Compatibility - If you’ve previously owned a gaming console, you should consider buying a new console that’s compatible with the library of games you’ve likely collected. For example, your PS4 won’t play games from older Sony consoles, but you can still access hundreds of older PlayStation titles using the PS Now streaming service. Xbox One, on the other hand, has much better backwards compatibility, not to mention a digital redemption scheme that lets you download newer versions of your existing games for free.

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.
"I remember renting Phantasy Star IV and getting up extremely early on a Saturday morning to attempt to beat the game before having to bring it back to the rental store. When I advanced to the part of the game where you blast off and unlock the solar system my mind was blown. I was both dismayed that I'd never complete the game in time and astounded that a cartridge could contain such a large adventure."
Bought as a present for someone who's very much into 8-bit retro gaming and he loves it. Console itself looks good and it all works perfectly. Would have been nice if the wireless joysticks weren't quite so directional - but more of a minor gripe. Joysticks are authentic Atari i.e. adequate but not great. There are joystick ports on the front so you could use any better ones you may have kicking around. One thing to watch is that the TV connectors are AV rather than HDMI (wasn't an issue for me).

Even as Sony successfully marketed the slick and cool PlayStation 2 as a high-tech home media device, Nintendo tried to sell GCN as a simple games player for the whole family -- in hindsight, probably a mistake. GameCube looked like a lunchbox and, save for the fantastic Nintendo-published exclusives like Metroid Prime and Super Mario Sunshine -- it didn't really sport any distinguishing features over its competitors. The machine sold almost exclusively to Nintendo fans and younger gamers, which is why it was also largely shunned by third-parties, whose software usually performed better on other platforms. Nintendo ultimately sold about 22 million GameCube systems worldwide -- roughly 118 million units less than PlayStation 2.

But knowledge of this, along with adjusting the parental controls on your console, makes any game console infinitely more kid-friendly. Beyond that, it comes down to game selection: If a console doesn’t have a variety of kid-friendly games, it probably isn’t the best choice for the family room. A handful of games on the Xbox and PlayStation are great for kids, but again, neither console is really geared toward children.

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 Dreamcast launch was a huge deal for me. In fact, the day before the launch, this really amazing girl came into my work and asked me out. And we were on a date that was going so well, but I kept looking at my watch thinking, "I have to get ready for the DC launch." Yeah, I chose the Dreamcast over hooking up with a hot girl and I'd do it again." 

PlayStation has always been known for listening to their users and taking their input and advice into consideration and development of the products they offer. That is why they have also used this input in the development of joysticks and triggers. They have been re-designed based on specific advice and tips that users have come up with. They have a surface that makes it easier to hold them and they do not glide or slip out of your hands when you play.
Current-gen consoles offer top-tier gaming and premium graphics but for an equally premium price. If you’re watching your budget, consider second-generation consoles like the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U or PlayStation 3. You can also opt for a handheld console. Though they lack the power of high-end consoles, the New Nintendo 2DS and 3DS XL both have extensive game libraries and great functionality, and they let you game anywhere.
PlayStation 4 Pro is the newest addition to the product range and is an amazing and powerful game console: when you turn the camera over the landscapes, when the explosions are blasting in your ears and when the speed is up on the seventh gear, you feel it. PlayStation 4 Pro is a sharper game experience, the colours catch your eye, and thanks to the higher resolution, GPU-power and more frames per second you get a gaming experience that reminds of that of high-end gaming computers. PlayStation 4 Pro is for you, who goes all in. For you, who plays on console but has missed the depth and GPU-power that you get when gaming on a PC.
What follows here it T3's top picks of the best game consoles available to buy today. We've selected a series of systems at a variety of price points and intended usage scenarios, too, meaning that no matter your budget, and no matter if you want a powerful portable or multimedia home console, we're sure you'll find something that suits your gaming needs.
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.
However, Sega's success ultimately proved to be short-lived. Sony announced their own upcoming system, the PlayStation 2, in the fall of 1999; while they had few details on their system, many consumers ultimately held off on buying a system until Sony's own system launched. The PS2 released a year later and received immense critical acclaim. The PS2 quickly outsold the Dreamcast, eventually going on to become the best-selling video game console of all time while the Dreamcast's own sales stagnated.
A major new addition to the market was the trend for corporations to include a large number of "non-gaming" features into their handheld consoles, including cell phones, MP3 players, portable movie players, and PDA-like features. The handheld that started this trend was Nokia's N-Gage, which was released in 2003 and doubled primarily as a mobile phone. It went through a redesign in 2004 and was renamed the N-Gage QD. A second handheld, the Zodiac from Tapwave, was released in 2004; based on the Palm OS, it offered specialized gaming-oriented video and sound capabilities, but it had an unwieldy development kit due to the underlying Palm OS foundation. With more and more PDAs arriving during the previous generation, the difference between consumer electronics and traditional computing began to blur and cheap console technology grew as a result. It was said of PDAs that they were "the computers of handheld gaming" because of their multi-purpose capabilities and the increasingly powerful computer hardware that resided within them. This capability existed to move gaming beyond the last generation's 16-bit limitations; however, PDAs were still geared towards the typical businessman and lacked new, affordable software franchises to compete with dedicated handheld gaming consoles.
More than just a clearance house for lightly-aged AAA titles, the Switch also offers an ever-growing catalog of fantastic first-party games like Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as well as excellent indies such as Stardew Valley, Celeste, and Dead Cells. Add in some forward-looking experiments with Nintendo Labo, and the Switch is looking like an incredibly well-rounded platform with something unique to offer everyone.

