Home video game console

A home video game console is a video game console that is designed to be connected to a display device, such as a television, and an external power source as to play video games. Home consoles are generally less powerful and customizable than personal computers, designed to have advanced graphics abilities but limited memory and storage space to keep the units affordable. While initial consoles were dedicated units with only a few games fixed into the electronic circuits of the system, most consoles since support the use of swappable game media, either through game cartridges, optical discs, or through digital distribution to internal storage.

There have been numerous home video game consoles since the first commercial unit, the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972. Historically these consoles have been grouped into generations lasting each about six years based on common technical specifications. As of 2020, there have been eight console generations, with the current leading manufactures being Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo; past console manufacturers have included Atari, Fairchild, Intellivision Entertainment, Coleco, Sega, NEC, 3DO, and SNK.

OverviewEdit

A home video game console is a predesigned piece of electronic hardware that is meant to be placed at a fixed location at one's home, connected to a display like a television screen or computer monitor, and to an external power source, to play video games on using one or more video game controllers. This differs from a handheld game console which will have a built-in screen, controller buttons/features, and a power supply like a battery or battery pack.

Earlier home consoles were typically built from a selection of standard and highly customized integrated computer chips, packaged onto circuit boards and cases. Over time, home console design has converged to a degree with personal computers, using similar component and system design, including standardization with main computer chip architecture. Consoles remain as fixed systems, lacking the customization options that personal computer components have, and most consoles include customized components to maximize space and reduce power consumption to provide the best performance for game playing, while lowering costs with reduced storage and memory configurations.[1]

Home video game consoles typically can play a multitude of games, offered either as game cartridges (or ROM cartridges), on optical media like CD-ROM or DVD, or obtained by digital distribution. Early consoles, also considered dedicated consoles, had games that were fixed in the electronic circuitry of the hardware. Some facets may be controlled by switching external controls on the console but the games could not be changed themselves.

Most home consoles require a separate game controller, and may support multiple controllers for multiplayer games. Some console games can only be played with special, unconventional game controllers, such as light guns for rail shooters and guitar controllers for music games. Some consoles also possess the ability to connect and interface with a particular handheld game system, which certain games can leverage to provide alternate control schemes, second screen gameplay elements, exclusive unlockable content or the ability to transfer certain game data.

HistoryEdit

The first commercial video game console was the Magnavox Odyssey, developed by Ralph H. Baer and first released commercially in 1972. It was shortly followed by the release of the home version of Pong by Atari Inc. in 1975 based on the arcade game. A number of clones of both systems rushed to fill the nascent home console market and the video game industry suffered a small recession in 1977 due to this.

The Fairchild Channel F, released in 1976, was the first console to use game cartridges, which was then used by the Atari VCS and several other consoles of the second generation and led to a second boom in the video game industry in the United States and around the globe. During this time, Atari Inc. had been sold to Warner Communications, and due to a change of leadership, several programmers left the company and founded Activision, becoming the first third-party developer. Activision's success led to a rush of new developers creating games without any publishing controls for these systems. The market became flooded with poor quality games, and combined with the rising popularity of the personal computer and the economic recession of the early 1980s, led to the video game crash of 1983 in the U.S. market. Nintendo, which had released its Famicom console in Japan that year, took several cautionary steps to limit game production to only licensed games, and was able to introduce the Famicom, rebranded as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1985 into the U.S. market. The NES helped to revive the console market and gave Nintendo dominance during the late 1980s.

Sega took advantage of the newfound U.S. growth to market its Sega Genesis against the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in the early 1990s in the so-called "console wars" and emphasized the notion of "bits" as a major selling point for consumers. The consumer adoption of optical discs with larger storage capacity in the mid-1995 led many console manufactures to move away from cartridges to CD-ROMs and later to DVDs and other formats, with Sony's PlayStation line introducing even more features that gave it an advantage in the market; the PlayStation 2, released in 2000, remains the best-selling console to date with over 155 million units sold. Microsoft, fearing that the PlayStation 2 was threatening the competitive edge of the personal computer, entered the console space with its Xbox line in 2001. Internet connectivity had become commonplace by the mid-2000s, and nearly all home consoles supported digital distribution and online service offerings by the 2010s.

