Who didn’t have a game console when they were kids or teenagers? Home video game consoles used to be the perfect Christmas gift and they still remain popular. These days, consoles are also used by adults, as they don’t target only children and teenagers anymore. Some consoles launched over the years were more successful than others and are easy to recognize by anyone who loves video games. Here are some of the most successful products of all times:
1. PlayStation 2
Developed by Sony Computer Entertainment, this is the best-selling console of all times, with approximately 155 million units sold by March 2012. PlayStation 2 is part of the sixth generation of home consoles and was launched in March 2000. The product was so successful that it was commercially available for more than 12 years. It was launched as a competitor of Sega’s Dreamcast and it also rivaled against Gamecube from Nintendo and Xbox from Microsoft. PS2 had a composite video display, a memory card of 8MB, and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. It ran the best-selling game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and it also featured God of War, Jak and Daxter, Kingdom Hearts, and Ratchet&Clank. Users could interact with the game using motion due to the EyeToy digital camera device released in October 2003.
The predecessor of PS2, PlayStation was first released in Japan, on 3 December 1994. It opened the lineup of Sony home video game consoles and sold more than 102 million units until March 2005 when it was discontinued. It was part of the fifth generation of game consoles and its main rivals were Sega Saturn and Nintendo 64. One of the factors that made PlayStation successful was Sony’s openness to third party developers, unlike Sega and Nintendo, who preferred to concentrate on first part development. Sony maintained online programming libraries and organized third party technical support groups. It was PlayStation which ended the domination of Nintendo and Sega in the world of video games and earned Sony the reputation of a highly regarded console brand.
The third best-selling home console comes from Nintendo – it sold over 101 million units worldwide between 2006 and 2013 and it was part of the seventh generation of consoles. Wii’s development started in 2001, when Nintendo decided to create a new type of console instead of following the trend of launching more and more powerful consoles. The name of the console also contributed to its success, and Nintendo provided the following explanation for the name: “Wii sounds like ‘we’, which emphasizes that the console is for everyone. Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion.” Some of the games featured on Wii were Cars, Call of Duty 3, Barnyard, GT Pro Series, Happy Feet, and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
The Xbox360 is the only Microsoft product to make it to top 5 best-selling home video consoles. It was part of the seventh generation of consoles and it was available for a long period of time, between 2005 and 2016. 84 million units were sold worldwide as of June 2014, and it had backward compatibility with 478 original Xbox games. Xbox360 was a success for Microsoft as it helped the company become relevant on the console market in a time when it had very powerful rivals like Nintendo Wii. Users had the opportunity to choose between multiple hard disk drive sizes – 20, 60, 120, 250, or 320 GB. Xbox 360 is known for some technical problems (the “General Hardware Failure” error), which determined Microsoft to extend the manufacturer’s warranty to three years.
5. PlayStation 3
The last item on this top is also part of the seventh generation of video game consoles and its main competitors were Xbox 360 and Wii. PlayStation 3 was released in November 2006 and it was last discontinued in Japan, in May 2017. 80 million units have been shipped as of November 2013. PS3 uses multiple media: Blu-ray, DVD, CD, PlayStation game disc, PlayStation 2 game disc, and Super Audio CD for 1st and 2nd generation. A slim and a super slim model were launched in 2009, respectively 2012. Some of the most successful games for PS3 were Resistance: Fall of Man, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Resident Evil 5, and Midnight Club: Los Angeles. 595 million games for PlayStation 3 were sold as of March 2012. PS3 is also known for being the first console to include an HDMI port, and a wide range of accessories were developed for it, including the DualShock3 controller, the BD Remote, the built-in accelerometer, and the PlayStation Eye camera. Although the first PlayStation 3 reviews were critical due to the high price and lack of quality games, the price revisions and the release of successful titles determined critics to change their mind.
Do you own any of these video game consoles? Which is your favorite one and why?