Juzel Albert Padilla has always been passionate about computers. Knowing how hard it is to find a solution for every computer problem, he aims to deliver the best solutions possible through his work on WePC.com. His passion to help and reach out to computer enthusiasts is what pushed him to deliver clear and concise contents. His writings focus on delivering informative tutorials and detailed how-to’s.

This was a tricky one. We originally budgeted for an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060—a modest but effective HD gaming card. Most of the time with that card, in most games, you get at least 60 frames per second (fps) in 1,920 by 1,080 gameplay with settings at or near maximum. But it's not a powerhouse. The GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition retails for $299, so from the start we were picking the rest of the components with a GTX 1060 at that price in mind. As the process went on, though, we were tempted by the more powerful GeForce GTX 1070. Something about going through all of the trouble to build a gaming-specific machine only to use a GTX 1060 just felt underwhelming.

"5 stars...Love it...I called microsoft and they shipped me a new one (same as the one included) and I got it two weeks later with no hassle or extra charge so i'm happy with the console and the customer support!...I can't believe I waited to buy the Xbox One X. I already owned a 4k tv but didn't realize how amazing games and movies would look through the One X. Only 4 stars bc I'm not a big fan of battlefield."
"I'll always credit the NES for getting me back into gaming – for good. As a kid, I was addicted to escaping from blocky cats on my brother's Fairchild Channel F, worked my way through various Atari machines to the C64... and suddenly fell out of love with gaming altogether. The NES brought it all back. As much as I tried, there was no escaping the power of Mario! The NES made me a gamer for life."

Eighth-generation Nintendo consoles (Nintendo 3DS and Wii U) took advantage of the services provided by the Nintendo Network, including purchase and download of full titles, Virtual Console games, downloadable games (including most DSiWare/WiiWare titles), DLC, non-gaming apps, game demos, and other material. Nintendo Network also allowed online-gaming support to be provided either for free or for a premium cost. Nintendo also offered its own social network in the form of Miiverse, which was shut down in 2017.

Nintendo has come along way from its eight-bit handheld Gameboy system to its now robust and powerful face-tracking, 3D-capable, Wi-Fi-enabled Nintendo 3DS XL system. It can play local and online multiplayer, so you and other 3DS owners around the world or in the neighborhood can play games such as Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart 7. The Nintendo 3DS XL measures 1.5 x 7.1 x 5.1 inches, weighs 1.1 pounds and comes in a variety of unique colors.
There's no "I" in team and the days of being limited to solo gaming are long gone. Online play lets you join forces and complete missions co-operatively, or go head-to-head with real people from around the world instantaneously. A premier online gaming experience backed by dedicated servers offers fast, smooth connections, but often comes with a small monthly or yearly fee. If you want to play with your friends make sure you know which consoles they're using, that way you're not left on the sideline.
Design your own creative Mario levels with this Nintendo 2DS Super Mario Maker bundle. The handheld console plays both Nintendo DS and 3DS games in clear 2D graphics, and its wireless capabilities let you connect friends and other players. Collaborate with friends on game courses with the creative tools and design tutorials of this Nintendo 2DS Super Mario Maker bundle.
Matthew Buzzi is a Hardware Analyst at PCMag, focusing on laptops and desktops with a specialty in gaming systems and games. Matthew earned a degree in Mass Communications/Journalism and interned for a college semester at Kotaku, writing about gaming before turning it into part of his career. He spends entirely too much time on Twitter (find him @M... See Full Bio
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T3 has reviewed all the best video game consoles going, from Microsoft's 4K powerhouse the Xbox One X, through to Sony's rival PS4 Pro, and onto Nintendo's hot hybrid, the Nintendo Switch, and we've tucked hundreds of hours under our belt playing their best games, too. As such, our tech experts are perfectly positioned to help you find your perfect gaming console.
For PC gamers that want to give their ears a rest from the persistent pinch of those ear cups, a solid set of PC speakers is just the ticket. Some of these computer speaker packages are nearly as good as their TV counterparts. While they may annoy others in the household, if the timing is right it can be a lot of fun to really crank them up and enjoy lifelike sound at the computer desk.

