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History of Video Game Systems 2000-Present
Transcript of History of Video Game Systems 2000-Present
GameCube (Nintendo 2001)
The GameCube was the first Nintendo console to use optical discs for its primary storage system. The discs are similar to the miniDVD format, and as a result of their smaller size, the system was not designed to play standard DVDs or CDs. Nintendo also introduced a variety of connectivity options for the GameCube. It was the first Nintendo console to support online gaming, which relied on the use of an add-on broadband or modem adapter that was sold separately. Game support and availability of the adapter was very limited, however. The GameCube also supported connectivity to the Game Boy Advance, allowing players to access exclusive in-game features using the handheld as a second screen and controller. There were 552 games released for the GameCube.
Xbox (Microsoft 2001)
The Xbox was the first American game console offered after the Atari Jaguar was canceled in 1996 and sold 24 million units worldwide by 2006. 967 games were created for the Xbox. Xbox Live was launched in 2002 allowing players to connect with others on the internet through broadband connection. The Xbox Live competed with the Playstation 2's online service the Playstation Network (PSN) even though the Xbox required a fee and the plastation didn't. Xbox Live was so popular because it had better servers and faster connection speeds since Microsoft was primarily a computer based company and was able to apply that knowledge to the creation of the Xbox.
PlayStation 2 (Sony 2000)
Like the original PlayStation, the CPU in the PS2 is a RISC processor. RISC stands for reduced instruction set computer, and means that the instructions and computations performed by the processor are simpler and fewer. Also, RISC chips are superscalar -- they can perform multiple instructions at the same time. This combination of capabilities, performing multiple instructions simultaneously and completing each instruction faster because it is simpler, allows the CPU to perform better than many chips with a much faster clock speed. The PS2 standard color is matte black. Several variations in color were produced in different quantities and regions, including ceramic white, light yellow, metallic blue (aqua), metallic silver, navy (star blue), opaque blue (astral blue), opaque black (midnight black), pearl white, Sakura purple, satin gold, satin silver, snow white, super red, transparent blue (ocean blue), and also Limited Edition color Pink, which was distributed in some regions such as Oceania, and parts of Asia. There were 10,828 games made for the Ps2 in twelve years
Nuon (VM Labs 2000)
The Nuon's hardware consisted of an Aries 3 chip which manages the CPU, decodes audio and video and performs system management. The Aries 3 could process other instructions as well and was considered a very powerful chip at the time. The Nuon was considered a DVD player that played video games. The Toshiba SD-2300 was the first DVD player to use the same technology as the Nuon. Only eight games were released for the Nuon and most were not really considered playable, with poor graphics and controllability they sold poorly. The Nuon only released 54 games/DVDs.
GameBoy Player (Nintendo 2003)
The GameBoy Player is a device made by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube which allows the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, or Game Boy Advance cartridges to be played on a television. It was the last GameBoy addition created for the console. It connects into the high speed connector at the bottom of the console and requires the use of a bot disc to access hardware. The Game Boy Player is available in indigo, black, spice, or platinum in Japan; black in North America and Europe and black and indigo in Australia. All Game Boy Players have screws on the bottom to secure it to the bottom of the GameCube and also have an eject button on the right side of the unit for removing Game Boy Advance games. The Game Boy Player allows for control either through a GameCube controller or a Game Boy Advance or Game Boy Advance SP hooked up with a GameCube-Game Boy Advance Cable. When using a Game Boy Advance, the buttons are identical, but due to the GameCube controller's different layout, there are two different mappings players can use. Also, at least one GameCube controller must be plugged in for access to the Game Boy Player's internal menu, which can be accessed by pressing the Z button. The instruction manual for the Game Boy Player specifically mentions that "A few original Game Boy Game Paks may have display or sound problems," and that "Motion sensor, rumble feature and infrared feature Game Paks will not work with the Game Boy Player."The following list concerns Game Boy Advance games and accessories that have compatibility issues, be they software or physical hardware, with the GameBoy Player this upset a lot of users because they were not able to play their favorite games.
The PlayStation One (Sony 2000)
The Playstation One was the first video game console to ship 100 million units, 9 years and 6 months after its initial launch and cost $199 per unit. Sony released 145 games for it over nine years. Unlike the Nintendo SNES which restricted game to a 2-D game , the PlayStation One allowed games to take place in a three-dimensional world. The PlayStation One was also able to play CDs. This was impossible for cartridge based consoles and gave the PlayStation One an advantage over its competition. The Playstation One was designed to be powerful and easy to use with a 32-bit processor that runs at 33.8688 MHz.
The PSX is a fully functional digital video recorder with an included remote control and S-Video, composite video, and RF inputs. It is able to tune analog VHF and CATV. It can also be linked with a PlayStation Portable to transfer videos and music via USB ports. It also features software for non-linear video editing, image editing, audio editing,  full support for PlayStation and PlayStation 2 software using PlayStation 2-based hardware, including the PS2's Emotion Engine, Graphics Synthesizer, and I/O processor, and online game compatibility using an internal broadband adapter. Games that use the PS2 HDD (such as Final Fantasy XI) are supported as well. The PSX did not include any game controllers, a special black or ceramic white DualShock 2 with a 4-meter long cable was sold separately. However, original DualShock and DualShock 2 controllers are supported by two controller ports on the back, and memory cards are also supported by a port at the front. It is also known for being the first system to use Sony's XMB graphical user interface, later used on the PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, 2008 and later model BRAVIA TVs, and most new Sony media systems to date. No games were made specifically for the PSX but games from the PS2 were compatible.
Atari Flashback (2004)
The Atari Flashback resembled an Atari 7800, and came with a pair of controllers which looked like those of the Atari 7800 but were slightly smaller. The system had twenty games built-in, all originally developed by Warner Communication's Atari Inc. and Atari Corp. for the 2600 and 7800 game systems. The games which originally required analog paddle controllers were made to work with the included joysticks. Atari Inc. gave Legacy Engineering ten weeks to design the product, produce its games, and get it ready for the 2004 Winter holiday season. The Atari Flashback was based on "NES-on-a-chip" hardware, not resembling either of the Atari systems which the Flashback was supposed to represent. As a result, the games it contained were ports and differed in varying degrees from the original games, and therefore the Flashback was unpopular with some purists. Curt Vendel and Legacy Engineering returned to develop the Flashback . Unlike the original Atari console, the Flashback contains a single-chip version of circuitry designed by Vendel; it is a reproduction of the original circuitry in that of the original Atari 2600. Therefore, the Atari Flashback runs games just as they ran on an original console. The Atari Flashback project was codenamed "Michele", after Vendel's wife. Her name is printed on the motherboard.
