A chief competitor of the Atari 2600, this second generation gaming console was actually released by Mattel Electronics (a sub-brand of the same company that makes board games), like  and would remain the company’s only until 2006. It also boasted an impressively long production run, lasting 11 years until it was discontinued in 1990 – though much of that can be credited to technologically updated iterations across that span of time. As it was created in the early days of the video game industry before controllers were somewhat standardized, it featured unique rotary wheeled and number padded remotes connected to the greater system by a telephone-style coiled cables. It also was advertised as having better graphic and sound capabilities than the Atari 2600, leading to it being the first real competitive threat.
"The 2600 had a lot of fabulous games, and I remember playing River Raid so much that I had a callous between my thumb and index finger from the base of the not-too-ergonomic 2600 joystick rubbing on it. But I think the game we played the most was Maze Craze, which randomly generated a new maze every game and offered some great competitive multiplayer gameplay (for its time). That was perhaps the first "party game"—at least at our house." 

PlayStation Vita is a handheld game console developed by Sony Computer Entertainment.[75] It is the successor to the PlayStation Portable as part of the PlayStation brand of gaming devices. It was released in Japan on December 17, 2011[76] and was released in Europe and North America on February 22, 2012.[77][78] The handheld includes two analog sticks, a 5-inch (130 mm) OLED/LCD multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, and supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and optional 3G. Internally, the PS Vita features a 4 core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor and a 4 core SGX543MP4+ graphics processing unit, as well as LiveArea software as its main user interface, which succeeds the XrossMediaBar.[79][80]
Many consoles have media streaming apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and more. These let you watch your favorite shows or listen to music directly on your console; some consoles can even connect to your cable source, thus centralizing your home’s entertainment center. Consoles also have parental controls, which give concerned parents more control than ever over the kinds of games, apps and videos their kids can access.
Still, from Resident Evil 4 to F-Zero GX, Super Smash Bros. Melee to Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, and from Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader to Pikmin 1 and 2, GCN was home to a stellar lineup of fantastic games -- titles that could not be found on any other system. And ultimately, it's the software and not the design of the system or its installed base that really counts, which is why GCN easily earns a spot on our list.
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.
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.

"I was in line at Best Buy the morning the GameCube was released. The next few months was a glorious time, filled with Rogue Leader and Pikmin. I couldn't be bothered to buy a PS2 until a year later, and only then because it doubled as a DVD player. Those were the days when we actually got together to play games together in the same room, and the GameCube was simply the better console for that with titles like Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Super Monkey Ball, and Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour."
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.
^ Tabuchi, Hiroko (March 23, 2010). "Nintendo to Make 3-D Version of Its DS Handheld Game". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 4, 2010. 'We wanted to give the gaming industry a head’s up about what to expect from Nintendo at E3,' said Ken Toyoda, chief spokesman at Nintendo. 'We'll invite people to play with the new device then.'
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.
You could also pick up a mini retro console like the NES Classic Mini or the SNES Classic Mini. These come preloaded with games, which means you can't buy extra titles for them, so they're a bit more limited. They're also less powerful than modern consoles, don't connect to the internet, and are designed with retro-loving big kids in mind. Still, little ones will probably still find them fun too.
This console comes in two versions with either 16 GB of storage or 500 GB. The price difference between the two versions is only $100, which is remarkable. We were very impressed with this console because it’s not just a console. It combines the capabilities of a Playstation and a Roku. In other words, Nvidia Shield is an entertainment center where you can play games, listen to music, or stream Netflix. It comes with a number of accompanying apps and Android TV software. It’s very convenient when you only want a single device for streaming and gaming.
Nintendo is reinventing the brand’s consoles with Switch. Think of Switch as a combination of a conventional console and the Nintendo DS. In that, it’s a gaming console that is also highly portable but is better than either a conventional or a portable console. The Switch has its own library, which is already filled with excellent titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Splatoon 2. The Switch is arguably the best family-friendly gaming console released after 2016. It’s affordable, portable, and offers a unique gaming experience regardless of age. You can use it at home or take it with you to school or work.
Video games have changed the way we tell stories – and with more and more possibilities to change a certain story in a game with an interactive narrative, where you as a player are faced with crucial decisions, more complex stories can be told. Games for Playstation, Xbox and PC give us the possibility to take risks that feel real without having the real world knock on the door with real world consequences. Part of what is so alluring about a first-person shooter game is that you as a player can shoot a heat-seeking missile at a building and see the results – without ending up in prison.

