A handheld game console is a lightweight device with a built-in screen, games controls, speakers, and has greater portability than a standard video game console. It is capable of playing multiple games unlike tabletop and handheld electronic game devices. Tabletop and handheld electronic game devices of the 1970s and 1980s are the precursors of handheld game consoles. Mattel introduced the first handheld electronic game with the 1977 release of Auto Race. Later, several companies—including Coleco and Milton Bradley—made their own single-game, lightweight tabletop or handheld electronic game devices. The oldest handheld game console with interchangeable cartridges is the Milton Bradley Microvision in 1979. Nintendo is credited with popularizing the handheld console concept with the Game Boy's release in 1989 and continues to dominate the handheld console market.
The Atari 5200 was designed and marketed as Atari's answer to the Intellivision, but soon after its release in 1982, it became a more direct competitor to the Colecovision instead, which released that same year. The 5200 had some notable feature variations over its competitors, however, such as its analog joystick, four controller ports, and start, pause, and reset buttons. Based off of the Atari 400/800 home computer systems, the Atari 5200 came with a 1.79 MHz processor, 16KB of RAM, and was capable of producing an image with a maximum resolution of 320x192 pixels. While that may not sound like a lot now with consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 boasting high-end processors and video output of 1920x1080 resolution, but at the time it blew away the Intellivision's sub-1MHz processor.
It's also worth mentioning that like the PlayStation 2 and DVDs before it, the PlayStation 3 put Blu-ray players into millions of homes world-wide and helped it overtake HD-DVD as the HD format war winner. Coupled with downloadable videos via the PlayStation Network, the PlayStation 3 also serves as much more than a gaming device, which is certainly a plus.
Gaming consoles are obviously a luxury, but they are rapidly becoming the center of living rooms and entertainment centers, since they combine gaming, listening to music, watching videos, chatting with friends, browsing the web, livestreaming, shopping and more. Consoles are a fantastic way to combine all of your digital entertainment into a single place. Consider your gaming habits, title preferences (past, present and future) along with your budget to ensure you find the perfect console for your needs.
We researched and evaluated seven gaming consoles to recommend the best ones for your family gaming and entertainment needs. Our overall winner is the Xbox One X. The console has a full artillery of features, powerful hardware and a large selection of current and backwards-compatible games that are fun for new and seasoned gamers of all ages to enjoy. With the Xbox One X, you have access to free apps for streaming videos, listening to music, watching sports, getting gaming news and even chatting online.
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.
As of July 22, 2018, over 80 million PlayStation 4 consoles have been sold worldwide, and 10 million Xbox One units have shipped to retailers (by the end of 2014), both outpacing sales of their seventh generation systems. In contrast, the Wii U was a commercial failure and ceased production in January 2017, having sold only 13.56 million units after four years on the market. The Nintendo Switch sold 2.74 million in its first month, making it the strongest hardware launch in the history of the company, and surpassed the Wii U by the end of 2017.
The newest heavy-duty console to hit the market – the Xbox One X – has 4K HDR playback and the most powerful gaming console processor on the market. The Xbox One S and PlayStation 4 Pro also have some 4K and/or HDR playback abilities, though to a lesser degree than the One X. Any of these is a smart choice if you have a compatible TV and access to 4K games and video, and they can make for the perfect binge session of Netflix’s latest 4K content.
For a good 10-something years, Nintendo was the undisputed champion of the home video game console market, thanks to their brilliant marketing, exclusives strategy, and overall tech. But the closest they ever came to being dethroned in that time was at the hands of Sega and their Genesis console. Granted the SNES still outsold the Genesis by around 20 million units, but that was a big deal for the much smaller game developer. The Genesis also introduced the world to one of the mainstays of gaming that’s still around today, Sonic the Hedgehog. This gaming machine would go on to become Sega’s greatest achievement from a hardware perspective and still sparks debate today over whether it or the SNES was a better console.
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.
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.