The XaviXPORT is the main console for the XaviX Interactive System. Released by SSD COMPANY LIMITED in 2004. The console uses cartridges and special wireless controllers. The controllers are shaped like sports equipment (such as baseball bats or tennis racquets). The users actions are transferred to the television screen through the use of human interface sensors. The MSRP for the XaviXPORT was USD $79.99. However as of 2013, the price was dropped to USD 39.99 for the standard kit. The XaviXPORT was the first home video game console that fully utilized and required the use of full, wireless motion-sensing controllers. No games are included with the system - game packs, all sport/fitness related, are sold separately that include the game and a specialized controller shaped like the athletic equipment used in the respective game (i.e. golf club or tennis racquet). Besides being the first console devoted entirely to this new technology, the XaviXPORT has a number of other unique features - some good, others not so much. The XaviXPORT makes the Sony PlayStation 2 slimline model look HUGE. This system has to be one of the smallest consoles ever made measuring 1.0" H x 7.0" W x 5.5" D and weighs less than 1 pound. The front of the simple satin-silver casing features two push buttons to the left (power and reset) with the infrared receiver on the right. A stylish, clean XaviX logo is featured front and center. The top of the system is more of the same - straight, easy to use features (four (4) up/down buttons flanked by an enlarged Rest and Enter button). The cool-olive colored game cartridge slot also resides here. Standard AV connection jacks, power and an AV Out port adorn the back of the system. This is as simple as it gets. The XaviXPORT hardware mirrors the simplicity of the main console design. 10 games have been released for the console and the style of play is very similar to the motion control of the Xbox Kinect. The XaviXPORT is still being sold in some select stores (both online and retail). A brand new system costs $80 USD, with games running approximately $50 USD.
Panasonic Q (2001)
The Q is a hybrid version of the Nintendo GameCube with a DVD player manufactured by Panasonic in cooperation with Nintendo. The system was only officially released in Japan. A feature of its main competitors Xbox and PlayStation 2, the GameCube lacked commercial DVD movie playback functionality due to the use of the miniDVD format for games and the correspondingly small disc tray. The Q system was licensed by Nintendo and released on December 13, 2001 and listed at US$439. A modified version that allows users to play commercial DVDs from all regions was listed at US$499. Other features of the Q include a backlit LCD, a front-loading slot disc tray, an optical sound output supporting Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS (sound system), a separate subwoofer jack, and a stainless steel chassis. The Q comes with a gray, Panasonic-branded controller and a remote control. The Q is capable of installing all of the GameCube hardware upgrades; however, due to the legs on the bottom, it requires a special Panasonic Q Game Boy Player unit designed specifically for it. No games were sold specifically for the system and was only sold in Japan.
V. Smile (2005)
The V.Smile is an educational game system by VTech. It is designed for children ages 3 to 6, but offers software designed for several age groups between 3-9. Titles are available on ROM cartridges called "Smartridges", to play off the system's educational nature. The graphics are primarily sprite-based. The console is often sold bundled with a particular game. Several variants of the V.Smile console are sold including handheld versions, or models with added functionality such as touch tablet, controllers or microphones. The V-Motion is a major variant with its own software lineup that includes motion sensitive controllers and has Smartriges designed to take advantage of motion-related "active learning". The V-Motion and Smartriges however are fully backwards compatible with other V.Smile variants and V.Smile Smartridges, and a V-Motion Smartrige can even be played on V.Smile console or handheld, albeit with limited functionality. Several versions of V.Smile and V-Motion consoles and handhelds have continued to be sold after newer models are introduced, allowing consumers a wide variety of consoles to choose from (often offered in pink color schemes for girls, as well) without worrying about a lack of backwards compatibility between games or consoles. Some key differentiators between systems and the ability to fully utilize all game functions include the options of a microphone, touch tablet, additional joystick port (for 2-player gameplay), stylus-enhanced controller, or motion sensitive game pad (With V-Motion). Many popular children shows like Dora and The Wiggles were released for the system. Games like Batman and Cinderella offered more of a challenge for older kids. The V. Smile released 19 different game cartridges
iQue Player (2003)
The iQue Player is based on the Nintendo 64, but uses system-on-a-chip technology to reduce size. It plays Nintendo 64 games specifically ported to the system. Once the player has turned on the system, the iQue logo will appear. Then, an advertisement for a game will appear and it will say to press the A button to continue. The main menu lists the games on the memory card and info on the games as well. Once the player has selected a game, a message will appear asking if they want to play this game. A loading screen may appear. If the player presses Z on the highlighted game, a description of the game will appear. Like many other consoles, the player can change the system settings such as TV resolution and username. The system settings will also appear when the player first uses the system. The iQue Player has online services for buying games, cloud storage, game updates, etc. Currently, there are two online services for the iQue Player; one is kiosk based, another is broadband based. The iQue Player memory card is bundled with the system. It is required to start the system and to load the games. Both the games and the game save states are saved on the memory card. Swim BoxThe iQue Player Swim Box is required to play local multiplayer. The iQue Player is used as the Player 1 controller. The Swim Box isn't compatible with other iQue Player Systems, so other players have to use a Swim Controller. The Swim Controller is used for multiplayer. The Swim Controller can't load games alone. Games have to be loaded on the iQue system. The iQue Player was released on 17 November 2003 and only released 8 games in 6 years. Nintendo strategy to market games in China was to show how videogames can help improve children's mental and social development. At first, the only way to get games was to buy them via the iQue Depot, but in 2009, Nintendo released Fugue Online to download games at home. The latest game released was released in 2006.
Atari Flashback 2 (2005)
The Atari Flashback 2, the successor to the original Atari Flashback console, was released in 2005. It has forty Atari 2600 games built-in. A few of the included games are homebrews which were created by enthusiasts in recent years, and two of the games (Pitfall! and River Raid) were originally published by Activision. The Atari Flashback 2 does look like the original Atari 2600 from 1977. It is about two-thirds the size of the original, and much lighter. The Flashback 2 has five buttons (power, reset, left and right difficulty toggles, and select); on the back it has a color/black-and-white slider switch and two ports for the included joysticks. The joysticks are very similar to the original Atari 2600 joysticks, and are compatible and interchangeable with them. The Flashback 2 does not come with paddle controllers, but original paddle controllers can be connected to it and used with its paddle-based games. Marty Goldberg, owner of the Electronic Entertainment Museum, was the technical writer for the packed-in manual and full design of the online manual. Because of changes in game content during the development and problems with the graphic design company keeping edit revisions straight, the manual which comes with the Flashback 2 has several errors in it including typos. For example, contrary to the manual there is no two-player mode in Centipede, and there is no connected-ship gameplay in Space Duel. Likewise in the description of Save Mary "Barnaby just blew up the near by damn" appears. The console also includes two hidden titles which you have to use the paddle controllers. The Flashback 2 does not come with paddle controllers, so these games cannot be played unless the user has an original set of Atari 2600 paddle controllers. To access the hidden paddle game menu, the user must press up on the joystick 1 time, pull down 9 times, push up 7 times, and pull down 2 times (this represents the year 1972, when Pong was created). The code must be entered quickly and you can't pause.
Game Wave (2005)
The Game Wave Family Entertainment System is a hybrid DVD player and video game console. It was first released in Canada in October 2005. Unlike the main consoles (such as the PS3), the Game Wave is more family friendly: most of its games are trivia based or video versions of more traditional games (like Scrabble and Blackjack). The Game Wave can connect up to 6 controllers but comes with 4. Each controller has a different color (orange, yellow, puple, green, blue, and red) to help people tell them apart. It comes with a case that can hold all 6 remotes and a copy of 4 Degrees: The Arc of Trivia, Vol. 1 game. The Game Wave only produced 13 games. Two extra controllers are available for $30. The console itself supports either composite or S-Video output and recognizes up to 6 of the color-coded controllers. On the side of the console are six slots that hold the controllers. None of the controllers take precedence over any of the others, so any controller can control movies or game menus. The system is not very powerful and graphics are colorful, but often simple 2D mixed with text. In the Bilmar Station Sports Tavern of Tampa, FL there is a prototype coin-op Game Wave system. It's a 4-player arcade game that has all of the Game Wave games built in, as well as others such as Texas Hold 'Em. The game is a redemption game but players are not rewarded with tickets individually. Presumably the winner of the game gets the tickets. Game Wave software is largely based around trivia, word games, and simple board games, as the console is not powerful enough, nor does the control scheme lend itself to more complex games. Being marketed as a family console, every game supports multiplayer for six players. Every game is also developed and published by ZAPiT Games and carries an MSRP of $24.99. The Game Wave currently has variations of Boggle, Yahtzee, Hangman, Blackjack, Sudoku, and Scrabble. There are also six various trivia games, three of which are based on recent history. Each trivia game claims to offer up to 25 hours of play without repeat questions. New software from ZAPiT games does not appear likely.