The 3DO may not be regarded as one of the most monetarily successful systems in gaming history, but it left its mark on the industry all the same. Released by Panasonic in 1993, the 3DO (aka 3DO Interactive Multiplayer) was a 32-bit, disc-based system that had the technological grit to compete with the leading consoles of its time -- the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, etc -- but was inevitably stifled by its lack of third-party support and high launch price (nearly $700). The system could support up to eight controllers and console expansions such as memory cards, modems, video cartridges and more.
Second only to the NES, the Atari 2600 was the first truly revolutionary step in home gaming from a sheer numbers standpoint. For a long time, this console was far and away the most popular in the world, which was only bolstered by an excellent development platform that allowed for a wide variety of interesting games. From Frogger, to Space Invaders, to Asteroids, and more, the Atari 2600 was many folks’ introduction to the concept that you could play video games at home and the experience could be great. Hell, even the bad games (like the legendary E.T. ’80s movie tie-in) have a great story behind them.
To add to that, it has a long line of outputs, which means you get more options with this than with the earlier models that did not have this exciting and useful opportunity. You can, for example, connect a pair of earphones to it, which makes it possible to talk and listen to the audio at the same time. This means that when you sit and play, you feel even more immersed in the game, and you forget the time and the place, and the only thing that exists in this moment is just this game and this unique universe you have jumped into.
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.
^ Herman, Leonard (1997). Phoenix: the fall & rise of videogames (2nd ed.). Union, NJ: Rolenta Press. p. 20. ISBN 0-9643848-2-5. Retrieved 16 February 2012. Like Pong, Telstar could only play video tennis but it retailed at an inexpensive $50 that made it attractive to most families that were on a budget. Coleco managed to sell over a million units that year.
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.
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.
*”$15 Starts any new agreement” or “$15 pays your first week” offer is valid only on new agreements entered into 1/27/19-2/23/19. Customers eligible for this offer will pay $15 for the initial rental period until first renewal, up to seven days. Offer does not include tax and fees and charges you may incur. Customer must pay processing fee of $25 in California & New York and $10 in Hawaii. After the first week, regular rental rates will apply. Regular rate, term and total cost vary by item selected. Offers will not reduce the total amount necessary to acquire ownership or purchase-option amounts. Cannot be combined with any other promotion. Participating locations only. See Store Manager for complete details.
With it, you can browse games in the Official PlayStation Store, which has access to over 500 titles for when you need something new to play. You’ll have access to cross-platform titles, indie games and re-releases from past consoles along with more exclusive titles than any other console on the market, including Uncharted, Spider-Man and Driveclub. Though the console is the largest on the market, its modern design makes it look slim. Plus, its matte black exterior helps it blend in with your other electronics. It ships with a 1TB hard drive, though you can opt to upgrade it to 2TB or plug in an external hard drive. Inside, you’ll find a 2.1GHz eight-core AMD Jaguar CPU and a 4.2 TFLOP AMD Radeon-based graphics card, which is paired with 8GB of GDDR5 RAM. The powerful system consistently maintains 1080p output and high frame rates. The updated DualShock 4 controller boasts Bluetooth connectivity and can charge via micro-USB so you aren’t permanently tethered to your console. The glowing light bar located along the front of each controller helps identify player one from player two, and even adds a little atmospheric lighting. New features on the controller include a capacitive touch pad, a 3.5mm audio jack, a built-in speaker and a dedicated screen capture button for saving screenshots and sharing them online.
Gaming consoles span several major brands, including Nintendo, Playstation, and Xbox. They also span several generations, with the PS4 console being the latest Playstation and the Xbox One X console being the latest from Microsoft. If you’re looking to play at home, traditional gaming consoles offer stunning HD graphic capabilities thanks to Blu-Ray technology, and the Wii gives you the chance to get active too. If you want to be able to take interactive gaming with you on the move, handheld models also offer up 3D graphics, touchscreen control, WiFi and 3G connectivity, movie and video playback as well as incredible gameplay.
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