Microsoft's Xbox was the first dedicated video game console released by the company in North America on November 15, 2001, in Japan on February 22, 2002, and in Europe and Australia on March 14, 2002. Microsoft realized the power of video game consoles and feared with growing capabilities they may take over more than the living room. It was the first console to employ a hard drive right out of the box to save games, the first to include an Ethernet port for broadband internet, and the beginning of Microsoft's online Xbox LIVE service. Microsoft was able to attract many PC developers by using the NT kernel and DirectX from their Windows operating system. Though criticized for its bulky size and the awkwardness of its original controller, the Xbox eventually gained popularity, especially in the US, where it outsold the GameCube to secure second place, due in part to the success of the Halo franchise.
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.
Nowadays, it’s the industry standard that new consoles have internet connectivity and basic online multiplayer abilities for other users of that same console. However, at least for the time being, you cannot play with a friend who owns a different console than you. Xbox Live, Microsoft’s online multiplayer network, only works with other recent Xbox consoles; the PlayStation Network – Sony’s equivalent – is similarly restricted as is Nintendo Switch Online. Even playing with people who are on older systems isn’t really a possibility at this point.

A video game console is a specialized computer system designed for interactive video gameplay and display. A video game console functions like a PC and is built with the same essential components, including a central processing unit (CPU), graphics processing unit (GPU) and random access memory (RAM). To offset costs, most video game console manufacturers use older CPU versions.


Gamers around the world share videos with friends and fans alike on websites such as YouTube and Twitch. Here you can find live streams of your favorite gamers playing the latest AAA and indie titles, or even watch e-sports competitions. There are also millions of other popular gaming-related videos, including strategies, gaming news, rage quits, walkthroughs, fail compilations, achievements, tips, game reviews and more. Individual games and gamers alike have garnered cult followings online. It’s also easy to find more niche subcultures. They exist for bigger topics, like for certain console or game studios, as well as for more precise interests, such as a particular game franchise or character.

Nintendo is the obvious choice for family-friendly gaming. It’s known for the kid-safe titles in its library, like the Mario, Donkey Kong and Pokémon franchises as well as other arcade classics that typically don’t have unsavory content. The Nintendo Switch also has a ton of exclusive and indie titles available that kids should enjoy, although it is slightly pricier than the DS consoles. The Switch supports both solo and multiplayer gaming on its small screen, and you can choose to play it on your TV or handheld on the go. With their small designs and simple interfaces, the Nintendo consoles are great options for younger kids.
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.
Twitch (a.k.a. TwitchTV) is a popular website for viewing live streams of video games, such as StarCraft 2, Dota 2, and League of Legends. Esports enthusiasts from around the world visit Twitch to view live matches from professional video game competitions. Live streams include a chat window where you can insert robotic smileys or "Twitch emotes" using the emoticon shortcuts below. You can also enter admin "faces" by typing the admin names listed at the bottom of this page.
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.

There’s a lot to break down to really understand gachiGASM. The term “gachimuchi” is a Japanese phrase that refers to muscular men who also have a fair amount of fat. This is how many people describe Billy Herrington, a former adult film star, who gained notoriety after one of his videos went viral on a site called Nico Nico Douga. gachiGASM is, well, based on a photo of Herrington’s face during orgasm. The emote is used to express a sense of deep pleasure over something that happens on screen, hence the “GASM” attached to the end of the emote name.


Getting things ready for the arrival of the Season 8 release date? Make sure you have found all the Snowfall secret Battle Star locations and Fortnite Prisoner stages. You can do so by completing each week's set of Fortnite Challenges - the latest including Shooting Gallery locations, Golden Balloon locations, sundial, oversized cup of coffee and giant dog's head locations and Expedition Outpost locations. There are also additional Overtime Challenges - including Coins on Featured Creative Islands and Motel and RV Park locations, Racetrack or Dance Club locations and Fortnite Waterfall locations.


To get you up to speed, we’ve compiled a list of popular emotes below, with the intention of adding more if any rise in popularity, and updating the explanations if the emotes change in meaning. If a particular emote isn’t on the list, but is popular within the circle of streamers you follow, the best way to understand what it means and how it’s used is to ask in chat, on Twitter or check out the streamer’s Reddit page for further details.
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