Xbox 360 (2005)
The Xbox 360 is the successor to the Xbox and is the second Microsoft console competing with the PS3 and the Wii. The 360 offered a better version of Xbox Live with regular updates and there was a subscribed version and a free version. The subscribed version allows access to all online compatible games while the free one only allows access to offline games and some online games or titles that require their own subscription like EA Sports games. the 360 has sold 80 million units worldwide and is the seventh best selling console of all time. The main unit of the Xbox 360 itself has slight double concavity in matte white or black. The official color of the white model is Arctic Chill. It features a port on the top when vertical (left side when horizontal) to which a custom-housed hard disk drive unit can be attached. Various hard disk drives have been produced, including options at 20, 60, 120, 250, or 320 GB. Inside, the Xbox 360 uses the triple-core IBM designed Xenon as its CPU, with each core capable of simultaneously processing two threads, and can therefore operate on up to six threads at once. Graphics processing is handled by the ATI Xenos, which has 10 MB of eDRAM. Its main memory pool is 512 MB in size. Kinect is a "controller-free gaming and entertainment experience" for the Xbox 360. It was first announced on June 1, 2009 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, under the codename, Project Natal. The add-on peripheral enables users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 without a game controller by using gestures, spoken commands and presented objects and images. The Kinect accessory is compatible with all Xbox 360 models, connecting to new models via a custom connector, and to older ones via a USB and mains power adapter. During their CES 2010 keynote speech, Robbie Bach and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer went on to say that Kinect will be released during the holiday period (November–January) and it will work with every 360 console. Its name and release date of November 4, 2010 were officially announced on June 13, 2010, prior to Microsoft's press conference at E3 2010. At launch, the Xbox 360 was available in two configurations: the "Xbox 360" package (unofficially known as the 20 GB Pro or Premium), priced at US$399 or GB£279.99, and the "Xbox 360 Core", priced at US$299 and GB£209.99. The original shipment of the Xbox 360 version included a cut-down version of the Media Remote as a promotion. The Elite package was launched later at US$479. The "Xbox 360 Core" was replaced by the "Xbox 360 Arcade" in October 2007 and a 60 GB version of the Xbox 360 Pro was released on August 1, 2008. The Pro package was discontinued and marked down to US$249 on August 28, 2009 to be sold until stock ran out, while the Elite was also marked down in price to US$299. In June 2010, Microsoft announced a new, redesigned, model and the discontinuation of the Elite and Arcade models. At Microsoft's E3 press conference on June 10, 2013, another revision of the Xbox 360 hardware with design traits from its successor, the Xbox One, was unveiled and released. SKUs and pricing for the new model are identical to those of the previous model.
HyperScan is a video game console from Mattel. It uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology along with traditional video game technology. It was marketed toward boys between the ages of five to nine who were not ready for high-end video games in terms of maturity or expense, though ironically the included game was rated T by the ESRB. The console used UDF format CD-ROMs. The HyperScan has two controller ports, as well as a 13.56 MHz RFID scanner that reads and writes to the "cards" which, in turn, activate features in and save data from the game. Players are able to enhance the abilities of their characters by scanning cards. Games retailed for $19.99 and the console itself for $69.99 at launch, but at the end of its very short lifespan, prices of the system were down to $9.99, the games $1.99, and booster packs $0.99. The system was sold in two varieties, a cube, and a 2-player value pack. The cube box version was the version sold in stores. It included the system, controller, an X-Men game disc, and 6 X-Men cards. Two player value packs were sold online (but may have been liquidated in stores) and included an extra controller and 12 additional X-Men cards. The system was discontinued in 2007, shortly after its release, and is featured as one of the ten worst systems ever by PC World magazine. The RFID tag silicon for the contactless game cards, and the RFID tag and reader designs were provided by Innovision Research and Technology plc, a fabless semiconductor design house based in the UK which specializes in RFID systems and chip design. Five games are known to be released for the HyperScan. The released games are X-Men, Ben 10, Interstellar Wrestling League, Marvel Heroes, and Spider-Man. A sixth game called Avatar the Last Airbender was announced and may have been released in small quantities. There was going to be a seventh game called Nick Extreme Sports but it was canceled.
The Playstation 3 (PS3) is the successor to the PS2 and competes with the Xbox 360 and the Wii. It is part of the seventh generation series and produce by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was released on November 11, 2006 in Japan and released worldwide shortly after. The PS3 was first announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in 2005. The PS3 was the very different from the PS2 in that it used Blu-ray Disc as its storage medium, use of a unified online gaming service Playstation Network (PSN) and allowed connection with the Playstation Portable (PSP) and the Playstation Vita (PS Vita) both of which are handheld games produced by Sony. In September 2009 Sony released the PS3 Slim which was lighter, slimmer has a redesigned logo. There are 795 total games currently released for the system and 595 million games sold worldwide. In 2009 Sony made it possible to watch movies and play games in 3D. The PS3's hardware has been used to build supercomputers for the Air-Force Research Laboratory by connecting 1,760 systems together and was the 33rd largest supercomputer in the world and was used to to analyze satellite images. PlayStation 3 features a slot-loading 2x speed Blu-ray Disc drive for games, Blu-ray movies, DVDs, CDs and other optical media. It was available with hard drives of 20 and 60 GB but various sizes up to 500 GB[ have been made available since then. All PS3 models have user-upgradeable 2.5" SATA hard drives. PlayStation 3 uses the Cell microprocessor, designed by Sony, Toshiba and IBM, as its CPU, which is made up of one 3.2 GHz PowerPC-based "Power Processing Element" (PPE) and eight Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs). The eighth SPE is disabled to improve chip yields. Only six of the seven SPEs are accessible to developers as the seventh SPE is can only be used by the console's operating system. Graphics processing is handled by the NVIDIA RSX 'Reality Synthesizer', which can produce resolutions from 480i/576i SD up to 1080p HD. PlayStation 3 has 256 MB of XDR DRAM main memory and 256 MB of GDDR3 video memory for the RSX. The system has Bluetooth 2.0 (with support for up to 7 bluetooth devices), gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0 and HDMI 1.4 built in on all currently shipping models. Wi-Fi networking is also built-in on all but the 20 GB models, while a flash card reader (compatible with Memory Stick, SD/MMC and CompactFlash/Microdrive media) is built-in on 60 GB and CECHExx 80 GB models.
