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.

The Switch has proven to be a boon for third-party publishers and indie developers, too. The ability to play nearly any game in either home console or handheld mode breathes new life into older and smaller titles that were previously limited to TV-based systems. This has resulted in a surge of ports and remakes of classic games from the last few console generations like Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2, Dark Souls, Katamari Damacy, Okami, and Onimusha: Warlords. If that isn't enough, the system has received an explosion of excellent indie games including Dead Cells, Hollow Knight, Night in the Woods, Stardew Valley, and Undertale. It's a fantastic selection for a system that's been around for less than two years (even if we're still waiting for a Switch port of Super Mario Maker).

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.
"4K wow...Love it...Didn't really realize I'm not that interested in Fallout 76 until reading about it while downloading the game (as I'm lukewarm on online games ), so I still haven't actually played the game yet....I will say this if you don't have a 4k HDR smart TV you will still be happy but if you're on a tight budget stick with the Xbox One S until you can afford one."
But the good times were not to last and the skyrocket trajectory of the Atari 2600 was partially to blame. With videogames white-hot, everybody wanted in. And Atari did not have any solid quality-control mechanisms in place. No game epitomizes this lack quite like E.T., a licensed title that was forced to market after a five-week development cycle. Atari took a bath on E.T. and consumers started to sour on the breath of subpar games clogging shelves. Thus began the great video game crash of 1983 which laid waste to the entire industry.
The minimum payment on your statement will include the amount you need to pay to keep an Interest Saver plan running. If you only pay the minimum payments, interest will be charged after the plan expires and will be back dated to when the order was despatched. To avoid paying interest on your Interest Saver plan, you need to make sufficient payments above the minimum amount to ensure you pay off the plan before it expires. To make it easy, we always include all the important information such as the expiry date and amount of the plan in the 'Your plans' section towards the end of your statement.
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.[23]
After the sluggish sales in Japan, Sega pursued a different strategy in other areas. The system launched in North America with 18 titles, including the much-anticipated Sonic Adventure. A big part of marketing their system to North America was taking advantage of the turn of the century and North America's tendency to end a products price tag with the number 9. They came up with the slogan "9/9/99 for $199", and the system initially sold briskly. Despite Japan having a year head start on North America, by the end of 1999 the Dreamcast had sold 2 million units in North America versus only 1 million in Japan, and at the end of the year Sega controlled 31% of the American video game market. The Dreamcast went on to launch in Europe on October 14, 1999 and in Australia on November 30, 1999.
Another option is local multiplayer. You can play using two TVs in a single location or using the split-screen feature on a single TV. Many modern games don’t support local multiplayer on a single TV, as it consumes too much processing power to render a game twice over on one screen. However, Nintendo continues to create games and consoles that can abide by this option, making its consoles great for local gaming.

The big change in performance didn't come at the start of this console generation, but halfway through it. Both Sony and Microsoft released enhanced, 4K-capable versions of their game systems: the aforementioned PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. They're significantly more powerful than the original models, capable of reaching up to 4K resolution with high dynamic range (HDR) graphics. Notice I say "up to," because not all games will hit 4K even if you have a 4K TV, and often you'll see a bump in rendered resolution to somewhere between 1080p and 4K, which is then upconverted to 4K before going out to the TV.


