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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 2023, there have been nine console generations, with the current leading manufactures being Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo; past console manufacturers have included Atari, Fairchild, Mattel, Coleco, Sega, NEC, 3DO, and SNK.
Main article: Video game console
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.
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.
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.
There are more than 1000 home video game consoles known to exist, the vast majority of which were released during the first generation: only 102 home video game consoles were released between the second and current generation, 15 were canceled.[note 1] 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 are not 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||Fairchild F8||8-bit (CPU)|
|RCA Studio II||January 1977||RCA (U.S.)||ca. 60,000||RCA 1802||8-bit (CPU)|
|Bally Astrocade||April 1978||Midway (U.S.)||?||Zilog Z80||8-bit (CPU)|
|Atari 2600||September 11, 1977||Atari Inc. (U.S.)||ca. 30 million||MOS Technology 6507||8-bit (CPU)|
|APF-MP1000||January 1, 1978||APF (U.S.)||> 50,000||Motorola 6800||8-bit (CPU)|
|Champion 2711||1978||Unisonic (U.S.)||?||General Instrument CP1610||16-bit (CPU)|
|Interton VC 4000||Interton (Germany)||?||Signetics 2650A||8-bit (CPU)|
|Palladium Tele-Cassetten Game||Palladium (Germany)||?|
|1292 Advanced Programmable Video System||Audiosonic||?||Signetics 2650AI||8-bit (CPU)|
|Magnavox Odyssey 2||December 1978||Magnavox (U.S.) / Philips (Netherlands)||?||Intel 8048||8-bit (CPU)|
|APF Imagination Machine||1979||APF (U.S.)||?||Motorola 6800||8-bit (CPU)|
|Bandai Super Vision 8000||Bandai (Japan)||?||NEC D780C||8-bit (CPU)|
|Intellivision||1980||Mattel Electronics (U.S.)||ca. 3 million||General Instrument CP1610||16-bit (CPU)|
|VTech CreatiVision||1981||VTech (Hong Kong)||?||Rockwell 6502||8-bit (CPU)|
|Epoch Cassette Vision||July 30, 1981||Epoch (Japan)||ca. 400,000||NEC uPD77xx||?|
|Arcadia 2001 and its variants and clones||1982 (Arcadia 2001)||Emerson Radio (U.S.)||?||Signetics 2650||8-bit (CPU)|
|SHG Black Point||1982||Süddeutsche Elektro-Hausgeräte GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)||?||?||?|
|ColecoVision||August 1982||Coleco (U.S.)||ca. 2 million||Zilog Z80||8-bit (CPU)|
|Atari 5200||November 1982||Atari Inc. (U.S.)||ca. 1 million||MOS 6502C @ 1.79 MHz||8-bit (CPU)|
|Vectrex||November 1982||GCE/Milton Bradley Company (U.S.)||?||Motorola MC68A09||8-bit/16-bit (CPU)|
|Compact Vision TV Boy||October 1983||Gakken (Japan)||Motorola MC6801||8-bit (CPU)|
|Videopac+ G7400[a]||1983||Philips (Netherlands)||?||Intel 8048 @ 5.91 MHz||8-bit|
|My Vision||Nichibutsu (Japan)||?||?|
|Pyuuta Jr.||April 1983||Tomy (Japan)||TMS9995||16-bit|
|Sega SG-1000||July 15, 1983||Sega (Japan)||ca. 2 million||Zilog Z80 @ 3.58 MHz||8-bit|
|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)||300,000||NEC PD7801G||8-bit (CPU)|
|Bridge Companion||1985||BBC/Heber (UK)||?||Zilog Z80||8-bit|
|Video Art||LJN (U.S.)||?||?|
|Zemmix||Daewoo Electronics (South Korea)||Zilog Z80||8-bit|
