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.
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.
The Xbox One even upgrades the famous controller. It now has Bluetooth connectivity and works with Windows 10 without the need for an adapter. If you are a PC gamer, this would be a major bonus feature. Of course, you can enjoy exclusive Xbox titles like the megastar Halo franchise, which you can play in 4k. The console is backward compatible with all Xbox games. The Xbox One definitely stands out for its multimedia capabilities. It’s not just a gaming console but a fully-fledged entertainment center. It’s something both hardcore and casual gamers can love.
You can enjoy console-style gaming just like you do on a Playstation or an Xbox. The console is powered by a 2 GHz quad-core processor and has a dedicated GPU. So it’s quite powerful. It’s supported by Alexa, Amazon’s own voice-controlled personal assistant. You can easily say something like “Alexa, play Shovel Knight,” and the game will be ready to play. The console and the accompanying smart TV supports Ultra HD and 4k gaming. Plus, the Fire TV supports over 15,000 apps and games you can install. Overall, it’s a great option for those who want a multimedia experience including gaming.
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.
"I begged Santa to get us an Atari for Christmas 1980, and my parents decided to give me my wish...but they planned it as the final present I opened by stuffing it as far behind the tree as possible. Unfortunately, I grabbed a present I probably shouldn't have, "Bowling" for the 2600...pretty much destroying any Christmastime strategy my folks planned out. I still feel guilty about that."
The first handheld game console with interchangeable cartridges was the Microvision designed by Smith Engineering, and distributed and sold by Milton-Bradley in 1979. Crippled by a small, fragile LCD display and a very narrow selection of games, it was discontinued two years later. The Epoch Game Pocket Computer was released in Japan in 1984. The Game Pocket Computer featured an LCD screen with 75 X 64 resolution and could produce graphics at about the same level as early Atari 2600 games. The system sold very poorly, and as a result, only five games were made for it. Nintendo's Game & Watch series of dedicated game systems proved more successful. It helped to establish handheld gaming as popular and lasted until 1991. Many Game & Watch games were later re-released on Nintendo's subsequent handheld systems.
The features introduced in this generation include the support of new disc formats: Blu-ray Disc, utilized by the PlayStation 3, and HD DVD supported by the Xbox 360 via an optional $200 external accessory addition, that was later discontinued as the format war closed. Another new technology is the use of motion as input, and IR tracking (as implemented on the Wii). Also, all seventh generation consoles support wireless controllers. This generation also introduced the Nintendo DS, and the Nintendo DSi, which brought touchscreens into the mainstream for and added cameras to portable gaming.
^ 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]

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.[45][46] This makes it the best selling home console of all time to date.

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.
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.

"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."
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.
Nintendo is the obvious choice for family-friendly gaming. It’s known for the kid-safe titles in its library, like the Mario, Donkey Kong and Pokémon franchises as well as other arcade classics that typically don’t have unsavory content. The Nintendo Switch also has a ton of exclusive and indie titles available that kids should enjoy, although it is slightly pricier than the DS consoles. The Switch supports both solo and multiplayer gaming on its small screen, and you can choose to play it on your TV or handheld on the go. With their small designs and simple interfaces, the Nintendo consoles are great options for younger kids.
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!
Handheld game consoles are great for gaming in a comfy bed, on your morning commute or just someplace out of the house. Unlike your mobile phone, a handheld console is designed specifically for gaming and offers a large library that isn't full of Bejeweled or Candy Crush clones. Whether you want a quick, relaxing experience (like Animal Crossing or Stardew Valley) or something you can really sink your teeth into (like the latest Zelda and Mario games), consoles like PlayStation Vita and Nintendo Switch offer a lot of different experiences to choose from.
A video game console is a standardized computing device tailored for video gaming that requires a monitor or television set as an output.[2] These self-contained pieces of electronic equipment[2] weigh between 2 and 9 pounds (1–4 kg) on average,[3] and their compact size allows them to be easily used in a variety of locations with an electrical outlet.[3] Handheld controllers are commonly used as input devices. Video game consoles may use one or more storage media like hard disk drives, optical discs, and memory cards for content.[3] Each are usually developed by a single business organization.[2] Dedicated consoles are a subset of these devices only able to play built-in games.[4][5] Gaming consoles in general are also described as "dedicated" in distinction from the more versatile personal computer and other consumer electronics.[6][7][8] Sanders Associates engineer Ralph H. Baer along with company employees Bill Harrison and Bill Rusch licensed their television gaming technology to contemporary major TV manufacturer Magnavox. This resulted in Magnavox Odyssey's 1972 release—the first commercially available video game console.[9]

