Consoles display in release order. Read consoles historical impact.
Years of home console research allowed Valve to unleash a high-technology portable. A large-size portable with impressive battery life of 3 hours. It plays PC games appropriately suited for a controller-experience. This machine houses a mini-powerhouse AMD APU. It pushes a steady 30-fps, with no frame rate stutter. A quality execution of what the dream of portable PC gaming could be like.
Following the concept of "five dimensions"; this being their console "5". Featuring immersive graphics, and densely packed with state-of-the-art technology. The PS5 evolves gaming into a sensory experience, for adventure beyond the limits of play. By keeping games on high-speed SSD-only, it provides very-minimal load-times. Advanced haptic feedback on the controllers allows you to differentiate walking surfaces. The console is whisper quiet under heavy load. The controllers have a built-in mic and allow you to plug in earbuds for advanced surround sound. Games are digital or preloaded from a disc drive. The system features 3D audio and the controllers adaptive triggers. Gamers will feel the world inside of a game merged with the physical space around them.
A console packed with high-end hardware, including dedicated audio hardware acceleration. Console "exhausts" via a giant fan up top. It supported high frame rates at high resolution. It focused on a quality graphics experience, not max resolutions and framerates. Full backwards-compatibility with Xbox One games. Components are on two separate circuit boards due to high-heat. One CPU core was dedicated to the operating system. The GPU has 52 compute units and 3584 cores, and is known for shader strength and steady 4k output. Technology was incorporated to reduce the wireless controller lag-effect. Game load times were greatly reduced.
Known in development as the "NX", the Switch was primarily designed as a home console. It was actually a "hybrid", as it could be undocked with controllers sliding onto the screen. It focused on a consistent stream of solid games. It was very successful and was a major factor in Nintendo rising again. The system bridged a polarization in gaming. It also targeted more casual gamers. It ran a mobile 8-core CPU. It featured adjustable screen brightness and a haptic-feedback touchscreen. Nintendo created a universal game engine, which included support for indie games. Online services were improved.
The third xbox, successor to the Xbox 360, returned to the x86 home-PC architecture of the original Xbox. This made game production familiar. It also allowed for online gameplay alongside Home PC gamers. Microsoft marketed the device as an "all-in-one entertainment system", hence the name 'Xbox One'. It featured Dolby Atmos surround sound, gigabit Ethernet, and three USB 3.0 ports. A redesigned controller body, D-pad, and directional haptic feedback. The console can play Blu-ray Discs, and uses cloud computing.
The second best selling console, the PS4 was quite powerful, and contained hardware found in personal computers. The familiarity was designed to make it easier and less expensive for game studios to develop games for the PS4. Sony embraced independent game development, and did not impose restrictive digital rights management. The controller had improved buttons, and an integrated touchpad. The analog sticks were improved for shooting games. PlayStation 4 emphasized social interaction, and allowed online streaming gameplay.
The first Nintendo console to support HD graphics. The primary controller, the Wii U GamePad, featured an embedded touchscreen. Had the option to play the game directly on the GamePad without a television. Additional controllers were more traditional. The first usable Nintendo online network. It offered backwards compatibility. A weak lineup of launch titles and a lack of purpose, were met with a slow consumer adoption. It had a non-traditional game library.
The PlayStation Vita was a handheld video game console that competed with the 3DS. The PS Vita, successor to the PlayStation Portable, was a flop. The Vita introduced touchscreen. PSV acquired two real joysticks and Bluetooth. It also had a rear touchpad control. Games came on PS Vita Cards, and digital distribution. Could play 3-5 hours before recharging. The graphics and controls were adequate to recreate a home gaming experience on the go.
One of the most noteworthy features of the handheld is the ability of the upper screen to display 3D without glasses. The bottom screen was a 2D touchscreen that also worked with included pen. It was backwards compatible with Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi games. The system has motion and gyroscopic detection for games that use the movement of the system. The new analog 'Circle Pad' allowed for joystick-like control. The 3D depth slider adjusts how much depth the 3D has, or turns the 3D off. Playtime was 5 hours on the rechargeable battery.
Codename "Revolution" truly was, as it introduced player interaction. Play games by physically moving the controllers and sometimes your entire body. The controller also included the ability to point on the screen. The online network was poor and failed to take off. You could also play many Wii games with GameCube controllers. By separating from "hard-core" gamers, this console broadened the user-base of gamers.