|Sega Mark III/Master System||October 20, 1985||Sega (Japan), Tec Toy (Brazil)||ca. 13 million||Zilog Z80 @ 4 MHz||8-bit|
|Family Computer Disk System[b]||February 21, 1986||Nintendo (Japan)||4.44 million||Ricoh 2A03 processor (MOS Technology 6502 core)||8-bit|
|Videosmarts||1986||Connor Electronics (U.S.) (1986–1988), VTech (Hong Kong) (1989–1990)||?||?||?|
|Atari 7800||May 1986||Atari Corporation (U.S.)||Atari SALLY||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.)||?|
|VTech Socrates||VTech (Hong Kong)||Zilog Z80A||8-bit (CPU)|
|Video Driver||October 1988||Sega (Japan)||?|
|Amstrad GX4000||September 1990||Amstrad (UK)||ca. 14,000||Zilog Z80 @ 4 MHz||8-bit|
|Commodore 64 Games System||December 1990||Commodore (Canada)||ca. 20,000||MOS Technology 8500 @ 0.985 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)||1.92 million||?||16-bit (8-bit processor, 16-bit graphics)|
|PC Engine2/SuperGrafx||December 8, 1989||NEC (Japan)||ca. 75,000||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)||ca. 54,800||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. 11,000||Intel 80286 @ 12 MHz||16-bit|
|Sega Pico||June 26, 1993||Sega/Majesco Entertainment (Japan)||ca. 3.8 million||Motorola 68000 @ 7.6 MHz, Zilog Z80 @ 3.58 MHz||16-bit|
|Pioneer LaserActive||August 20, 1993||Pioneer Corporation (Japan)||ca 10,000||?|
|Neo-Geo CD[c]||September 9, 1994||SNK (Japan)||570,000||Motorola 68000 @ 12 MHz, Zilog Z80 @ 4 MHz||16-bit|
|Satellaview||April 23, 1995||Nintendo (Japan)||At least 100,000||?||16-bit|
|Super A'Can||October 25, 1995||Funtech (Taiwan)||?||Motorola 68000 @ 10.738635 MHz|
|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||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 32X||November 21, 1994||Sega (Japan)||ca. 800,000||2 × SH-2 32-bit RISC @ 23 MHz||32-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||?||32-bit co-processor (uses 64-bit N64 processor as main 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)|
|GameCube||September 14, 2001||Nintendo (Japan)||21.74 million||IBM PowerPC Gekko @ 486 MHz||32-bit (CPU)
|Xbox||November 15, 2001||Microsoft (U.S.)||ca. 24 million||Custom 733 MHz Intel Pentium III "Coppermine-based" processor||32-bit (CPU)
|DVD Kids||2002||3-Plus (Iceland)||?||?||?|
|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)||?||Sunplus SPG2xx||16-bit|
|Advanced Pico Beena||2005||Sega (Japan)||ca. 4.1 million||ARM7TDMI clocked at 81 MHz||32-bit (CPU)|
|V.Smile Baby Infant Development System||2006||VTech (Hong Kong)||?||?||128-bit|
|Game Wave Family Entertainment System||October 2005||ZAPiT (Canada)||ca. 70,000||Mediamatics 8611|
|Xbox 360||November 22, 2005||Microsoft (U.S.)||ca. 85.8 million||Big-endian architecture 3.2 GHz PowerPC Tri-Core Xenon||64-bit CPU
|V.Flash||September 2006||VTech (Hong Kong)||?||ARM-9||32-bit|
|HyperScan||October 23, 2006||Mattel (U.S.)||ca. 10,000||Sunplus SPG290||32-bit|
|PlayStation 3||November 11, 2006||Sony (Japan)||86.9 million||3.2 GHz Cell Broadband Engine with 1 PPE & 7 SPEs||64-bit CPU with set of 128-bit registers|
|Wii||November 19, 2006||Nintendo (Japan)||101.63 million(as of December 31, 2016)||PowerPC 750-based IBM PowerPC "Broadway" @ 729 MHz; 2.9 GFLOPS||32-bit (CPU)|
