Updated: May 29, 2020
1972-1983 First Generation: Most of the games developed during this generation were hard-wired into the consoles and unlike later generations, most were not contained on removable media that the user could switch between. Consoles often came with accessories or cartridges that could alter the way the game played to enhance the gameplay experience :56 as graphical capabilities consisted of simple geometry such as dots, lines or blocks that would occupy only a single screen. First generation consoles were not capable of displaying more than two colours until later in the generation, and audio capabilities were limited with some consoles having no sound at all. In 1972, two major developments influenced the future of the home video game market. In June, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney founded Atari, which would go on to be one of the most well-known video game companies and play a vital role in the early generations of consoles. In September, Magnavox, an established electronics company, released the Odyssey. While highly limited in its capabilities compared to future consoles and a commercial failure, the Odyssey introduced features that became standards in the industry including removable cartridges and multiple detached controllers for two players. Inspired by the Odyssey's ping-pong game, Atari would soon go on to market the game Pong in both arcade and home versions; Nintendo, a well-established Japanese company that made a number of different products, entered the video game console market for the first time in 1977 with its Color TV-Game series.
1972-Magnavox Odyssey- The Magnavox Odyssey(known as the Brown Box during development) is the first commercial home video game console. It was developed by a small team led by Ralph H. Baer at Sanders Associates and released by Magnavox in the United States in September 1972 and overseas the following year. The Odyssey consists of a white, black, and brown box which connects to a television set, and two rectangular controllers attached by wires. It is capable of displaying three square dots on the screen in monochrome black and white, with differing behavior for the dots depending on the game played, and with no sound capabilities. Players place plastic overlays on the screen to create visuals, and the one or two players for each game control their dots with the three knobs and one button on the controller in accordance with the rules given for the game. The Odyssey console came packaged with dice, paper money, and other board game paraphernalia to go along with the games, and a peripheral controller—the first video game light gun—was sold separately.
1975-Atari Home Pong-In late 1975 Atari released a home version of their popular arcade game Pong. It was the first use of a microchip in an Atari product and had been in development since 1974 under the lead of Allan Alcorn and Harold Lee. By the end of 1975, Atari had become a major company in the home console market due to Home Pong. Following Pong's success, Magnavox filed suit against Atari for infringement on its technology patents and ended up settling out of court with Atari becoming a licensee of Magnavox. Home video games achieved widespread popularity with the release of a home version of Pong and its success sparked hundreds of clones, including the Coleco Telstar, which went on to be a success in its own right with over a dozen models, and the Binatone TV Master by British company Binatone.
1976-Coleco Telstar Series- Starting in 1976, Coleco released a series of fourteen dedicated consoles up until 1978, when they suffered a significant loss due to the combination of dock workers' strike, preventing it from shipping the final product in time for the holidays, and the start of the second generation. The series featured a number of different styles of ball games and external accessories to enhance gameplay such as the Telstar Arcade, which had a unique triangular design that came with a light gun and steering wheel attached to the casing. The series was marketed at a lower price than its competitors and sold well with over a million sales.
1977-Nintendo Color TV Game Series-In the late 1970s, Nintendo released a series of five consoles for the Japanese market. The first of the series and the first console created by Nintendo, the Color TV-Game 6, was released in 1977 and contained six ball-and-paddle games. The last, the Computer TV-Game, was a 1980 port of Nintendo's first arcade game,Computer Othello. The third console in the series, the Color TV-Game Racing 112, was the first project of Shigeru Miyamoto, who would go on to become the creator of some of the most well-known video game franchises.
1976-1992 Second Generation: Built-in games, like those from the first generation, saw limited use during this era. Though the first generation Magnavox Odyssey had put games on cartridge-like circuit cards, the games had limited functionality and required TV screen overlays and other accessories to be fully functional. More advanced cartridges, which contained the entire game experience, were developed by Jerry Lawson for the Fairchild Channel F, and most video game systems soon adopted similar technology. The first system of the generation and some others, such as the RCA Studio II, still came with built-in games while also having the capability of utilizing cartridges. The popularity of game cartridges grew after the release of the Atari 2600. From the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, most home video game systems used cartridges until the technology was replaced by optical discs. The Fairchild Channel F was also the first console to use a microprocessor, which was the driving technology that allowed the consoles to use cartridges. Other technology such as screen resolution, color graphics, audio, and AI simulation was also improved during this era. The generation also saw the first hand-held game cartridge system, the Microvision, which was released by toy company Milton Bradley in 1979.
In 1979, gaming giant Activision was created by former Atari programmers and was the first third-party developer of video games. By 1982, the shelf capacity of toy stores was overflowing with an overabundance of consoles, over-hyped game releases, and low-quality games from new third-party developers. An over-saturation of consoles and games, coupled with poor knowledge of the market, saw the video game industry crash in 1983 and marked the start of the next generation. Beginning in December 1982 and stretching through all of 1984, the crash of 1983 caused major disruption to the North American market. Some developers collapsed and almost no new games were released in 1984. The market did not fully recover until the third generation. The second generation officially ended on January 1, 1992, with the discontinuation of the Atari 2600.
1976-Fairchild Channel F- The Fairchild Channel F, also known early in its life as the Fairchild Video Entertainment System (VES), was released by Fairchild Semiconductor in November 1976 and was the first console of the second generation. It was the world's first CPU-based video game console, introducing the cartridge-based game code storage format. The console featured a pause button that allowed players to freeze a game. This allowed them to a break without the need to reset or turn off the console so they did not lose their current game progress. Fairchild released twenty-six different cartridges for the system, with up to four games being on each cartridge. The console came with two pre-installed games,HockeyandTennis.
1977-Atari 2600- The Atari 2600, originally branded as the Atari Video Computer System or Atari VCS for short until November 1982, is a home video game console from Atari, Inc. Released on September 11, 1977, it is credited with popularizing the use of microprocessor-based hardware and games stored on ROM cartridges (a format first used with the Fairchild Channel F in 1976) instead of dedicated hardware with games physically built into the unit. The 2600 was bundled with two joystick controllers, a conjoined pair of paddle controllers, and a game cartridge: initially Combat, and later Pac-Man. The Atari VCS launched with nine simple, low-resolution games in 2 KiB cartridges. The system found its killer game with its version of Taito's Space Invaders in 1980 and became widely successful, leading to the creation of Activision and other third-party game developers as well as competition from home console manufacturers Mattel and Coleco. By the end of its primary lifecycle in 1983–84, games for the 2600 were using more than four times the ROM of the launch titles with significantly more advanced visuals and gameplay than the system was designed for, such as Pitfall! and its scrolling sequel Pitfall II: Lost Caverns. Atari invested heavily in two games for the 2600, Pac-Man and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the latter being a commercial failure that contributed to the video game crash of 1983 which ended the market relevance of the 2600. Warner sold off the home console division of Atari to Commodore CEO Jack Tramiel. In 1986, the new Atari Corporation under Tramiel released a lower-cost version of the 2600 and the backwards-compatible Atari 7800, but these were not enough to turn things around, and ultimately it was Nintendo that led the recovery of the industry. Atari finally ended production of the Atari 2600 on January 1, 1992. Across the system's lifetime, an estimated 30 million units were sold.
1977-Bally Astrocade- The Bally Astrocade was released in 1977 and was available only through mail order. It was originally referred to as the Bally Home Library Computer. Delays in the production meant that none of the units shipped until 1978. By this time, the machine had been renamed the Bally Professional Arcade. In this form, it sold mostly at computer stores and had little retail exposure, unlike the Atari VCS. The rights to the console were sold to Astrovision in 1981. They re-released the unit with the BASIC cartridge included for free; this system was known as the Bally Computer System. When Astrovision changed their name to Astrocade in 1982 they also changed the name of the console to the Astrocade to follow suit. It sold under this name until the video game crash of 1983 when it was discontinued.
1978-Magnavox Odyssey2- In 1978,Magnavox released its microprocessor-based console, the Odyssey², in the United States and Canada. It was distributed by Philips Electronics in the European market and was released as the Philips G7000. A defining feature of the system was the speech synthesis unit add-on which enhanced music, sound effects and speech capabilities. The Odyssey² was also known for its fusion of board and video games. Some titles would come with a game board and pieces which players had to use in conjunction to play the game. Although the Odyssey² never became as popular as the Atari consoles, it sold 2 million units throughout its lifetime. This made it the third best selling console of the generation. It was discontinued in 1984.
1979-Mattel Intellivision- The Intellivision was introduced by Mattel to test markets in 1979 and nationally in 1980. The Intellivision console contained a 16-bit processor with 16-bit registers and 16-bit system RAM. This was long before the "16-bit era". Programs were however stored on 10-bit ROM. It also featured an advanced sound chip that could deliver output through three distinct sound channels. The Intellivision was the first console with a thumb-pad directional controller and tile-based playfields with smooth, multi-directional scrolling. The system's initial production run sold out shortly after its national launch in 1980. Early cartridges were 4 kilobyte ROMs, which grew to 24 kilobytes for later games.
The Intellivision introduced several new features to the second generation. It was the first home console to use a 16-bit microprocessor and offer downloadable content through the PlayCable service. It also provided real-time human voices during gameplay. It was the first console to pose a serious threat to Atari's dominance. A series of TV advertisements featuring George Plimpton were run. They used side-by-side game comparisons to show the improved graphics and sound compared with those of the Atari 2600. It sold over 3 million units before being discontinued in 1990.
1982-Emmerson Arcadia 2001- Released by Emerson Radio in May 1982, several months before the release of ColecoVision. It was discontinued only 18 months later, with a total of 35 games having been released. Emerson licensed the Arcadia 2001 to Bandai, which released it in Japan. Over 30 Arcadia 2001 clones exist. The unrelated Arcadia Corporation, manufacturer of the Atari 2600 Supercharger add-on, was sued by Emerson for trademark infringement. Arcadia Corporation then changed its name to Starpath.
Colecovision- The ColecoVision offered a closer experience to more powerful arcade game systems, compared to competitors such as the Atari 2600 and Atari 5200, along with the means to expand the system's basic hardware.
The initial catalog of twelve games included Nintendo's Donkey Kong as the pack-in cartridge, Sega's Zaxxon, and some lesser known arcade titles that found a larger audience on the console, such as Lady Bug, Cosmic Avenger, and Venture. Approximately 145 titles in total were published as ROM cartridges for the system between 1982 and 1984. Coleco released a series of hardware add-ons and special controllers to expand the capabilities of the console.
The ColecoVision was discontinued in 1985 when Coleco withdrew from the video game market.
Atari 5200- The Atari 5200 SuperSystem, commonly known as the Atari 5200, is a home video game console that was introduced in 1982 by Atari Inc. as a higher-end complementary console for the popular Atari 2600. The 5200 was created to compete with the Intellivision, but wound up more directly competing with the ColecoVision shortly after its release. The 5200's internal hardware is almost identical to that of Atari's 8-bit computers, although software is not directly compatible between the two systems. The 5200's controllers have an analog joystick and a numeric keypad along with start, pause, and reset buttons. The 360-degree non-centering joystick was touted as offering more control than the eight-way joystick controller offered with the Atari 2600. On May 21, 1984, during a press conference at which the Atari 7800 was introduced, company executives revealed that the 5200 had been discontinued after just two years on the market. Total sales of the 5200 were reportedly in excess of 1 million units, far short of its predecessor's sales of over 30 million.
Vectrex- The Vectrex is a vector display-based home video game console developed by Smith Engineering. It was first released for North America in November 1982 and for both Europe and Japan in 1983. Originally manufactured by General Computer Electronics, it was licensed to Milton Bradley after they acquired the company. Bandai released the system in Japan.
