The gaming industry has, over the years, been highlighted by numerous consoles. Some of them extremely successful, others less. Many of them have raised the bar of what is possible in the living room, demonstrating that a good console and TV can be a true entertainment center. However, five of these consoles have left a special mark on what gaming means, at home or on the road, so we decided to do a top 5 of the consoles that changed the industry.
Ranked 5th is the Sega Dreamcast.
At the time of launch it was seen as the console that can do everything. However, what earned it a place in this ranking is pioneering online gameplay. The Marketing heads were screaming out, as loud as they could, that you could play with friends online, wherever they happened to be. At that time it was possible, but only slightly so, considering that the dial-up era was at its peak. However, the Dreamcast was the last console from Sega, but that has not stopped people from Microsoft from “borrowing” a few design concepts, evidence that if something is extremely well done… well. Do you see similarities between the Dreamcast controller and those of Microsoft consoles that followed?
In 4th place: The Sony PlayStation.
PlayStation. I don’t think that there is anyone who has not heard of this console. It became almost as well-known as Coca Cola, only in the gaming industry, this represented the definitive step ahead for all that graphics on consoles means. At the time of release, Sony risked a lot, but have won more. The masses wanted this white box running CD’s. That, and perhaps the impressive gallery of launch titles. PlayStation birthed over the years, countless gaming franchises, and that says it all.
Ranked 3rd is the classic Game Boy.
Initially rivaling the Sega Game Gear, the approach chosen by Nintendo proved to be a recipe for success. Even if gameplay was done in monochrome, even if it ate up a pair of batteries every few hours, this handheld device proved itself almost instantly, due to the inclusion of a game that became almost instantly addictive… Tetris. The solid gameplay and the impressive gallery of games made the difference for the masses, with Nintendo achieving almost complete market domination at that time.
In 2nd place, we have the Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES for short.
The console out that brought the gaming industry out of the morass after the great crash of ’83. Initially, shyly entering the US market, Nintendo has captured the hearts of the entire world with memorable characters such as Mario, Ice Climber, Link, Samus Aran, Simon Belmont, and the list goes on. The emphasis on gameplay and the better graphics pushed Nintendo to the pinnacle of glory, while reanimating the industry with a new console which was practically devoured by the populace in terms of global sales. Nintendo pulled all things gaming out of the funk, and proved that a bold approach can make the difference between disaster and success.
1st place is awarded to: The Atari 2600.
The first mass-produced console by Atari, was by far the most influential dedicated gaming system of all time. Now, more than 30 years after its launch, games are still being published for it, and more, it was the spark that ignited the fire of console gaming from at home. Atari 2600 did what others failed to do… to make games and turn them into art, the filmmakers and programmers of that time behaving like true stars, ones which have laid the foundations for an industry that has created giants like Activision or EA. This is the console that we must thank in the end, for the gaming world of today.