With Sony and Microsoft's dominance in hardware capabilities, most other major manufacturers have since dropped out of the hardware business, but maintain a presence in the game development and licensing space. Nintendo remains the only competitor having taken a blue ocean strategy by offering more original console concepts such as motion sensing in the Wii and the hybrid design of the Nintendo Switch.

Within the home video game console market, the leading consoles have often been grouped into generations, consoles that were major competitors in the marketplace. There have been nine generations of consoles since the 1970s, with a new generation appearing about every five years in accordance with Moore's law.

Overview of the console generations, including generation overlaps. Major consoles of each generation are given for each.


List of home video game consolesEdit

There are more than 1000 home video game consoles known to exist, the vast majority of which were released during the first generation: only 100 home video game consoles were released between the second and current generation, 10 were canceled . This list is divided into console generations which are named based on the dominant console type of the era, though not all consoles of those eras are of the same type. Some eras are referred to based on how many bits a major console could process. The "128-bit era" (sixth generation) was the final era in which this practice was widespread.

This list only counts the first iteration of each console's hardware, because several systems have had slim, enhanced or other hardware revisions, but they aren't individually listed here. The list also includes unreleased systems. If a series of home video game consoles begins in a generation and lasts to another generation, it is listed in the generation the series began. This list does not claim to be complete.

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

The list omits the more than 900 home video game consoles known to have been released in the first generation of video game consoles - those that were generally game consoles for a single dedicated game, such as home Pong consoles. Documented consoles of this generation can be found at list of first generation home video game consoles.