In contrast to other video game systems available at the time, the Vectrex uses a monochrome CRT monitor, capable of displaying vector graphics, without need to be hooked up to a television set. The control pad is mounted to the base of the console, and is detachable. Games came with color overlays to compensate for the monochrome screen. A number of peripherals were also produced, such as a pair of 3D goggles known as the "3D Imager", alongside a "light-pen" that allowed the player to draw on the screen. The system also comes with a built-in game, Mine Storm, playable if a cartridge is absent. The console was originally conceived by John Ross, an employee at Smith Engineering, as far back as late 1980. Originally an idea to clear out excess inventory of 1-inch monitors, the console became Smith's first foray into the home game market. It was at first conceived as a handheld system, known as the "Mini Arcade". Once the prototype was completed, it was presented to General Computer, who agreed to publish the console. Initial sales of the system were strong, causing General Computer to be acquired by Milton Bradley. The Vectrex was a victim of the video game crash of 1983, and was discontinued shortly after Milton Bradley's acquisition by Hasbro. Despite being a commercial failure, the Vectrex was highly praised for its software library, graphical capabilities and use of a built-in monitor; several publications labeled it one of the best home consoles available at the time. The Vectrex is considered the first video game console to have a 3D-based peripheral. In later years, the system gained a cult following, with many releasing homebrew software for it. A colorized handheld version of the Vectrex was conceived in the late 1980s. However, the success of the Nintendo Game Boy and manufacturing cost caused it to be shelved.
1983-2003 Third Generation(8 Bit Era): In the history of computer and video games, the third generation (sometimes referred to as the 8-bit era) began on July 15, 1983, with the Japanese release of two systems: the Nintendo Family Computer (commonly abbreviated to Famicom) and the Sega SG-1000. When the Famicom was released outside of Japan it was remodelled and marketed as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). This generation marked the end of the North American video game crash, and a shift in the dominance of home video game manufacturers from the United States to Japan. Handheld consoles were not a major part of this generation, although the Game & Watch line from Nintendo had started in 1980 and the Milton Bradley Microvision came out in 1979 though both are considered second generation hardware. Improvements in technology gave consoles of this generation improved graphical and sound capabilities. The number of simultaneous colours on screen and the palette size both increased which, coupled with larger resolutions and more sprites on screen, meant that developers could create scenes with more detail. Five channel audio became common giving consoles the ability to produce a greater variation and range of sound. A notable innovation of this generation was the inclusion of cartridges with on-board memory and batteries to allow users to save their progress in a game, with Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda introducing the technology to the market. This innovation allowed for much more expansive gaming worlds and in-depth story telling, since users could now save their progress rather than having to start each gaming session at the beginning. By the next generation, the capability to save games became ubiquitous, at first saving on the game cartridge itself, and later when the industry changed to read-only optical disks, on memory cards, hard disk drives, and eventually cloud storage. The best-selling console of this generation was the NES/Famicom from Nintendo, followed by the Sega Master System, and then the Atari 7800. Although the previous generation of consoles had also used 8-bit processors, it was at the end of the third generation that home consoles were first labeled and marketed by their "bits". This also came into fashion as fourth generation 16-bit systems like the Sega Genesis were marketed in order to differentiate between the generations. In Japan and North America, this generation was primarily dominated by the Famicom/NES, while the Master System dominated the European and Brazilian markets. The end of the third generation was marked by the emergence of 16-bit systems of the fourth generation and with the discontinuation of the Famicom on September 25, 2003.
1983-Sega SG 1000- It was Sega's first entry into the home video game hardware business. Introduced in 1983, the SG-1000 was released on the same day that Nintendo released the Family Computer in Japan. The SG-1000 was released in several forms, including the SC-3000 computer and the redesigned SG-1000 II released in 1984. A third iteration of the console, the Sega Mark III, was released in 1985. It provided a custom video display processor over previous iterations and served as the basis for the Master System in 1986, Sega's first internationally-released console. Developed in response to a downturn in arcades in 1982, the SG-1000 was created on the advice of Hayao Nakayama, president of Sega Enterprises, Ltd. Shortly after the release, Sega Enterprises was sold to CSK Corporation, which was followed by the release of the SG-1000 II. The SC-3000 and the SG-1000 line both support a library of 76 ROM cartridge games and 29 Sega My Card games, all of which are fully compatible with the Mark III and the Japanese version of the Master System.
Nintendo Entertainment System(Famicom)- It is a remodelled export version of the company's Family Computer (FC) platform in Japan, commonly known as the Famicom, which was launched on July 15, 1983. The NES was launched in a test market of New York City on October 18, 1985, followed by Los Angeles as a second test market in February 1986, followed by Chicago and San Francisco, then other top 12 American markets, followed by a full launch across North America and some countries in Europe in September 1986, followed by Australia and other countries in Europe in 1987. Brazil saw only unlicensed clones until the official local release in 1993. The console's South Korean release was packaged as the Hyundai Comboy and distributed by Hyundai Electronics (now SK Hynix).
As one of the best-selling gaming consoles of its time, the NES helped revitalize the US video game industry following the video game crash of 1983. With the NES, Nintendo introduced a now-standard business model of licensing third-party developers, authorizing them to produce and distribute games for Nintendo's platform. It had been preceded by Nintendo's first home video game console, the Color TV-Game, and was succeeded by the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).
1985-Sega Mark III/Master System- It was originally a remodeled export version of the Sega Mark III, the third iteration of the SG-1000 series of consoles, which was released in Japan in 1985 and featured enhanced graphical capabilities over its predecessors. The Master System launched in North America in 1986, followed by Europe in 1987, and Brazil in 1989. A Japanese version of the Master System was also launched in 1987, which features a few enhancements over the export models (and by proxy the original Mark III): a built-in FM audio chip, a rapid-fire switch, and a dedicated port for the 3D glasses. A cost-reduced model known as the Master System II was released in 1990 in North America and Europe.
The original Master System models use both cartridges and a credit card-sized format known as Sega Cards. Accessories for the consoles include a light gun and 3D glasses that work with a range of specially designed games. The later Master System II redesign removed the card slot, turning it into a strictly cartridge-only system and is incompatible with the 3D glasses.
The Master System was released in competition with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Its library is smaller and with fewer well-reviewed games than the NES, due in part to Nintendo licensing policies requiring platform exclusivity. Though the Master System had newer, improved hardware, it failed to overturn Nintendo's significant market share advantage in Japan and North America. However, it attained significantly more success in Europe and Brazil.
Master System sales estimates are between 10 and 13 million units. Retrospective criticism has recognized its role in the development of the Sega Genesis, and a number of well received games, particularly in PAL (including PAL-M) regions, but is critical of its limited library in the NTSC regions, which were dominated by the Nintendo Entertainment System.
1986-Atari 7800- It is almost fully backward-compatible with the Atari 2600, the first console to have backward compatibility without the use of additional modules. It was considered affordable at a price of US$140 (equivalent to $327 in 2019).
The 7800 has significantly improved graphics hardware over the 2600, but uses the same audio chip. It also shipped with a different model of joystick from the 2600-standard CX40.
The 1986 launch is sometimes referred to as a "re-release" or "relaunch" because the Atari 7800 had originally been announced on May 21, 1984, to replace Atari Inc.'s Atari 5200, but a general release was shelved due to the sale of the company.
1987-2004 Fourth Generation(16 Bit Era): In the history of computer and video games, the fourth generation (more commonly referred to as the 16-bit era) of game consoles began on October 30, 1987 with the Japanese release of NEC Home Electronics' PC Engine (known as the TurboGrafx-16 in North America). Although NEC released the first console of this era, sales were mostly dominated by the rivalry between Nintendo's and Sega's consoles in North America: the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES; the Super Famicom in Japan) and the Sega Genesis (named the Mega Drive in other regions). Handheld systems released during this time include the Nintendo Game Boy, released in 1989, and the Sega Game Gear, first released in 1990. Nintendo was able to capitalize on its success in the previous, third generation, and managed to win the largest worldwide market share in the fourth generation as well. Sega, however, was extremely successful in this generation and began a new franchise, Sonic the Hedgehog, to compete with Nintendo's Super Mario series of games. Several other companies released consoles in this generation, but none of them were widely successful. Nevertheless, there were other companies that started to take notice of the maturing video game industry and begin making plans to release consoles of their own in the future. While as with prior generations, game media still continued to be primarily provided on ROM cartridges, though the first optical disk systems, such as the Philips CD-i, were released to limited success.
The emergence of fifth generation video game consoles, circa 1994, did not significantly diminish the popularity of fourth generation consoles for a few years. In 1996, however, there was a major drop in sales of hardware from this generation and a dwindling number of software publishers supporting fourth generation systems, which together led to a drop in software sales in subsequent years. Finally, this generation ended with the discontinuation of the Neo Geo in 2004.
1987-TurboGrafX 16- The PC Engine was the result of a collaboration between Hudson Soft and NEC and launched in Japan on October 30, 1987, under the name PC Engine. It launched in North America on August 29, 1989.
Initially, the PC Engine was quite successful in Japan, partly due to titles available on the then-new CD-ROM format. NEC released a CD add-on in 1990 and by 1992 had released a combination TurboGrafx and CD-ROM system known as the TurboDuo. In the United States, NEC used Bonk, a head-banging caveman, as their mascot and featured him in most of the TurboGrafx advertising from 1990 to 1994. The platform was well received initially, especially in larger markets, but failed to make inroads into the smaller metropolitan areas where NEC did not have as many store representatives or as focused in-store promotion.
The TurboGrafx-16 failed to maintain its sales momentum or to make a strong impact in North America. The TurboGrafx-16 and its CD combination system, the Turbo Duo, ceased manufacturing in North America by 1994, though a small amount of software continued to trickle out for the platform.
1988-Sega Megadrive/Sega Genesis- The Mega Drive was released in Japan on October 29, 1988. The console was released in New York City and Los Angeles on August 14, 1989 under the name Sega Genesis, and in the rest of North America later that year. It was launched in Europe and Australia on November 30, 1990 under its original name. Sega built their marketing campaign around their new mascot Sonic the Hedgehog, pushing the Genesis as the "cooler" alternative to Nintendo's console and inventing the term "Blast Processing" to suggest that the Genesis was capable of handling games with faster motion than the SNES. Their advertising was often directly adversarial, leading to commercials such as "Genesis does what Nintendon't" and the "'SEGA!' scream". When the arcade game Mortal Kombat was ported for home release on the Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo decided to censor the game's gore, but Sega kept the content in the game, via a code entered at the start screen. Sega's version of Mortal Kombat received generally more favorable reviews in the gaming press and outsold the SNES version three to one. This also led to Congressional hearings to investigate the marketing of violent video games to children, and to the creation of the Interactive Digital Software Association and the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Sega concluded that the superior sales of their version of Mortal Kombat were outweighed by the resulting loss in consumer trust, and cancelled the game's release in Spain to avoid further controversy. With the new ESRB rating system in place, Nintendo reconsidered its position for the release of Mortal Kombat II, and this time became the preferred version among reviewers. The Toy Retail Sales Tracking Service reported that during the key shopping month of November 1994, 63% of all 16-bit video game consoles sold were Sega systems.
The console was never popular in Japan (being regularly outsold by the PC Engine), but still managed to sell 40 million units worldwide. By late 1995, Sega was supporting five different consoles and two add-ons, and Sega Enterprises chose to discontinue the Mega Drive in Japan to concentrate on the new Sega Saturn. While this made perfect sense for the Japanese market, it was disastrous in North America: the market for Genesis games was much larger than for the Saturn, but Sega was left without the inventory or software to meet demand.