The Wii is a home video game console released by Nintendo on November 19, 2006. As a seventh-generation console, the Wii competes with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. Nintendo states that its console targets a broader demographic than that of the two others. As of the first quarter of 2012, the Wii leads the generation over PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in worldwide sales in December 2009, the console broke the sales record for a single month in the United States. The Wii introduced the Wii Remote controller, which can be used as a handheld pointing device and which detects movement in three dimensions. Another notable feature of the console is WiiConnect24, which enables it to receive messages and updates over the Internet while in standby mode. Like other seventh-generation consoles, it features a game download service, called "Virtual Console", which features emulated games from past systems. It succeeds the Nintendo GameCube, with early models being fully backward-compatible with all GameCube games and most accessories. Nintendo first spoke of the console at the 2004 E3 press conference and later unveiled it at the 2005 E3. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata revealed a prototype of the controller at the September 2005 Tokyo Game Show. At E3 2006, the console won the first of several awards. By December 8, 2006, it had completed its launch in the four key markets. In late 2011 Nintendo released a reconfigured model, the "Wii Family Edition", which removed Nintendo GameCube compatibility; this model was not released in Japan. The Wii Mini, Nintendo's first major console redesign since the compact SNES, succeeded the standard Wii model on December 7, 2012 in Canada. The Wii Mini can only play Wii optical discs, as it omits GameCube and online game capabilities. The Wii's successor, the Wii U, was released on November 18, 2012. On October 20, 2013 Nintendo confirmed it discontinued production of the Wii in Japan and Europe. Retail copies of games are supplied on proprietary, DVD-type Wii optical discs which are packaged in keep cases with instructions. In Europe, the boxes have a triangle at the bottom corner of the paper sleeve-insert side. The triangle is color-coded to identify the region for which the title is intended and which manual languages are included. The console supports regional lockout (software purchased in a region can be only played on that region's hardware). New games in Nintendo's flagship franchises (including The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, Pokémon, and Metroid) have been released, in addition to many original titles and third-party-developed games. Nintendo has received third-party support from companies such as Ubisoft, Sega, Square Enix, Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts and Capcom, with more games being developed for Wii than for the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. Nintendo also launched the New Play Control! line, a selection of enhanced GameCube games for the Wii featuring updated controls. The Virtual Console service allows Wii owners to play games originally released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo 64, Sega's Mega Drive/Genesis and Sega Mark III/Sega Master System, NEC's TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine, SNK's Neo Geo console, Commodore 64 and arcade games. Virtual Console games are distributed over broadband Internet via the Wii Shop Channel, and are saved to the Wii internal flash memory or to a removable SD card. Once downloaded, Virtual Console games can be accessed from the Wii Menu (as individual channels) or from an SD card via the SD Card Menu. There is also a Wii homebrew community, dedicated to creating and playing content unendorsed by Nintendo. The game development suite Unity can be used to create official Wii games; however, the developer must be authorized by Nintendo to develop games for the console. Games must also be accepted by Nintendo to be sold. 883.97 million Wii games have been sold worldwide as of September 30, 2013, and 103 titles have surpassed the million-unit mark as of March 31, 2011. The most successful game (Wii Sports, which comes bundled with the console in most regions) has sold 81.99 million copies worldwide as of March 31, 2013, surpassing Super Mario Bros. as the best-selling game of all time. The best-selling unbundled game is Mario Kart Wii, with 34.26 million units sold
The Retro Duo is a clone game console developed by Retro-Bit. The Retro Duo is an 8-bit and 16-bit video game console. It was designed so that you could play 8-bit and 16-bit games and play cartridge games for the NES. There have been many clone systems made recently, but this one is different because it plays American, European, and Japanese games and has the highest compatibility over any other clone system. Another difference is that S-video is now compatible when playing SNES games. The console is not licensed by Nintendo and is not compatible with every game released for the two systems, the majority of games however will work right. While it was only released in Canada and the United States, it can still be used in Europe and Japan with a adapter. The console is compatible with official and third party SNES controllers. Retro Duo reviews have praised its compatibility for games many other clone consoles struggle with. The Retro Duo was released in four different color schemes: white/blue, silver/black, black/red, red/gold limited edition version. The new 3.0 released fixed many of the previous 2 versions, including the compatibility with Castlevania III and came as a red/blue Mascot edition. The RetroDuo can run Super Famicom games (which have a different cartridge size/shape than US SNES games) from all regions with NO modifications to the systems hardware. It does not contain any plastic preventing this. The unit comes with two SNES style controllers (also mirror plastic, which I find to be potentially slippery), and uses standard SNES controller inputs. Compatibility reports from owners show that the unit allows for standard official SNES controllers to be used in place of the included controllers. On SNES games, all buttons are mapped to their correct buttons, and on NES games the B button is mapped to the top-left Y button and the A is mapped to the bottom-left B. When using the composite A/V cables for both NES and SNES games, the NES games display with a superior, more “solid” resolution, while SNES games have a slightly lower-than normal resolution, and have been reported to have minor “crawling” artifacts on screen. When using the S-Video cable for both NES and SNES games, the SNES games display with a much “crisper” resolution, however, the NES games display with minor “resolution tearing” (interspersed pixel color variations). Neither setup has been proven to be distracting to the point of not being able to play NES or SNES games in their “lower fidelity” resolutions, however, OPTIMAL resolution choices are NES with Composite A/V and SNES with S-Video. Due to the fact that the unit will default to S-Video display if the S-Video is plugged into the unit itself, you will need to unplug the S-Video from the unit when selecting NES games on the RetroDuo.
PlayStation 3 (2006)
Retro Duo (2006)
The Zeebo is a 3G capable video game system allowing players to connect to the internet as well as play games. It was marketed in Brazil, China, Russia, India and Mexico. The Zeebo was developed by Zeebo Inc. with help from 12 different companies. The system uses a chip similar to what smart phones use and allows players to download and use the internet wirelessly through 3G. Purchases are made through an online store using a virtual currency, Z-Credits. Zeebo's gaming delivery system reduces costs (with no discs or cartridges needed) and overcomes piracy barriers – two elements that have hindered sales of game consoles in developing markets. Z-Credits are purchased by bank transfer, credit card, bank debit or prepaid cards. Games cost from about 500 to 2500 credits. The console's wireless connectivity also allows users to browse web sites, send and receive e-mail and take part social networking activities via the wireless network. The Zeebo can also perform "over-the-air" updates to the console's firmware—delivering new content, features and bug fixes. The standard controller is called the Z-Pad and has seven buttons, a D-pad and two analog sticks. The Zeebo uses remade versions of games from smartphones and arcade games but does have its own exclusive games. In 2010 Zeebo announced that it would use AT&T's network allowing it to send updates all over the world. In 2011 the company announced that it would be ending its operations in Mexico and Brazil.
