While Microsoft’s first attempt at a console was a valiant effort, the original Xbox was an insanely bulky and heavy brick that definitely scored at the bottom when it came to looks. The follow-up 360, however, took everything that was great about the first iteration and improved upon it – including a complete aesthetic makeover. This console was to the Playstation 3 what the Genesis was to the SNES, only more so – because it actually got a lot of loyal Sony fans to switch over to Xbox. Unfortunately, the 360’s relative flop of a successor would all but reverse the script back in Sony’s favor. Still, the 360 is Microsoft’s crowning achievement in the gaming console wars and will certainly go down as one of the best consoles ever – despite the “red ring of death” that plagued so many of the systems.
With the Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4; console gaming has entered a new level of visual fidelity and online play. Games on the Xbox One console and the PS4 console are bigger, more immersive and more graphically stunning than ever before. Now, with the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X, you can enjoy even better graphics and processing power. Nintendo’s current console, the Switch, may not pack the same graphical punch, but has been enormously successful thanks to a stellar line up of games and the fact it can be used as a home console and a handheld.
NEC had a hit on its hands in Japan with the PC Engine in 1987, a console that regularly outsold the Famicom (the Japanese NES) and wanted to replicate that success in America. So it turned to a marketing company to repackage the underpowered 16-bit machine and go head-to-head with the dominant players in America: Nintendo and SEGA. Perhaps it was the lack of third-party support. Perhaps it was the absolutely goofy inter-capped name TurboGrafx-16. Whatever the culprit, the Turbo just never made a dent in the American market.
Despite its astronomical asking price, however, the 3DO boasted an impressive library of games and a wide variety of peripherals. Although the system was lacking in the exclusive games department, it did offer some of the most popular iterations of many big-franchise ports, such as Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo. The 3DO was also among one of the first systems to undergo several hardware iterations, produced independently by several big name manufacturers, such as Sanyo and Goldstar. Other innovations of the 3DO include daisy-chainable controllers, and surround sound audio support.

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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.
Though it is admittedly strange-looking and we can’t begin to fathom what the designers were thinking when creating the controller, the Magnavox Odyssey still ranks amongst the best systems of all time for one simple reason: it was the absolute first commercial home gaming console. In fact, though Pong is technically a separate IP, the Odyssey featured the first ping-pong style video game. Truth be told, the short list of games for the system, numbered 28 in total, were more like novelties than the fully-fledged experiences of later consoles. Whatever the case, this Magnavox-built gaming machine was revolutionary, and that makes it special.
Ask any 90s kid what the best retro multiplayer game console is and they’ll say the Nintendo 64. Before online multiplayer separated people from long distances, games like Mario Party, Golden Eye: 007 and Mario Kart 64 required you and your friends to physically sit next to one another and bond. Every Friday night, kids all around America would invite their friends over for some pepperoni pizza and game for hours on end with their N64.
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.

With the 7800 launch, Atari put a focus on "budget" gaming, with many games selling for less than $19.99. Because the system was all ready to go back in 1984, most of the launch titles were arcade titles from several years prior. The system was very capable in visuals as seen in games like the bundled Pole Position II. But its sound system lacked: the system designers created a cheap sound chip that could be included in cartridges, but to keep costs low, Atari limited the sound chip in very few titles. With Nintendo locking up third-parties with its two-year exclusivity agreement, Atari also had a hard time convincing third-party companies to produce games for its console – as a result, the company went after the rights to popular games that were available only for computers.


Pre-order the Xbox One S Minecraft Creators Bundle (1TB) and be part of a worldwide phenomenon. Jam-packed with a full-game download plus popular content from Minecraft community creators, the bundle includes the Xbox One S console with 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, 4K video streaming, and a wireless controller. Play Minecraft with friends! Build, dig, and craft together with friends who are on PC, mobile, VR, and console.
In 1990, Nintendo finally brought their Super Famicom to market and brought it to the United States as the Super NES (SNES) a year later. Its release marginalized the TurboGrafx and the Neo Geo, but came late enough for Sega to sell several million consoles in North America and gain a strong foothold. The same year the SNES was released Sega released Sonic the Hedgehog, which spiked Genesis sales, similar to Space Invaders on the Atari. Also, by 1992 the first fully licensed NFL Football game was released: NFL Sports Talk Football '93, which was available only on the Genesis. This impact on Genesis sales and the overall interest of realistic sports games would start the trend of licensed sports games being viewed as necessary for the success of a console in the US. While Nintendo enjoyed dominance in Japan and Sega in Europe, the competition between the two was particularly fierce and close in North America. Ultimately, the SNES outsold the Genesis, but only after Sega discontinued the Genesis to focus on the next generation of consoles.
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]
"I never owned a TurboGrafx and never wanted one, but I do remember one of my co-workers' eyes lighting up when he was describing to me Bonk's Adventure after he went and saw it at a retailer's show. His animated description was enough for me to get excited along with him, and when it eventually came out I was right there with him all jazzed about this crazy prehistoric platformer."
All major gaming consoles give you an impressive mix of cross-platform and exclusive games, from Gears of War to Fifa 16. If you’re keen on multiplayer action, the Xbox offers you Xbox Live, allowing you to hook up online with the worldwide Xbox player community. Across all of our major gaming consoles, jaw-dropping graphics combine with substantial system memory so you can download and store games, videos, music and more for a complete home entertainment system.
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