1989- Nintendo Game Boy- Nintendo released the Game Boy on April 21, 1989 (September 1990 for the UK). The design team headed by Gunpei Yokoi had also been responsible for the Game & Watch system, as well as the Nintendo Entertainment System games Metroid and Kid Icarus. The Game Boy came under scrutiny by some industry critics, saying that the monochrome screen was too small, and the processing power was inadequate. The design team had felt that low initial cost and battery economy were more important concerns, and when compared to the Microvision, the Game Boy was a huge leap forward.
Yokoi recognized that the Game Boy needed a killer app—at least one game that would define the console, and persuade customers to buy it. In June 1988, Minoru Arakawa, then-CEO of Nintendo of America saw a demonstration of the game Tetris at a trade show. Nintendo purchased the rights for the game, and packaged it with the Game Boy system as a launch title. It was almost an immediate hit. By the end of the year more than a million units were sold in the US. As of March 31, 2005, the Game Boy and Game Boy Color combined to sell over 118 million units worldwide.
Atari Lynx- In 1987, Epyx created the Handy Game; a device that would turn into the Atari Lynx in 1989. It is the first color handheld console ever made, as well as the first with a backlit screen. It also features networking support with up to 17 other players, and advanced hardware that allows the zooming and scaling of sprites. The Lynx can also be turned upside down to accommodate left-handed players. However, all these features came at a very high price point, which drove consumers to seek cheaper alternatives. The Lynx is also very unwieldy, consumes batteries very quickly, and lacked the third-party support enjoyed by its competitors. Due to its high price, short battery life, production shortages, a dearth of compelling games, and Nintendo's aggressive marketing campaign, and despite a redesign in 1991, the Lynx became a commercial failure. Despite this, companies like Telegames helped to keep the system alive long past its commercial relevance, and when new owner Hasbro released the rights to develop for the public domain, independent developers like Songbird have managed to release new commercial games for the system every year until 2004's Winter Games.
1990-Super Nintendo Entertainment System/ Super Famicom-Nintendo executives were initially reluctant to design a new system, but as the market transitioned to the newer hardware, Nintendo saw the erosion of the commanding market share it had built up with the Nintendo Entertainment System. Nintendo's fourth-generation console, the Super Famicom, was released in Japan on November 21, 1990; Nintendo's initial shipment of 300,000 units sold out within hours. The machine reached North America as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System on August 23, 1991, and Europe and Australia in April 1992.
Despite stiff competition from the Mega Drive/Genesis console, the Super NES eventually took the top selling position, selling 49.10 million units worldwide, and would remain popular well into the fifth generation of consoles. Nintendo's market position was defined by their machine's increased video and sound capabilities, as well as exclusive first-party franchise titles such as F-Zero, Starfox, Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario Kart, Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Metroid.
TurboExpress- The TurboExpress is a portable version of the TurboGrafx, released in 1990 for $249.99 (the price was briefly raised to $299.99, soon dropped back to $249.99, and by 1992 it was $199.99). Its Japanese equivalent is the PC Engine GT.
It is the most advanced handheld of its time and can play all the TurboGrafx-16's games (which are on a small, credit-card sized media called HuCards). It has a 66 mm (2.6 in.) screen, the same as the original Game Boy, but in a much higher resolution, and can display 64 sprites at once, 16 per scanline, in 512 colors. Although the hardware can only handle 481 simultaneous colors. It has 8 kilobytes of RAM. The Turbo runs the HuC6820 CPU at 1.79 or 7.16 MHz.
The optional "TurboVision" TV tuner includes RCA audio/video input, allowing users to use TurboExpress as a video monitor. The "TurboLink" allowed two-player play. Falcon, a flight simulator, included a "head-to-head" dogfight mode that can only be accessed via TurboLink. However, very few TG-16 games offered co-op play modes especially designed with the TurboExpress in mind.
Bitcorp Gamate- The Bitcorp Gamate is the one of the first handheld game systems created in response to the Nintendo Game Boy. It was released in Asia in 1990 and distributed worldwide by 1991.
Like the Sega Game Gear, it was horizontal in orientation and like the Game Boy, required 4 AA batteries. Unlike many later Game Boy clones, its internal components were professionally assembled (no "glop-top" chips). Unfortunately the system's fatal flaw is its screen. Even by the standards of the day, its screen is rather difficult to use, suffering from similar motion blur problems that were common complaints with the first generation Game Boys. Likely because of this fact sales were quite poor, and Bitcorp closed by 1992. However, new games continued to be published for the Asian market, possibly as late as 1994. The total number of games released for the system remains unknown.
Gamate games were designed for stereo sound, but the console is only equipped with a mono speaker.
Sega Game Gear- The Game Gear is the third color handheld console, after the Lynx and the TurboExpress; produced by Sega. Released in Japan in 1990 and in North America and Europe in 1991, it is based on the Master System, which gave Sega the ability to quickly create Game Gear games from its large library of games for the Master System. While never reaching the level of success enjoyed by Nintendo, the Game Gear proved to be a fairly durable competitor, lasting longer than any other Game Boy rivals. While the Game Gear is most frequently seen in black or navy blue, it was also released in a variety of additional colors: red, light blue, yellow, clear, and violet. All of these variations were released in small quantities and frequently only in the Asian market. Following Sega's success with the Game Gear, they began development on a successor during the early 1990s, which was intended to feature a touchscreen interface, many years before the Nintendo DS. However, such a technology was very expensive at the time, and the handheld itself was estimated to have cost around $289 were it to be released. Sega eventually chose to shelve the idea and instead release the Genesis Nomad, a handheld version of the Genesis, as the successor.
Hartung Game Master- The Hartung Game Master is an obscure handheld released at an unknown point in the early 1990s. Its graphics were much lower than most of its contemporaries, similar in complexity to the Atari 2600. It was available in black, white, and purple, and was frequently rebranded by its distributors, such as Delplay, Videojet and Systema.
The exact number of games released is not known, but is likely around 20. The system most frequently turns up in Europe and Australia.
1991- SNK Neo Geo- Released by SNK in 1990, the Neo Geo was a home console version of the major arcade platform. Compared to its console competition, the Neo Geo had much better graphics and sound, however the prohibitively expensive launch price of US $649.99 and games often retailing at over $250 made the console only accessible to a niche market. A less expensive version, retailing for $399.99, did not include a memory card,pack-in game or extra joystick.
Atari Lynx II- During 1990, the Lynx had moderate sales. In July 1991, Atari introduced the Lynx II with a new marketing campaign, new packaging, slightly improved hardware, better battery life and a new sleeker look. The new system (referred to within Atari as the "Lynx II") featured rubber hand grips and a clearer backlit color screen with a power save option (which turned off the LCD panel's backlighting). It also replaced the monaural headphone jack of the original Lynx with one wired for stereo. The new packaging made the Lynx available without any accessories, dropping the price to $99. Although sales improved, Nintendo still dominated the handheld market.
1992-Watara Supervision- The Watara Supervision was released in 1992 in an attempt to compete with the Nintendo Game Boy. The first model was designed very much like a Game Boy, but it is grey in color and has a slightly larger screen. The second model was made with a hinge across the center and can be bent slightly to provide greater comfort for the user. While the system did enjoy a modest degree of success, it never impacted the sales of Nintendo or Sega. The Supervision was redesigned a final time as "The Magnum". Released in limited quantities it was roughly equivalent to the Game Boy Pocket. It was available in three colors: yellow, green and grey. Watara designed many of the games themselves, but did receive some third party support, most notably from Sachen.
A TV adapter was available in both PAL and NTSC formats that could transfer the Supervision's black-and-white palette to 4 colors, similar in some regards to the Super Game Boy from Nintendo.
1993-2005 Fifth Generation(32 Bit Era, 64 Bit Era, 3D Era): For home consoles, the best-selling console was the Sony PlayStation, followed by the Nintendo 64, and then the Sega Saturn. The PlayStation also had a redesigned version, the PSone, which was launched on July 7, 2000. For handhelds, this era was characterized by significant fragmentation, because the first handheld of the generation, the Sega Nomad, had a lifespan of just two years, and the Nintendo Virtual Boy had a lifespan of less than one. Both of them were discontinued before the other handhelds made their debut. The Neo Geo Pocket was released on October 28, 1998, but was dropped by SNK in favor of the fully backwards-compatible Neo Geo Pocket Color just a year later. Nintendo's Game Boy Color (1998) was the winner in handhelds by a large margin. There were also two simply updated versions of the original Game Boy: Game Boy Light (Japan only) and Game Boy Pocket.
Some features that distinguished fifth generation consoles from previous fourth generation consoles include:
This era is known for its pivotal role in the video game industry's leap from 2D to 3D computer graphics, as well as the shift from home console games being stored on ROM cartridges to optical discs. This was also the first generation to feature internet connectivity, some systems like the Sega Saturn's Sega Net Link, had add-ons to add connectivity to existing devices, and the Apple Pippin, a commercial flop, was the first system to feature on-board internet capabilities. There was considerable time overlap between this generation and the next, the sixth generation of consoles, which began with the launch of the Dreamcast in Japan on November 27, 1998. The fifth generation officially ended with the discontinuation of the PlayStation (namely, its re-engineered form, the "PSOne") on March 23, 2006, a year after the launch of the seventh generation.
1993-3DO Interactive Multiplayer System-often called the 3DO, is a home video game console developed by The 3DO Company. Conceived by entrepreneur and Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, the 3DO was not a console manufactured by the company itself, but a series of specifications, originally designed by Dave Needle and R. J. Mical of New Technologies Group, that could be licensed by third parties. Panasonic produced the first models in 1993, and further renditions of the hardware were released in 1994 by GoldStar (now LG Electronics) and in 1995 by Sanyo. Despite a highly promoted launch (including being named Time magazine's "1993 Product of the Year") and a host of cutting-edge technologies, the 3DO's high price and an oversaturated console market prevented the system from achieving success comparable to veteran competitors Sega and Nintendo. As a result, it was discontinued in late 1996.
Atari Jaguar-A successor to both the 7800 and XEGS, the Jaguar came as part of the fifth generation of video game consoles and was, controversially, marketed by Atari as being the world's first "64-bit" video game system, while competing with the existing 16-bit consoles (Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System) and the 32-bit 3DO Interactive Multiplayer platform (which launched the same year). The Jaguar shipped with Cybermorph as the pack-in game. Development on the Atari Jaguar started in the early 1990s by Flare Technology. The multi-chip architecture, hardware bugs, and lacking developer support tools made game development difficult. Underwhelming sales further contributed to the console's lack of third-party support. This, in addition to the lack of internal development at Atari, led to a games library comprising only 50 licensed titles, plus another 13 games on the Jaguar CD.
Atari attempted to extend the lifespan of the system with the Atari Jaguar CD add-on and marketing the Jaguar as the low-cost next generation console, with a price tag over $100 less than any of its competitors. However, with the release of the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation in 1995, sales of the Jaguar continued to fall, ultimately selling no more than 250,000 units before it was discontinued in 1996. The commercial failure of the Jaguar prompted Atari to leave the video game console market. After Hasbro Interactive acquired all Atari properties in 1998, the rights to the Jaguar were released into the public domain, with the console being declared an open platform. Since May 14, 1999, the Jaguar has gained a cult following, with a developer base that produces homebrew games for the console.
1994-Sega Saturn- Part of the fifth generation of video game consoles, it was the successor to the successful Sega Genesis. The Saturn has a dual-CPU architecture and eight processors. Its games are in CD-ROM format, and its game library contains several ports of arcade games as well as original games.
