A Gaming System is an electronic, digital or computer device that outputs a video signal or visual image to display a video game. The most popular gaming platforms are PlayStation, Xbox, and gaming computers. Sony, Microsoft, and Alien ware are the creators of these products. The term "video game console" is primarily used to distinguish a console machine primarily designed for consumers to use for playing video games, in contrast to arcade machines or home computers. Gaming systems share a lot of the same components of a personal computer such as a Processor, Hard-Drive, Power Supply, Fans, and Software.

Before gaming consoles were invented people use to go to arcades. In 1972 that began to change, Magnavox had created the first gaming console that you could plug into your television. This system was called the Magnavox Odyssey. “Ralph Baer's initial design had called for a huge row of switches that would allow players to turn on and off certain components of the console (the Odyssey lacked a CPU) to create slightly different games like tennis, volleyball, hockey, and chase. Magnavox replaced the switch design with separate cartridges for each game. Although Baer had sketched up ideas for cartridges that could include new components for new games, the carts released by Magnavox all served the same function as the switches and allowed players to choose from the Odyssey's built-in games.” (Baer) Though this was the first of gaming systems it didn’t quite catch as much attention as Atari’s 2600. Atari had a really popular game called “Pong”. It was so popular that Atari decided to make a video game console. This console was called the “Atari 600”. New companies such as Fairchild, RCA and Coleco also jumped on the bandwagon, creating consoles of their own to grab a piece of the pie. The Wonder Wizard by General Home Products was even said to be pretty much the same as the Odyssey 300 by Magnavox, other than having better and larger paddle controllers. (Poh) After the Atari 600, gaming consoles were losing popularity. A new version of Pacman came out but it wasn’t very popular, people liked the classic Pacman. People were beginning to give up all hope on gaming consoles. Most video game companies filed for bankruptcy, or moved into other industries, abandoning their game consoles. A group of employees from Mattel Electronics formed the INTV Corporation and bought the rights for the Intellivision. INTV alone continued to manufacture the Intellivision in small quantities and release new Intellivision games until 1991. All other North American game consoles were discontinued by 1984. Revenues generated by the video game industry fell by 97% during the crash. (Retro Gamer).

   

What is the most optimal gaming platform? The latest console from Sony is the PS4 Pro and it will be a must-have for those loyal to the brand, although the PS4 Slim is also an option. The PS4 Pro can output not only 4K, but also HDR video, both possible thanks to the upgraded GPU featured in the high-end console. And the 4K resolution isn't limited to video playback like the Xbox One S, although Sony has said many games will be upscaled. The lack of a 4K Blu-ray drive is a little strange, but the PS4 Pro does feature a larger 1TB hard drive. Then theres the Xbox. It's potentially not the Xbox fans were looking forward to (the fully 4K Project Scorpio will arrive later in 2017) but the Xbox One S is a great console for now. It's smaller and lighter than the Xbox One and the power unit is built-in which is also a nice touch. The launch edition has a whopping 2TB of storage, too. Although the Xbox One S supports 4K resolution, it's limited to video playback so you'll have to hold out for Project Scorpio for 4K gaming (or get the PS4 Pro). If you are interested in a handheld gaming device there is the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo's latest console is predictably unusual. The Switch is a sort of handheld/home console hybrid - you can connect it to your TV to play on the big screen, or take it with you on the go as a high-powered handheld, with various different control configurations for each setup. As the most recent major console release, the Switch understandably has the slimmest game lineup of the bunch, so it's not the best bet if you want immediate access to a huge array of titles. Still, it's the only console where you can play the latest Zelda and Mario titles, and the best bet if you want versions of huge games like Skyrim that you can take with you on the go. (Martin)

Microsoft kicked off the seventh generation with the release of the Xbox 360 on November 22, 2005 in the United States, December 2, 2005 in Europe, December 10, 2005 in Japan and March 23, 2006 in Australia. It featured market-leading processing power until the Sony PlayStation 3 was released one year later. While the original Xbox 360 "Core" did not include an internal HDD, most Xbox 360 models since have included at least the option to have one. The Xbox 360 optical drive is a DVD9 reader, allowing DVD movies to be played. (Patterson) No Blu-ray drive was included, making big games like Battlefield and Wolfenstein: The New Order require two or more DVDs to play. Up to four controllers can be connected to the console wirelessly on the standard 2.4 GHz spectrum. There are 4 discontinued versions of the Xbox 360: the "Arcade," the "Pro," and the "Elite," and the newer "S" or 'slim' model. The "E" version of the Xbox 360 included 3 configurations: a 4GB internal SSD version which acts like a USB hard drive, a 250 GB HDD version, and a branded 320 GB HDD version. The Xbox 360 is backward compatible with about half the games of the original Xbox library. In 2010, Microsoft released Kinect, allowing for motion-controlled games. The Xbox 360 was discontinued on April 20, 2016. (Patterson) The Xbox has continued to make great improvements over the years although a lot of people didn’t seem to like when Xbox didn’t decide to adopt blue-ray technology.