When trying to decide five of the most influential game consoles in history, we looked at several factors. Firstly, the consoles have to have a very strong track record for their time. Another would be the memorable games that were released on the platform. Finally, they were chosen for the impact each of these had on the gaming industry..an impact so huge..it is still felt today.
1. Nintendo Entertainment System, 1983
Nintendo’s first attempt at a major console release arrived in the form of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) back in the mid-80s. It was based on their Japanese Famicom or Family Computer console. The NES and Super Mario Bros. took the world by storm. Mario became a Nintendo mascot and drive sales of the NES into the 90s thanks to three awesome Mario games. Other notable titles include Contra, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid and Duck Hunt.
2. Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, 1988
Sega decided to take on the NES by offering a 16-bit console titled ‘Genesis’ in North America and ‘Mega Drive’ in the rest of the world. Just like Nintendo cashed in on Mario, Sega did on their new mascot ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’. Sonic was incredibly fast and his jump attacks would take out his foes. Sonic 2 introduced ‘Tails the Fox’. The Genesis boasted ‘blast processing’ technology and would aggressively compete with the Super Nintendo (SNES). It is regarded as one of Sega’s best consoles because of its innovation and massive games library.
3. Sony PlayStation, 1994
Sony and Nintendo were supposed to work on a CD-ROM add-on to the SNES. Things apparently did not work out and the PlayStation was born to usher in a new 32-bit era of 3D graphics and polygons. Sony Computer Entertainment had now joined the console war. Crash Bandicoot, Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy VII and WWF SmackDown are some of the best titles on the PlayStation. Optical discs would now be the main delivery medium for games replacing cartridges.
4. PlayStation 2, 2000
Sony probably knew the PlayStation brand could become their cash cow. The PS2 came, saw and dominated the industry for a good decade. Housed with a DVD player, the PS2 was able to appeal not to just gamers but film enthusiasts. It holds the record for the biggest selling game console of all time and was able to last the lifetime of the PlayStation 3 as well. The Metal Gear Solid series, God of War series, Gran Turismo series, WWE Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain, Devil May Cry series, Need for Speed Underground and NFS Most Wanted are some of the best-known titles.
5. Nintendo Wii, 2006
Nintendo’s Wii came at a time when its rivals Microsoft and Sony had introduced powerful, high-definition and graphical powerhouses in the Xbox 360 and PS3 respectively. Nintendo adopted a more simplified approach that harkened back to its roots as a family entertainment system. Keeping the graphics in Standard Definition, it introduced the revolutionary Wii-Mote. This remote would send signals to an infra-red sensor turning it into a light saber, baseball bat, golf club and even a bowling ball. It also came with nifty peripherals like a steering wheel for Mario Cart games. The Wii would dominate the market against its more superior rivals upon launch. However, Sony and Microsoft would launch their own motion-control devices in Move and Kinect respectively. Even Nintendo’s Wii U has been unable to recapture the success of its predecessor.
Which would be your top five? Sound off below!