This game genre is played online with a big number of players. Here the player creates a personal character and role-plays his way in a large interactive world. MMORPG is alluring. Not just as a game, but as a world and as a community. When we were kids, we improvised our own weapons and went on epic adventures with our friends, hunting monsters. Today we relive that feeling through MMORPG games. We personalize our character, explore picturesque scenes and delve into dangerous adventures. This is what these games are about.
But the good times were not to last and the skyrocket trajectory of the Atari 2600 was partially to blame. With videogames white-hot, everybody wanted in. And Atari did not have any solid quality-control mechanisms in place. No game epitomizes this lack quite like E.T., a licensed title that was forced to market after a five-week development cycle. Atari took a bath on E.T. and consumers started to sour on the breath of subpar games clogging shelves. Thus began the great video game crash of 1983 which laid waste to the entire industry.
The Xbox One X is massively powerful and comes at a steep price - it's the most expensive console on the market right now. But compared to the equivalent gaming PC, it’s exceptionally good value for money. It offers true [email protected] gameplay across a range of games, and even if you don't have a 4K TV, you will see a significant boost in graphical performance. 
"I wasn't even a zygote when the Odyssey first came out, but played around with one years later found at a garage sale. However, I can only imagine what my face must have looked like when I recently found one in mint condition in the original box with all screen overlays still packed with parchment paper between them -- and for only $38. It took me a while to get the Ody hooked up to an older, fickle television. But when it finally did come up on-screen, I could only imagine what kind of revolution this must have looked like in 1972."
We know, it isn’t exactly a legacy name in the gaming industry. But we’d like to point out the Fire TV gaming edition as a great pick for those looking for an affordable console. Keep in mind that this works only with the Amazon Fire TV. So if you already own one, then this is probably the best console you can own. If not, you will get an Amazon Fire TV, a game controller, and a 32GB microSD card with the package. Right off the shelf, the Gaming Edition includes two critically acclaimed games! So that’s a major plus.
We do test them, of course. We’ve spent a lot of time playing video games on these consoles and even more thinking about what they can do. We make sure that everything we like about these products works and delivers like advertised. That includes playing all kinds of games, checking the quality of the internet connectivity, factoring in quality and quantity of exclusives, and checking if developers are currently making games for the platform.
^ 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.
Forster 2011, p. 92: "The test release of the Atari 7800 went by practically unnoticed [...] And so the Atari 7800 collected dust for two years, until the international success of the Nintendo Entertainment System quickly changed the minds of Atari's new management. [...] Atari shipped the now slightly outdated 7800 across the world. [...] Only a few thousand 7800 consoles were shipped in the US during the first marketing attempt."

All seventh and eighth generation consoles offer some kind of Internet games distribution service, allowing users to download games for a fee onto some form of non-volatile storage, typically a hard disk or flash memory. Recently, the console manufacturers have been taking advantage of internet distribution with games, video streaming services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and film trailers being available.

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.
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.
Forster 2011, p. 92: "The test release of the Atari 7800 went by practically unnoticed [...] And so the Atari 7800 collected dust for two years, until the international success of the Nintendo Entertainment System quickly changed the minds of Atari's new management. [...] Atari shipped the now slightly outdated 7800 across the world. [...] Only a few thousand 7800 consoles were shipped in the US during the first marketing attempt."

