Though the Intellivision never managed to dethrone the Atari 2600 as the top system of its era, the console brought forth many considerable innovations: along with the advanced graphics, the system offered an add-on that brought speech to games, and it also introduced the concept of downloadable games with its ahead-of-its-time, test-marketed PlayCable that offered Intellivision games distributed over television cable.
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.
Because of the cost of the system very few retailers were willing to stock the NeoGeo home console and it quietly disappeared less than two years after its debut. SNK attempted to revive the unit with the NeoGeo CD, but it, too, failed to attract the necessary audience. The arcade version, however, has seen extremely fantastic success and has been the vehicle that drove many fighting hits including the King of Fighter, Fatal Fury, and Samurai Shodown series.
Microsoft's Xbox was the first dedicated video game console released by the company in North America on November 15, 2001, in Japan on February 22, 2002, and in Europe and Australia on March 14, 2002. Microsoft realized the power of video game consoles and feared with growing capabilities they may take over more than the living room. It was the first console to employ a hard drive right out of the box to save games, the first to include an Ethernet port for broadband internet, and the beginning of Microsoft's online Xbox LIVE service. Microsoft was able to attract many PC developers by using the NT kernel and DirectX from their Windows operating system. Though criticized for its bulky size and the awkwardness of its original controller, the Xbox eventually gained popularity, especially in the US, where it outsold the GameCube to secure second place, due in part to the success of the Halo franchise.
"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. "
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.
^ 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.

"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."


