Graphics processors keep getting updated, and video games follow suit, becoming more spectacular but also quite demanding. PC gamers are painfully familiar with the trend of needing a video card upgrade every couple of years when they want to play the latest games at an acceptable frame rate. But you don't need to be sitting around waiting for a new game's release date to come when eBay has such an enormous back-catalogue of older games to choose from!
In 1996, Nintendo released the Game Boy Pocket: a smaller, lighter unit that required fewer batteries. It has space for two AAA batteries, which provide approximately 10 hours of game play. Although, like its predecessor, the Game Boy Pocket has no backlight to allow play in a darkened area, it did notably improve visibility and pixel response-time (mostly eliminating ghosting). The Game Boy Pocket was not a new software platform and played the same software as the original Game Boy model.
The video game console realm is much bigger than you think, ranging from insanely powerful offerings for 4K HDR and virtual reality gaming, through ultra portable picks, all the way to options designed to take you decades down the memory lane. Check out the best picks available on the market at the moment from the likes of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, and get ready to get your gaming on!
Emote is an example of what linguists call a back-formation - that is, a word formed by trimming down an existing word (in this case, "emotion"). From the time "emote" was coined in the early 20th century, its use has tended to be less than entirely serious. It most often appears in humorous or deprecating descriptions of the work of actors. It is similarly used to describe theatrical behavior by nonactors, as in this passage by David Fontana, published in The New Republic on March 11, 2012: "We might not want our president to emote about economics or war; but why shouldn't a fan, or for that matter a sports announcer, emote about athletics, which is not after all a matter of world historical importance?"
The rapid-fire pace of technology means video game consoles are always changing, from the styling of the controls to the introduction of new video games. Through the ongoing evolution, you can rely on game consoles, such as Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation, to deliver amazingly realistic graphics, dynamic sound quality, and supercharged play. From wireless controls to sleek console design, the video game consoles at RAC represent some of the more advanced gaming innovations available today.
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.
Meanwhile, the commercial failure of the Virtual Boy reportedly did little to alter Nintendo's development approach and focus on innovation. According to Game Over, Nintendo laid blame for the machine's faults directly on its creator, Gunpei Yokoi. The commercial failure of the Virtual Boy was said by members of the video game press to be a contributing factor to Yokoi's withdrawal from Nintendo, although he had planned to retire years prior and finished another more successful project for the company, the Game Boy Pocket, which was released shortly before his departure.
One trait that remains peculiar to the fourth generation is the huge number of exclusive games. Both Sega and Nintendo were very successful and their consoles developed massive libraries of games. Both consoles had to be programmed in assembly to get the most out of them. A game optimized for the Genesis could take advantage of its faster CPU and sound chip. A game optimized for the SNES could take advantage of its graphics and its flexible, clean sound chip. Some game series, like Castlevania, saw separate system exclusive releases rather than an attempt to port one game to disparate platforms. When compact disc (CD) technology became available midway through the fourth generation, each company attempted to integrate it into their existing consoles in different ways. NEC and Sega released CD add-ons to their consoles in the form of the TurboGrafx-CD and Sega CD, but both were only moderately successful. NEC also released the TurboDuo which combined the TurboGrafx-16 and its TurboGrafx-CD add-on (along with the RAM and BIOS upgrade from the Super System Card) into one unit. SNK released a third version of the NeoGeo, the Neo Geo CD, allowing the company to release its games on a cheaper medium than the AES's expensive cartridges, but it reached the market after Nintendo and Sega had already sold tens of millions of consoles each. Nintendo partnered with Sony to work on a CD add-on for the SNES, but the deal fell apart when they realized how much control Sony wanted. Sony would use their work with Nintendo as the basis for their PlayStation game console. While CDs became an increasingly visible part of the market, CD-reading technology was still expensive in the 1990s, limiting NEC's and Sega's add-ons' sales.
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.