The PS3 represented a major leap in technology, and was wildly popular. Its Cell Processor was seven microprocessors on one chip, allowing several operations at once. The Nvidia graphics card produced superior graphics in HD resolution. It was equipped with motion sensors, wireless controllers, and a 500 GB hard drive. Its network capabilities, including wireless internet, finally delivered online gameplay. The system had a stellar lineup of games and had the ability to read various flash ram cards. The CPU complexity, however made developers abandon game creation.
Appropriately not named Xbox 2, as Microsoft did not enter the home console market until PlayStation 2 era. Xbox 360 had introduced wireless controllers which later became the standard controller for PC gamepad play. It was launched in 36 countries. The PC-like architecture ran at 60fps. The Xbox 360 was deemed to be the most influential console through its emphasis on digital media distribution and multiplayer gaming on Xbox Live. It proved that online gaming communities could thrive in the console space. The Xbox Live online service allowed users to play games online and download games through Xbox Live Arcade.
The first handheld installment in the PlayStation line. The PSP had far superior graphics to the Nintendo DS. This was especially evident in 3D games. It featured a thumb slider joystick. Games had good sound, especially on earbuds. It featured Wi-Fi, USB, and SD card. It's game library was large and high-quality. It also offered genres not typical on handhelds. The only handheld console to use an optical disc format. It enjoyed a ten-year lifespan.
The competitor of the PlayStation Portable. The handheld is noted for having two screens, the lower one being a touch screen. The lower screen allowed you to use a stylus pen, and was great for displaying maps. It doubled buttons to 10. First built-in microphone and Wi-Fi by Nintendo. Weak online capability introduced. The original DS and DS Lite are backwards compatible with GBA games. The second best-selling video game system only behind the PlayStation 2.
The first video game console offered by an American company since the Atari Jaguar. Microsoft primarily supported the personal computer (PC) business with its Windows operating system, software, and games. They saw the PlayStation 2 as a threat to the personal computer. They designed a system that would use many PC hardware components, effectively running a version of Windows and DirectX to power the games on the console. This approach would make it easy for developers on Windows to build games for their new system.
The first Nintendo console to use optical disc games. Online network was very limited. Connected to Game Boy Advance via the link cable. Contemporary reception of the GameCube was generally positive. The console was praised for its controller, extensive software library and high-quality games. But was criticized for its exterior design and lack of features. Its “simple RISC architecture” to helped speed development of games.
The new design moved the console from vertical to horizontal. This was a controversial decision among fans. Able to play the entire Game Boy black and white library in limited color. The console also allowed you to stretch the original games into widescreen for additional screen space. The original model did not have an illuminated screen, thus requiring a worm light for night play. This was the last handheld to accept regular disposable batteries.
The first console with quality 3D graphics. Plus backward compatibility. It had an endless line of hit exclusive titles. The best-selling video game console of all time. One of the longest lifespans of any video game console. It remained popular well into the life of the PlayStation 3. It continued to be produced until 2013, after over twelve years of production. The PS2 had a built-in DVD player, it's games were on DVD-ROM. It's internet gaming ability never flourished to the degree of Xbox Live. The 128-bit CPU had eight separate units each performing a specific task.
The last console made by Sega was designed to reduce costs with "off-the-shelf" components. After a successful launch, interest steadily declined. The company incurred significant financial losses, withdrawing from the console business. Although the Dreamcast had a short lifespan and limited third-party support, reviewers have considered the console ahead of its time. It contains many innovative games and high-quality arcade ports. The Dreamcast was also the first console to include a built-in modular modem for Internet access and online play.
Exclusive launch on the website for eToys in 1999. eToys also sold the initial launch titles in the preferred plastic snap lock cases. In 2000, Japanese manufacturer Aruze, purchased SNK. Following this, the Neo Geo Pocket Color was dropped from both the United States and European markets, purportedly due to poor commercial performance. The NGPC enjoyed greater success than any Game Boy competitor since the Game Gear. The Neo Geo heads' lack of communication hurt third-party games. Battery life was excellent, at 40 hours on two AA batteries.
