Game systems in the eighth generation also faced increasing competition from mobile device platforms such as Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems. Smartphone ownership was estimated to reach roughly a quarter of the world's population by the end of 2014. The proliferation of low-cost games for these devices, such as Angry Birds with over 2 billion downloads worldwide, presents a new challenge to classic video game systems. Microconsoles, cheaper stand-alone devices designed to play games from previously established platforms, also increased options for consumers. Many of these projects were spurred on by the use of new crowdfunding techniques through sites such as Kickstarter. Notable competitors include the GamePop, OUYA, GameStick Android-based systems, the PlayStation TV, the NVIDIA SHIELD and Steam Machines.
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.
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.
The PS3's game library, while already stellar, continues to get better and better. We've seen the release of fantastic, exclusive games Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Killzone 2, Flower, Warhawk, LittleBigPlanet and Infamous (among others), and let's not forget about cross-platform games like Grand Theft Auto IV, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Fallout 3, BioShock and many, many more. Keep in mind that the system currently has yet to see releases from some of Sony's biggest franchises, including God of War, Gran Turismo or a Team ICO title, though all are on the way.
You can choose a model with 500GB, 1TB or 2TB of storage in the default white color scheme, or opt for a special edition or a bundle for a more unique look. The One S is 40 percent smaller than the original Xbox One, and its elimination of the bulky power brick lets it fit neatly into your home entertainment center. Along with its refined size and high-quality hardware come HDR and 4K capabilities, although they aren’t fully available for gaming. Inside its modern-looking chassis, the Xbox One S houses a 1.75GHz eight-core AMD custom CPU and 8GB of DDR3 RAM. Microsoft offers unique controller customization options – you can customize colors for the controller, joysticks and other buttons, with over a billion combinations available including sports team themes and metallic touches. And although Xbox consoles aren’t known for having many exclusive titles, they have tons of backward-compatible games and a variety of apps available, like YouTube, HBO, Pandora, ESPN and others.