Development of the Saturn began in 1992, the same year Sega's groundbreaking 3D Model 1 arcade hardware debuted. The system was designed around a new CPU from Japanese electronics company Hitachi. Sega added another video display processor in early 1994 to better compete with Sony's forthcoming PlayStation. The Saturn was initially successful in Japan but failed to sell in large numbers in the United States after its surprise May 1995 launch, four months before its scheduled release date. After the debut of the Nintendo 64 in late 1996, the Saturn rapidly lost market share in the U.S., where it was discontinued in 1998. Having sold 9.26 million units worldwide, the Saturn is considered a commercial failure. The failure to release a game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, known in development as Sonic X-treme, has been considered a factor in the console's poor performance. Although the Saturn is remembered for several well regarded games, including Nights into Dreams, the Panzer Dragoon series, and the Virtua Fighter series, its reputation is mixed due to its complex hardware design and limited third-party support. Sega's management has been criticized for its decisions during the system's development and discontinuation.
1995-Sega Nomad- 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.
Sony Playstation- It was first released on 3 December 1994 in Japan, on 9 September 1995 in North America, on 29 September 1995 in Europe, and on 15 November 1995 in Australia, and was the first of the PlayStation lineup of video game consoles. As a fifth generation console, the PlayStation primarily competed with the Nintendo 64 and the Sega Saturn. The PlayStation was the first "computer entertainment platform" to ship over 100 million units, which it had reached nine years after its initial launch. In July 2000, a redesigned, slim version called the PS one was released, replacing the original grey console and named appropriately to avoid confusion with its successor, the PlayStation 2.
The PlayStation 2, which is backwards compatible with the PlayStation's DualShock controller and games, was announced in 1999 and launched in 2000. The last PS one units were sold in late 2006 to early 2007 shortly after it was officially discontinued, for a total of 102 million units shipped since its launch eleven years earlier. Games for the PlayStation continued to sell until Sony ceased production of both the PlayStation and PlayStation games on 23 March 2006 – over eleven years after it had been released, and less than a year before the debut of the PlayStation 3. On 19 September 2018, Sony unveiled the PlayStation Classic to mark the 24th anniversary of the original console. The new console is a miniature recreation of the original PlayStation, preloaded with 20 titles released on the original console, and was released on 3 December 2018, the exact date the console was released in Japan in 1994.
1996-Nintendo 64- Named for its 64-bit central processing unit, it was released in June 1996 in Japan, September 1996 in North America, and March 1997 in Europe and Australia. It was the last major home console to use the cartridge as its primary storage format until the Nintendo Switch in 2017. The Nintendo 64 was discontinued in mid 2002 following the launch of its successor, the GameCube, in 2001. Codenamed "Project Reality", the Nintendo 64 design was mostly complete by mid-1995, but its launch was delayed until 1996, when Time named it Machine of the Year. It was launched with three games: Super Mario 64, Pilotwings 64 (worldwide) and Saikyō Habu Shōgi (exclusive to Japan). As part of the fifth generation of gaming, the system competed primarily with the PlayStation and Sega Saturn. The suggested retail price at its United States launch was US$199.99 (equivalent to $326 in 2019), and 32.93 million units were sold worldwide. In 2015, IGN named it the ninth-greatest video game console of all time.
Nintendo Game Boy Pocket-The Game Boy Pocket is a redesigned version of the original Game Boy having the same features. It was released in 1996. Notably, this variation is smaller and lighter. It comes in seven different colors; red, yellow, green, black, clear, silver, blue, and pink. It has space for two AAA batteries, which provide approximately 10 hours of game play. The screen was changed to a true black-and-white display, rather than the "pea soup" monochromatic display of the original Game Boy. 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). Another notable improvement over the original Game Boy is a black-and-white display screen, rather than the green-tinted display of the original Game Boy, that also featured improved response time for less blurring during motion. The Game Boy Pocket takes two AAA batteries as opposed to four AA batteries for roughly ten hours of gameplay. The first model of the Game Boy Pocket did not have an LED to show battery levels, but the feature was added due to public demand. The Game Boy Pocket was not a new software platform and played the same software as the original Game Boy model.
1997- Tiger Game.com- The Game.com (pronounced in TV commercials as "game com", not "game dot com", and not capitalized in marketing material) is a handheld game console released by Tiger Electronics in September 1997. It featured many new ideas for handheld consoles and was aimed at an older target audience, sporting PDA-style features and functions such as a touch screen and stylus. However, Tiger hoped it would also challenge Nintendo's Game Boy and gain a following among younger gamers too. Unlike other handheld game consoles, the first game.com consoles included two slots for game cartridges, which would not happen again until the Tapwave Zodiac, the DS and DS Lite, and could be connected to a 14.4 kbit/s modem. Later models had only a single cartridge slot.
1998-Nintendo Game Boy Light- The Game Boy Light was released on April 14, 1998, only available in Japan. Like the Game Boy Pocket, the system was also priced at ¥6,800. The Game Boy Light is only slightly bigger than the Game Boy Pocket and features an electro luminescent backlight for low-light conditions. It uses 2 AA batteries, which gave it approximately 20 hours with the light off and 12 with it on. It was available in two standard colors, gold and silver. It also received numerous special editions, including an Astro Boy edition with a clear case and a picture of Astro Boy on it, an Osamu Tezuka World edition with a clear red case and a picture of his characters,and a solid yellow Pokémon Center Tokyo version.
Nintendo Game Boy Color-The Game Boy Color (also referred to as GBC or CGB) is Nintendo's successor to the Game Boy and was released on October 21, 1998, in Japan and in November of the same year in the United States. It features a color screen, and is slightly bigger than the Game Boy Pocket. The processor is twice as fast as a Game Boy's and has twice as much memory. It also had an infrared communications port for wireless linking which did not appear in later versions of the Game Boy, such as the Game Boy Advance.
The Game Boy Color was a response to pressure from game developers for a new system, as they felt that the Game Boy, even in its latest incarnation, the Game Boy Pocket, was insufficient. The resulting product was backward compatible, a first for a handheld console system, and leveraged the large library of games and great installed base of the predecessor system. This became a major feature of the Game Boy line, since it allowed each new launch to begin with a significantly larger library than any of its competitors. As of March 31, 2005, the Game Boy and Game Boy Color combined to sell 118.69 million units worldwide.
The console is capable of displaying up to 56 different colors simultaneously on screen from its palette of 32,768, and can add basic four-color shading to games that had been developed for the original Game Boy. It can also give the sprites and backgrounds separate colors, for a total of more than four colors.
SNK Neo Geo Pocket-
1999-SNK Neo Geo Pocket Color-
1998-2015 Sixth Generation(128 Bit Era)- Platforms in the sixth generation include consoles from four companies: the Sega Dreamcast (DC), Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2), Nintendo GameCube (GC), and Microsoft Xbox. This era began on November 27, 1998, with the Japanese release of the Dreamcast, which was joined by the PlayStation 2 on March 4, 2000, and the GameCube and Xbox on November 15, 2001. In April 2001, the Dreamcast was the first to be discontinued. The GameCube was next, in 2007, the Xbox on March 2, 2009, and the PlayStation 2 on January 4, 2013. Meanwhile, the seventh generation of consoles started on November 22, 2005 with the launch of the Xbox 360. The major innovation of this generation was of full utilization of the internet to allow a fully online gaming experience. While the prior generation had some systems with internet connectivity, such as the Apple Pippin, these had little market penetration and thus had limited success in the area. Services such as Microsoft's Xbox Live became industry standard in this, and future, generations. Another innovation of the Xbox was the first system to utilize an internal hard disk drive to store game data. This caused many improvements to the gaming experience, including the ability to store program data (rather than just save game data) that allowed for faster load times, as well as the ability to download games directly from the internet rather than to purchase physical media such as a disk or cartridge. Soon after its release other systems, like the Sony PlayStation 2, produced peripheral storage devices to allow similar capabilities, and by the next generation internal storage became industry standard. Bit ratings (i.e. "64-bit" or "32-bit" for the previous generation) for most consoles largely fell by the wayside during this era, with the notable exceptions being promotions for the Dreamcast and PS2 that advertised "128-bit graphics" at the start of the generation. The number of "bits" cited in this way in console names refers to the CPU word size, and had been used by hardware marketing departments as a "show of power" for many years. However, there is little to be gained from increasing the word size much beyond 32 or 64 bits because, once this level is reached, performance depends on more varied factors, such as processor clock speed, bandwidth, and memory size.
The sixth generation of handhelds began with the release of the Neo Geo Pocket Color by SNK in 1998 and Bandai's WonderSwan Color, launched in Japan in 1999. Nintendo maintained its dominant share of the handheld market with the release in 2001 of the Game Boy Advance, which featured many upgrades and new features over the Game Boy. The Game Boy Advance was discontinued around in early 2010. The next generation of handheld consoles began in November 2004, with the North American introduction of the Nintendo DS.
The last official Dreamcast games were released in 2002 (North America and Europe) and 2007 (Japan). The last GameCube games were released in 2006 (Japan) and 2007 (North America and Europe). The last Xbox games were released in 2007 (Japan) and 2008 (Europe and North America). Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 was the last game for the PlayStation 2 (in Europe), which was released in November 2013. The last PS2 game, Final Fantasy XI: Rhapsodies of Vana'diel, was released in May 2015, marking the end of this generation.
1998- Sega Dreamcast- It was the first in the sixth generation of video game consoles, preceding Sony's PlayStation 2, Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox. The Dreamcast was Sega's final home console, marking the end of the company's 18 years in the console market. In contrast to the expensive hardware of the unsuccessful Sega Saturn, the Dreamcast was designed to reduce costs with "off-the-shelf" components, including a Hitachi SH-4 CPU and an NEC PowerVR2 GPU. Released in Japan to a subdued reception, the Dreamcast enjoyed a successful U.S. launch backed by a large marketing campaign, but interest in the system steadily declined as Sony built hype for the upcoming PlayStation 2. Sales did not meet Sega's expectations despite several price cuts, and the company continued to incur significant financial losses. After a change in leadership, Sega discontinued the Dreamcast on March 31, 2001, withdrawing from the console business and restructuring itself as a third-party publisher. 9.13 million Dreamcast units were sold worldwide. Although the Dreamcast had a short lifespan and limited third-party support, reviewers have considered the console ahead of its time. Its library contains many games considered creative and innovative, including Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio and Shenmue, as well as high-quality ports from Sega's NAOMI arcade system board. The Dreamcast was also the first console to include a built-in modular modem for internet support and online play.
2000-Sony Playstation One- On 7 July 2000, Sony released the PS One (stylized as PS one), a smaller, redesigned version of the original PlayStation. It was the highest-selling console through the end of the year, outselling all other consoles – including Sony's own PlayStation 2. A total of 28.15 million PS one units had been sold by the time it was discontinued in March 2006. A version of the PS one included a 5-inch (130 mm)LCDscreen, referred to as the "Combo pack".
Bandai WonderSwan Color-
Playstation 2(PS2)- It was first released in Japan on March 4, 2000, in North America on October 26, 2000, and in Europe and Australia on November 24, 2000, and is the successor to the original PlayStation, as well as the second installment in the PlayStation console line-up. A sixth-generation console, it competed with Sega's Dreamcast, Nintendo's GameCube, and Microsoft's original Xbox.
Announced in 1999, the PS2 offered backward-compatibility for its predecessor's DualShock controller, as well as its games. The PS2 is the best-selling video game console of all time, having sold over 155 million units worldwide, as confirmed by Sony. Over 3,800 game titles have been released for the PS2, with over 1.5 billion copies sold. Sony later manufactured several smaller, lighter revisions of the console known as Slimline models in 2004. Even with the release of its successor, the PlayStation 3, the PS2 remained popular well into the seventh generation, and continued to be produced until 2013, when Sony finally announced it had been discontinued after over twelve years of production – one of the longest lifespans of a video game console. Despite the announcement, new games for the console continued to be produced until the end of 2013, including Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin for Japan, FIFA 13 for North America, and Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 for Europe. Repair services for the system in Japan ended on September 7, 2018.