OnLive is a cloud based game system so games can be accessed through the system itself, PCs with Windows,Intel-based Macs,and Android or iOS devices. Over 50 publishers joined OnLive to create the service and over 300 games are available over the service. In the August of 2012 OnLive laid off all of their employees and was bought out by Lauder Partners for $4.8 million but some analysts had estimated that OnLive was worth $1.8 billion. The OnLive Game System consists of an OnLive Wireless Controller and a console, called the "MicroConsole TV Adapter", that can be connected to a television and directly to the OnLive service, so it is possible to use the service without a computer. It comes with the accessories needed to connect the equipment, and composite video users can purchase an additional optional cable. The MicroConsole supports up to four wireless controllers and multiple Bluetooth headsets. It also has two USB ports for game controllers, keyboards, mice, and USB hubs. For video and audio output it provides component, HDMI, TOSLINK ports, and an analog stereo minijack. An ethernet port is used for network access, which is required to access the OnLive service. Pre-orders for the OnLive Game System began to be taken on November 17, 2010. OnLive confirmed the details of its PlayPack flat-rate payment plan on December 2, 2010. With this option players pay a monthly fee for unlimited access to "recent, classic and indie titles" in the OnLive library, which includes new releases. PlayPack subscribers also receive a 30% off discount toward purchase of OnLive merchandise excluding PlayPack membership fees. This discount can be applied to sale items, OnLive wireless controllers, and the OnLive Game System. Soon after the company's announcement at GDC 2009, there was skepticism expressed by game journalists, concerned about how the OnLive service might work and what the quality of the service might be both in terms of the hardware required in OnLive server centers to render and compress the video, as well as the impact of commercial Internet broadband connections on its delivery. During GDC 2009, which was held in San Francisco, the OnLive service was 50 miles (80 km) from its Santa Clara data center. The closed beta had "hundreds of users on the system". Near E3 in 2009, which is approximately 350 miles (560 km) away from their data center, OnLive demonstrated their service performed well with a consumer cable modem and Internet connection. Matt Peckham from PC World stated in his blog that it might be technically difficult to transfer the amount of data that a high definition game would require. He stated he believed OnLive customers would need a broadband line with "guaranteed, non-shared, uninterruptible speed", but "broadband isn't there yet, nor are ISPs willing to offer performance guarantees". He also mentioned his concerns that the mod community would be unable to create and offer mods since all game data will be stored on the OnLive servers, and that games played on OnLive might not be "owned" by the user, and thus if OnLive were to go under, all the user's games would be inaccessible. Cevat Yerli, the CEO of Crytek, had researched a method for streaming games but concluded that Crytek's approach would not be viable until 2013 "at earliest". Yerli made it clear Crytek was not directly involved with the OnLive service, and Yerli had no personal experience using the service. Rather, Electronic Arts, the publisher of Crytek's Crysis Warhead, had partnered with OnLive and had tested and endorsed the OnLive technology. Yerli stated I want to see it myself. I don't want to say it's either 'top or flop'. I hope it works for them because it could improve gamers' lives. The technology of video-based rendering is not actually a very new concept but they do some things that others didn't do before so it will be interesting to see. Eurogamer's DigitalFoundry was amongst the most harshly skeptical in an article published upon OnLive's unveiling and public demonstration entitled, "GDC: Why OnLive Can't Possibly Work" by DigitalFoundry's Richard Leadbetter. The article's analysis characterized OnLive as a faked demo that was technically impossible to accomplish over a consumer Internet connection.
Atari Flashback 3
In 2011 Atari announced the release of the Atari Flashback 3, the successor to the Atari Flashback 2. The system includes 60 built in games, two joysticks and a design similar too but no identical too the AFB 2. Games included most original Atari games but with the reudction of some and the addition of others such as new sport games and a "hidden"game added to the "hidden" men. Thegames, include Adventure, Asteroids, Battlezone, Centipede, and Missile Command. These are all faithful versions of the Atari 2600 releases of the games, and long-time gamers who grew up with an Atari 2600 will feel right at home. Unlike the Atari Flashback 2, the Atari Flashback 3 can’t be modded to accept Atari game cartridges. However, this is an issue only for users who want to open up their systems and play with solder. The classic Atari 2600 games show their age, and if you spent your free time in the arcade instead of in front of your Atari 2600 when you were a kid you might find these games disappointing. The ports of classic arcade games like Asteroids and Centipede are far uglier and harder to control than the arcade versions. While Pac-Man’s Atari 2600 was the most infamous of the home console ports, every ported arcade game suffered from major drops in video, audio, and control quality.
Eedoo CT510 (2012)
The Eedoo CT510 is very simple. It is made of white aluminum housing, it looks almost exactly like a DVD player. The back of the system has many different ports like most game systems. It has two USB 2.0 ports on the front and two on the back, a LAN port, the power port, a 3.5mm microphone jack, analog audio jacks, a 3D Sensor port for the 3D camera, and both VGA and HDMI support. Unlike most consoles, the CT510 only came with a regular TV type remote control. The reason why it comes only with a remote and not a controller is because video game consoles are banned in China and having a controller will make it feel like a game console. The other reason is that motion sensing gets tiring after a while. When using it, you can switch between remote play and motion sensing; but you can not do both. To use to the motion sensing, the camera must pick up your movement, which sounds easier than it actually is. Before the camera can start tracking and interpreting motions as commands the player must first hold their right hand to the side and wave in a slow but exaggerated fashion. Once the player is "tracked" a little hand shows up on the screen acting as the pointer. After the initial process of tracking the rest is simple. According to eedoo, the biggest selling point of the system are its apps. Currently only available through Eedoo's online store, the apps that it offers feel like mobile apps. Of the notable apps there is a Sina Weibo mirco-blogging application, an online video application that links to China's Youpeng video service and a Disney education app. Even though it isn't marketed as a video game console or marketed towards core gamers or gamers in general, the CT510 comes with 8 installed games. The games are all very simple mini games designed to make the player move.
Atari Flashback 4
On November 13, 2012, the Atari Flashback 4 was released by AtGames. The console looks similarly like its predecessor, the Flashback 3, however, the noticeable change is that the joystick controllers are wireless. The console increased its library to 75 games, 15 more than Flashback 3. The Atari Flashback 4 has a couple of key new features. The first and most important is the addition of wireless Atari 2600 controllers. Yes, you heard me correctly, the new system has wireless controllers. Now please understand that these controllers need direct line of site with the console to work properly. However in our extensive testing we found they did the job very well. They are also a welcome addition for those of us who have our seating far from our living room TV. Each controller runs on two AA batteries and there is a power switch on each remote. The first player controller also includes reset, select and start buttons. I must say that it's nice to be able to reset the system without having to get up from my chair, this is a great bonus feature. If you have ever owned the Atari 2600 then you know you always had to stay close to the console, whether it was to select your game using switches on the console or to change a cartridge. The most noticeable feature of the FB4 joystick is the very loose play action on the controller. The joystick on this controller is far less stiff than the average 2600 controller. I really liked the loosened joystick and I felt it enabled quicker movement in certain games. The controller also performed well for an IR wireless controller. Occasionally there was some lag in the menu selection, but while playing games we rarely had any trouble.