The newest innovation in handheld gaming brought a colored monitor. This was considered the newest technology available. Putting old and new Game Boy enthusiasts back into the buying mood. The battery life was significantly improved. Despite it's short lifespan, it became one of the biggest successes of handheld gaming ever. Backwards compatability allowed for play of the entire Game Boy game library. Battery was life finally good, at 16-hours on two AA batteries.
Code named 'Project Reality', the N64 was originally to be released as the 'Ultra 64'. With 4-controller ports built-in, the N64 ignited 4-player split-screen gaming. With its 64-bit CPU and GPU, it was the first console that produced quality 3D graphics. Nintendo's last console, it saved game progress on game cartridges. Fearful of piracy, Nintendo chose cartridges. Although storage limited, preventing RPG games, they did offer faster load times. It introduced controller rumble accessory. Its innovative controller had an accurate joystick, and controls that tracked camera-view well in 3D worlds.
A portable video game console with games stored on game paks. It's monochromatic (red and black) visor simulated a 3D view of its games. Noteworthy for being one of the few financially failed products of Nintendo. Several flaws led to its discontinuation after just one year. It was slightly rushed to get the people on the team to work on the Nintendo 64, and development was expensive. For some it caused eye strain. The console also had an EXT. port, presumably for multiplayer features that never came.
Sony began developing the PlayStation after a failed venture with Nintendo to create a CD-ROM peripheral for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in the early 1990s. Although its 3D graphics were poor, the console pushed gaming into the 3D era, and forced other makers to play catch-up. The PS1 signalled Sony's rise to power in the video game industry. The console had tons of hit games and an extensive game library. PSOne games continued to sell for eleven years after after release. Its use of compact discs heralded the game industry's transition from cartridges.
Originally called GigaDrive, the Saturn lived a traumatic life. Born into a problematic Sega family, it was the successor to the successful Sega Genesis. The console flopped. After the debut of the Nintendo 64 in late 1996, the Saturn rapidly lost market share in the U.S. Boasting complex system architexture, there will never be another console like the Saturn. Equipped with a dual-CPU and eight processors. This was state of the art technology. Development-stage errors trapped it as a 2D console, but left it with abundant power for 2D graphics. Its games in CD-ROM format allowed for long games.
Designed to surpass the Mega Drive Genesis. Atari marketed the console as the world's first 64-bit game console. It was equipped with a 64-bit bus and two 32-bit processors. The system's library ultimately comprised only 50 licensed games. Developed by Flare Technology in the early 1990's after the cancellation of the Atari Panther console. Atari attempted to extend the lifespan of the system with the Atari Jaguar CD add-on. Failure of the Jaguar prompted Atari to leave the console market. Hasbro declared the Jaguar public domain, so hobbyists make games for it still today.
Also known as the Super Famicon, the SNES is a 16-bit console introduced advanced graphics and sound capabilities. The controller introduced shoulder buttons, and the X and Y buttons were concave while the A and B buttons were convex faces. The system was designed to accommodate the ongoing development of a variety of enhancement chips integrated into game cartridges. Keeping it competitive into the next generation. Some of the applications were to create 3D worlds with polygons or enhance 2D games.
Sega's response to Nintendo's Game Boy. The third commercially available color handheld console, after the Atari Lynx and the TurboExpress. This 8-bit system shares much of its hardware with the Master System home console. Making this a very powerful handheld. It's full-color backlit screen with a landscape format, made it a superior handheld. Unfortunately, it had a short battery life, lack of original games, and weak support from Sega. Support lasted until 1997, but it was re-released as a budget system by Majesco Entertainment in 2000.
This cartridge-based home system was a real contender for the arcade-experience at home. It featured, high-quality sound and colorful 2D graphics. This Japanese system could be placed into an arcade-cabinet to create an actual arcade game. The console and games were expensive for home use, although reasonably priced as an arcade. An arcade cabinet running a Neo Geo could have the cartridge switched and the cabinet rebranded. Marketed as 24-bit, it was technically an 8/16/32-bit system. It had arcade-style joysticks and excellent arcade ports.
