Unlike similar consumer electronics such as music players and movie players, which use industry-wide standard formats, video game consoles use proprietary formats which compete with each other for market share. There are various types of video game consoles, including home video game consoles, handheld game consoles, microconsoles and dedicated consoles. Although Ralph Baer had built working game consoles by 1966, it was nearly a decade before the Pong game made them commonplace in regular people's living rooms. Through evolution over the 1990s and 2000s, game consoles have expanded to offer additional functions such as CD players, DVD players, Blu-ray disc players, web browsers, set-top boxes and more.
A games console is the perfect Christmas present – it’s exciting, it’s cool and everyone can join in on the day (as long as you’ve had the foresight to sneak it out of its packaging on Christmas Eve to download the inevitable six hours of system updates). But selecting which machine to opt for is complicated and confusing, and if you get it wrong you may end up with yet another unloved gadget crammed in the cupboard where you keep the air fryer and mini candyfloss machine.
For proof of just how far we’ve come since the days of Space Invaders, look to the Xbox One. Released around five years ago, this 8th generation gaming console is a powerhouse of technological advancement, offering up incredibly crisp HD graphics, speedy processing (even with absurdly detailed game worlds), and features critically-acclaimed controllers. There are a couple problems with this console, however – namely, many once-exclusive developers have jumped ship in favor of cross-platform game creation, leaving it with few worthwhile exclusive titles, and the fact that, technically, the bare bones console runs games at a lower graphical rate than the PS4. Still, PS4 aside, this console blows the doors off of anything that came before it.
There is also another kind who see games as a form of escape. An escape from boredom, maybe – but also a way to distract your mind, so that you temporarily forget the everyday struggles. Gaming is a form of de-stress, and that, among other things, is why it is so popular. It is just nice to get in a fictional character’s shoes and take on an adventure.
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.
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. This makes it the best selling home console of all time to date.
First graphic computer games in history were developed by the American computer scientist Alexander Douglas, who in 1952 created tic-tac-toe for a so-called EDSAC computer. The game never spread, because the computer was made exclusively for Cambridge University. The first computer game that could be played by several people at the same time was “Spacewar!” from 1962. The game was developed by the American programmer Steve Russell. It could be played by two people with joysticks, who could shoot down each other’s spaceships with missiles.
The Nintendo Wii U uses a gamepad controller with a screen in it, so if parents want to use the living room TV, kids can still play on their Wii U through its dedicated gaming screen without interference. It includes some of the most fun local multiplayer games, too, such as Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario 3D world – both capable of up to four players. The Wii U is also compatible with Wii remote controllers, so you don’t have to buy even more hardware to get in on the game with your friends and family.
Ralph Baer's original Odyssey is the machine that started the home videogame industry. Others may have popularized it beyond measure, such as the Atari 2600 and NES, but the Odyssey series is truly the genesis. The Odyssey was limited, though (all games were onboard, the paddle-like controller was clumsy compared to the joystick), and so Magnavox, the manufacturer of the console, pressed forward with the Odyssey 2. It aped the blockbuster Atari 2600 -- now its chief rival in 1978 -- in many ways, such as using the then-traditional one-button joystick and interchangeable cartridges. While the Odyssey 2's resolution is lower than the 2600, the console surpassed Atari’s in a handful of technical areas -- such as the out-of-the-box inclusion of a full keyboard for easy programming and edutainment software and the availability of an optional speech synthesizer.
^ 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.
Mattel excelled at marketing the device against Atari to show just how advanced it was, going so far as to hire author George Plimpton as the voice of Intellivision for its advertising campaign. The company also pushed for licenses in its games to strengthen the brand: the company offered MLB, NHL, NFL, and NBA licensed sports games, and even locked down the Tron franchise for a series of games in time for the potentially blockbuster film.
As its second disc-based console, SEGA sought to learn from the mistakes it made with the Saturn with the Dreamcast. The Dreamcast marked a comprehensive overhaul of SEGA's marketing and design strategy, aiming for a more diverse audience with quality software and a number of technological innovations. The Dreamcast was the first console to incorporate a built-in modem for online play, and while the networking lacked the polish and refinement of its successors, it was the first time users could seamlessly power on and play with users around the globe. Additionally, the Dreamcast also launched its own proprietary disc format, GD-ROM, which boasted an extra 500 MBs of data capacity over CDs.
The strategy worked. The Wii isn't much more advanced than the GameCube, but the controller – a device Nintendo has stated began as a GameCube peripheral – has converted millions of casual gamers to become system owners. The idea of bundling Wii Sports with the system was an incredibly smart move, as people immediately understood what the Wii was and what it could do in a simple to play, well designed experience.
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.
With the original look and feel of the 16-bit home console (only smaller) the Super NES Classic acts as a sort of timepiece for when gaming was reaching its peaks. Some of the best two-player games of its era are included and ready to play, such as Super Mario Kart and Street Fighter II Turbo. Defining games such as Megaman X, Earthbound, Kirby Super Star and Super Mario RPG return, too. Any gamer wanting to relive their youth or introduce new gamers to a simpler time when the Internet was first starting should get the Super NES classic. Included are two wired Super NES Classic controllers for multiplayer action.
In 1983, Nintendo released the Family Computer (or Famicom) in Japan. The Famicom supported high-resolution sprites, larger color palettes, and tiled backgrounds. This allowed Famicom games to be longer and have more detailed graphics. Nintendo began attempts to bring their Famicom to the U.S. after the video game market had crashed. In the U.S., video games were seen as a fad that had already passed. To distinguish its product from older game consoles, Nintendo released their Famicom as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) which used a front-loading cartridge port similar to a VCR, included a plastic "robot" (R.O.B.), and was initially advertised as a toy. The NES was the highest selling console in the history of North America and revitalized the video game market. Mario of Super Mario Bros. became a global icon starting with his NES games. Nintendo took a somewhat unusual stance with third-party developers for its console. Nintendo contractually restricted third-party developers to three NES titles per year and forbade them from developing for other video game consoles. The practice ensured Nintendo's market dominance and prevented the flood of trash titles that had helped kill the Atari, but was ruled illegal late in the console's lifecycle.