Name Release date Manufacturer Units sold CPU "Bits"
Fairchild Channel F November 1976 Fairchild (U.S.) ca. 250,000
RCA Studio II January 1977 RCA (U.S.) ?
Bally Astrocade 1977 Midway (U.S.)
Atari 2600 September 11, 1977 Atari Inc. (U.S.) ca. 30 million[2]
APF-MP1000 January 1, 1978 APF (U.S.) ?
Champion 2711 1978 Unisonic (U.S.)
Interton VC 4000 Interton (Germany)
Palladium Tele-Cassetten Game Palladium (Germany)
1292 Advanced Programmable Video System Audiosonic
Magnavox Odyssey 2 December 1978 Magnavox (U.S.) / Philips (Netherlands)
APF Imagination Machine 1979 APF (U.S.)
Bandai Super Vision 8000 Bandai (Japan)
Intellivision 1980 Mattel Electronics (U.S.) ca. 3 million
VTech CreatiVision 1981 VTech (Hong Kong) ?
Epoch Cassette Vision July 30, 1981 Epoch (Japan)
Arcadia 2001 and its variants and clones 1982 (Arcadia 2001) Emerson Radio (U.S.)
SHG Black Point 1982 Süddeutsche Elektro-Hausgeräte GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)
ColecoVision August 1982 Coleco (U.S.) ca. 2 million
Atari 5200 November 1982 Atari Inc. (U.S.) ca. 1 million
Vectrex November 1982 GCE/Milton Bradley Company (U.S.) ?
Compact Vision TV Boy October 1983 Gakken (Japan)
Video Arcade System Cancelled (supposed to be released in 1983) Ultravision (U.S.) 0
Videopac+ G7400[a] 1983 Philips (Netherlands) ? Intel 8048 @ 5.91 MHz 8-bit
My Vision Nichibutsu (Japan) ?
Pyuuta Jr. April 1983 Tomy (Japan)
Sega SG-1000 July 15, 1983 Sega (Japan) ca. 2 million Zilog Z80 @ 3.58 MHz
NES/Family Computer (Famicom) July 15, 1983 Nintendo (Japan) 61.91 million Ricoh 2A03 processor (MOS Technology 6502 core) 8-bit
PV-1000 October 1983 Casio (Japan) ? Z80A clocked at 3.579 MHz 8-bit
Epoch Super Cassette Vision July 17, 1984 Epoch (Japan) 400,000 NEC PD7801G
Bridge Companion 1985 BBC/Heber (UK) ? Zilog Z80
Video Art LJN (U.S.) ?
Zemmix Daewoo Electronics (South Korea) Zilog Z80 8-bit
Sega Mark III/Sega Master System October 20, 1985 Sega (Japan), Tec Toy (Brazil) ca. 13 million Zilog Z80 @ 4 MHz
Family Computer Disk System[3] February 21, 1986 Nintendo (Japan) 4.44 million Ricoh 2A03 processor (MOS Technology 6502 core)
Videosmarts[4] 1986 Connor Electronics (U.S.) (1986–1988), VTech (Hong Kong) (1989–1990) ? ? ?
Atari 7800 May 1986 Atari Corporation (U.S.) 8-bit
Atari XEGS 1987 Atari Corporation (U.S.) ca. 2 million MOS Technology 6502C
Video Challenger Tomy/Bandai (Japan) ? ?
Action Max Worlds of Wonder (U.S.) HD401010 8-bit
View-Master Interactive Vision 1988 View-Master Ideal Group, Inc. (U.S.) ?
Terebikko Bandai (Japan) ?
VTech Socrates VTech (Hong Kong) 8-bit
Video Driver October 1988[5] Sega (Japan) ?
Amstrad GX4000 September 1990 Amstrad (UK) ca. 15,000 Zilog Z80 @ 4 MHz 8-bit
Commodore 64 Games System December 1990 Commodore (Canada) ? MOS Technology 8500 @ 0.985 MHz
RDI Halcyon[b] cancelled (supposed to be released in January 1985) RDI Video Systems (U.S.) 0 (<12 units are known to exist) Zilog Z80 ?
Control-Vision cancelled (supposed to be released in 1989) Digital Pictures & Hasbro (U.S.) 0 ? ?
Кроха[6][c] cancelled SKB Kontur (СКБ Контур) (Russia) 0 K580VM80A 2 MHz ?
PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 October 30, 1987 NEC (Japan) ca. 10 million Hudson Soft HuC6280 16-bit (8-bit CPU, 16-bit graphics)
Sega Genesis/Mega Drive October 29, 1988 Sega (Japan) 35.25 million Motorola 68000 @ 7.6 MHz, Zilog Z80 @ 3.58 MHz 16-bit (16/32 bit processor, 16 bit graphics)
TurboGrafx-CD/CD-ROM² December 4, 1988 NEC (Japan) ? ? 16-bit (8-bit processor, 16-bit graphics)
PC Engine2/SuperGrafx December 8, 1989 NEC (Japan) Hudson Soft HuC6280 16-bit (8-bit CPU, 16-bit graphics)
Neo-Geo AES April 26, 1990 SNK (Japan) ca. 750,000 Motorola 68000 @ 12 MHz, Zilog Z80A @ 4 MHz 24-bit (16/32 bit processor, 24 bit graphics)