2001-Nintendo Gamecube- The GameCube is Nintendo's entry in the sixth generation of video game consoles and is the successor to their previous console, the Nintendo 64. The GameCube competed with Sony's PlayStation 2 and Microsoft's Xbox. The GameCube is the first Nintendo console to use optical discs as its primary storage medium. The discs are in the miniDVD format and the system was not designed to play full-sized DVDs or audio CDs, unlike its competitors, and focused on gaming instead. The console supports limited online gaming for a small number of games via a GameCube broadband or modem adapter and can connect to a Game Boy Advance with a link cable, which allows players to access exclusive in-game features using the handheld as a second screen and controller. The GameCube uses composite video cables to display games on the television; however, there are differences in the two GameCube models. The models produced before May 2004 also have the ability to use digital component AV cables and progressive scan and a second serial port. The nameplate on the top of the console with the words "Nintendo GameCube" can be removed. This model is known as DOL-001. The previously mentioned features were removed in GameCube consoles produced between 2004-2007; the later model was known as DOL-101. The newer model has updated firmware that disables Action Replay cheats and cheat codes (a newer version was developed to circumvent this) and the disc-reading laser was improved in many ways, though it is not as durable. The newer model came with a 48-watt AC adapter to power the console, while the original is 46 watts. 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. Nintendo sold 21.74 million GameCube units worldwide before the console was discontinued in 2007. Its successor, the seventh-generation Wii (some models of which have backward compatibility with most GameCube software), was released in November 2006.
Microsoft XBox- It was released as Microsoft's first foray into the gaming console market on November 15, 2001, in North America, followed by Australia, Europe and Japan in 2002. It is classified as a sixth generation console, competing with Sony's PlayStation 2 and Nintendo's GameCube. It was also the first major console produced by an American company since the Atari Jaguar ceased production in 1996. Announced on March 10, 2000, the Xbox was graphically powerful compared to its rivals, featuring a 733 MHz Intel Pentium III processor, a processor that could be found on a standard PC. It was also noted for its PC-like size and weight, and was the first console to feature a built-in hard disk. In November 2002, Microsoft launched Xbox Live, a fee-based online gaming service that enabled subscribers to download new content and connect with other players through a broadband connection. Unlike online services from Sega and Sony, Xbox Live had support in the original console design through an integrated Ethernet port. The service gave Microsoft an early foothold in online gaming and would help the Xbox become a competitor in the sixth-generation of consoles. The popularity of blockbuster titles such as Bungie's Halo 2 contributed to the popularity of online console gaming, and in particular first-person shooters. The Xbox had a record-breaking launch in North America, selling 1.5 million units before the end of 2001, aided by the popularity of one of the system's launch titles, Halo: Combat Evolved, which sold a million units by April 2002. The system went on to sell a worldwide total of 24 million units, including 16 million in North America; however, Microsoft was unable to make a steady profit off of the console, which had a manufacturing price far more expensive than its retail price, despite its popularity, losing over $4 billion during its market life. The system outsold the GameCube and the Sega Dreamcast, but was vastly outsold by the PS2, which had sold over 100 million units by the system's discontinuation in 2005. It also underperformed outside of the Western market; particularly, it sold poorly in Japan due to its large console size and overabundance of games marketed towards American audiences as opposed to Japanese-developed titles. Production of the system was discontinued in 2005, with Microsoft fully ceasing out-of-warranty support in 2009 and ending Xbox Live support for the system in 2010. The Xbox was the first in an ongoing brand of video game consoles developed by Microsoft, with a successor, the Xbox 360, launching in 2005, followed by the Xbox One in 2013.
Nintendo Game Boy Advanced-
2002- Bandai Swan Crystal:
2003-Nintendo Game Boy Advanced SP-
2004- Playstation 2 Slim- In September 2004, Sony unveiled its third major hardware revision. Available in late October 2004, it was smaller, thinner, and quieter than the original versions and included a built-in Ethernet port (in some markets it also had an integrated modem). Due to its thinner profile, it did not contain the 3.5"expansion bay and therefore did not support the internal hard disk drive. It also lacked an internal power supply until a later revision (excluding the Japan version), similar to theGameCube, and had a modified Multitap expansion. The removal of the expansion bay was criticized as a limitation due to the existence of titles such as Final Fantasy XI, which required the use of the HDD.
Sony Playstation Portable(PSP)-
2005-2018 Seventh Generation: The seventh generation of video game consoles began on November 22, 2005, with the release of Microsoft's Xbox 360 home console. This was soon followed by the release of Sony Computer Entertainment's PlayStation 3 on November 17, 2006 and Nintendo's Wii on November 19, 2006, the following year. Each new console introduced new technologies. The Xbox 360 offered games rendered natively at high-definition video (HD) resolutions, the PlayStation 3 offered HD movie playback via a built-in 3D Blu-ray Disc player, and the Wii focused on integrating controllers with movement sensors as well as joysticks. Some Wii controllers could be moved about to control in-game actions, which enabled players to simulate real-world actions through movement during gameplay. By this generation, video game consoles had become an important part of the global IT infrastructure; it is estimated that video game consoles represented 25% of the world's general-purpose computational power in 2007.
Joining Nintendo in releasing motion devices and software, Sony Computer Entertainment released the PlayStation Move in September, 2010, which featured motion-sensing gaming similar to that of the Wii. In November, 2010, Microsoft released Kinect for use with the Xbox 360. Kinect did not use controllers, instead using cameras to capture the player's body motion and using that to direct gameplay, effectively making the players act as the "controllers". Having sold eight million units in its first 60 days on the market, Kinect claimed the Guinness World Record of being the "fastest selling consumer electronics device".
Among handheld consoles, the seventh generation began somewhat earlier than the home consoles. November 2004 saw the introduction of the Nintendo DS (NDS), and the PlayStation Portable (PSP), came out in December. The NDS features a touch screen and built-in microphone, and supports wireless standards. The PSP became the first handheld video game console to use an optical disc format as its primary storage media. Sony also gave the PSP multimedia capability; connectivity with the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, other PSPs; as well as Internet connectivity. Despite high sales numbers for both consoles, PSP sales have consistently lagged behind those of the NDS.
A crowdfunded console, the Ouya, received $8.5 million in preorders before launching in 2013. Post-launch sales were poor, and the device was a commercial failure. Additionally, microconsoles like Nvidia Shield Console, Amazon Fire TV, MOJO, Razer Switchblade, GamePop, GameStick, and more powerful PC-based Steam Machine consoles have attempted to compete in the video game console market; however they are seldom classified as "seventh generation" consoles. The seventh generation slowly began to wind down when Nintendo began cutting back on Wii production in the early 2010s. In 2014, Sony announced they were discontinuing the production of the PSP worldwide. Microsoft announced in 2016, that they would discontinue the Xbox 360. The following year, Sony announced that it would soon discontinue the PlayStation 3. Around that time, the remaining Wii consoles were discontinued, ending the generation as all hardware was discontinued. In late 2019, the latest game for the Wii, Just Dance 2020, was released. The eighth generation had already begun in early 2011, with the release of the Nintendo 3DS.
2005-Microsoft X Box 360/360 Pro- As the successor to the original Xbox, it is the second console in the Xbox series. It competed with Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles. It was officially unveiled on MTV on May 12, 2005, with detailed launch and game information announced later that month at the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo. The Xbox 360 features an online service, Xbox Live, which was expanded from its previous iteration on the original Xbox and received regular updates during the console's lifetime. Available in free and subscription-based varieties, Xbox Live allows users to: play games online; download games (through Xbox Live Arcade) and game demos; purchase and stream music, television programs, and films through the Xbox Music and Xbox Video portals; and access third-party content services through media streaming applications. In addition to online multimedia features, it allows users to stream media from local PCs. Several peripherals have been released, including wireless controllers, expanded hard drive storage, and the Kinect motion sensing camera. The release of these additional services and peripherals helped the Xbox brand grow from gaming-only to encompassing all multimedia, turning it into a hub for living-room computing entertainment. Launched worldwide across 2005–2006, the Xbox 360 was initially in short supply in many regions, including North America and Europe. The earliest versions of the console suffered from a high failure rate, indicated by the so-called "Red Ring of Death", necessitating an extension of the device's warranty period. Microsoft released two redesigned models of the console: the Xbox 360 S in 2010, and the Xbox 360 E in 2013. Xbox 360 is the sixth-highest-selling home video game console in history, and the highest-selling console made by an American company. Although not the best-selling console of its generation, the Xbox 360 was deemed by TechRadar to be the most influential through its emphasis on digital media distribution and multiplayer gaming on Xbox Live.
The Xbox 360's successor, the Xbox One, was released on November 22, 2013. On April 20, 2016, Microsoft announced that it would end the production of new Xbox 360 hardware, although the company will continue to support the platform. At launch, the Xbox 360 was available in two configurations: the "Xbox 360" package (unofficially known as the 20 GB Pro or Premium), priced at US$399 orGB£279.99, and the "Xbox 360 Core", priced at US$299 and GB£209.99. The Core System came with a 20GB HDD, while the Pro version came with 60GB HDD.
Microsoft X Box 360 Elite- The Elite package was launched later at US$479. The Elite Console was the same as the Core console and the pro console, with the exception of the Black Matte finish and the 150GB HDD.
Nintendo Game Boy Micro-
2006-Sony Playstation 3- It is the successor to PlayStation 2, and is part of the PlayStation brand of consoles. It was first released on November 11, 2006 in Japan, November 17, 2006 in North America, and March 23, 2007 in Europe and Australia. The PlayStation 3 competed primarily against Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles.
The console was first officially announced at E3 2005, and was released at the end of 2006. It was the first console to use Blu-ray Disc as its primary storage medium. The console was the first PlayStation to integrate social gaming services, including the PlayStation Network, as well as the first to be controllable from a handheld console, through its remote connectivity with PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita. In September 2009, the Slim model of the PlayStation 3 was released. It no longer provided the hardware ability to run PS2 games. It was lighter and thinner than the original version, and featured a redesigned logo and marketing design, as well as a minor start-up change in software. A Super Slim variation was then released in late 2012, further refining and redesigning the console. During its early years, the system was negatively received, due to its high price ($599 for a 60 gigabyte model, $499 for a 20 GB model), a complex processor architecture, and lack of quality games but was praised for its Blu-ray capabilities and "untapped potential". The reception would get more positive over time. The system had a slow start in the market but managed to recover, particularly after the introduction of the Slim model. Its successor, the PlayStation 4, was released later in November 2013. On September 29, 2015, Sony confirmed that sales of the PlayStation 3 were to be discontinued in New Zealand, but the system remained in production in other markets. Shipments of new units to Europe and Australia ended in March 2016, followed by North America which ended in October 2016. Heading into 2017, Japan was the last territory where new units were still being produced until May 29, 2017, when Sony confirmed the PlayStation 3 was discontinued in Japan.
Nintendo Wii- As a seventh-generation console, the Wii competed with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. Nintendo states that its console targets a broader demographic than that of the two others. As of the first quarter of 2016, the Wii led its generation over the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in worldwide sales, with more than 101 million units sold; in December 2009, the console broke the sales record for a single month in the United States.