Sega released the Mega Drive in Japan on October 29, 1988, though the launch was overshadowed by Nintendo's release of Super Mario Bros. 3 a week earlier. Positive coverage from magazines Famitsu and Beep! helped to establish a following, but Sega only managed to ship 400,000 units in the first year. In order to increase sales, Sega released various peripherals and games, including an online banking system and answering machine called the Sega Mega Anser. Despite this, the Mega Drive was unable to overtake the venerable Famicom and remained a distant third in Japan behind Nintendo's Super Famicom and NEC's PC-Engine throughout the 16-bit era. Sega announced a North American release date for the system on January 9, 1989. At the time, Sega did not possess a North American sales and marketing organization and was distributing its Master System through Tonka. Dissatisfied with Tonka's performance, Sega looked for a new partner to market the Genesis in North America and offered the rights to Atari Corporation, which did not yet have a 16-bit system. David Rosen made the proposal to Atari CEO Jack Tramiel and the president of Atari's Entertainment Electronics Division, Michael Katz. Tramiel declined to acquire the new console, deeming it too expensive, and instead opted to focus on the Atari ST. Sega decided to launch the console through its own Sega of America subsidiary, which executed a limited launch on August 14, 1989, in New York City and Los Angeles. The Sega Genesis was released in the rest of North America later that year. The European version of the console was released on November 30, 1990. Building on the success of the Master System, the Mega Drive became the most popular console in Europe. Since the Mega Drive was already two years old at the time of its release in the region, more games were available at launch compared to the launches in other regions. The ports of arcade titles like Altered Beast, Golden Axe and Ghouls 'n Ghosts, available in stores at launch, provided a strong image of the console's power to deliver an arcade-like experience. The release of the Mega Drive in Europe was handled by Virgin Mastertronic, which was later purchased by Sega in 1991 and became Sega of Europe. Other companies assisted in distributing the console to various countries worldwide. Ozisoft handled the Mega Drive's launch and marketing in Australia, as it had done before with the Master System. In Brazil, the Mega Drive was released by Tec Toy in 1990, only a year after the Brazilian release of the Master System. Tec Toy also produced games exclusively for the Brazilian market and began a network service for the system called Sega Meganet in 1995. In India, Sega entered a distribution deal with Shaw Wallace in Spring 1995 in order to circumvent an 80% import tariff, with each unit selling for INR₹18,000.Samsung handled sales and distribution of the console in Korea, where it was renamed the "Super Gam*Boy" and retained the Mega Drive logo alongside the Samsung name. It was later renamed "Super Aladdin Boy".
Evo Smart Console
EVO Smart Console (originally called Evo: Phase One) was a Media PC and game console marketed in the seventh generation era, and produced by Envizions. The beta, called EVO: Phase One, was released on October 20, 2006, and the final product was released on November 20, 2008. The system uses Linux software, which is built using the Fedora operating system. The system came bundled with three games; SuperTux, Kobo Deluxe, and Kid Destiny. The console also features high definition (HD), Internet access, and allows running Windows games. It also has a built-in 120 GB hard drive and 2 GB RAM. Although it looks like a console, the EVO: Phase One is still a multimedia PC. It claimed to have featured many bells and whistles like streaming / downloadable content, DVR capability and the ability to run PC applications and games. It also featured an integrated biometric scanner, HDMI output and a wireless controller that resembles the PlayStation 2 Dualshock. The EVO would also be upgradable like a regular PC. The creators said that the EVO would come in other phases. Phase Two for example would make the device function like a console whereas Envizions will develop its own customized console games. The EVO Smart Console strives to be an Open Source Playstation. The box is not only a game console, it incorporates desktop virtualization and biometric authentication (voice and fingerprint), serves as a DVD and VoIP box, and allows for data archiving. Envizions provides the applications partly on a cost basis via cloud computing. For this it provides a social network product called PitchBuzz.com and an Internet TV station, and integrates with a U.S. video-on-demand provider with over 10,000 titles.
The Wii U (2012)
The Wii U was released on November 18, 2012. It is the first system in the eighth generation of game consoles. It competes with the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. The Wii U is the first Nintendo console to support high-definition graphics, capable of producing video output up to 1080p, and has 2 GB of RAM with half dedicated to the console's operating system. The system's main controller is the Wii U GamePad, which has a touchscreen in it. The touchscreen can be used to have main gameplay on a second screen, or it can be used as the only screen for software featuring Off-TV Play. In addition to the Wii U GamePad, a more traditional controller called the Wii U Pro Controller may be used. The system is backward compatible with Wii, and Wii U games may support compatibility with Wii remotes, such as the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk. The console was originally released in two versions: the Basic Set, which contained a white-colored version with 8 GB of internal flash storage memory; and the Premium(WW)/Deluxe Set, which contained a black-colored version with 32 GB of flash storage memory. The Premium(WW)/Deluxe package additionally included stands for the console, a charging cradle and stand for the Wii U GamePad, a Wii Sensor Bar, and a copy of the game Nintendo Land. An HDMI cable is also included with both versions. The Wii U utilizes a custom multi-chip module (MCM) developed by AMD, IBM and Renesas in cooperation with Nintendo. Its MCM combines a central processing unit (CPU) and graphics processing unit (GPU), as well as an EEPROM memory. The CPU, designed by IBM, consists of a PowerPC 750-based tri-core processor. The processor is a multi-core design manufactured at 45 nm with an eDRAM. It is produced by IBM at their 300 mm semiconductor manufacturing facility in East Fishkill, New York. The GPU, designed by AMD, consists of a AMD Radeon High Definition processor built with a 34 MB eDRAM built onto the die. The console also includes a secondary custom chip that handles undisclosed tasks. These tasks are handled seamlessly in the background during gameplay or while the system is in sleep mode. The Wii U GamePad is the Wii U's main controller and comes bundled with the console. It features a built-in resistive touchscreen, which can replace or replicate the gameplay shown on the television display. It also features a built-in front-facing camera and sensor strip, a built-in microphone, stereo speakers. The GamePad also features a nine-axis motion detection via a three-axis accelerometer, three-axis gyroscope and a three-axis magnetometer, and comes equipped with a rumble feature. It includes a removable, rechargeable lithium-ion battery capable lasting up to 5 hours. The Wii U launched with 23 games in North America, 26 games in Europe, 25 games in Australia, and 11 games in Japan. Some download-only games were also available on launch day for the Wii U through the Nintendo eShop. An additional thirty games were announced for release during the system's "launch window", which includes the three months after the system's launch date.
The Ouya was released on June 25, 2013. It's called a microconsole and runs its own version of the Android operating system, developed by Boxer8. Development was funded via Kickstarter, raising $8.5 million and becoming the website's second-highest-earning project in its history. The Ouya is a 75-millimeter cube made to use with a TV as the display through an HDMI connection. It launches with a single wireless controller, but it can also support multiple controllers. Games are available ough download, or can be side-loaded. The Ouya controller is a typical gamepad with dual analogue sticks, a directional pad, 4 face buttons and pairs of back bumpers and triggers. It also includes a touchpad in the center of the controller.The Ouya controller also has magnetically attached faceplates which enclose the 2 AA batteries, one on each side of the removable plates. Alternate controllers may be used with the console but only for compatible games. While initial idea of the Ouya was positive, raising $3.7 million on Kickstarter in the first two days, there were a number of critics who were skeptical of the ability of the fledgling company to deliver a product at all. On July 12, 2012 PC Magazine's Sascha Segan ran an op-ed entitled "Why Kickstarter's Ouya Looks Like a Scam" which was critical not only of the Ouya, but of all Kickstarter-funded hardware projects. Engadget reviewed the Kickstarter pre-release version of the Ouya on April 3, 2013. While praising the low cost and ease of hacking the console, it reported issues with controller buttons becoming stuck beneath the controller plating and the right analog stick snagging on the plating. It also reported a slight lag between the controller and the console and went on to say the controller was "usable, but it's far from great." In July 2013, Ouya announced the "Free the Games Fund", a way to help fund developers, where Ouya would match any Kickstarter if a minimum target of $50,000 was reached, and provided the game remains Ouya exclusive for six months. Some suspicions were raised with the first two games to reach the target. Commentators noticed the small number of backers each pledging a high value amount, the large number of those who had never backed a project before, as well as the use of duplicate names and avatars that included those of celebrities. This made some think that the projects were artificially inflating their project's backing in order to receive extra money from Ouya. In addition, one project had a backer whose identity appeared to be taken from that of a missing persons case. Ouya rejected the suspicions and continued with the funding. though there was some trouble with getting games finished as many were suspended so, on September 18, 2013, Ouya modified the exclusivity clause of the fund. Developers will still no longer be able to release their software on mobile devices, video game consoles, and set-top boxes during the 6-month exclusivity period, but they will be allowed to release on other personal computer systems, such as Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, during that time.