Super NES/Super Famicom November 21, 1990 Nintendo (Japan) 49.1 million Ricoh 5A22 @ 3.58 MHz 16-bit
Commodore CDTV March 1991 Commodore (Canada) ? Motorola 68000 @ 7 MHz 16-bit
CD-i December 3, 1991 Various ca. 1.5 million Philips SCC68070 @ 15.5 MHz 16-bit (could be upgraded to 32-bit)
Sega CD/Mega CD December 12, 1991 Sega (Japan) 2.24 million Motorola 68000 @ 12.5 MHz 16-bit (16/32 bit processor, 16 bit graphics)
Memorex VIS June 1992 Memorex/Tandy Corp (U.S.) ca. 15,000 Intel 80286 @ 12 MHz 16-bit
Sega Pico June 26, 1993 Sega/Majesco Entertainment (Japan) ? Motorola 68000 @ 7.6 MHz, Zilog Z80 @ 3.58 MHz
Picno 1992[7] Konami(Japan) ?
Pioneer LaserActive August 20, 1993 Pioneer Corporation (Japan)
Neo-Geo CD [d] September 9, 1994 SNK (Japan) Motorola 68000 @ 12 MHz, Zilog Z80 @ 4 MHz
Sega 32X November 21, 1994 Sega (Japan) ca. 800,000 2 × SH-2 32-bit RISC @ 23 MHz 32-bit
Satellaview April 23, 1995 Nintendo (Japan) ? ? 16-bit
Super A'Can October 25, 1995 Funtech (Taiwan) Motorola 68000 @ 10.738635 MHz
Konix Multisystem cancelled (supposed to be released in August 1989) Konix (UK) 0 ? 16-bit
Atari Panther cancelled (supposed to be released in 1991) Atari Corporation (U.S.) Motorola 68000 32-bit
WOWOW[8] cancelled (supposed to be released in 1992) Taito (Japan) ? ?
SNES-CD cancelled (development stopped in 1993) Nintendo (Japan) 16-bit
FM Towns Marty February 20, 1993 Fujitsu (Japan) ca. 45,000 AMD 386SX at 16 MHz 32-bit
Amiga CD32 September 17, 1993 Commodore (Canada) ca. 100,000 Motorola 68EC020@ 14.18 MHz (PAL) 14.32 MHz (NTSC)
3DO Interactive Multiplayer October 4, 1993 Panasonic/Sanyo (Japan)/GoldStar (South Korea) ca. 2 million RISC CPU ARM60 based on ARM architecture @ 12.5 MHz
Atari Jaguar November 23, 1993 Atari Corporation (U.S.) ca. 250,000[9][10] Motorola 68000 @ 13.295 MHz, Custom 32-bit graphics RISC "Tom" @ 26.59 MHz, Custom 32-bit sound RISC "Jerry" @ 26.59 MHz 64-bit (64-bit graphics, 32-bit processor)
CPS Changer 1994 Capcom (Japan) ? Motorola 68000 @ 10 MHz 16-bit
Playdia September 23, 1994 Bandai (Japan) Toshiba TMP87C800F 8-bit
Sega Saturn November 22, 1994 Sega (Japan) 9.26 million 2× Hitachi SH-2 @ 28.6 MHz 32-bit
Sony PlayStation December 3, 1994 Sony (Japan) 102.49 million R3000 @ 33.8688 MHz 32-bit
PC-FX December 23, 1994 NEC (Japan) ca. 400,000 NEC V810 32-bit
Apple Bandai Pippin March 28, 1995 Bandai (Japan)/Apple Inc. (U.S.) ca. 42,000 PowerPC 603 RISC (66 MHz)
Atari Jaguar CD September 21, 1995 Atari Corporation (U.S.) ? ? 64-bit (uses Jaguar processors)
Casio Loopy October 19, 1995 Casio (Japan) RISC SH-1 (SH7021) 32-bit
Nintendo 64 June 23, 1996 Nintendo (Japan) 32.93 million NEC VR4300 @ 93.75 MHz 64-bit
Nintendo 64DD December 1, 1999 ca. 15,000 ? 64-bit (uses N64 processor)
Dreamcast November 27, 1998 Sega (Japan) 9.13 million Hitachi SH-4 32-bit RISC @ 200 MHz 128-bit (32-bit processor, 128-bit graphics)
Nuon 2000 VM Labs (U.S.) ca. 25,000 Nuon MPE hybrid stack processor 128-bit (SIMD)
PlayStation 2 March 4, 2000 Sony (Japan) 155 million Emotion Engine @ 294.912 MHz (launch), 299 MHz (newer models) 128-bit (SIMD)
Nintendo GameCube November 14, 2001 Nintendo (Japan) 21.74 million IBM PowerPC Gekko @ 486 MHz 128-bit (SIMD)
Xbox November 15, 2001 Microsoft (U.S.) ca. 24 million Custom 733 MHz Intel Pentium III "Coppermine-based" processor
DVD Kids 2002 3-Plus (Iceland)[11] ? ? ?
Xavix PORT 2004 SSD COMPANY LIMITED (Japan) 8-bit,16-bit and 32-bit (depending on game cartridge)
V.Smile August 4, 2004 VTech (Hong Kong) ? ? 128-bit
Advanced Pico Beena 2005 Sega (Japan) ca. 350,000 ARM7TDMI clocked at 81 MHz ?
V.Smile Baby Infant Development System 2006 VTech (Hong Kong) ? ? 128-bit
L600 cancelled (development stopped in April 2001) Indrema 0 x86 @ 600 MHz 32-bit