^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h Sony stopped divulging individual platform sales starting with 2012 fiscal reports,[18][19] and continues to sporadically.[20] PlayStation 2: 138.8 million units sold as of Sony's first fiscal quarter ending June 2009 (Q1 FY2009).[21] Sony sold 16.2 million units from Q2 FY2009 until March 31, 2012.[22] It was discontinued worldwide on January 4, 2013.[23] PlayStation 3: A Sony press release reported 80 million sold as of November 2, 2013.[24] 3.4 million were shipped in 2014 and 0.4 million in the first quarter of 2015.[25] PlayStation Portable: 52.9 million units sold as of Q1 FY2009.[21] Sony sold 23.4 million units from Q2 FY2009 until March 31, 2012.[26] On June 3, 2014, IGN reported a sales figure of 80 million,[27] but the Associated Press noted "More than 76 million PSP machines were sold, as of two years ago, the last time a tally was taken."[28] Shipments to North America ended in January 2014, and to Japan in June 2014. Shipments to Europe ended during the latter part of 2014.[28] IGN reported in mid-November that 82 million PSP were manufactured and shipped at end of production.[29] PlayStation Vita: 4 million reported by The Guardian on January 4, 2013.[23] Glixel stated in June 2017 that 15 million were sold,[30] while the Electronic Entertainment Design and Research suggests a couple million less by end of 2015.[31]
"It's hard to narrow down my fondest PS3 memory -- namely because I'm still making them. I guess through all the SingStar parties at my apartment, getting my first Platinum Trophy, and getting goose bumps while watching the E3 2009 Uncharted 2: Among Thieves demo, my favorite memory is when I was lugging my PS3 back into work, my IGN bag broke, and the system tumbled to the concrete. Other than a dinged corner, the system was still in tip-top shape. An Xbox 360 would've shattered like the T-1000 in Terminator 2." 

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.


"Despite the fact that I played the heck out of the NES, it was more than just a great videogame system to me. It was also the platform that grew my social and bargaining skills. Not only did my friends and family bond with me over sessions of Super Mario Bros. and Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, but my friends in particular started haggling with me because of my obsession with getting new NES games. Baseball cards, comic books, and toys were commodities that I used weekly to talk my way into getting new games out of pals via trade all the time, and the feeling of accomplishment from those trades and the fun I had playing those titles afterward is still something that sticks with me to this day."
Perhaps more than anything else, the Saturn was a gem for importers and hardcore gamers. The hardware's architecture made it inferior to the PlayStation for three dimensional games (like the popular Tomb Raider) but many proud Saturn owners knew that it was the only console to enjoy the best versions of many 2D fighters, just ask any real Street Fighter fan.
And unlike a console where a TV and living room are usually an ideal combination, for PC gaming it's all about the gaming den and smaller monitor. 25-inch panels are generally considered the sweet spot, especially when you consider 1440p. 4K isn't quite ready, regardless of what console makers and others would lead you to believe. Even a pricier GTX 1080 struggles to push content at that resolution — give it a few more years.
"i love...5 Star...While the ps4 platform itself is a great technological advancement I don't agree with the fact that you buy a game cd for $40 or $50 but then have to pay an additional fee to enjoy playing online with your friends personally I think that is a little ridiculous I appreciate that it's internet capable but I don't agree with having to pay for online gaming after so much money has already been shelled out...Have had a PlayStation 4 for about a year and just bought a new one for gift because to me it beats out both the Xbox One and Wii U, which I also own, and the base PS4 is a great starter console for younger players."

We paid for it in effort, though. The Gammaxx isn't abnormal for an air cooler, but its bracket orientation was confusing, and we started screwing in the parts out of order. This had a little domino effect during the build; we had to backpedal a few steps, and it took longer than it probably should have, but it was hardly catastrophic. Lesson: Read the manual, or at least flip through it. (We tried to wing it.)