PlayStation 4 (2013)
The PlayStation 4 (PS4) was released on November 15, 2013 and is the successor to the PlayStation 3 (PS3). Moving away from the complicated Cell architecture of its predecessor, PlayStation 4 features a more common AMD processor, hoping to attract a larger range of developers and support for the system. Sony intends more focus on social gameplay, incorporating a "share" button on the new controller and enabling a view of in-game play streamed live from friends. The PS4 uses an AMD processor along with a central processing unit and a graphics processing unit. The system has 8 GBs of RAM which is 16 times the amount the PS3 has and will give the system a long life. The Dual Shock 4 is the PS4's main controller and is the successor to the Dual Shock Three which was the PS3's controller. The new controller has some new features. It now has a touchpad in the center which replaces the select button , an options button instead of a start button and a share button for uploading videos and screen shots. The DualShock 4 controller's share button allows players to go through the last 15 minutes of gameplay to select a screenshot or video clip appropriate for sharing. Media is uploaded seamlessly from the console to other PSN users or social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. By December 10, 2013, the "SHARE" button was already responsible for 20 million minutes of live gameplay broadcasts, and accounts for 10% of all Twitch activity. The PlayStation Camera is an motion sensing optional camera for PlayStation 4. It includes two lenses. The dual camera setup allows for different modes of operation, depending on the target application The two cameras can be used together for depth-sensing of objects in its field of vision, similar to the Xbox's Kinect peripheral. Also, one of the cameras can be used for generating the video image, with the other used for motion tracking. PlayStation Camera also features a four-channel microphone array, which helps reduce unwanted background noise and may even be used to issue commands. It records video in RAW and YUV formats and connects to the console through an auxiliary port. You can also connect to the PS4 with smartphones and tablets using the PlayStation App which will allow you to view the game on a second screen and access your account when your not on the system. The PS4 has scheduled 69 titles to be released by 2014. In August 2013, Sony announced over a million preorders for the system were placed. On its North American launch date, one million PlayStation 4 consoles were sold. During its United Kingdom launch, the PlayStation 4 becomes the best-selling console at launch with 250,000 consoles sold in 48 hours. As of December 3, 2013, over 2.1 million consoles have been sold. In its first five weeks on the market in the UK, the PlayStation 4 sold 530,000 units.
Xbox One (2013)
The Xbox One was released on November 22, 2013 and is the successor to the Xbox 360. Xbox One's exterior casing consists of a two-tone "liquid black" finish; with half finished in a matte grey, and the other in a glossier black. The LED rings used by Xbox 360 are replaced by a glowing white Xbox logo used to communicate the system's status to the user. It is powered by an AMD "Jaguar" Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) with two quad core modules. The memory subsystem also features an additional 32 MB of "embedded static" RAM, or ESRAM, with a memory bandwidth of 109 GB/s. The system includes a 500 GB non-replaceable hard drive and a Blu-ray Disc optical drive. About 362 GB of hard drive space is available for the storage of games; support for external drives will be added in a future update. Xbox One's controller is basically the same as the Xbox 360's design. The directional pad has been changed to a four-way design, and the battery compartment is slimmer. Menu and View buttons have replaced the Start and Back buttons. Each trigger features independent rumble motors called "Impulse Triggers", which allows developers to program directional vibration. One trigger can be made to vibrate when firing a gun, or both can work together to create feedback that indicates the direction of an incoming hit. It remains to be seen exactly how developers will use the new feature. Pre-ordered Xbox One Day One Edition controllers have the words "Day One 2013" engraved in the center. Microsoft invested over $100 million into refining the controller design for the Xbox One. Xbox One ships with an updated version of Kinect for motion tracking and voice recognition; the new Kinect uses a 1080p wide-angle time-of-flight camera and processes 2 GBs of data per second to read its environment. The new Kinect has greater accuracy over the 360 and can track up to 6 skeletons at once, perform heart rate tracking, track gestures performed with an Xbox One controller, and scan QR codes to redeem Xbox Live gift cards. The Kinect microphone remains active at all times by default so it can receive voice commands from the user when needed, even when the console is in sleep mode (so it can be awakened with a command). As was the case on the Xbox 360, Kinect usage is optional, and privacy settings are available for adjusting how the sensor operates. A Windows-compatible version of the new Kinect will be released in 2014. Microsoft presented several first-party and third-party titles for Xbox One at its E3 2013 news conference, some of which will be exclusive to the console. First-party titles unveiled for Xbox One include Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome, a revival of Killer Instinct, Project Spark and a teaser for an upcoming Halo game.Xbox One games are distributed on Blu-ray Disc and digitally through Xbox Games Store. Games will be installed directly to the player's hard drive for faster access time, and will require the disc to play. However, if the game is installed on another console, and that console owner no longer has access to the disc, the owner has the option of unlocking the install on their hard drive by purchasing it through Xbox Live; the installed game will then act as a digital download. Though Microsoft had originally planned to tie disc-based games to the user's account (see Used games and Internet verification), disc-based games can be traded and sold by players after purchase. Single-player games that take advantage of cloud computing will require an internet connection. Xbox One does not have native backward compatibility with original Xbox or Xbox 360 games. Xbox Live director of programming Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb did state that users could theoretically use the HDMI-in port on the console to pass an Xbox 360 through Xbox One. In an interview, Senior director Albert Penello revealed the possibility that Microsoft could offer backwards compatibility with older titles through a cloud gaming system in the future. The Xbox One has 40 titles scheduled for release in 2014.
