in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
"I lived in Japan when the SNES (Super Famicom) came out. Whenever I got together to play multiplayer games with my buddy, D.J., we'd completely overdo it. Remember how looking at your opponent's screen was a crucial tactic in playing Mario Kart? After what must've been a 20-hour Battle Mode marathon, I noticed that D.J.'s Yoshi kept on driving straight into a track barrier. The bastard had fallen asleep in the middle of the game, with his finger on the accelerator! Armed with a red shell, I positioned myself at the far end of the stage, lined up the shot, woke up D.J. and pointed his head at the screen to make him witness the glorious takedown. Yep, it's all about the little things in life."
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.
Sony's flagship, the PS4 Pro is a powerhouse system in its own right, allowing gamers to play their games in dynamic 4K (resolutions can upscale up to 4K with some tech wizardry) and with HDR enabled, too. The latest revision of the console is also quieter than ever (CUH-7200), which fixed one of the more minor issues some reviewers found with the launch model.
^ "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.
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.
^ 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.
Playing games is about entertainment and company, fun and adventure. It is about an escape from reality. With a game from Coolshop you can be exactly who you want to be. You can save the world in the past, future and present – and destroy it again. Explore habitable planets, underground caves and abandoned buildings. Save princesses and fight monsters.
"I don't know what it was about the Jaguar – it had to be the Atari brand -- but I was jazzed to pick it up on launch. What a mistake. Other than the occasional game like Tempest 2000, Power Drive Rally, and a really good conversion of NBA Jam, the system had some of the worst designed games ever. It never stood a chance on the market even though I was pulling for it as an advocate of the system."
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.

"I lived in Japan when the SNES (Super Famicom) came out. Whenever I got together to play multiplayer games with my buddy, D.J., we'd completely overdo it. Remember how looking at your opponent's screen was a crucial tactic in playing Mario Kart? After what must've been a 20-hour Battle Mode marathon, I noticed that D.J.'s Yoshi kept on driving straight into a track barrier. The bastard had fallen asleep in the middle of the game, with his finger on the accelerator! Armed with a red shell, I positioned myself at the far end of the stage, lined up the shot, woke up D.J. and pointed his head at the screen to make him witness the glorious takedown. Yep, it's all about the little things in life."


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.
"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 a good 10-something years, Nintendo was the undisputed champion of the home video game console market, thanks to their brilliant marketing, exclusives strategy, and overall tech. But the closest they ever came to being dethroned in that time was at the hands of Sega and their Genesis console. Granted the SNES still outsold the Genesis by around 20 million units, but that was a big deal for the much smaller game developer. The Genesis also introduced the world to one of the mainstays of gaming that’s still around today, Sonic the Hedgehog. This gaming machine would go on to become Sega’s greatest achievement from a hardware perspective and still sparks debate today over whether it or the SNES was a better console.
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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