You can keep it in its dock to enjoy gaming in TV mode, remove it from its dock to play it in handheld mode or flip out its kickstand and set it on a table. The Switch’s battery life is decent but not outstanding and can last for anywhere from 2.5 to 6.5 hours depending on how intense the game is. The Switch’s controllers – called Joy-Cons – are equally versatile. Each one can slide onto a side of the tablet, creating a comfortable and immersive handheld experience. Or you and a friend can each use a Joy-Con for multiplayer fun. The Switch also comes with a controller frame that you can slide the Joy-Cons onto, or you can buy the Pro controller for a more traditional experience. With the Switch, Nintendo continues its tradition of making gaming devices with simple, intuitive interfaces and family-friendly game titles. You’ll have access to exclusive game franchises like Mario, Xenoblade Chronicles and Zelda. Additionally, Nintendo has now opened the door for third-party indie developers to create games for the Switch, so you’ll have access to additional titles – and even cross-platform titles like Splatoon 2, Disgaea 5, Rayman Legends, Minecraft, Stardew Valley and Skyrim.
To compete with emerging next gen consoles, Nintendo released Donkey Kong Country which could display a wide range of tones (something common in fifth-generation games) by limiting the number of hues onscreen, and Star Fox which used an extra chip inside of the cartridge to display polygon graphics. Sega followed suit, releasing Vectorman and Virtua Racing (the latter of which used the Sega Virtua Processor). Sega also released the 32X, an add-on for the Genesis, while their Sega Saturn was still in development. Despite public statements from Sega claiming that they would continue to support the Genesis/32X throughout the next generation, Sega Enterprises forced Sega of America to abandon the 32X. The 32X's brief and confusing existence damaged public perception of the coming Saturn and Sega as a whole.
T3 has reviewed all the best video game consoles going, from Microsoft's 4K powerhouse the Xbox One X, through to Sony's rival PS4 Pro, and onto Nintendo's hot hybrid, the Nintendo Switch, and we've tucked hundreds of hours under our belt playing their best games, too. As such, our tech experts are perfectly positioned to help you find your perfect gaming console.
"The N64 presented me with a key experience in my 30+ years of gaming that I will never forget – and will likely never experience again that same way. It was that first moment I stepped out into the 3D world of Super Mario 64 and just "played around" in the castle garden. I had played 3D games before Mario 64, but there was something different here; a unique feel and sense of complete freedom of movement that just seemed so "right." I knew that gaming had changed forever."
The Nomad was released in October 1995 in North America only.[34][35] The release was five years into the market span of the Genesis, with an existing library of more than 500 Genesis games. According to former Sega of America research and development head Joe Miller, the Nomad was not intended to be the Game Gear's replacement and believes that there was little planning from Sega of Japan for the new handheld.[36] Sega was supporting five different consoles: Saturn, Genesis, Game Gear, Pico, and the Master System, as well as the Sega CD and 32X add-ons. In Japan, the Mega Drive had never been successful and the Saturn was more successful than Sony's PlayStation, so Sega Enterprises CEO Hayao Nakayama decided to focus on the Saturn.[37] By 1999, the Nomad was being sold at less than a third of its original price.[38]
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.
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.
Despite its narrow mass audience, the Master System had -- and still has -- a very loyal fan base. Thankfully, the thumping SEGA received with the Master System did not daunt its quest for the living room, leading to the Genesis, which corrected most of the Master System's mistakes and gave Nintendo a run for its money for the majority of the 16-bit generation.
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.
In strategy games, the focus is not on a single character, but on a whole army. Just like role-playing games, they take their point of departure in the classic fiction genres like fantasy and science fiction, but there are also many strategy games based on historical events. Strategy games are about putting together the right units and using them strategically. Here the central activity consists of being economical with the resources, prioritizing certain units and leading them into battle. Many strategy games can be played online, but not in the same way as MMORPG. In online role-playing games the virtual world is permanent: the world continues to exist even when the player leaves. In online strategy games the world is temporary: it is created by a group of players within a single gameplay, and it ceases to exist when the last player has gone out.
These games speak for themselves: typical simulations or arcade games of different types of sports. The games we are looking at here offer a lot of entertainment and have an online function with a base of players from all over the world. This genre has never been bigger, and it is closely tied to the real world. The players you see in these games create an authenticity to the sports games that other genres are striving to provide. It can be, for example, football, hockey or racing. In any case, the players’ success depends on being able to get an overview of the game and act fast. The competition is the main element here, which also means these games add another type of online socializing. That is exactly what makes them so unique in comparison to other genres. FIFA is the standard-bearer here – you can find it, and many others, at Coolshop.
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.
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.
It also comes with new exclusive game titles, additional buttons and a lower price, making it a smart choice for both seasoned gamers and new Nintendo fans. The redesign of the 2DS, in comparison with the 3DS, is mostly physical. Certain features, like the speakers, card slot, stylus and power button, were relocated. It has additional new buttons, including an analog C stick and secondary trigger ZL/ZR buttons to enhance gameplay. The clamshell’s hinge now protrudes behind the device, instead of being more internally hidden, and houses the front-facing camera and microphones. This destroys the clean lines of the 2DS XL when closed and makes selfies look awkward unless you take that into account and adjust the angle. The included stylus is much smaller than its previous iteration, making it slightly harder for adults to grip. However, Nintendo’s choice to completely omit the 3D display makes the device less top-heavy and more balanced and easier to hold. In fact, the 2DS XL is thinner and lighter overall, making it easier to hold for lengthy gaming sessions. All existing DS and 3DS games can be played, though now only in 2D. New exclusive titles that launched with the 2DS XL include Xenoblade Chronicles and Fire Emblem Warriors, as well as the Super NES Virtual Console games.
The Atari 7800 was originally designed to succeed the Atari 5200 in 1984, but the system's launch was shelved when Atari was sold to new owners who wanted to focus on the computer market instead. The console was, instead, officially launched two years later in response to Nintendo and SEGA entering the US home console market with the Nintendo Entertainment System and Master System respectively. Many of the console's planned features, such as a high score saving cartridge, were never released.

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.