In the mid-1990s, various manufacturers shifted to optical media, specifically CD-ROM, for games. Although they were slower at loading game data than the cartridges available at that time, they were significantly cheaper to manufacture and had a larger capacity than the existing cartridge technology. NEC released the first CD-based gaming system, the TurboGrafx-CD (an add-on for the TurboGrafx-16), in December 4, 1988 in Japan and August 1, 1990 in the United States. Sega followed suit with the Sega CD (an add-on for the Sega Genesis) in Japan on December 12, 1991; Commodore stepped into the ring shortly after with the Amiga-CD32, the first 32-bit game console, on September 17, 1993. During the later half of the 1990s, optical media began to supplant cartridges due to their greater storage capacity and cheaper manufacturing costs, with the CD-based PlayStation significantly outpacing the cartridge-based Nintendo 64 in terms of sales. By the early 21st century, all of the major home consoles used optical media, usually DVD-ROM or similar discs, which are widely replacing CD-ROM for data storage. The PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One systems use even higher-capacity Blu-ray optical discs for games and movies, while the Xbox 360 formerly used HD DVDs in the form of an external USB player add-on for video playback before it was discontinued. However, Microsoft still supports those who bought the accessory. Nintendo's GameCube, Wii, and Wii U, meanwhile, use proprietary disc formats based on then-current industry standard discs—the GameCube's discs are based on mini-DVDs, the Wii's on DVDs and the Wii U's are believed to be based on Blu-rays. These discs offer somewhat smaller storage capacities compared to the formats they are based on, though the difference is significantly smaller compared to the gap between the N64's cartridges and CDs.
During this time home computers gained greater prominence as a way of playing video games. The gaming console industry nonetheless continued to thrive alongside home computers, due to the advantages of much lower prices, easier portability, circuitry specifically dedicated towards gaming, the ability to be played on a television set (which PCs of the time could not do in most cases), and intensive first party software support from manufacturers who were essentially banking their entire future on their consoles.
For those of us who haven’t made the jump to 4K, both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One S are great consoles with large game libraries. You will be able to play the vast majority of new and upcoming games, including a few exclusive franchises like Halo, Gears of War, and Forza. Plus, if you are (or were) an Xbox 360 owner, a very large number of last-gen console’s games are now compatible with the Xbox One, which could expand your game library and keep at least some of your old games in rotation.
The Nintendo 3DS is a portable game console produced by Nintendo. It is the successor to the Nintendo DS. The autostereoscopic device is able to project stereoscopic 3D effects without the use of 3D glasses or any additional accessories. The Nintendo 3DS features backward compatibility with Nintendo DS series software, including Nintendo DSi software. After announcing the device in March 2010, Nintendo officially unveiled it at E3 2010, with the company inviting attendees to use demonstration units. The console succeeded the Nintendo DS series of handheld systems, which primarily competed with PlayStation Portable. The 3DS competed with Sony's handheld, the PlayStation Vita.
The Nomad was released in October 1995 in North America only. 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. 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. By 1999, the Nomad was being sold at less than a third of its original price.
Monkas tends to show up often on different streams because it’s relatable. It’s used in a moment of high intense action or something that’s particularly anxiety-inducing. During IRL streams, this may happen during a face-to-face encounter or when a streamer is ranting about something. Chats for gaming streams will see this pop up during stressful gameplay moments, and the chat wants to express that feeling through a visual. Monkas is a pretty relatable emote, and it’s bound to be one you see floating around Twitch.
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.
Monkas is another member of the Pepe emote family, and one of the most important emotes on Twitch. Monkas is the word you’re most likely to see outside of Twitch chat (on Reddit or Twitter), and it’s crucial to understanding how certain communities react to it. Monkas goes back to a 4chan thread from 2011, but the illustration wasn’t used as en emote until 2016 when someone uploaded it to the FrankerFaceZ Twitch extension. But it wasn’t until February 2017, when it was dropped into Forsen’s Reddit page,, that the emote really seemed to take off. Once Forsen’s community runs with any emote or joke, all of Twitch is bound to notice, and other communities followed suit.
Each new generation of console hardware made use of the rapid development of processing technology. Newer machines could output a greater range of colors, more sprites, and introduced graphical technologies such as scaling, and vector graphics. One way console makers marketed these advances to consumers was through the measurement of "bits". The TurboGrafx-16, Genesis, and Super NES were among the first consoles to advertise the fact that they contained 16-bit processors. This fourth generation of console hardware was often referred to as the 16-bit era and the previous generation as the 8-bit. The bit-value of a console referred to the word length of a console's processor (although the value was sometimes misused, for example, the TurboGrafx 16 had only an 8-bit CPU, and the Genesis/Mega Drive had the 16/32-bit Motorola 68000, but both had a 16-bit dedicated graphics processor). As the graphical performance of console hardware is dependent on many factors, using bits was a crude way to gauge a console's overall ability. For example, the NES, Commodore 64, Apple II, and Atari 2600 all used a very similar 8-bit CPU. The difference in their processing power is due to other causes. For example, the Commodore 64 contains 64 kilobytes of RAM and the Atari 2600 has much less at 128 bytes of RAM. The jump from 8-bit machines to 16-bit machines to 32-bit machines made a noticeable difference in performance, so consoles from certain generations are frequently referred to as 8-bit or 16-bit consoles. However, the "bits" in a console are no longer a major factor in their performance. The Nintendo 64, for example, has been outpaced by several 32-bit machines. Aside from some "128 Bit" advertising slogans at the beginning of the sixth generation, marketing with bits largely stopped after the fifth generation.
