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Evolution Of Gaming Consoles

Have you ever wondered what gaming consoles existed before the time of PS5, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox?  This article will cover the evolution of gaming from Atari to Nintendo and even the Sony PlayStation. I will also be linking some places where you might be able to pick up one of these vintage consoles.


The first video game console was the Atari 2600. This console was also known as the VCS (Atari Video Computer System). It was released in September of 1979. One of the reasons it got so popular was because people could now play their favorite arcade games in the comfort of their homes, and didn't have to go to arcades to play them. At that time the console was sold for $199 which in today's money would be around $890. The Atari 2600 was the first console with readable game cartridges. Though there are more interesting facts about this console, we need to move on to the next video game console.

The next video game we are going to be talking about is the Color TV-Game.

Nintendo’s first video game consoles were actually a series of five systems called Color TV-Game, made in partnership with Mitsubishi. The Color game was sold exclusively in Japan and mostly had several Pong-inspired minigames built into the system. The first model debuted in 1977 as the Color TV-Game 6, named after the fact that it included six minigames. Before Nintendo created and patented its D-pad, the Color TV game’s unique controller featured turnable dials.

The next console in Nintendo's timeline is the Family Computer. The family computer was also known as the Famicom and was released in 1983 in Japan for 14,800 Yen. This was redesigned and called the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America later after the first launch. “On the audio front, the Famicom offered extra sound channels compared to its subsequent Nintendo Entertainment System counterpart. It also supported cartridges with custom sound processors, unlike the NES. Games like Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse had different soundtracks between regions as a result.”

The Famicon used a top-loading cartridge system and the games unlike today's games ranged from 8 kb to 1MB. The Famicon had grooves on the sides to store up to two controllers. “The rectangular controllers themselves featured a D-pad, two face buttons, along with Start and Select buttons and were inspired by the design of Nintendo’s earlier portable Game & Watch handheld systems. The Player  2 controller had a built-in microphone that was used in a handful of games, including the original Legend of Zelda.” 

NES has been king for a long time, and if you want to know more about Nintendo consoles, then this article will be for you. Next up was the PlayStation era, made by Sony.

The first Sony PlayStation was launched on 3rd December 1994 in Japan. The PlayStation came with a wired controller which is called the DualShock. 


Six years after the initial PlayStation, Sony released the PlayStation 2, the first 6th generation console ever launched. This was really the first modern console. The PS2 had advanced its internet connectivity and had more storage space. Sony also put in a new DVD drive that could understand and interact with more advanced DVDs instead of just CDs which allowed bigger game sizes. “Looking back, the PlayStation 2 wasn’t just the successor, but also a gaming console that made 3D gaming popular. That’s because the console would go on to become the best-selling game console of all time, selling over 155 million units, and supporting over 4,000 games until 2012 when Sony stopped selling the console in favor of later models, including the Sony PlayStation 3” (Nayak). 

Up next in the PlayStation lineup were the PlayStation Portable and the PlayStation Vita. This was a big advancement in Sony’s gaming lineup as you could play all your games in the palm of your hand, its biggest asset was that you could take it with you anywhere you wanted and still be able to play your games without having to carry an entire setup. Beyond gaming, the PSP was also a very good multimedia device. Sony CEO Ken Kutaragi also called the PSP the “Walkman of the 21st century,” praising its landmark multimedia capabilities. Sony also made newer versions of the PSP throughout the years.  “The compact optical disc drive of the console also allowed it to read UMD discs which were available for both games and movies at the time. This also gave the PSP an edge over rivals like the Nintendo DS. All this made the Sony PSP an all-round entertainment device that you could take with you anywhere.

The PlayStation 3, 4, and 5 are well known to mostly everybody right now due to their incredible around 24 million units sold.

Microsoft released the Xbox 360 on November 22, 2005, in North America. This console came with two editions, the pro which cost $400 and had a 20 GB hard drive. And then they also released a cheaper version which cost around $300, this one had less storage and many other components that were not as good as the pro version which is obvious. After this there were numerous Xbox 360’s launched by Microsoft with little upgrades. Finally, after a lot of updates to the Xbox 360, we got the Xbox One which launched on November 22, 2013. The console retailed for $500. In June 2015 Microsoft made it available for Xbox One users to play the Xbox 360 games on their Xbox One (backward compatibility).

After this the newer consoles are quite popular due to their incredible graphics and features. 


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