With PlayStation 5 and Xbox One just around the corner, now might be a good time to talk about a list of video game consoles that made them possible.
You never forget your first…video games console, that is.
Consoles have been giving gamers the ultimate gaming experience for decades now.
While today’s modern consoles are a world away from those early models, they nevertheless hold a place in every gamer’s heart.
Gaming can mean different things to people these days, from classic online slots to mobile multi-player games.
But as the console continues to go from strength to strength, lets see some of the history makers.
Images courtesy of Pixabay.
Atari – An Industry is Born
For all intents and purposes, the Atari marked the beginning of the home console era.
From the 1975 original Pong console to the 1977 model, the Atari changed gaming forever.
While Atari was pivotal in demonstrating that home gaming was possible, Atari ultimately crashed because of their terrible port of PacMan and the infamous E.T game.
However, Nolan Bushnell and his team paved the way for the next generation of innovators as video games started to take off in Japan.
NES – Games Get Organized
Released in 1983, the then-new Nintendo NES was a huge leap forward in console technology.
It quickly became the best selling console in the US.
With its high processing speed and iconic line up of games like Zelda and Super Mario Bros, it was many people’s first glimpse of what gaming could be.
In an unregulated industry, the NES was the first stable home console with Nintendo approved games that were both fun and child-friendly.
Nintendo Game Boy – Pocket Gaming Arrives
Finally, gaming went mobile.
Nintendo mainstays such as Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong were available on the platform, as well as one of the most addictively simple games ever, Tetris.
Long battery life and a great range of accessories planted the Game Boy firmly in the pantheon of gaming greats.
There were many iterations of the Game Boy including the 2DS and the 3DS, both of which still sell today.
Sega Mega Drive – The Next Generation
The Mega Drive hit the market in 1988 and managed to make Nintendo look out of its depth almost overnight.
With better graphics and a certain blue hedgehog driving sales, the Mega Drive reigned supreme for years.
The new 16-bit architecture gave the Mega Drive a clear graphical advantage over other consoles at the time and allowed 3D looking games for the first time.
With games like Mortal Kombat and E-SWAT available for the machine, the Mega Drive became the more adult choice over Nintendo.
Sony PlayStation – The Game Changer
In 1994, Sony dropped the original PlayStation onto the market and blew everything else out of the water.
Utilizing relatively new CD-ROM technology, PlayStation had access to larger file sizes which meant vastly improved graphics, high-fidelity audio and more game code.
The power of the new machine impressed even those who previously weren’t gamers and the modern era games industry was born.
PlayStation owners were treated to such classics as Tomb Raider, Gran Turismo and WipeOut.
Nintendo 64 – Originality Shines Through
Nintendo came back strong with the N64, though it stuck with the anachronistic cartridge system rather than CD-ROMs.
Even though Nintendo chose to stick with cartridges, the power of the machine was still impressive.
N64 managed to match PlayStation’s ability to render fully 3D environments and its innovative Trident controller changed FPS games forever.
It also featured some of the best-known games of the late 90s such as GoldenEye, Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and the legendary Super Mario 64.
Xbox – Finally, Some Competition
Shunning the usual form factors of the console market and looking more like a PC, the original Xbox incorporated power over anything else.
Microsoft’s first foray into the home console market produced a gaming powerhouse which was the only real contender to the dominant PlayStation brand.
Like the Mega Drive of the 80s and 90s, Xbox became the alternative choice for gamers and a legendary rivalry was born.
The most popular games on the platform have included the classic Halo, Gears of War and Fable.
So, if you’re pining for a simpler time when it comes to gaming, there are still many of these consoles available to buy on auction sites.
In fact, there is a strong market for gaming enthusiasts to collect classic consoles or games and some of them are valued very highly.
An unopened copy of the original Super Mario Bros. for NES recently sold at auction for a silly $114,000.
If you have some classic consoles hidden away in the loft, it might be time to dust them off and see if they’re worth anything.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this stroll down memory lane and some of the most iconic consoles of the last forty years.
What was your first console?
Michael is the sole writer and owner at chartxgames.com.
Many thought that his youth (and adulthood) playing video games was a waste of time but here he is writing about them for a living.
Michael has a background in IT and enjoys (apart from video games) building and repairing PC’s, digital artwork (Photoshop, 3DS Max) and has interests in too many subjects to mention.