Panasonic M2 cancelled (supposed to be released in 1997) Panasonic (Japan) Dual PowerPC 602 Processors @ 66 MHz 64-bit (dual 32-bit)
Game Wave Family Entertainment System October 2005 ZAPiT (Canada) ca. 70,000[12] ?
Xbox 360 November 22, 2005 Microsoft (U.S.) ca. 85.8 million[13][14][15][16] Big-endian architecture 3.2 GHz PowerPC Tri-Core Xenon
V.Flash September 2006 VTech (Hong Kong) ?
HyperScan October 23, 2006 Mattel (U.S.)
PlayStation 3 November 11, 2006 Sony (Japan) 86.9 million[17] 3.2 GHz Cell Broadband Engine with 1 PPE & 7 SPEs
Wii November 19, 2006 Nintendo (Japan) 101.63 million(as of December 31, 2016)[18] PowerPC 750-based IBM PowerPC "Broadway" @ 729 MHz; 2.9 GFLOPS
Zeebo May 25, 2009 Zeebo Inc. (U.S.) ?
Phantom cancelled (supposed to be released in September 2005) Phantom (U.S.) 0 ?
Wii U November 18, 2012 Nintendo (Japan) 13.56 million[19] PowerPC 750-based 1.24 GHz Tri-Core IBM PowerPC "Espresso"
PlayStation 4 November 15, 2013 Sony (Japan) 115.9 million[20] Semi-custom 8-core AMD x86-64 Jaguar 1.6 GHz CPU (integrated into APU)
Xbox One November 22, 2013 Microsoft (U.S.) ca. 41 million[21][e] Custom 1.75 GHz AMD 8-core APU (2 quad-core Jaguar modules)
Nintendo Switch[f] March 3, 2017 Nintendo (Japan) 84.59 million[26] Octa-core (4×ARM Cortex-A57 & 4×ARM Cortex-A53) @ 1.020 GHz
Xbox Series X/S November 10, 2020 Microsoft (U.S.) ca. 3.5 million[27][e]
  • Custom 8-core AMD Zen 2;
  • Series X: 3.8 GHz, 3.6 GHz with SMT[28]
  • Series S: 3.6 GHz, 3.4 GHz with SMT[29]
PlayStation 5 November 12, 2020 Sony (Japan) 7.8 million[30] Custom 8-core AMD Zen 2, variable frequency, up to 3.5 GHz[31]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The Videopac+ G7400 was planned to be released in America as the Odyssey³ Command Center, with a different case design, but it never occurred, although some prototypes exist.
  2. ^ Although fully developed, functional, and with 2 games ready, the few Halcyon units that exist were handmade for investors of the company to try out the product, it is not believed that it ever went into full production or entered the market at all. Less than 12 main control units (Halcyon 200LD, the console itself) are known to exist, but more Halcyon branded Laserdisc players (LD-700, made by Pioneer) exist.[citation needed]
  3. ^ The Кроха (Read as "Krokha", meaning "Baby") was a Soviet console that was ready to launch in 1990, but production halted, only one game was made, and the approximately 200 consoles were given out to employees of the factory that manufactured it.[citation needed]
  4. ^ SNK created the Neo Geo CD as a much cheaper alternative to the AES, lowering the price of games considerably, from ~300$ to ~50$ . It's essentially an AES console with a media format change from cartridges to CDs, placing it in the fourth generation.
  5. ^ a b Starting with Microsoft's fiscal quarter ending June 2014 (Q4), the company stopped divulging individual platform sales in their fiscal reports and subsequent Xbox sales are based on industry estimates.[22][23][24][25]
  6. ^ The Nintendo Switch was released during this period, but has been referred to as a hybrid video game console, combining features of home and handheld systems. This is why the Switch appears in both the list of home video game consoles and the list of handheld game consoles.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Edwards, Benj (August 26, 2016). "Son of PC: The History of x86 Game Consoles". PC Magazine. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  2. ^ "AtGames to Launch Atari Flashback 4 to Celebrate Atari's 40th Anniversary!" (Press release). PR Newswire. November 12, 2012. Archived from the original on November 27, 2012. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  3. ^ Add-on to Famicom - Japan only.