|EVO Smart Console||November 20, 2008||Envizions (U..S.)||At least 10||AMD 64x2 @ 2.9 GHz||64-bit (CPU)|
|Zeebo||May 25, 2009||Zeebo Inc. (U.S.) / TecToy (Brazil)||?||ARM11 / QDSP-5 in Qualcomm MSM SoC running at 528 MHz||32-bit (CPU)|
|CT510||April 29, 2012||eedoo||?||Unknown dual core at 1.8 GHz|
|Wii U||November 18, 2012||Nintendo (Japan)||13.56 million||PowerPC 750-based 1.24 GHz Tri-Core IBM PowerPC "Espresso"||32-bit (CPU)|
|PlayStation 4||November 15, 2013||Sony (Japan)||115.9 million||Semi-custom 8-core AMD x86-64 Jaguar 1.6 GHz CPU (integrated into APU)||64-bit (CPU)|
|Xbox One||November 22, 2013||Microsoft (U.S.)||ca. 41 million[d]||Custom 1.75 GHz AMD 8-core APU (2 quad-core Jaguar modules)||64-bit (CPU)|
|Nintendo Switch[e]||March 3, 2017||Nintendo (Japan)||129.53 million||Octa-core (4×ARM Cortex-A57 & 4×ARM Cortex-A53) @ 1.020 GHz||64-bit (CPU)|
|Xbox Series X/S||November 10, 2020||Microsoft (U.S.)||ca. 21 million[d]||64-bit (CPU)|
|PlayStation 5||November 12, 2020||Sony (Japan)||40 million||Custom 8-core AMD Zen 2, variable frequency, up to 3.5 GHz||64-bit (CPU)|
|Polymega||September 12, 2021||Playmaji, Inc (U.S.)||?||Unknown Intel Coffee Lake||64-bit (CPU)|
|Evercade VS||December, 2021||Blaze Entertainment (UK)||?||Unknown ARM Cortex-A7 4-core at 1.5 GHz||32-bit (CPU)|
|Intellivision Amico||TBA||Intellivision Entertainment||Octa-core Snapdragon 624 @ 1.8 GHz||x86 (64/32-bit)|
|ISAC Timmics||2024 TBA||ISAC (Isreal)||Unknown ARM (CPU TV Box)||64-bit (CPU) Powered By Windows 11/10-Based|
|Atari Game Brain||cancelled (supposed to be released in June 1978)||Atari (U.S.)||?||?|
|Atari 2700||cancelled (supposed to be released in 1981)||Atari, Inc. (U.S.)||MOS Technology 6507||8-bit (CPU)|
|Video Arcade System||cancelled (supposed to be released in 1983)||Ultravision (U.S.)||?||?|
|RDI Halcyon[f]||cancelled (supposed to be released in January 1985)||RDI Video Systems (U.S.)||Zilog Z80||8-bit (CPU)|
|Control-Vision||cancelled (supposed to be released in 1989)||Digital Pictures & Hasbro (U.S.)||?||?|
|Krokha[g]||cancelled||SKB Kontor(Russia)||K580VM80A 2 MHz||?|
|Konix Multisystem||cancelled (supposed to be released in August 1989)||Konix (UK)||Intel 8086 based processor||16-bit (CPU)|
|Atari Panther||cancelled (supposed to be released in 1991)||Atari Corporation (U.S.)||Motorola 68000||32-bit|
|WOWOW||cancelled (supposed to be released in 1992)||Taito (Japan)||Motorola 68000||16-bit / 32-bit (CPU)|
|SNES-CD||cancelled (development stopped in 1993)||Nintendo (Japan)||?||16-bit|
|Sega Neptune||cancelled (supposed to be released in Fall 1995)||Sega (Japan)||?||32-bit|
|L600||cancelled (development stopped in April 2001)||Indrema (U.S.)||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)|
|Phantom||cancelled (supposed to be released in September 2005)||Phantom (U.S.)||?||?|
|Chameleon||cancelled (supposed to be released in 2016)||Coleco Holdings Retro||?||?|
((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
Microsoft sold in 2.0 million Xbox console units, including 1.2 million Xbox One consoles.
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.
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.
((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)