We paid for it in effort, though. The Gammaxx isn't abnormal for an air cooler, but its bracket orientation was confusing, and we started screwing in the parts out of order. This had a little domino effect during the build; we had to backpedal a few steps, and it took longer than it probably should have, but it was hardly catastrophic. Lesson: Read the manual, or at least flip through it. (We tried to wing it.)
More than just a clearance house for lightly-aged AAA titles, the Switch also offers an ever-growing catalog of fantastic first-party games like Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as well as excellent indies such as Stardew Valley, Celeste, and Dead Cells. Add in some forward-looking experiments with Nintendo Labo, and the Switch is looking like an incredibly well-rounded platform with something unique to offer everyone.
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.
"While I still rail against Sony for some of the mistakes that it has made with its most powerful system to date, like removing backwards compatibility and stubbornly refusing to drop the price of the system, I still have fond memories of playing Metal Gear Solid 4 on the system multiple times over around the world, staying up all night long playing Warhawk with a core of dedicated players as the game launched and playing some incredible games of baseball with The Show over the past few years. Sure, it's hit some stumbling blocks, but the PS3 is one of those systems that has yet to showcase its true potential, and it'll be awesome to see what developers can squeeze out of the console in the years to come. "
While there are more multiplatform games than exclusives, it’s important to keep in mind that most cross-platform games really only work on the latest Xbox and PlayStation devices, since those systems have such similar capabilities. Nintendo’s consoles, however, have fun and unique features but aren’t nearly as powerful as the others, which makes it harder for developers to create comparable versions of their games for Nintendo consoles. But with the advent of the Switch, Nintendo has begun collaborating with third-party game developer companies, and now games available on the Switch have improved greatly both graphics- and capacity-wise. The lesson here is to discover what kinds of games you and your family like to play, then choose a console that supports most of them.
"I'll never forget the time my launch Xbox 360 red ringed. It was a rainy day in March. I wore my green cardigan and she wore a FEAR faceplate. It was love. True love. But then she died on me. Maybe I pushed her power button one too many times. I couldn't help myself – I liked playing games in HD and with Microsoft's amazing online service. She just couldn't handle the strain. Sure, she was easy to replace. And so was the next one that died. But I'll never forget my first. Especially not after I had a picture of her red rings tattooed on my chest. Rest in peace, little 360. Rest in peace."
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.
Your processor can be a bottleneck for gaming, but as long as you hit a certain performance minimum, which many modern CPUs do, it's other components that are more likely to hold you back. Recent processors are more efficient than ever, with a much more capable baseline than the average CPUs of the past. For this build, we went with an eighth-generation ("Coffee Lake") Intel Core i5-8400 CPU for $179, which is more than powerful enough for mainstream gaming.
"I knew the retail days on the NeoGeo were numbered, but I actually sold one of these beasts when I was merely a sales associate at a Babbages back in 1990. A son dragged his mother in and she started asking questions like "does the NeoGeo have better graphics than the Super NES?" I did not lie...it definitely does and I told her so. She bought it and a game for a $1000 receipt. I couldn't believe anyone would actually shell out the dough for it, but I witnessed it firsthand."
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.
"I actually liked the Atari 5200, primarily because of the games I had for it, such as Pengo, Mountain King, The Dreadnaught Factor, and one of my favorite games of all-time, Pitfall II: The Lost Caverns. Now, was the machine an over-sized mess with controllers that broke way too easy? Yes. But if consoles are defined by their games, then on a personal level, the 5200 remains near and dear for not only these titles, but for being a part of my discovery of videogames in the early eighties."
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.
^ 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.

Despite its comparably short lifespan, the SEGA Dreamcast was the first system in the sixth generation of video game consoles, which included the PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Xbox. The Dreamcast first hit stores in 1998, over two years before the PS2 and three years before the GameCube and Xbox. Although the Dreamcast had sizable chronological leeway over its contemporaries, it was inevitably stifled by stiff competition and the advent of DVD technology. But before it met its untimely demise in 2001, the Dreamcast certainly left its mark on the console industry.
Whether you prefer sports, war simulation or racing; you’ll find the titles will keep you entertained with our range of PSP, Xbox, Playstation and PC games. Find all the accessories you need to complete your gaming experience from headphones and headsets to gaming chairs, controllers and memory cards. Not forgetting the consoles themselves, shop for a PS3, Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii or if retro gaming is more your thing, a SNES or N64.
The Nomad was released in October 1995 in North America only.[34][35] The release was five years into the market span of the Genesis, with an existing library of more than 500 Genesis games. According to former Sega of America research and development head Joe Miller, the Nomad was not intended to be the Game Gear's replacement and believes that there was little planning from Sega of Japan for the new handheld.[36] Sega was supporting five different consoles: Saturn, Genesis, Game Gear, Pico, and the Master System, as well as the Sega CD and 32X add-ons. In Japan, the Mega Drive had never been successful and the Saturn was more successful than Sony's PlayStation, so Sega Enterprises CEO Hayao Nakayama decided to focus on the Saturn.[37] By 1999, the Nomad was being sold at less than a third of its original price.[38]
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