Sony's online game distribution is known as the PlayStation Network (PSN). At launch, this service offered free online gaming, but now offers content through a paid service called PlayStation Plus, launched at the beginning of the eighth generation.[90] The service offers downloadable content such as classic PlayStation games, high definition games and movie trailers, and original games such as flOw and Everyday Shooter as well as some games that also release on physical media, such as Warhawk and Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. A networking service, dubbed PlayStation Home, was released in December 2008, alongside video and audio streaming services.
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.
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.

^ Bauscher, Dave. "allgame ( Sega Game Gear > Overview )". Allgame. Retrieved September 21, 2008. While this feature is not included on the Game Boy it does provide a disadvantage -- the Game Gear requires 6 AA batteries that only last up to six hours. The Nintendo Game Boy only requires 4 AA batteries and is capable of providing up to 35 hours of play.


The Nintendo Switch is the first Nintendo console to utilize a paid online system instead of a free one. The new service is necessary to play online, and allows users to play emulated games from the Virtual Console service. The paid service was officially launched in 2018, although a free trial of many of its features had been available up until then. The system offers digital software downloads through the Nintendo eShop directly from the console, cloud save backups, and facilitates voice chat and party matching in multiplayer online titles such as Splatoon 2, through use of an external smartphone application.
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]
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.
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]

After the release of the Sega Genesis in 1989, video game publisher Accolade began exploring options to release some of their PC games on the console. At the time, Sega had a licensing deal in place for third-party developers that increased the costs to the developer. According to Accolade co-founder Alan Miller, "One pays them between $10 and $15 per cartridge on top of the real hardware manufacturing costs, so it about doubles the cost of goods to the independent publisher."[71] To get around licensing, Accolade chose to seek an alternative way to bring their games to the Genesis. It did so by purchasing one in order to decompile the executable code of three Genesis games. Such information was used to program their new Genesis cartridges in a way that would allow them to disable the security lockouts on the Genesis that prevented unlicensed games from being able to be played.[72][73] This strategy was used successfully to bring Ishido: The Way of Stones to the Genesis in 1990.[74] To do so, Accolade had copied Sega's copyrighted game code multiple times in order to reverse engineer the software of Sega's licensed Genesis games.[75][76]
Following the launch of the next-generation 32-bit Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn, sales of 16-bit hardware and software continued to account for 64% of the video game market in 1995.[92] Sega underestimated the continued popularity of the Genesis and did not have the inventory to meet demand for the product.[92][93] Sega was able to capture 43% of the dollar share of the U.S. video game market and claimed to have sold more than 2 million Genesis units in 1995, while Genesis software such as Vectorman remained highly successful, but Kalinske estimated that "we could have sold another 300,000 Genesis systems in the November/December timeframe."[93] Nakayama's decision to focus on the Saturn over the Genesis, based on the systems' relative performance in Japan, has been cited as the major contributing factor in this miscalculation.[92] By contrast, Nintendo concentrated on the 16-bit home console market, as well as its successful handheld, the Game Boy. As a result, Nintendo took in 42% of the video game market dollar share, without launching a 32-bit console to compete directly with the PlayStation or the Saturn.[92] Following tensions with Sega Enterprises, Ltd. over its focus on the Saturn, Kalinske, who oversaw the rise of the Genesis in 1991, grew uninterested in the business and resigned in mid-1996.[94]
As the name suggests, shooter games are about shooting. You have to be fast on the trigger. This applies, no matter if you are on a space station far into the future or at the front in the Second World War, where the bullets are flying past your ears. Shoot or be shot. That is the essence of it. Shooter games are often played with others, and here is where the game activity becomes about more than just mastering the techniques. For example, when playing in a team, it is also important to coordinate your actions with teammates and complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

^ "Pssstt! Wanna Buy a Game System?". Next Generation. No. 14. Imagine Media. February 1996. pp. 68–79. Its Welcome to the Next Level campaign for Genesis established it as the system to own ... singlehandedly revolutionizing the way videogames were marketed. It's almost impossible today to even find a videogame ad that doesn't owe something to Sega's shock-tactics marketing innovations.
The term "video game console" is primarily used to distinguish a console machine primarily designed for consumers to use for playing video games, in contrast to arcade machines or home computers. An arcade machine consists of a video game computer, display, game controller (joystick, buttons, etc.) and speakers housed in large chassis. A home computer is a personal computer designed for home use for a variety of purposes, such as bookkeeping, accessing the Internet and playing video games. While arcades and computers are generally expensive or highly “technical” devices, video game consoles were designed with affordability and accessibility to the general public in mind.
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