  4. ^ "Connor VideoSmarts, ComputerSmarts, and VideoPhone (partially lost VHS-based and cartridge-based edutainment games; 1986-1990) - The Lost Media Wiki". lostmediawiki.com. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  5. ^ "Family Driver by Sega – The Video Game Kraken". Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 20, 2020. Retrieved February 20, 2020.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Picno by Konami – The Video Game Kraken". Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  8. ^ "Wowow: The 1990s Taito Console That Never Was". Den of Geek. August 12, 2015. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  9. ^ Blake Snow (May 4, 2007). "The 10 Worst-Selling Consoles of All Time". GamePro.com. Archived from the original on September 5, 2008. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  10. ^ "EDGAR Pro". google.brand.edgar-online.com.
  11. ^ Numérique, Planète (January 27, 2021). "DVD Kids : une télécommandes et des jeux intéractifs pour jeunes enfant en DVD-Video signé Berchet !". Planète Numérique. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  12. ^ "VP Final - MP4". December 20, 2008. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
  13. ^ "Earnings Release FY13 Q4". Microsoft. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  14. ^ "Earnings Release FY14 Q1". Microsoft. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  15. ^ "Earnings Release FY14 Q2". Microsoft. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  16. ^ "Earnings Release FY14 Q3". Microsoft. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  17. ^ "PlayStation 3 Sales Reach 80 Million Units Worldwide". Sony Computer Entertainment. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  18. ^ "IR Information: Sales Data - Hardware and Software Sales Units". Nintendo Co., Ltd. December 31, 2016. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  19. ^ "IR Information: Sales Data - Hardware and Software Sales Units". Nintendo Co., Ltd. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  20. ^ Star, Gunz (March 31, 2021). "Cumulative Worldwide Hardware Unit Sales (Sell-in)". www.sie.com.
  21. ^ "Xbox One Sales Reportedly Pass 41 Million as PS4 Nears 100 Million".
  22. ^ "Earnings Release FY14 Q3". Microsoft. April 24, 2014. Retrieved April 24, 2014. Microsoft sold in 2.0 million Xbox console units, including 1.2 million Xbox One consoles.
  23. ^ "Earnings Release FY14 Q4". Microsoft. July 22, 2014. Retrieved August 13, 2014. We sold in 1.1 million consoles in the fourth quarter, as we drew down channel inventory, compared to 1.0 million consoles during the prior year.
  24. ^ Futter, Mike (October 22, 2015). "[Update] Microsoft Will Focus Primarily On Xbox Live Usership, Not Console Shipments". Game Informer. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  25. ^ "Microsoft Annual Meeting of Shareholders". Microsoft. December 3, 2014. Retrieved January 31, 2015. Finally, our gaming business is thriving with the Xbox One hitting 10 million units sold. I am thrilled to welcome Mojang and Minecraft community to Microsoft.
  26. ^ "Consolidated Financial Highlights - Q4 FY2021" (PDF). Nintendo. May 6, 2021. Retrieved May 6, 2021.
  27. ^ Gurwin, Gabe (February 4, 2021). "Xbox Series X|S Sales Not Far Behind PS5, Analyst Says". GameSpot. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  28. ^ Hood, Vic; Pino, Nick; June 2021, Adam Vjestica 01. "Xbox Series X review". TechRadar.
  29. ^ "Xbox Series S specs list". September 8, 2020.
  30. ^ Robinson, Andy (April 28, 2021). "Sony reports 7.8m PS5s shipped in 'PlayStation's best year ever'". Video Games Chronicle. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  31. ^ "PS5 review".