For handheld game consoles, the seventh generation began with the release of the Nintendo DS on November 21, 2004. This handheld was based on a design fundamentally different from the Game Boy and other handheld video game systems. The Nintendo DS offered new modes of input over previous generations such as a touch screen, the ability to connect wirelessly using IEEE 802.11b, as well as a microphone to speak to in-game NPCs. On December 12, 2004, Sony released its first handheld, PlayStation Portable (PSP). The PlayStation Portable was marketed at launch to an above 25-year-old or "core gamer" market, while the Nintendo DS proved to be popular with both core gamers and new customers. Nokia revived its N-Gage platform in the form of a service for selected S60 devices. This new service launched on April 3, 2008. Other less-popular handheld systems released during this generation include the Gizmondo (launched on March 19, 2005 and discontinued in February 2006) and the GP2X (launched on November 10, 2005 and discontinued in August 2008). The GP2X Wiz, Pandora, and Gizmondo 2 were scheduled for release in 2009. Another aspect of the seventh generation was the beginning of direct competition between dedicated handheld gaming devices, and increasingly powerful PDA/cell phone devices such as the iPhone and iPod Touch, and the latter being aggressively marketed for gaming purposes. Simple games such as Tetris and Solitaire had existed for PDA devices since their introduction, but by 2009 PDAs and phones had grown sufficiently powerful to where complex graphical games could be implemented, with the advantage of distribution over wireless broadband.
The price tag reflected the power of the system: the NeoGeo home console cost more than 800 dollars, with individual games exceeding $200 a piece. The justification for the price was in the physical size of the games: where Super NES and Genesis cartridges were as large as 16 megabits in size at the time, NeoGeo games could get as big as 330 megabits…more than 20 times bigger!
This game genre is played online with a big number of players. Here the player creates a personal character and role-plays his way in a large interactive world. MMORPG is alluring. Not just as a game, but as a world and as a community. When we were kids, we improvised our own weapons and went on epic adventures with our friends, hunting monsters. Today we relive that feeling through MMORPG games. We personalize our character, explore picturesque scenes and delve into dangerous adventures. This is what these games are about.
^ Mehegan, David (May 8, 1988). "Putting Coleco Industries Back Together". The Boston Globe. p. A1. ISSN 0743-1791. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2014. (Subscription required (help)). When the game [Telstar] crashed hard, earnings fell 50 percent in 1977 and the company lost $22 million in 1978, barely skirting bankruptcy after Handel -- then chief financial officer -- found new credit and mollified angry creditors after months of tough negotiation.
"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."
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.
^ Jump up to: a b "Revisions to Annual Results Forecasts" (PDF). Sega Corporation. October 23, 2001. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 26, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015. Regarding sales of Dreamcast hardware from inventory resulting from the withdrawal from Dreamcast production [...] the Company exceeded initial targets with domestic sales of 130,000 units and U.S. sales of 530,000 units for the first half. Consequently, at the end of the half, Dreamcast inventories totaled 40,000 units domestically and 230,000 units for the United States, and we anticipate being able to sell all remaining units by the holiday season as initially planned.
^ 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.
The Switch is for people who really like Nintendo’s own games. Although other publishers do occasionally support the console (Switch can run Fortnite and Minecraft, for example) it’s the beautiful homegrown titles, such as Super Mario, Mario Kart and The Legend of Zelda, that most Switch owners are here for. Its online store is also packed with most of the best smaller independent games of the past few years.
The VES continued to be sold at a profit after 1977, and both Bally (with their Home Library Computer in 1977) and Magnavox (with the Odyssey² in 1978) brought their own programmable cartridge-based consoles to the market. However, it was not until Atari released a conversion of the golden age arcade hit Space Invaders in 1980 for the Atari 2600 that the home console industry took off. Many consumers bought an Atari console so they could play Space Invaders at home. The unprecedented success of Space Invaders started the trend of console manufacturers trying to get exclusive rights to arcade titles, and the trend of advertisements for game consoles claiming to bring the arcade experience home. Throughout the early 1980s, other companies released video game consoles of their own. Many of the video game systems (e.g. ColecoVision) were technically superior to the Atari 2600, and marketed as improvements over the Atari 2600. However, Atari dominated the console market in the early 1980s.