Atari 2600The Atari 2600, originally called the Atari VCS, is the godfather of modern videogame systems. Atari sold over thirty million of the consoles. Cartridges for the system were produced across three decades, and there are still new games being produced today. But it almost didnt happen.In the early 1970’s, video arcade games gained commercial success for the first time. The American public was introduced to Pong, Tank, and other interactive video games which populated amusement parks, bars, and arcades. The games were successful enough to create interest for home versions, so in 1975 Atari released Home Pong and it was a smash hit. Then in 1976, Fairchild Camera and Instrument introduced the Channel F system, the first cartridge based home video game system. The industry recognized that cartridge systems were the future of video gaming, and began development in that direction. In January 1977, RCA released the Studio II, another cartridge based system, although it only projected in black and white and seemed to be focused on educational titles. Then, in October 1977, Atari released the Atari VCS (Video Computer System) with an initial offering of nine games. This system, later renamed the Atari 2600, would come to dominate the industry for many years.
Super NintendoEntertainment SystemThe Nintendo Entertainment System was going strong years after it was released. Several Nintendo competitors wanted a piece of the pie, however, and thus released more advanced systems meant to compete with the NES. The first on the scene was Hudson Soft and NEC Corporation with the TurboGrafx-16, which they released in 1987, three years before the Super Famicom would be launched in Japan. One year later Sega unleashed the Sega Genesis, which proved to be a worthy competitor to the throne. The competition developed advertisements that would downplay the NES, showcasing the clear strengths of the more powerful systems. Nintendo realized that they needed to act quickly in order to counter the effect imposed by the new hardware, and in response to the competition started development on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
GameboyThe Game Boy was developed by Gunpei Yokoi and his R&D1 team at Nintendo. He wanted to combine the best features of the successful NES with the portability of the Game & Watch handhelds, which he also developed. The first prototype of the Game Boy was produced in 1987 and expectations at Nintendo were high. Nintendo of Japan president Hiroshi Yamauchi predicted that it would sell over 25 million in the first three years.An interesting move was the choice of game to be bundled with the Game Boy. Out of all the games it had to be Tetris: A game developed by a Russian mathematician, which has sold over 1 million copies to date. Someone at Nintendo had noticed the game at an exhibition in 1988 and immediately knew that it would be the ideal game to complement the Game Boy. The decision was spot-on!
Nintendo entertainment systemThe Original Nintendo Entertainment System is an 8-bit console system that was released in Japan on July 15th, 1983. Then it was released in North America October 18th, 1985. The Original Nintendo was based off of the idea to make Arcade games available in homes on a console system. The Donkey Kong Arcade games inspired this console idea.The console itself came with a power output cord, a cable adapter cord, two controllers, and a game depending on the bundle pack purchased. The systems showed fault after a few years due to dust build up. A simple solution was blowing in the cartridge or using a dust removing spray(used on computers/laptop vent fans also). The Original systems still work to this day if maintained properly.This dust problem was adjusted to the Super Nintendo so that the only area dust could enter is the cartridge slot. That is instead of dust covering the whole insides of the console. But the same solution was adapted to the 64 as well. Then Nintendo switched from cartridges to discs when the Gamecube was released. At that point Nintendo decided on making their consoles wireless and more compact.
Nintendo 64Project Reality was the code-name of the project being worked on by Nintendo and Silicon Graphics (SGI) in April 1993 to create a next-generation 3D console. The fact that Nintendo was making a leap to 64-bit worried the likes of Sega and Sony who only had 32-bit consoles to show off and force down consumers throats.Nintendo made an announcement in mid 1994 that came as a surprise: the game media for the Ultra 64 (that was what it was called first) would be 100Mbit cartridges and not CDs. The decision to choose cartridges over CDs did make quite a few software developers turn away from the system all together. Not only were cartridges more expensive, but it meant that Nintendo would be the only supplier, enforcing their grip on licenses. Nintendos defense was to say that cartridges were still the media of choice for home consoles because they did not suffer from slow load times and were more practical than CDs.