At Rent-A-Center, you have your pick of state-of-the-art game consoles, including the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. How do you know which rent-to-own video game console to select? It comes down to comfort, ease of control, and the selection of video games. The best way to determine if you prefer the Xbox or PlayStation is to stop by your nearest Rent-A-Center location to try the gaming systems.
Coming to an insurmountable obstacle in the middle of a live video because of a missing, incompatible, or broken component is the ultimate nightmare—thankfully, that hasn't happened to us yet!. But it's fun to take live questions through Facebook, talk to viewers, and make our build as watchable as possible while we work on it at a reasonable pace. In my experience, it's been an entertaining challenge—as long as we don't make any glaring errors! If we do, we can count on our viewers to let us know. Right away.
The hardware was undeniably more advanced than the Atari 2600, with the ability to display higher resolution graphics and a more versatile color palette. The gamepads also showed how more advanced the system was over the "simple" Atari: these controllers featured a unique disc input system that predates the Nintendo thumb pad innovation, and offered a versatile telephone-like keypad as well as four action buttons, two on each side. Games made for the Intellivision featured specific overlays with artwork that slipped right on top of these 12 buttons to make it easy to understand which button does what.
The only thing that we didn’t like about the setup are the 2 ultrawide monitors. Gaming with only 2 monitors is just inconvenient because of the bezels. Moreover, there are some issues with having only ultrawide monitors (which we have discussed in some of the above builds that feature ultrawide monitors). One Ultrawide is great, but we wouldn’t be opposed to swapping it out for 2 smaller 16:9 monitors. Of course, this might increase the overall build cost unless you’re going for 1080p monitors.
The biggest games from third-party publishers like EA and Activision are almost all cross-platform, so it comes down to which exclusives appeal to you more. Games made by Sony will probably only come out on the PS4. Games made by Microsoft will probably only come out on the Xbox One. Of course, Windows 10 availability for nearly all of Microsoft's major releases means that you can play most of the big Xbox One exclusives on your PC if you want, while PS4 exclusives remain solidly PS4-only. It gives Sony an edge, but it doesn't represent an advantage for consumers; exclusivity only limits, and doesn't improve the experience for anyone besides the publisher and manufacturer.

Home computers have long used magnetic storage devices. Both tape drives and floppy disk drives were common on early microcomputers. Their popularity is in large part because a tape drive or disk drive can write to any material it can read. However, magnetic media is volatile and can be more easily damaged than game cartridges or optical discs.[88] Among the first consoles to use magnetic media were the Bally Astrocade and APF-M1000, both of which could use cassette tapes through expansions. In Bally's case, this allowed the console to see new game development even after Bally dropped support for it. While magnetic media remained limited in use as a primary form of distribution, three popular subsequent consoles also had expansions available to allow them to use this format. The Starpath Supercharger can load Atari 2600 games from audio cassettes; Starpath used it to cheaply distribute their own games from 1982 to 1984 and today it is used by many programmers to test, distribute, and play homebrew software. The Disk System, a floppy disk-reading add-on to the Famicom (as the NES was known in Japan), was released by Nintendo in 1986 for the Japanese market. Nintendo sold the disks cheaply and sold vending machines where customers could have new games written to their disks up to 500 times.[89] In 1999, Nintendo released another Japan-only floppy disk add-on, the Nintendo 64DD, for the Nintendo 64.


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.
"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."
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 third major handheld of the fourth generation was the Game Gear. It featured graphics capabilities roughly comparable to the Master System (better colours, but lower resolution), a ready made games library by using the "Master-Gear" adapter to play cartridges from the older console, and the opportunity to be converted into a portable TV using a cheap tuner adaptor, but it also suffered some of the same shortcomings as the Lynx. While it sold more than twenty times as many units as the Lynx, its bulky design - slightly larger than even the original Game Boy; relatively poor battery life - only a little better than the Lynx; and later arrival in the marketplace - competing for sales amongst the remaining buyers who didn't already have a Game Boy - hampered its overall popularity despite being more closely competitive to the Nintendo in terms of price and breadth of software library.[28] Sega eventually retired the Game Gear in 1997, a year before Nintendo released the first examples of the Game Boy Color, to focus on the Nomad and non-portable console products. Other handheld consoles released during the fourth generation included the TurboExpress, a handheld version of the TurboGrafx-16 released by NEC in 1990, and the Game Boy Pocket, an improved model of the Game Boy released about two years before the debut of the Game Boy Color. While the TurboExpress was another early pioneer of color handheld gaming technology and had the added benefit of using the same game cartridges or 'HuCards' as the TurboGrafx16, it had even worse battery life than the Lynx and Game Gear - about three hours on six contemporary AA batteries - selling only 1.5 million units.[27]
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