The Wii introduced the Wii Remote controller, which can be used as a handheld pointing device and which detects movement in three dimensions. The console runs games supplied on Wii optical discs. It also supported the now discontinued WiiConnect24 service, which enabled Wii to receive messages and updates over the Internet while in standby mode. Like other seventh-generation consoles it supported a service, called "Virtual Console", that downloaded emulated games from past Nintendo consoles, support for online video streaming such as BBC iPlayer, and other services provided by Nintendo over the Internet. From June 28, 2013, Internet services were gradually discontinued; since January 31, 2019, only re-download of games, system software update, and transfer of data between Wii and Wii U continued to be available, to be withdrawn at an unspecified future date. Wii Points could no longer be purchased after March 2018, and could not be used and were permanently lost from January 31, 2019. The Wii succeeded the GameCube; early models are fully backward-compatible with all GameCube games and most accessories. Nintendo first spoke of the console at the E3 2004 press conference and later unveiled it at E3 2005. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata revealed a prototype of the controller at the September 2005 Tokyo Game Show. At E3 2006, the console won the first of several awards. By December 8, 2006, it had completed its launch in the four key markets. Later models are no longer compatible with Nintendo GameCube. Nintendo released a revised unit in 2011 in Europe, Australia, and North America. The Wii Mini, Nintendo's first major console redesign since the New-Style Super NES, was released first in Canada on December 7, 2012. The Wii Mini can only play Wii optical discs, as it has neither GameCube compatibility nor any networking capabilities; this model was not released in Japan, Australia, or New Zealand. The Wii's successor, the Wii U, was released on November 18, 2012. On October 20, 2013, Nintendo confirmed it had discontinued production of the Wii in Japan and Europe. On January 27, 2020, Nintendo published a notice on their website that they will no longer accept repairs for the Wii console model number [RVL-001], inside Japan, effective on March 31, 2020 or earlier if they run out of stock. This is due to the difficulty of obtaining the necessary parts for repair. On May 3, 2020, it had been reported that prototype documents on the Wii were leaked on 4chan, among other data for older Nintendo platforms.
Nintendo DS Lite-
2007-Microsoft X Box 360 Arcade- The Xbox 360 Arcade replaced the Xbox 360 Core as the entry-level Xbox 360 on October 23, 2007, while retaining the Core's price of US $279.99.It was publicly revealed by Microsoft's president of Entertainment Devices division Robbie Bach to the Financial Times on October 18, 2007,and officially announced on October 22, 2007, although it was available in stores far earlier. It included a wireless controller, a composite AV cable, HDMI 1.2 output, a 256 MB memory unit and five Xbox Live Arcade titles: Boom Boom Rocket,Feeding Frenzy,Luxor 2,Pac-Man Championship Edition, andUnoon a single disk, which also included a "Welcome Video" and several game trailers and demos. Like its predecessor the "Core", it did not include a hard disk drive, which is required for Xbox software backwards compatibility. In Autumn (Fall) 2008, with the introduction of the Jasper motherboard revision, the memory unit was removed from the package and replaced with a 256 MB internal memory chip. This was later upgraded to a 512 MB chip in Summer 2009. Holiday 2008 consoles were bundled with Sega Superstars Tennis. With the price cuts on September 4, 2008, the Arcade fell from US$279 to US$199 in the US. In the UK, with the 2009 Elite price drop and discontinuation of the "Premium" ProSKU, the Arcade price rose from £129.99 to £159.99. With the unveiling of the Xbox 360 S redesign, the Arcade dropped in price to US$149.99 for remaining units until stocks are exhausted. The Arcade was replaced at the US$200 price tier by the 4 GB Xbox 360 S.
Sony Playstation Portable 2000(PSPslim)-
Sony Playstation Portable 3000-
2009-Playstation 3 Slim- The redesigned version of the PlayStation 3 (commonly referred to as the "PS3 Slim" and officially branded "PS3") features an upgradeable 120 GB, 160 GB, 250 GB or 320 GB hard drive and is 33% smaller, 36% lighter and consumes 34% (CECH-20xx) or 45% (CECH-21xx) less power than the previous model, or one third of the original PS3 model. The Cell microprocessor has moved to a 45 nm manufacturing process, which lets it run cooler and quieter than previous models, and the cooling system has been redesigned. The RSX moved to a 40 nm process in the latest revision. The PS3 slim also includes support for CEC (more commonly referred to by its manufacturer brandings of BraviaSync, VIERA Link, EasyLink etc.) which allows control of the console over HDMI by using the TV's remote control. The PS3 Slim no longer has the "main power" switch like the previous PS3 models, similar to redesigned slimline PlayStation 2. Support for emulation to play PS2 titles is not present in the Slim version, however shortly after the release of the PS3 slim, Sony announced a new series of PS2 remasters called Classics HD as in PS2 and PSP titles remastered in HD for the PS3 with Trophies and sometimes PlayStation Move compatibility added. As of October 2011, PS2 classics are available for purchase in the PlayStation Store. The PS3 slim was officially released on September 1, 2009, in North America and Europe and on September 3, 2009, in Japan, Australia and New Zealand. However, some retailers such as Amazon.com, Best Buy and GameStop started to sell the PS3 slim on August 25, 2009. The PS3 Slim sold in excess of a million units in its first 3 weeks on sale. A 250 GB Final Fantasy XIII-themed PS3 Slim, which was white in color with pink designs, was officially announced on September 24, 2009 at the Tokyo Game Show as part of a bundle in Japan for Final Fantasy XIII, it was initially revealed in U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filings as the PS3 CECH-2000B. Sony Computer Entertainment Australia also announced later that day that it would be bringing the 250 GB PS3 slim to Australia which would be bundled with other games and will not feature the Final Fantasy XIII theme. Although no North American bundles have been announced for the 250 GB PS3 slim, it is sold as a stand-alone console in North America. In July 2010, Sony announced two new sizes of Slim PS3, 160 GB and 320 GB, with the 120 GB model being discontinued in Japan. These were launched on July 29, 2010, in Japan, with the 160 GB version available in "Classic White" as well as the standard "Charcoal Black". The black 160 GB version was also made available as a bundle with the Japan-only DVR accessory torne. It was later announced that the new sizes were to be launched in other regions, with the 160 GB model available from August 2010 in North America and October 2010 in Europe. The 320 GB model is to be available in North America only as part of a bundle with PlayStation Move, a PlayStation Eye and a copy of Sports Champions, and in Europe with PlayStation Move, a PlayStation Eye and a demo disc. The bundles were released on September 19, 2010, and September 15, 2010, respectively, to coincide with the launch of PlayStation Move.
Nintendo DSi XL-
Sony Playstation Portable GO-
2010- Microsoft X Box 360 S- Two major hardware revisions of the Xbox 360 have succeeded the original models; the Xbox 360 S (also referred to as the "Slim") replaced the original "Elite" and "Arcade" models in 2010. The S model carries a smaller, streamlined appearance with an angular case, and utilizes a redesigned motherboard designed to alleviate the hardware and overheating issues experienced by prior models. It also includes a proprietary port for use with the Kinect sensor. The first Xbox 360 S SKU revealed included a 250 GB hard drive and its casing featured a glossy black finish. It was shipped to US retailers the same day it was announced (June 14, 2010) and went on sale later that week. It was released in Australia on July 1, 2010, in New Zealand on July 8, 2010 and in Europe on July 16, 2010. It retails at US$299.99, £199.99, A$449.00, NZ$499.00 or €249.00, replacing the Xbox 360 Elite at that price point. In August 2011, Microsoft announced they would be streamlining their models by discontinuing the glossy finish and that future 250 GB consoles would use the matte finish found on 4 GB models. A second SKU which included 4 GB of internal flash storage and had a matte black casing (much like the Xbox 360 Elite)was released on August 3, 2010 in the US and August 20, 2010 in Europe.It replaced the Xbox 360 Arcade and is priced atUS$199.99,£149.99 or€199.99.Although this model has on-board storage,Xbox Product Director Aaron Greenberg confirmed that it does have a drive bay which Microsoft has "the opportunity to use in the future".On August 20, 2010, Microsoft announced a 250 GB stand-alone hard drive for use with Xbox 360 S models priced at US$129.99. In June 2011, Microsoft announced a "Jon Jones Edition" Xbox 360 S console to coincide with the launch of Gears of War 3, which featuring custom finish, a 320 GB hard drive and sounds from the Gears of War 3 game which are played when the console is switched on or the disc tray is opened. Other 320 GB Xbox 360 S limited editions soon followed. Like the 250 GB "Super Elite" consoles, 320 GB Xbox 360 S consoles were only available as part of limited/special edition console bundles (as of September 2011), with stand-alone 320 GB hard drives also being available for purchase.
2011-Sony Playstation Portable Street(E1000)-
Sony Xperia Play-
Sony Playstation Vita-
2012-Present Eighth Generation: the eighth generation began on November 18, 2012, with the release of the Wii U, and continued with the release of the PlayStation 4 (PS4) on November 15, 2013, and the Xbox One on November 22, 2013. The Wii U was the first home console of this generation to be discontinued, on January 31, 2017, to make way for Nintendo's second home console competitor, the Nintendo Switch, released on March 3, 2017. These video game consoles follow their seventh generation predecessors from the same three companies: Nintendo's Wii, Sony's PlayStation 3, and Microsoft's Xbox 360. Throughout the generation, Sony and Microsoft continued to release hardware upgrades to their flagship consoles. In August 2016 and September 2016, Microsoft and Sony respectively both released "slim" revisions of their consoles, the Xbox One S and the PlayStation 4 Slim. The Xbox One S notably added support for HDR video and Ultra HD Blu-ray, while Sony released a software update to add HDR to all existing PlayStation 4 consoles; the PlayStation 4 Slim does not support UHD Blu-ray. Following this was an upgraded version of the PlayStation 4, the PlayStation 4 Pro, which was released later in November 2016; meanwhile, Microsoft also announced an upgraded version of the Xbox One in 2016 under the name Project Scorpio. This would become the Xbox One X, released a year later in November 2017. Both of these consoles were aimed at providing upgraded hardware to support rendering games at up to 4K resolution. In contrast to Microsoft and Sony, Nintendo began to phase out the Wii U in favor of a completely new hardware platform announced in April 2016 as NX. This would become the Nintendo Switch, released in March 2017. Being a hybrid between a handheld and a standalone console, it is a tablet-sized unit with a built-in display that has detachable wireless controllers and can be placed in a docking station for use with a television. The Switch was highly successful in its first year of sales, especially in comparison to its predecessor, the Wii U. In its first year, the Switch sold 3.2 million units in Japan, breaking the yearly record set by the PlayStation 2, and it had already completely outsold the Wii U by January 2018. Based on 4.8 million units sold in the United States by the end of 2017 (with 1.5 million sold in December 2017 alone), Nintendo officially declared that the Switch had outpaced the seventh-generation Wii as the fastest-selling home video game console of all time in the United States. For handheld game consoles, the eighth generation began in February 2011 with the Japanese release of the Nintendo 3DS, the successor to the Nintendo DS. Nintendo has released additional variants in the 3DS family, such as the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 2DS XL. The successor to last generation's PlayStation Portable (PSP), the PlayStation Vita, was released in Japan in December 2011, and then to Western markets in February 2012. The non-handheld variant of the PlayStation Vita, the PlayStation TV, was released in Japan in November 2013, North America in October 2014, and Europe and Australia in November 2014. The PlayStation Vita was the first handheld system of this generation to be discontinued – on March 1, 2019.