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.
Action-adventures is a mixed genre. The reason we include them separately, is that there are so many of these games, that they make up their own genre. Here action element (often in the form of a shooter) is combined with adventure element, where the player needs to solve different tasks. Action-adventure games take their point of departure in many types of fiction genres like gangster genre (Grand Theft Auto), modern action (Tomb Raider) and horror genre (Resident Evil).
Marking the largest jump in the technology of the gaming world since the move from arcades to home consoles, the Nintendo 64 was launched to critical acclaim thanks to the sheer innovation of introducing home gamers to the experience of 3-dimensional environments. Alongside the original PlayStation, this console helped usher in the modern era of video gaming as we know it, and it did so in excellent fashion. It also had the benefit of improving upon concepts introduced by its predecessor, the SNES – namely the Mario Kart and Starfox franchises. It’s also worth noting that, at the time of its release, Time Magazine named the N64 Machine of the Year.
^ Jump up to: a b Bandai released three WonderSwan iterations.[61] A March 2003 Famitsu article reported the original (March 1999)[62] and color (December 2000)[62] versions sold approximately 3 million units combined,[63] while the SwanCrystal (July 2002)[61] sold over 200 thousand units.[63] Bandai announced the transition from hardware to third-party development in February 2003 due to declining sales and will supply software to the competitor's Game Boy Advance by March 2004.[64] Average weekly Famitsu sales during the transition were only a couple hundred units,[1] and the SwanCrystal went build to order starting in autumn 2003.[63] WonderSwan hardware designer Koto claimed over 3.5 million were sold.[65]
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.

While it can be difficult to take advantage of the PlayStation 4 Pro’s advanced features, namely HDR support, the improvements it provides to even unoptimized games make it the most technically impressive way to play the largest number of games on a console. Most major games offer some form of support for the system, whether it be improved framerate, 4K resolution, HDR support, or all three.


The hardware specs are stellar, as expected from Sony. The controller is great too. We got the DualShock 4 controllers that have been improved from the previous design. It’s actually hailed as one of the top gamepads ever designed. You can use the DualShock 4 controller as a PC controller too if needed. The PS 4 has an exclusive title library that will not disappoint a devout gamer. The lineup includes a number of legacy titles and even some indie games. Major titles like “The Last of Us” are PlayStation exclusive. With the great library of games, impressive controller, and super duper graphics, this is one of the best gaming consoles to own.
It isn't difficult to prove why the software lineup was so successful considering the recent release and success of Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection. Just tick down the list and you'll find a bundle of absolutely brilliant games. The Phantasy Star and Shining Force series combined to offer role playing options that were equal to, if not better than anything available from the competition and titles like Ecco the Dolphin and Comix Zone offered dashes of edgy action that were highly original at the time.

Most cities have small, local game stores where you can often find deeply discounted – albeit used – consoles and games. If that doesn’t bother you, it’s a wonderful way to save money. You can also save a ton by buying used accessories. By shopping at these local retailers, not only are you helping out a small business, but you’re also connecting with your local gaming scene – a value that’s too great to pass up. Most of the time, the people running these stores are avid gamers as well and can give you recommendations and keep you notified of upcoming releases, sales and in-store events.


"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. "
There are also consoles where you can install a LAN or Ethernet connection. You can play on the network with your friends by linking your consoles. You can install a LAN adapter on Wii, for example.  Wi-Fi technology is used to create a wireless network. Nowadays, one need not place all the consoles in the same room. You can organise battles with PSPs to play GTA, Street Fighter, even Final Fantasy.

The Switch has proven to be a boon for third-party publishers and indie developers, too. The ability to play nearly any game in either home console or handheld mode breathes new life into older and smaller titles that were previously limited to TV-based systems. This has resulted in a surge of ports and remakes of classic games from the last few console generations like Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2, Dark Souls, Katamari Damacy, Okami, and Onimusha: Warlords. If that isn't enough, the system has received an explosion of excellent indie games including Dead Cells, Hollow Knight, Night in the Woods, Stardew Valley, and Undertale. It's a fantastic selection for a system that's been around for less than two years (even if we're still waiting for a Switch port of Super Mario Maker).
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.

The hardware specs are stellar, as expected from Sony. The controller is great too. We got the DualShock 4 controllers that have been improved from the previous design. It’s actually hailed as one of the top gamepads ever designed. You can use the DualShock 4 controller as a PC controller too if needed. The PS 4 has an exclusive title library that will not disappoint a devout gamer. The lineup includes a number of legacy titles and even some indie games. Major titles like “The Last of Us” are PlayStation exclusive. With the great library of games, impressive controller, and super duper graphics, this is one of the best gaming consoles to own.


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.
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