The GameStick was released in November, 2013 and is a microconsole and is the size of a flash drive and fits into the back of your TV. Users get games by downloading them through the online store. The system is priced at $79 which is obviously much cheaper than a normal game system. While it was originally supposed to be released in June 2013 it was delayed, and units started to ship to Kickstarter backers on March 28, 2013. The console was scheduled to be released in early November 2013. It features an exclusive GameStick game and app store for games and applications designed specifically for the GameStick platform, of which the majority are casual games targeted at or used by a mass audience of casual gamers. All systems can be used as development kits, allowing any GameStick owner and gamer to also be a developer, without the need for licensing fees. All games are required to have some kind of free-to-play aspect, either being completely free or offering a free trial, with purchasable upgrades, levels, or other in-game items. The GameStick is classified as part of the eighth generation of video game consoles and as such is a rival competing against the Ouya, Wii U, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Jasper Smith and the PlayJam team began recruiting support from developers early in the process. Before the project's launch, GameStick was said to have support from "over 1000 developers". Game designers interested in the project can pledge $500 in support of the console in exchange for a prototype unit and SDK one month before launch. Although specific information regarding compatibility has not been released, PlayJam reports that at least 200 existing games on the Google Play Store will be compatible with GameStick. However, the GameStick will not support the Google Play store directly, so game developers will need to port their games specifically to the GameStick store. News about the GameStick has been featured on tech websites such as Engadget, SlashGear, and Tom's Hardware, as well as mainstream media outlets like NBC News. n April 2013 it was reported that the launch date had been put back by three months to June due to demand and a change in production methods. The GameStick product will comes with a controller and the console itself, with a cable for charging. The controller will have two analog sticks, a directional pad, A/B/X/Y face buttons, shoulder buttons, and system buttons for power and menus. Some design concepts show a slot for storing the console inside the controller. There are also plans to make a dock that users can buy to use microphones and other accessories. The console contains an HDMI connector for the user's television, internal processor and memory. The GameStick will access the internet through Wi-Fi. Up to four controllers can connect through Bluetooth as well as wireless keyboards and mice, also through Bluetooth. The GameStick will also support iOS and Android devices as controllers. Playback will support 1080 HD as well as XBMC DLNA with an optional firmware upgrade. The GameStick will use an interface similar to the tiled dashboard on the Xbox 360. The first accessory for GameStick being the docking station that offers wireless charging to the controller, 3 USB ports, an SD card reader, ethernet and HDMI. The dock is purported to connect to various devices such as USB keyboards, webcams, microphones and dance mats. The console and controller will be released in four colors: black, white, red, and a 'Kickstarter Special' green and black. Certain supporters will receive limited edition gold-colored consoles.
Steam Machine (2014)
Steam Machine is a line of pre-built PCs that will be manufactured and distributed beginning in 2014 by a number of vendors using a range of different design specifications outlined by Valve Corporation. Steam Machines will run SteamOS, an open source Linux-based operating system developed for games and other entertainment that is capable of running hundreds of games currently in the Steam catalog, as well as upcoming titles from other developers. The devices can be freely modified and upgraded by users, similar to PCs. SteamOS will also be available for anybody to install on their own personal computer at no cost. The line of pre-built Steam Machines will have a range of different hardware optimized for power, size, price, and other factors. Valve is also developing a touchpad-based haptic Steam Controller intended to provide players with a level of accuracy similar to the mouse-and-keyboard setup used for many PC games, as well as to provide the functionality of a typical console controller. Unlike other gaming consoles, the Steam Machine does not have a specific hardware, but a minimum specification of computer hardware components that would be needed to support the SteamOS operating system and games developed for it. The company plans to have several different versions of the Steam Machine through various manufacturers, but will also allow users to create their own units from components and or modify retail products with off-the-shelf parts as desired. The units are expected to arrive in 2014, with Valve expecting to announce its partners for this first line at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in early January. Along with the hardware specifications for the Steam Machine, Valve has developed a new game controller named the Steam Controller. The controller is designed not only for games developed for controller users, but also for games traditionally played with keyboard and mouse controls so that they can be played through the controller. It features two high-resolution clickable trackpads (replacing the typical thumbsticks on modern control controllers), sixteen buttons, including face, shoulder, and undergrip buttons, and a high-resolution touchscreen in the center. The trackpads include haptic feedback, which can send tactile feedback to the player in reaction to events within the game; Chris Kohler of Wired described using the controller while playing Civilization V at a press event at Valve, and noted that as he used the trackpad to move the mouse cursor, electromagnets within the controller created audio and tactile feedback as if he were using a trackball. The touchscreen acts like a mousepad and allows players to perform actions that typically aren't capable on controllers; it operates directly with Steam or SteamOS and overlays touchscreen display onto the players' screens to allow manipulation of the game without diverting attention from the screen. Although the controller is designed for the Steam Machine platform, it can also be used with Steam on existing PCs. Valve went through several iterations for a controller that would be able to mimic keyboard and mouse controls, using prototypes made with 3D printing to test ergonomics. Early versions of the controller design included a trackball embedded in the controller to simulate mouse functionality, but opted eventually for trackpads to give more customization functionality to developers, such as the ability to simulate the motion of trackball by tracking a finger's motion on the trackpad. The trackpads and controller design were made to minimize the amount of contact that a player's thumbs would have on the trackpad when holding the unit. Unlike their current plans to have third-party hardware vendors manufacture Steam Machines, Valve plans to remain the sole manufacture of the Steam Controller at the launch of Steam Machines. Valve's Greg Coomer stated that this was decisions based on achieving the best implementation of the Controller and Valve's vision for the device, noting that "we didn’t think that it was really going to be possible to outsource the design for manufacturing and the finishing of the controller in a way that would allow third parties to take from us an idea or a reference design and bring it to market soon enough". Games will be developed to run natively on Linux and SteamOS. Linux compatibility is already a feature offered through the Steamworks application programming interface, and according to Paradox Interactive, all of their recent games that have been designed to work with Steam under Linux will also run under SteamOS without additional modifications. Valve will not make games that are exclusive to SteamOS or Steam Machines, and has cautioned third-party developers against making games exclusive to the platform. Players will also be able to stream games from regular PCs running Steam to Steam Machines, allowing access to games that are native to Windows or OS X. Through SteamPlay, users can play games available on SteamOS that they already own on Windows or OS X and will not need to repurchase the SteamOS title.
Xi3 Piston (2013)
The Xi3 Piston was released on November 29, 2013. The system is made to be open to the imagination of the gamer. You can download Windows, iOS and Android services to the system and hook up a keyboard to use the system as a PC. Or you can use the system as a conventional game system and play games with a controller. You can also use it to play virtual reality games as well. Another feature is being able to use the system as a "universal" remote and control householdThe system comes with 8GBs of Ram but can be equipped with up to 1TB of hard disc drive space. Games can be downloaded to the system through an online store. The system itself is only "four inches per side." You can play games, use the internet, load computer applications and download or stream movies, TV shows and music. The Piston on average uses less energy than a regular lightbulb and doesn't overheat. It also uses the same standard of software as a full sized big name console like the PS4 or Xbox One. The console comes at a steep $1000 which is more than the PS4 and the Xbox One combined ($900). The system was originally going to be released for $900 but with the addition of The ability to upgrade to 1TB of hard drive space the price went up a "little."
The M.O.J.O is a microconsole that allows you to play mobile device games on your TV. The console was released on December 10, 2013. M.O.J.O. offers a completely open platform that gives you free choice of all your favorite online stores. "We provide the hardware and you get the games from anywhere you like." Google Play and NVIDIA TegraZone come pre-loaded into the system. M.O.J.O. was equipped with a powerful NVIDIA Tegra 4 mobile processor that tops out at 1.8GHz. The processing in it closely compares to a high end sized console. It also allows you to go onto the internet and check your email or go on Facebook and Twitter. you can even go on YouTube and listen to music or watch a podcast. M.O.J.O doesn't however have as much memory storage as a full sized console, topping at at 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. The same as a smart phone, which it basically is, just hooked up to your TV. It also comes with two full sized USB ports, Wi-Fi ports, Android 4.2.2, Bluetooth and an HDMI output with full 1080p. The system can be bought from online stores like Amazon or it can be bought at a regular store like GameStop. Users will have over 500 games to choose from on Androids app store. The system can be bought for $249.99 a lot of money for a microconsole. Not too mention the games that you might pay for or ingame power ups you might purchase.