Unlike in most prior generations, there were few new innovative hardware capabilities to mark this generation as distinct from prior ones. Instead, each of the major manufacturers (Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo) produced new systems with similar designs and capabilities as their predecessors, but with increased performance (speed, graphics, storage capacity, etc.) Even the major innovation of the seventh generation, motion capture gaming, was greatly diminished in prevalence as most games that included it opted to make it optional or secondary to traditional button-based controls. Virtual reality gaming hit the home console market in the middle of the generation with Sony releasing the PlayStation VR, a virtual reality headset compatible with all PlayStation 4, in October 2016. Sales remained modest, with only 4% of PS4 owners purchasing one. Microsoft originally planned to support VR games on the Xbox One X, but despite this, Microsoft never released a VR platform for the Xbox. Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, stated in June 2017 that VR technology was "a few years away from something that will really work” and that Microsoft would instead be focusing their investments on Windows. Unique to the Switch is Nintendo's Labo system, released in April 2018. The Labo is a hybrid construction toy and video game system that allows users to create their own game-specific controllers, such as fishing poles and steering wheels. On April 12, 2019, Nintendo launched a Labo VR kit. The eighth generation is expected to transition to the ninth in 2020, as both Sony and Microsoft have stated plans to release the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X by then; in both cases, the companies have assured that backwards compatibility with the eighth generation console is a high priority to make the transition a soft one.
2012-Playstation 3 Super Slim-In September 2012 at the Tokyo Game Show, Sony announced that a new, slimmer PS3 redesign (CECH-4000) was due for release in late 2012 and that it would be available with either a 250 GB or 500 GB hard drive. Three versions of the Super Slim model were revealed: one with a 500 GB hard drive, a second with a 250 GB hard drive which is not available in PAL regions, and a third with a 12 GB flash storage that was available in PAL regions, and in Canada. The storage of 12 GB model is upgradable with an official standalone 250 GB hard drive. A vertical stand was also released for the model. In the United Kingdom, the 500 GB model was released on September 28, 2012; and the 12 GB model was released on October 12, 2012. In the United States, the PS3 Super Slim was first released as a bundled console. The 250 GB model was bundled with the Game of the Year edition of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception and released on September 25, 2012; and the 500 GB model was bundled with Assassin's Creed III and released on October 30, 2012. In Japan, the black colored Super Slim model was released on October 4, 2012; and the white colored Super Slim model was released on November 22, 2012. The Super Slim model is 20 percent smaller and 25 percent lighter than the Slim model and features a manual sliding disc cover instead of a motorized slot-loading disc cover of the Slim model. The white colored Super Slim model was released in the United States on January 27, 2013 as part of the Instant Game Collection Bundle. The Garnet Red and Azurite Blue colored models were launched in Japan on February 28, 2013 The Garnet Red version was released in North America on March 12, 2013 as part of the God of War: Ascension bundle with 500 GB storage and contained God of War: Ascension as well as the God of War Saga. The Azurite Blue model was released on October 8, 2013 as a GameStop exclusive with 250GB storage.
Nintendo Wii Mini- The Wii Mini(stylized as Wii mini) is a smaller, redesigned Wii with a top-loading disc drive. It was announced on November 27, 2012 and released on December 7, 2012 in Canada with a MSRP of C$99.99.The system was later released in Europe on March 22, 2013,and in the United States on November 17, 2013. It was not released in Japan, Australia or New Zealand. This console lacks YPBPR(component video/D-Terminal),S Video, RGBS CART output, GameCube compatibility, online connectivity, the SD card slot and Wi-Fi support, and has only one USB port unlike the previous models' two. The initial release did not include a game, but Mario Kart Wii was included at no extra charge beginning on September 18, 2013 in Canada, and from launch in the United States. Nintendo used this console and the Nintendo Selects game series to promote low-cost gaming. The Wii Mini is styled in matte black with a red border, and includes a red Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk. A composite video/audio cable, wired sensor bar and power adapter are also included.
Nintendo Wii U- The Wii U is the first Nintendo console to support HD graphics. The system's primary controller is the Wii U GamePad, which features an embedded touchscreen, directional buttons, analog sticks, and action buttons. The screen can be used either as a supplement to the main display or in supported games to play the game directly on the GamePad. The Wii U Pro Controller can be used in its place as a more traditional alternative. The Wii U is backward compatible with all Wii software and accessories. Games can support any combination of the GamePad, Wii Remote, Nunchuk, Balance Board, or Nintendo's Classic Controller or Wii U Pro Controller. Online functionality centers around the Nintendo Network platform and Miiverse, an integrated social networking service which allows users to share content in game-specific communities. The Wii U was met with a mixed reception, which included praise for its innovative GamePad controller, improvements to online functionality over the Wii, backwards compatibility with existing Wii software and peripherals, and relative affordability. However, the Wii U was also criticized for the GamePad's short battery life and issues with the console's user interface and functionality. The Wii U was met with slow consumer adoption, with low sales that were primarily credited to a weak lineup of launch titles, limited third-party support, and poor marketing. Wii U production officially ended in January 2017. On March 3, 2017, Nintendo released its successor, the Nintendo Switch, which notably retained and refined concepts that were first introduced with the Wii U.
Nintendo 3DS XL-
2013-Microsoft X Box 360 E- At Microsoft's E3 press conference on June 10, 2013, another hardware revision of the Xbox 360 known as E was unveiled for immediate availability. It is a revision of the S model with a new Xbox One-inspired casing, carrying a more rectangular appearance and a two-tone color scheme. It has one fewer USB port and no S/PDIF, YPbPr component or S-video connections. Its internal hardware is otherwise similar to the S model. SKUs and pricing for the new model are identical to those of the previous model.
Sony Playstation 4(PS4)- The PlayStation 4 (officially abbreviated as PS4) is an eighth-generation home video game console developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. Announced as the successor to the PlayStation 3 in February 2013, it was launched on November 15 in North America, November 29 in Europe, South America and Australia, and on February 22, 2014 in Japan. It's the 4th best-selling console of all time. It competes with Microsoft's Xbox One and Nintendo's Wii U and Switch. Moving away from the more complex Cell microarchitecture of its predecessor, the console features an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) built upon the x86-64 architecture, which can theoretically peak at 1.84 teraflops; AMD stated that it was the "most powerful" APU it had developed to date. The PlayStation 4 places an increased emphasis on social interaction and integration with other devices and services, including the ability to play games off-console on PlayStation Vita and other supported devices ("Remote Play"), the ability to stream gameplay online or to friends, with them controlling gameplay remotely ("Share Play"). The console's controller was also redesigned and improved over the PlayStation 3, with improved buttons and analog sticks, and an integrated touchpad among other changes. The console also supports HDR10 High-dynamic-range video and playback of 4K resolution multimedia.
The PlayStation 4 was released to critical acclaim, with critics praising Sony for acknowledging its consumers' needs, embracing independent game development, and for not imposing the restrictive digital rights management schemes like those originally announced by Microsoft for the Xbox One. Critics and third-party studios also praised the capabilities of the PlayStation 4 in comparison to its competitors; developers described the performance difference between the console and Xbox One as "significant" and "obvious". Heightened demand also helped Sony top global console sales. By the end of September 2019, over 102 million PlayStation 4 consoles had been shipped worldwide, surpassing lifetime sales of the PlayStation 3. On September 7, 2016, Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4 Slim, a smaller version of the console; and a high-end version called the PlayStation 4 Pro, which features an upgraded GPU and a higher CPU clock rate to support enhanced performance and 4K resolution in supported games.
Microsoft X Box One- It was first released in North America, parts of Europe, Australia, and South America in November 2013, and in Japan, China, and other European countries in September 2014. It is the first Xbox game console to be released in China, specifically in the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone. Microsoft marketed the device as an "all-in-one entertainment system", hence the name 'Xbox One'. The Xbox One mainly competes against Sony's PlayStation 4 and Nintendo's Wii U and Switch. Moving away from its predecessor's PowerPC-based architecture, the Xbox One marks a shift back to the x86 architecture used in the original Xbox; it features an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) built around the x86-64 instruction set. Xbox One's controller was redesigned over the Xbox 360's, with a redesigned body, D-pad, and triggers capable of delivering directional haptic feedback. The console places an increased emphasis on cloud computing, as well as social networking features, and the ability to record and share video clips or screenshots from gameplay, or live-stream directly to streaming services such as Mixer and Twitch. Games can also be played off-console via a local area network on supported Windows 10 devices. The console can play Blu-ray Disc, and overlay live television programming from an existing set-top box or a digital tuner for digital terrestrial television with an enhanced program guide. The console optionally included a redesigned Kinect sensor, marketed as the "Kinect 2.0", providing improved motion tracking and voice recognition. The Xbox One received generally positive reviews for its refined controller design, multimedia features, and voice navigation. Its quieter and cooler design was praised for making the console more reliable than its predecessor on-launch, but the console was generally criticized for running games at a technically lower graphical level than the PlayStation 4. Its original user interface was panned for being nonintuitive, although changes made to it and other aspects of the console's software post-launch received a positive reception. Its Kinect received praise for its improved motion-tracking accuracy, its face recognition logins, and its voice commands. The original Xbox One model was succeeded by the Xbox One S in 2016, which has a smaller form factor and support for HDR10 high-dynamic-range video, as well as support for 4K video playback and upscaling of games from 1080p to 4K. It was praised for its smaller size, its on-screen visual improvements, and its lack of an external power supply, but its regressions such as the lack of a native Kinect port were noted. A high-end model, named Xbox One X, was unveiled in June 2017 and released in November; it features upgraded hardware specifications and support for rendering games at 4K resolution. It will be succeeded by the upcoming Xbox Series X consoles in Holiday 2020.
Nvidia Shield Portable-
2014- Nintendo New 3DS-
2015- Nintendo New 2DS XL-
2016-Sony Playstation 4 Slim- On September 7, 2016, Sony announced a hardware revision of PlayStation 4, model number CUH-2000, known colloquially as the PlayStation 4 Slim. It is a revision of the original PS4 hardware with a smaller form factor; it has a rounded body with a matte finish on the top of the console rather than a two-tone finish, and is 40% smaller in size than the original model. The two USB ports on the front have been updated to the newer USB 3.1 standard and have a larger gap between them, and the optical audio port was removed. This model also features support for USB 3.1, Bluetooth 4.0 and 5.0 GHz Wi-Fi. It was released on September 15, 2016, with a 500 GB model at the same price as the original version of the PlayStation 4. On April 18, 2017, Sony announced that it had replaced this base model with a 1 TB version at the same MSRP.
Sony Playstation 4 Pro- PlayStation 4 Pro (codenamed Neo, model number CUH-7000) was announced on September 7, 2016, and launched worldwide on November 10, 2016. It is an upgraded version of the PlayStation 4 with improved hardware to enable 4K rendering and improved PlayStation VR performance, including an upgraded GPU with 4.2 teraflops of processing power and hardware support for checkerboard rendering, and a higher CPU clock. As with PS4 "Slim", this model also features support for USB 3.1, Bluetooth 4.0 and 5.0 GHz Wi-Fi. The PS4 Pro also includes 1 GB of DDR3 memory that is used to swap out non-gaming applications that run in the background, allowing games to utilize an additional 512 MB of the console's GDDR5 memory. Although capable of streaming 4K video, the PS4 Pro does not support Ultra HD Blu-ray. Games marketed by Sony as PS4 Pro Enhanced have specific optimizations when played on this model, such as 4K resolution graphics and/or higher performance. For games not specifically optimized, an option known as "Boost Mode" was added on system software 4.5, which can be enabled to force higher CPU and GPU clock rates on existing games to possibly improve performance. Rendering games at 4K resolution is achieved through various rendering techniques and hardware features; PlayStation technical chief Mark Cerny explained that Sony could not "brute force" 4K without compromising form factor and cost, so the console was designed to support "streamlined rendering techniques" using custom hardware, "best-in-breed temporal and spatial anti-aliasing algorithms", and "many new features from the AMD Polaris architecture as well as several even beyond it". The most prominent technique used is checkerboard rendering, wherein the console only renders portions of a scene using a checkerboard pattern, and then uses algorithms to fill in the non-rendered segments. The checkerboarded screen can then be smoothed using an anti-aliasing filter. Hermen Hulst of Guerrilla Games explained that PS4 Pro could render something "perceptively so close [to 4K] that you wouldn't be able to see the difference". PS4 Pro supports Remote Play, Share Play, and streaming at up to 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second, as well as capturing screenshots at 2160p, and 1080p video at 30 frames per second.