Whether it’s the NES Classic Edition, the Xbox One’s ability to play Xbox 360 games through backward compatibility, or the revival of nostalgic game consoles from generations past, the retro gaming craze has never been higher. Satisfy your retro fix with Best Buy’s wide selection of retro consoles and accessories, and show off your retro pride with Figures & Plush Toys of your favourite video game characters.
"I'll never forget the time my launch Xbox 360 red ringed. It was a rainy day in March. I wore my green cardigan and she wore a FEAR faceplate. It was love. True love. But then she died on me. Maybe I pushed her power button one too many times. I couldn't help myself – I liked playing games in HD and with Microsoft's amazing online service. She just couldn't handle the strain. Sure, she was easy to replace. And so was the next one that died. But I'll never forget my first. Especially not after I had a picture of her red rings tattooed on my chest. Rest in peace, little 360. Rest in peace."
The Wii console is highly family friendly. So it’s one of the best consoles to enjoy playing games with kids. Wii has many exclusive titles, and the controller comes with different variations. You can buy different types of controllers to improve the interactivity of games. For example, you can get a controller shaped like a steering wheel to play racing games. You even get free games with an original purchase. Wii is super fun to use and the whole family can join in. It’s still one of the few consoles that promote physical activity with games.

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Compatibility - If you’ve previously owned a gaming console, you should consider buying a new console that’s compatible with the library of games you’ve likely collected. For example, your PS4 won’t play games from older Sony consoles, but you can still access hundreds of older PlayStation titles using the PS Now streaming service. Xbox One, on the other hand, has much better backwards compatibility, not to mention a digital redemption scheme that lets you download newer versions of your existing games for free.
^ 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]
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.
We’ve tested gaming consoles rigorously for over four years. Our most recent evaluations took over 80 hours. Our writer and product tester is a lifetime avid gamer who thoroughly researched and tested each of the consoles, pushing each to their limit to test their quality, features, performance and ease of use. We considered each console’s interface, gaming and video playback, exclusives, price features and overall ease of use, all while examining how effective each console would be for users of all gaming experience levels and budgets.
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.
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 Nintendo Switch is the first Nintendo console to utilize a paid online system instead of a free one. The new service is necessary to play online, and allows users to play emulated games from the Virtual Console service. The paid service was officially launched in 2018, although a free trial of many of its features had been available up until then. The system offers digital software downloads through the Nintendo eShop directly from the console, cloud save backups, and facilitates voice chat and party matching in multiplayer online titles such as Splatoon 2, through use of an external smartphone application.
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.

Game cartridges consist of a printed circuit board housed inside of a plastic casing, with a connector allowing the device to interface with the console. The circuit board can contain a wide variety of components. All cartridge games contain at the minimum, read only memory with the software written on it. Many cartridges also carry components that increase the original console's power, such as extra RAM or a coprocessor. Components can also be added to extend the original hardware's functionality[81] (such as gyroscopes, rumble packs, tilt-sensors, light sensors, etc.); this is more common on handheld consoles where the user does not interact with the game through a separate video game controller.[82] Cartridges were the first external media to be used with home consoles and remained the most common until continued improvements in capacity in 1995 (the Nintendo 64, released in 1996, was the last mainstream game console to use cartridges).[83] Nevertheless, the relatively high manufacturing costs and limited data capacity compared to optical media at the time saw them completely replaced by the latter for home consoles by the early 21st century, although they are still in use in some handheld video game consoles and in the Nintendo Switch. Due to the aforementioned capabilities of cartridges such as more memory and coprocessors, those factors make it harder to reverse engineer consoles to be used on emulators.


The first fifth-generation consoles were the Amiga CD32, 3DO and the Atari Jaguar. Although all three consoles were more powerful than the fourth generation systems, none of them would become serious threats to Sega or Nintendo. The 3DO initially generated a great deal of hype in part because of a licensing scheme where 3DO licensed the manufacturing of its console out to third parties, similar to VCR or DVD players. However, unlike its competitors who could sell their consoles at a loss, all 3DO manufacturers had to sell for profit. The Jaguar had three processors and no C libraries to help developers cope with it. Atari was ineffective at courting third parties and many of their first party games were poorly received. Many of the Jaguar's games used mainly the slowest (but most familiar) of the console's processors, resulting in titles that could easily have been released on the SNES or Genesis.
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