All seventh and eighth generation consoles offer some kind of Internet games distribution service, allowing users to download games for a fee onto some form of non-volatile storage, typically a hard disk or flash memory. Recently, the console manufacturers have been taking advantage of internet distribution with games, video streaming services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and film trailers being available.
A very large majority of both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One libraries are available on both platforms. Though both platforms have popular exclusive franchises, the PlayStation 4 (Pro or standard) sees more exclusive games each year. The PS4 also has access to a small number of less well-known indie games and niche titles, such as Japanese role-playing games, that the Xbox One does not.
But just when you thought you’d learned emoji, now you’ve got a whole new symbolic meme language to master. On Twitch.tv, the internet’s primary hub for video game streaming and esports videos, there’s a parallel set of icons and a very specific vocabulary that goes with them. If you’re new to Twitch, you probably have no idea what a “PogChamp” or a “Kappa” are, or whose faces represent them, but they’re such an ingrained part of the culture. that popular broadcasters often say them out loud while livestreaming. And even though Twitter doesn’t support Twitch emotes, people steeped in the culture will spell them out in tweets, too.
Kappa is a grayscale photo of Josh DeSeno, a former Justin.tv employee. DeSeno had been working on the original chat client for Justin.tv when Kappa was added as an emote. This was not uncommon at the time as several Justin.tv employees had added various photos of their facial expressions—but DeSeno’s photo was much more popular than his peers’. He became the face of Twitch.
Several consoles such as the Master System and the TurboGrafx-16 have used different types of smart cards as an external medium. These cards function similar to simple cartridges. Information is stored on a chip that is housed in plastic. Cards are more compact and simpler than cartridges, though. This makes them cheaper to produce and smaller, but limits what can be done with them. Cards cannot hold extra components, and common cartridge techniques like bank switching (a technique used to create very large games) were impossible to miniaturize into a card in the late 1980s. Compact Discs reduced much of the need for cards. Optical Discs can hold more information than cards, and are cheaper to produce. The Nintendo GameCube and the PlayStation 2 use memory cards for storage, but the PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo Switch are currently the only modern systems to use cards for game distribution. Nintendo has long used cartridges with their Game Boy line of hand held consoles because of their durability, small size, stability (not shaking and vibrating the handheld when it is in use), and low battery consumption. Nintendo switched to cards starting with the DS, because advances in memory technology made putting extra memory on the cartridge unnecessary. The PlayStation Vita uses Sony's own proprietary flash-memory Vita cards as one method of game distribution.
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.
Aside from the usual hardware enhancements, consoles of the eighth generation focus on further integration with other media and increased connectivity. The Wii U introduced a controller/tablet hybrid whose features include the possibility of augmented reality in gaming. The PlayStation 4 is Sony's eighth generation console, featuring a "share" button to stream video game content between devices, released on November 15, 2013. Microsoft released their next generation console, the Xbox One, on November 22, 2013. On March 3, 2017, following poor sales of the Wii U, Nintendo released the Nintendo Switch, a 'hybrid' console consisting of a tablet with controller attachments that can be used as a mobile device or connected to a television via a dock.
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.
Most cities have small, local game stores where you can often find deeply discounted – albeit used – consoles and games. If that doesn’t bother you, it’s a wonderful way to save money. You can also save a ton by buying used accessories. By shopping at these local retailers, not only are you helping out a small business, but you’re also connecting with your local gaming scene – a value that’s too great to pass up. Most of the time, the people running these stores are avid gamers as well and can give you recommendations and keep you notified of upcoming releases, sales and in-store events.
4head is pretty self-explanatory when it comes to visuals. It’s an emote based on a photo of League of Legends’ streamer Cadburry’s widely grinning face. The emote started to pick up in 2015. It’s a pretty wholesome meme, that is mostly used to express a reaction to a joke being made. The reaction can either be seen as an earnest response or sarcastic.