Meanwhile, the commercial failure of the Virtual Boy reportedly did little to alter Nintendo's development approach and focus on innovation.[31] According to Game Over, Nintendo laid blame for the machine's faults directly on its creator, Gunpei Yokoi.[39] 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.[40]

This list does not include other types of video game consoles such as handheld game consoles, which are usually of lower computational power than home consoles due to their smaller size, microconsoles, which are usually low-cost Android-based devices that rely on downloading, or dedicated consoles past the First Generation, which have games built in and do not use any form of physical media. Consoles have been redesigned from time to time to improve their market appeal. Redesigned models are not listed on their own.


Is the console primarily for young children, teenagers or adults? Or do you want something everyone can play together? If it’s the latter, the Switch is a great family option: most of Nintendo’s own games are suitable for children, they’re intuitive (which makes them great for parties where some participants aren’t gamers), but they’re also challenging enough to appeal to experienced players. However, teenagers and adults are more likely to want to play the sort of action adventure and shooter games (such as Assassin’s Creed, Tomb Raider and Red Dead Redemption) that don’t come to Switch. A PS4 or Xbox One may be better if you have a mature household.
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]

With the Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4; console gaming has entered a new level of visual fidelity and online play. Games on the Xbox One console and the PS4 console are bigger, more immersive and more graphically stunning than ever before. Now, with the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X, you can enjoy even better graphics and processing power. Nintendo’s current console, the Switch, may not pack the same graphical punch, but has been enormously successful thanks to a stellar line up of games and the fact it can be used as a home console and a handheld.


The sad thing about the Sega Genesis Flashback is that, while it may be enough to satisfy the under-the-tree urge in the absence of alternatives, every unit purchased represents a lost future customer for a good Genesis throwback console. AtGames has been selling the composite video variant — the so-called Firecore — since 2009, blanketing the impulse-buy aisles at Bed Bath & Beyond stores nationwide. Each one of those is a bulwark against a future good Genesis release.
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.
In addition to the Genesis titles, you also get 40 games that look like homemade jobs. These have names like Treasure Hunt, Spider, Cross the Road, and Mr. Balls. Most are puzzle/memory style games. I tried about six and couldn't stomach any of them. You'd need to be really bored to resort to these, but thanks to the fine selection of Genesis games, you'll never have to.
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Born from a failed attempt to create a console with Nintendo, Sony's PlayStation would not only dominate its generation but become the first console to sell over 100 million units by expanding the video game market. Sony actively courted third parties and provided them with convenient c libraries to write their games. Sony had built the console from the start as a 3D, disc-based system, and emphasized its 3D graphics that would come to be viewed as the future of gaming. The PlayStation's CD technology won over several developers who had been releasing titles for Nintendo and Sega's fourth generation consoles, such as Konami, Namco, Capcom, and Square. CDs were far cheaper to manufacture and distribute than cartridges were, meaning developers could release larger batches of games at higher profit margins; Nintendo's console, on the other hand, used cartridges, unwittingly keeping third-party developers away. The PlayStation's internal architecture was simpler and more intuitive to program for, giving the console an edge over Sega's Saturn.

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.


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If you really want to take the next step and become part of the game itself, enter the realm of virtual reality. Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR are two popular options that will put you in the centre of immersive, realistic game environments like you’ve never seen before. Explore vivid worlds as if you were really there, with full 360 degrees of freedom.
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.[41] 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).[42] The Game Boy Pocket was not a new software platform and played the same software as the original Game Boy model.[43]
Nevertheless, I waited ... and waited ... and waited. I sent emails. Finally, the new unit was shipped and, curiously, it had a new embargo, a strange request given it was for a review of the same product they shipped to myself and other reviewers months ago. Even more curious: While some other issues were corrected in this updated unit, as best I can tell it similarly suffers from framerate issues, just like the July unit. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Surf the Web: The PS3 includes a cool Web browser (developed by Sony) that lets you surf the Web right out of the box. The Wii has an optional Web browser called the Internet Channel that you can download from the online Wii store for about $5. The Internet Channel is actually a special version of the Opera browser, and it works really well — a number of Web sites (such as Google’s Google Reader RSS reader program) have been optimized for the Wii Internet Channel and the Wii Remote (which acts just like a computer mouse when you’re surfing the Web). Unfortunately, the Xbox 360 doesn’t have a Web browser.


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.


In 1990, Nintendo finally brought their Super Famicom to market and brought it to the United States as the Super NES (SNES) a year later. Its release marginalized the TurboGrafx and the Neo Geo, but came late enough for Sega to sell several million consoles in North America and gain a strong foothold. The same year the SNES was released Sega released Sonic the Hedgehog, which spiked Genesis sales, similar to Space Invaders on the Atari. Also, by 1992 the first fully licensed NFL Football game was released: NFL Sports Talk Football '93, which was available only on the Genesis. This impact on Genesis sales and the overall interest of realistic sports games would start the trend of licensed sports games being viewed as necessary for the success of a console in the US. While Nintendo enjoyed dominance in Japan and Sega in Europe, the competition between the two was particularly fierce and close in North America. Ultimately, the SNES outsold the Genesis, but only after Sega discontinued the Genesis to focus on the next generation of consoles.
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