The Game Boy is an 8-bit handheld game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. The first handheld in the Game Boy family, but Nintendo's second handheld. It was designed by the same team that developed the Game & Watch series of handheld electronic games and several NES games. The console features a dull green dot-matrix screen with adjustable contrast dial, a single speaker with adjustable volume dial, and, like its rivals, uses cartridges as physical media for games. The handheld ran for four hours on 4-AA batteries.
The Sega Genesis a 16-bit console, known as the Mega Drive outside North America, was Sega's third console. The console was known as the Ozisoft in Australasia, the Tec Toy in Brazil, and as the Super Gam*Boy and later the Super Aladdin Boy in South Korea. It contained many great arcade ports, and had many games at launch. The console attempted to deliver an arcade-like experience, although it was not capable of arcade-exact graphics and sound. The controller buttons were excellent for rapid-press arcade action.
Known as the PC Engine outside of America. A delayed release accidentally led to SNES and Genesis competition, when it was originally supposed to compete with the Famicon AKA NES. The console housed 16-bit dual GPUs, and was capable of delivering 482 colors simultaneously. With dimensions of just 14 cm x 14 cm x 3.8 cm, the Japanese PC Engine is the smallest major home videogame console ever made. In Japan, the PC Engine sold well. Delayed release and poor marketing led to failure to penetrate the North America market. At least 17 distinct models were made.
The NES quickly rose to popularity, became one of the most iconic gaming systems, and enjoyed a 20-year production run. The Famicom, originally released in Japan as a radically different appearing machine, was and 8-bit console named the Family Computer. The NES, a remodelled version, was released internationally in the following years. The NES featured a number of groundbreaking games. As one of the best selling consoles of its time, the NES helped revitalize the US video game industry following the video game crash of 1983.
The Atari 5200 SuperSystem was a decent machine that was pretty much a 400 re-purposed as a game console. Although the software was not directly compatible between the two systems. The wacky joysticks were non-centering analog things that worked great for some games, and not so great for other games that required precise changes in direction. The system would switch to a blank screen when you turned it off to switch cartridges, instead of blasting you with the sound of a static-filled TV display. The cartridges were massive and sales fell way short of its predecessor.
The potential to be the ultimate console, but released just before the whole market crashed in 1983. It consciously improved in many ways over its predecessors. The closest to arcade-style graphics. The joysticks were better than the 5200’s, the keypad and buttons better than Intellivision. Although it had lesser known B-list titles, there were some excellent games. The load screen was annoyingly long — apparently in an attempt to get the ColecoVision name permanently embedded in young and impressionable minds.
Developed in secret under a new methodology, today referred to as Black Box. The personal computer was developed in Boca Raton, Florida in isolation from IBM which at the time only developed industrial services. This protected the new off-site innovation team from the growing bureaucracy within IBM. This dishonest culture was unsustainable and proved to be a one-time success for IBM, ending their re-create innovation attempts. IBM lost their leadership position, which further strengthened the PC as a generic device. The PC turned out to be the gem of not only home computing, but also videogames. It is the longest lifespan gaming console ever made and still strong today.
This console sold well, but was haunted by a lack of third-party support. It was originally marketed as a home computer. It was one of the four major home consoles prior to the 1983 videogame market crash. It was the first home videogame console with a full alphanumeric membrane keyboard. It had 8-way joystick controllers. Games could be customized and tailored to a specific user's tastes. Some games blended board games and videogames together. Most games were clones of other popular games. Atari sued Magnavox at one point, to the frustration of Magnavox.
Atari was successful at creating arcade games, but their cost to develop and limited lifespan drove them to seek a programmable home system. The Atari Video Computer System (Atari VCS) is credited with popularizing the use of microprocessor-based hardware and games stored on ROM cartridges. The VCS was bundled with two joystick controllers, and a conjoined pair of paddle controllers. It lead to the creation of Activision and other third-party game developers as well as competition from home console manufacturers Mattel and Coleco.
In 1974, Alpex Computer Corporation employees licensed the technology to Fairchild, who turned the prototype into a viable console. "Channel Fun" was the first video game console to use ROM cartridges, instead of having games built-in. The first console to use a microprocessor, it sold only 350,000 units before Fairchild sold the technology to Zircon International in 1979. Trailing well behind Atari, the system was discontinued in 1983. The prototype's complex keyboard controls were turned into an 8 degree of freedom hand controller.
Years of games