PSPSony first announced development of the PlayStation Portable at a press conference before E3 2003. Although mock-ups of the system were not present at the press conference or E3, Sony did release extensive technical details regarding the new system. Then-CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Jose Villeta called the device the "Walkman of the 21st Century" in a reference to the consoles multimedia capabilities. Several gaming websites were impressed by the handhelds computing capabilities and looked forward to the systems potential as a gaming platform.The first concept images of the PSP appeared in November 2002 at the Sony Corporate Strategy Meeting and showed a PSP with flat buttons and no analog stick. Although some expressed concern over the lack of an analog joystick, these fears were allayed when the PSP was officially unveiled at the Sony press conference during E3 2004. In addition to announcing more details about the system and its accessories ,Sony also released a list of 99 developer companies that had pledged support for the new handheld. Several PSP game demos, such as Konamis Metal Gear Acid and SCE Studio Liverpools Wipeout Pure were also shown at the conference.
Nintendo WiiFirst released in 2006, Nintendo’s seventh generation gaming console, the Wii, was aimed at targeting a broader demographic than their leading competition. Nintendo saw a way to bring gaming to a whole new level. The introduction of a wireless controller made Nintendo stand out from their leading competitors and its ancestors (Sony, PlayStation 3; Microsoft, Xbox 360) and gave them a competitive advantage over the Sony and Microsoft’s “traditional” controllers.According to Hoi (2006), the Wii is viewed as a national icon of Japan and is attributed as part of the Japanese culture as are Japanese landmarks and icons. The development of the Wii had many of Nintendo’s competitors wondering how they should follow Nintendo’s new sought after approach to gaming; what Nintendo’s competitors did not do was produce a remote that incorporated the Wii’s remote technology of a slim want with innovative motion detection software that monitored movements and rotation in three dimensions.
Xbox 360The official launch of the Xbox 360 was on May 12, 2005 on MTV and information was then released later at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in regards to the actual machine launch. Once the machine was available for purchase, it was sold out everywhere but in Japan. As of January 2010, there have been 39 million of these console machines sold worldwide. There are two different versions of the 360 - the Arcade and the Elite which each have a different demographic.The launch of the Xbox 360 took place in the desert with thousands of gamers there to celebrate this new machine. Many consoles were setup with high definition displays and surround sound speakers to allow everyone to try out the new machines. Live entertainment was also provided and there was a special gift handed out for all that attended this event. Many of the attendees did not make use of the hotels, preferring to sleep in the bean bags that were provided for them to use if they did choose to sleep. Games were being played at all hours, and it felt like one large LAN party.
PS3The PlayStation 3 is the third home video game console produced by Sony Computer Entertainment and the successor to the PlayStation 2 as part of the PlayStation series.A major feature that distinguishes the PlayStation 3 from its predecessors is its unified online gaming service, the PlayStation Network, which allows user to stream Video / movie / Music or other online content to PS3. Other major features of the console include its robust multimedia capabilities, connectivity with the PlayStation Portable, and its use of a high- definition optical disc format, Blu-ray Disc, as its primary storage medium. The PS3 was also the first Blu-ray 2.0-compliant Blu-ray player on the market.The PlayStation 3 was first released on November 11, 2006 in Japan, November 17, 2006 in North America, March 16, 2007 in the United Kingdom and Ireland and March 23, 2007 in mainland Europe and Oceania. Two SKUs were available at launch: a basic model with a 20 GB hard drive (HDD) and a premium model with a 60 GB hard drive and several additional features (the 20 GB model was not released in Europe or Oceania).
Nintendo DSNintendo DS (Dual Screen) is a handheld console from Nintendo, released November 21st 2004 in North America at a price of US$149 followed by a Japanese release of 2nd December 2004 at a price of 15 000 Yen, a UK release on 19th March 2005, and an Australian release on March 24th 2005. It features a number of groundbreaking innovations such as dual 3 inch screens and voice recognition capabilities. This isnt the first time Nintendo has used dual screens in a handheld. Some of their Game & Watch releases came with dual screens. But back in the 1980s, when they were released, no- one could have imagined how far technology would advance over the next 20 years. The second of the two screens on the DS provides a means of displaying additional information about a game (such as map data, similar to the way the Dreamcast VMU would display information about games on the Dreamcast) and may also be used as a touch screen which means players will no longer have to rely solely on buttons for controlling game play. The touch screen can be operated using fingertips or the provided stylus (like a PDA).