Enter the Nintendo Wii, a system that put much more emphasis on the user interface than it did on the high definition, surround sound experience. The way we play was the biggest change to what we play: the idea was to introduce something that anyone could pick up and understand, and with the new input, it was hoped, a new market would form and a new audience would step forward to play games.
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.
Once upon a time, Sonic The Hedgehog, the mascot of the Sega Genesis, was more popular than Nintendo’s Mario. Sega Genesis came out before the Super Nintendo in 1989 and had a head start with introducing to the world a true 16-bit home entertainment video game console boasting one of the best controllers ever made and a wide array of superior sports games.
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.
The Nintendo Switch is a very unique case. It works both as a home console and a handheld, with two Joy-Con controllers that connect wirelessly to the system or snap onto the sides when you want to play on the go. They generally feel very good, though the direction buttons on the left Joy-Con aren't nearly as responsive or comfortable as the more conventional direction pads on the DualShock 4 or Xbox One controllers. The Joy-Cons pack some remarkable technology into their small cases, though, including an infrared camera, an NFC reader for Nintendo's Amiibo figures, and the most precise rumble effect we've seen yet. You can also use the Joy-Cons in a gamepad-like grip, or with one in each hand for an incredibly freeing, comfortable gaming experience.
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.
"I credit PlayStation for my enduring fighting game obsession. My buddies and I started with the idiot Tekken 2, graduated to Street Fighter Alpha 3 where I learned the uselessness of combo memorization, moseyed over to Dead or Alive because we were teenage boys, and eventually settled on Guilty Gear. My friends are brothers, and trash talk often ended in fraternal violence. Good times."
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.
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.
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.
The video game console realm is much bigger than you think, ranging from insanely powerful offerings for 4K HDR and virtual reality gaming, through ultra portable picks, all the way to options designed to take you decades down the memory lane. Check out the best picks available on the market at the moment from the likes of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, and get ready to get your gaming on!
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 fact that it was the Neo-Geo's King of Fighters games that allowed me to bond with my female acquaintance-turned girlfriend-turned wife sticks out most in mind. While most folks in the crowd of gamers we were hanging around with were stringent Street Fighter players who didn't care one iota about KOF, my interest in the SNK series and the girl playing it went hand in hand. Our constant matches against one another allowed us to talk for hours, which led to us getting to know each other better before eventually falling in love. Sure, there were a lot of other contributing factors that led to our relationship becoming what it did, but it was KOF that was the ice breaker, and that's pretty awesome."
While it doesn’t quite have the oomph to play the latest 4K, 60 fps releases for Xbox One or PS4, the Switch can play Doom (2016) at a smooth 30 fps anywhere you want to, and that’s more than good enough for a lot of gamers. In addition to contemporary titles like the Wolfenstein II port, the Switch has also proved itself as a fantastic venue for reviving modern classics, such as Skyrim, L.A. Noire, and Dark Souls Remastered.
After the abortive 32X, Sega entered the fifth generation with the Saturn. Sega released several highly regarded titles for the Saturn, but a series of bad decisions alienated many developers and retailers. While the Saturn was technologically advanced, it was also complex, difficult, and unintuitive to write games for. In particular, programming 3D graphics that could compete with those on Nintendo and Sony's consoles proved exceptionally difficult for third-party developers. Because the Saturn used quadrilaterals, rather than triangles, as its basic polygon, cross platform games had to be completely rewritten to see a Saturn port. The Saturn was also a victim of internal politics at Sega. While the Saturn sold comparably well in Japan, Sega's branches in North America and Europe refused to license localizations of many popular Japanese titles, holding they were ill-suited to Western markets. First-party hits like Sakura Taisen never saw Western releases, while several third-party titles released on both PlayStation and Saturn in Japan, like Grandia and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, were released in North America and Europe as PlayStation exclusives.
"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."
While Sony and Microsoft were battling it out over social networks, graphical and processing capabilities, and a pair of failed motion-camera peripherals, Nintendo was quietly working on what would go down as their most innovative console to date. The Wii was released to wildly successful sales, so much so that they hadn’t actually produced enough consoles to meet demand. And while the controller scheme was foreign to gamers as a whole, it worked well and turned the Wii into something of a party console – which people turned to for entertainment when they had company over. In fact, the game that shipped with the console (Wii Sports) would end up being one of its all-time most popular games. And for good reason: it was a hell of a lot of fun.
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.
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."
The PlayStation 2 (PS2) is the best-selling console of all time, with a total of roughly 155 million units sold to date. When Sony first introduced itself with its CD-reading original PlayStation, it changed the video game industry forever, and it’s fair to say the PS2 would later define it: The PS2’s backward- compatibility with original PlayStation games, DVD playback and developer-friendly kits made it the most successful console in existence.
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.