In late-2017, Sony issued a new PS4 Pro revision (model number CUH-7100) that featured updated internal components. The actual hardware specifications and performance remained the same as the original model, although it was found that the revised console has a slightly quieter fan profile than the original (and as a result, operating at a slightly higher temperature under load than the CUH-7000). In October 2018, Sony quietly issued another revision (model number CUH-7200), initially as part of Red Dead Redemption 2 hardware bundles. The revision has a different power supply which uses the same type of cord as the "Slim" model, and was shown to have further improvements to acoustics.
Microsoft X Box One S- The Xbox One S is available in 500 GB, 1 TB, and a "special edition" 2 TB model, which originally retailed at US$299, $349, and $399 respectively. The 2 TB model was released on August 2, 2016, and 1 TB and 500 GB models were released on August 23, 2016. A Gears of War 4 special edition was also released. On June 11, 2017, Microsoft lowered the prices of the 500 GB Battlefield 1 and 1 TB Forza Horizon 3 Xbox One S console bundles by US$50.At Gamescom 2017, Microsoft unveiled a 1 TB Minecraft limited edition, with a grass block-themed hardware and a Creeper-themed controller. During an Inside Xbox livestream in September 2018, Microsoft unveiled a 1 TB Fortnite Battle Royale bundle, with online codes to acquire unique in-game Eon-themed items and currency.On October 9, 2018, Microsoft announced that they would be releasing a 1 TB Minecraft Creators bundle, with a download code for Minecraft, in-game currency, DLC packs, and a free trial for Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold. On June 7, 2019, Microsoft released a second Fortnite bundle with purple hardware, as well as in-game currency and items. On March 17, 2020, a similar Roblox bundle was released, bundled with in-game items and currency, and a one-month trial of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
2015- Nintendo New 3DS XL-
2017-? Ninth Generation: The Ninth Generation of video games is still in the works and alot of it still remains a mystery check back for more info added to this generations as more is revealed.
2017- Microsoft X Box One X- Microsoft first teased the Xbox One X, a high-end hardware revision of the Xbox One, at E3 2016 under the codename "Project Scorpio", and released it on November 7, 2017 with a 1 TB model priced at US$499, and a limited, pre-order exclusive "Project Scorpio Edition", with a dark-gradient finish, vertical stand-brace and green "Project Scorpio" inscriptions on the console and bundled controller. Like the Xbox One S, the Xbox One X also includes a UHD Blu-ray player. The Xbox One X features upgraded hardware, designed primarily to render games at 4K resolution and to provide performance improvements for existing games; they can be displayed at full resolution on 4K displays, or supersampled for lower-resolution displays. It uses a system-on-chip (SoC) known as Scorpio Engine, which incorporates a 2.3 GHz octa-core CPU, and a Radeon GPU with 40 Compute Units clocked at 1172 MHz, generating 6 teraflops of graphical computing performance. It also includes 12 GB of GDDR5 RAM with 9 GB allocated to games. Scorpio Engine's CPU utilizes a custom platform designed to maintain compatibility with the Jaguar CPU of the original Xbox One, but with a 31% increase in performance; the custom platform is unrelated to AMD's current Ryzen architecture. The console uses a vapor-chamber method of cooling for the SoC, and motherboards tailored to the exact voltage needs of each individual Scorpio SoC to optimize their output and energy usage. The console also supports AMD's FreeSync technology, 1440p resolution, and/or 120 Hz refresh rate on compatible displays.
The Xbox One X is compatible with all existing Xbox One software and accessories. To assist in optimizing the new hardware to run existing games at 4K resolution, Microsoft developers used internal debugging software to collect GPU traces from major titles that did not run at full 1080p resolution on the original Xbox One. Halo 5: Guardians, which uses a scaling system that dynamically lowers the game's resolution when needed to maintain a consistent frame rate, was able to run at its native resolution with no scaling on Xbox One X hardware. Phil Spencer touted that Xbox One X's hardware could also support virtual reality, due to its power, price point, and convenience. At the 2017 Game Developers Conference, Microsoft announced plans to support Windows Mixed Reality VR headsets on Xbox One in 2018, but the company later stated that it was initially focusing on PC platforms first, and that it wanted to focus on wireless VR solutions for consoles. Games marketed by Microsoft as Xbox One X Enhanced have specific optimizations for graphical fidelity on the console's hardware. Separate iconography denotes games that natively run at 4K resolution, or support HDR. Existing games can be updated to provide these enhancements. Though Xbox Games marketing head Aaron Greenberg stated that Xbox One X will have no exclusive titles, general manager of game publishing Shannon Loftis remarked in a follow-up interview that she was not sure on this point, and exclusivity would be "up to the game development community what do they want to do". The Xbox One X has been characterized as a competitor to the PlayStation 4 Pro, a hardware update of the PlayStation 4 released in late 2016 that similarly focuses on 4K gaming and improved virtual reality performance, although Phil Spencer relegated the PlayStation 4 Pro as competition to the Xbox One S instead. In October 2016 Penello stated that the performance advantage of the Xbox One X over the PS4 Pro would be "obvious", noting that the PS4 Pro's GPU only had 4.2 teraflops of graphical computing performance in comparison to Microsoft's stated 6 teraflops. Some journalists thought that Microsoft's messaging and positioning of Scorpio alongside the release of the Xbox One S were at odds with themselves and "confusing".
Nintendo Switch- It is a hybrid console that can be used as a home console and portable device. Its wireless Joy-Con controllers, with standard buttons and directional analog sticks for user input, motion sensing, and tactile feedback, can attach to both sides of the console to support handheld-style play. They can also connect to a Grip accessory to provide a traditional home console gamepad form, or be used individually in the hand like the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, supporting local multiplayer modes. The Nintendo Switch's software supports online gaming through Internet connectivity, as well as local wireless ad hoc connectivity with other consoles. Nintendo Switch games and software are available on both physical flash-based ROM cartridges and digital distribution via Nintendo eShop; the system has no region lockout. A handheld-focused revision of the system, called the Nintendo Switch Lite, was released on September 20, 2019. The Nintendo Switch was unveiled on October 20, 2016. Known in development by its codename NX, the concept of the Switch came about as Nintendo's reaction to several quarters of financial losses into 2014, attributed to poor sales of its previous console, the Wii U, and market competition from mobile gaming. Nintendo's then-president Satoru Iwata pushed the company towards mobile gaming and novel hardware. The Nintendo Switch's design is aimed at a wide demographic of video game players through multiple modes of use. Nintendo opted to use more standard electronic components, such as a chipset based on Nvidia's Tegra line, to make development for the console easier for programmers and more compatible with existing game engines. As the Wii U had struggled to gain external support, leaving it with a weak software library, Nintendo preemptively sought the support of many third-party developers and publishers to help build out the Switch's game library alongside Nintendo's first-party titles, including many independent video game studios. While Nintendo initially anticipated around 100 titles for its first year, over 320 titles from first-party, third-party, and independent developers were released by the end of 2017. As an Ninth-generation console, the Nintendo Switch competes with Microsoft's Xbox Series X and Sony's PlayStation 5. The console shipped nearly three million in the first month of its launch, exceeding Nintendo's initial projection of two million, and within a year of release achieved over 14 million units sold worldwide, outselling total lifetime sales of the Wii U. By the start of 2018, the Switch became the fastest-selling home console in both Japan and the United States. As of March 2020, the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite have sold more than 55 million units worldwide. Switch sales have been strongly tied to sales of Nintendo's first-party titles, with five games, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, and Pokémon Sword and Shield having sold over fifteen million units each.
2019-Nintendo Switch Lite- On July 10, 2019, Nintendo announced a version of the Nintendo Switch dedicated to handheld play called the Nintendo Switch Lite. The Switch Lite is a single unit, integrating the Joy-Con as part of the main unit's hardware, and uses a smaller screen measuring 5.5 inches (14 cm) diagonally. Additionally, a regular directional pad replaces the four directional buttons on the integrated left Joy-Con. While using a smaller battery than the original Switch, the Switch Lite uses a more power-efficient chipset, the 16-nanometer Tegra X1+, to extend the estimated use time from 2.5-6.5 hours to 3–7 hours on a single battery charge. Because of the integrated Joy-Con, the Switch Lite is primarily limited to those games that can be played in handheld mode, while some other games like 1-2-Switch require separate Joy-Con to be used.
The Switch Lite was released worldwide on September 20, 2019 with an MSRP of US$199.99.
Google Stadia- Stadia is a cloud gaming service operated by Google. It is advertised to be capable of streaming video games up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second with support for high-dynamic-range, to players via the company's numerous data centers across the globe, provided they are using a sufficiently high-speed internet connection. It is accessible through the Google Chrome web browser on desktop computers, Pixel smartphones, supported smartphones from Samsung, OnePlus, Razer and Asus, as well as Chrome OS tablets and Chromecast for TV support. The service is planned to be integrated with YouTube, and its "state share" feature will allow viewers of a Stadia stream to launch a game on the service on the same save state as the streamer. This has been used as a selling point for the service. It is compatible with HID class USB controllers, though a proprietary controller manufactured by Google with a direct Wi-Fi link to data centers is available alongside the service. Despite comparisons, Stadia is not similar to Netflix, in that Stadia requires users to purchase games to stream via Stadia rather than pay for access to a library of games. While the base service is free and requires users to purchase games, a Pro tier monthly subscription allows users to stream at higher rates of up to 4K resolution, surround sound, and offers 1-4 free games a month that the user has access to while they are subscribed to Pro with or without gaps. Both tiers allow users to play online multiplayer without any additional costs. Known in development as Project Stream, the service was debuted through a closed beta running Assassin's Creed Odyssey in October 2018. Stadia was publicly released on November 19, 2019 in selected countries and received a mixed reception from reviewers. The service competes with Sony's PlayStation Now service, Nvidia's GeForce Now, and Microsoft's Project xCloud. On 8 April, 2020 Google started rolling out Stadia free base service, along with giving new users two months of Pro subscription.
2020-Microsoft X Box Series X- The Xbox Series X is an upcoming home video game console developed by Microsoft. It was announced during E3 2019 as "Project Scarlett" and scheduled for release in late 2020.
The console is one of the planned fourth-generation family of Xbox hardware, succeeding the current Xbox One line, and expected to have improved hardware for higher display resolutions and frame rate and reduced loading times. Microsoft plans to have this be a soft transition to its next generation of hardware; the Xbox Series X is expected to be fully compatible with all games, controllers, and accessories that are currently supported by Xbox One, including selected Xbox 360 and original Xbox games already backward compatible on the Xbox One. Further, Microsoft's internal Xbox Game Studios does not plan to immediately produce titles exclusive for the Xbox Series X, but instead will produce titles that are compatible on both the Xbox One and Xbox Series X, with certain titles having enhanced features on the new console.
Sony Playstation 5- The PlayStation 5 (PS5) is an upcoming home video game console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Announced as the successor to the PlayStation 4 in 2019, its launch is scheduled for late 2020.
In a Wired magazine article in April 2019, Sony lead architect Mark Cerny revealed information on the then-unnamed successor to the PlayStation 4. This new console has a specialized solid state drive, a custom AMD GPU capable of ray tracing, backward compatibility with most PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR games, and support for both digital and disc-based games.