Reboot Video Games
Reboot has thousands of different titles available to play on console, and is adding more every week.
Atari 2600 (Atari Video Computer System)
Originally released in 1977, this system is basically credited with popularizing home video game consoles, as well as cartridge-based games.
NES (Nintendo Entertainment System)
After the so-called North American Video Game Crash in 1983, the future of family and console gaming was in serious doubt. When it was released for North American distribution in 1985, the NES almost single-handedly revived the industry. Known as the Famicom in Japan, this system was brought us such classics as Super Mario Bros, Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, Castlevania, and more.
Sega Master System
Sega’s direct competitor to the NES, the Master System had superior hardware, but failed to overcome Nintendo’s significant market advantage. The system became very popular in Europe and Brazil, but never quite took off in the US.
One of the biggest fan favorites of all time, the first widespread 16-bit console was released in 1988 in Japan as the MegaDrive, then for North American use the next year as the Genesis. Some of the greatest titles include the Sonic and Mortal Kombat series.
SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System)
Nintendo’s answer to the MegaDrive / Genesis was released two years later, and was much more popular with families and children. The system introduced favorites like Mario Kart and Donkey Kong Country, and continued many of Nintendo’s other popular series.
An add-on to the Genesis system, the Sega CD introduced compact discs as a storage medium for video games, allowing for much larger game capacity. While many of its games were upgraded Genesis ports, the Sega CD had a fairly substantial library of its own, including the first games in the acclaimed Lunar series.
Although Sega had previously released the 32X Genesis add-on, the Saturn became its first true 32-bit console, released in Japan in late 1994 and North America in early 1995. The Saturn was largely lost in between the extended popularity of the Genesis and the subsequent release of the Dreamcast, and virtually disappeared after the release of the Nintendo 64; however, the system is remembered in hindsight as having one of the greatest game libraries of all time.
When tech giant Sony entered the home console market in 1995, its first offering was far less popular than the leading competitor of the time, the Sega Saturn. In the long run, however, the PlayStation line of video game systems has become one of the longest-lasting and best-selling on earth. The original model saw games released for nearly eleven years, and became the first computer entertainment system to ship over 100 million units.
Nintendo came late to the party in the fifth generation of home gaming, but it came in with a bang. Released more than a year after the Saturn and PS, the N64 came with a 64-bit technology, compared to its competitors’ 32-bit hardware, as well as superior 3-D graphics. It was also the last major home console to utilize the cartridge format for games. The system introduced fan favorites like Goldeneye 007, some of the highest rated video games of all time, such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Perfect Dark, and the top-selling game of the generation, Super Mario 64.
The final console released by Sega, the Dreamcast is widely considered to be ahead of its time. It was the first game system to have a built-in modem for web browsing and online play, and included many innovative games.
Sony PlayStation 2
The successor to Sony’s first console, the PS2 introduced the concept of backwards compatibility, and was capable of playing all prior PS games. It also saw nearly 4,000 new games released, and remained in production for 13 years. To date, the PS2 remains the best-selling video game console in history. The hype surrounding its launch was a major factor in Sega’s decision to abandon the hardware market and become a third-party publisher. The system also played DVDs, allowing consumers to use one machine for multiple entertainment needs.
The GameCube was Nintendo’s first platform that did not use cartridges, but unlike its competitors, it opted instead for mini-discs. The games turned even more toward family- and child-friendly titles, allowing the console to carve out a stable niche in the market, and continued the adventures of many of Nintendo’s most popular characters. Though criticized for its design and lack of features, the GameCube was largely praised for its controller, software, and game library. An add-on also allowed the play of GameBoy Advance cartridges.
The integration of Microsoft’s PC technology into a home gaming console produced a machine more graphically powerful than any other of its generation. The Xbox was also the first system with a built-in hard disk and a dedicated ethernet port. The large selection of first-person shooter games such as the Halo series combined with its processing power and internet abilities to make the Xbox the first leader in online gaming.
Microsoft Xbox 360
Despite coming last to the sixth generation of consoles, Microsoft led off the seventh generation with its Xbox 360. The 360 continued Xbox’s domination of the online gameplay market by expanding upon the Xbox Live service and providing regular updates. The system also allowed for streaming and downloading of music, movies, and television, and supported Microsoft formats of PC digital video. Revolutionary peripherals for the console included rechargeable wireless controllers and the Kinect motion sensor.
Sony PlayStation 3
Released in late 2006, the PS3 was the first console to use BluRay format, and doubled as a BluRay player. It was the first Sony system to integrate social gaming services, via the PlayStation Network, and the first home console to allow full remote connectivity with hand-held devices, namely Sony’s PSP and Vita systems.
By targeting a larger audience than its competitors, Nintendo’s Wii outsold both the PS3 and Xbox 360. Additionally, the new technology incorporated into the Wiimote controllers allowed for a new level of player interactivity. Early models were fully compatible with GameCube discs. The Wii also featured a slot for a 512MB SD card, vastly increasing the system’s memory capacity. The system also brought true online gameplay to Nintendo brand games.
Nintendo Wii U
The Wii U was the first of the current-gen consoles, and the first Nintendo system to support HD graphics. Its primary control pad features an embedded touchscreen that allows for some games to be played directly on the hand-held device. The console features full backwards compatibility with the Wii, a low price, and support for a wide range of controllers. The integrated social networking service makes online gaming easier and more pleasant for a wide range of ages and interests.
Sony PlayStation 4
The PS4 was the first console designed primarily for modern social interaction, and allows players to stream gameplay online or to friends. Its improved Dual Shock 4 controller includes a light bar, touchscreen, and headset jack. Another innovative peripheral is the PlayStation VR, the first virtual reality video gaming system for console. The system supports independent game developers, and imposes few digital rights restrictions.
Microsoft Xbox One
Marketed as an all-in-one entertainment system, the Xbox One was designed to compete with services such as Apple TV and Google in addition to being a top-notch gaming machine. The console integrates many entertainment apps and services, including the ability to overlay live TV programming, multitask operations on split-screen, and live-stream gameplay through Twitch, Ustream, and related platforms. Kinect peripherals provide improved motion tracking and voice recognition.