Table of Contents

Console Video Gaming


Video Gaming is viewed as a hobby for children,
however what belies all of that is the potential that video gaming holds
for businesses, artists, and the players.

Video Gaming is a multibillion dollar industry with
several players. However there are only 3 primary companies that create
hardware specifically designed to play video games.

Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft sell complete “consoles” that require little assembly and are easily accessable to anyone who can afford one.


Nintendo Co., Ltd. (or Nintendo Kabushiki Gaisha)
is a Japanese Video Gaming Company, often credited with the revival of
the popularity of video gaming in North America after the Video Game
crash of 1983.

Of the 3 companies who currently create video game consoles, none
are as old as Nintendo.
Nintendo began life in 1889, almost 100 or so years before even their
first console. They have delved into many many businesses, from toys to
playing cards, to ramen shops and even “love hotels”.

None of these businesses have ever had a massive impact on the company like their video game industry did however.

In 1985, Nintendo introduced their Nintendo Entertainment System (or
Family Computer in Japan). The NES is creditied with revitalizing the
video game industry singlehandedly. After the widespread success of the
NES/Famicom, they went on to creating several other top selling
consoles, such as the Game Boy, The Super Nintendo, Game Boy Advance,
and many others.


  1. Nintendo Entertainment System (1983)
  2. Game Boy (1989)
  3. Super Nintendo Entertainment System (1991)
  4. Nintendo 64 (1996)
  5. Game Boy Color (1998)
  6. Game Boy Advance (2001)
  7. Nintendo GameCube (2001)
  8. Nintendo DS (2004)
  9. Nintendo Wii (2006)
  10. Nintendo 3DS (2011)
  11. Nintendo Wii U (2012)

Wii U

The Nintendo Wii U is Nintendo’s current console, and is the latest and greatest in Nintendo hardware to date.
The successor to the Wii also emphasizes the motion control gaming that the original Wii innovated, but with newer ways to play.

The Wii U comes with a unique controller, shaped moreso like a traditional controller than the Wii-mote. However there is a big touchscreen in the center of the controller.
This touchscreen however is not capacitive multi-touch screen like most mobile devices are nowadays, opting for a resistive touchscreen.
The technical specs are as follows (taken from Nintendo’s Official Website)

  • CPU: IBM Power®-based multi-core processor setup.
  • GPU: AMD Radeon™-based High Definition GPU.
  • Storage: Wii U uses an internal flash memory (8 GB with the Basic Set; 32 GB with the Deluxe Set) for data storage. It also supports external USB storage.
  • Media: Wii U and Wii optical discs.
  • Networking: Wireless(IEEE 802.11b/g/n) connection. Supports USB Ethernet Adapter DOES NOT INCLUDE ETHERNET LAN PORT
  • IO: 4 USB 2.0 ports, 2 in the back, 2 in the front.
  • Video: 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i; HDMI, Wii S-Video Stereo AV and Wii AV, Wii Component Cable
  • Audio: six-channel PCM linear output via HDMI; or analog output via the AV Multi Out connector
  • Size + Weight: 1.8in high, 10.6in deep, 6.75in long; 3.5lb(1.6kg)

Fun Fact: Nintendo means “leave luck to heaven” in Japanese.


Sony is a large Japanese electronics corporation that creates TVs, Mobile Devices, Tape Players, CD Players… etc.
If you can think of a product, chances are Sony’s created something.
However one of Sony’s biggest surprises is its gaming division, known for its “PlayStation” line of products.

Sony’s foray into the gaming industry actually began as a deal with Nintendo.
The “PlayStation” would have been an add-on device to the already powerful Super Nintendo which read CDs and increased the device’s audiovisual quality and memory.
Sony and Nintendo split however due to disagreements on licensing.
Sony then went on to create the PlayStation as we know it.
The PlayStation was a phenomenal device, capable of bringing to life 3D graphics that were ahead of its time.
Sony went on to create the legendary PlayStation 2. With a library of highly rated, highly acclaimed, and highly sold games, the PS2 was named one of the best selling consoles of all time.
Afterwards, they created the PlayStation 3, but could not even touch the same level of popularity as the PS2, due to increased competition and a steep price tag ($599) during the beginning of its life cycle.

PlayStation 4

The PlayStation 4 is Sony’s Successor to the PS3. The PS4 was the first Sony console to use x86 architecture, the same kind that’s found in your PC.
In fact, the PS4 uses an AMD CPU with an integrated AMD GPU.
The PS4 was a massive jump in the specs game, with almost 16 times the RAM it had before. (To put this in perspective, the PS3 had 512mb of RAM whereas the PS4 has 8GB.)
The increased power allows the PlayStation 4 to push graphics quality even further.

The PS4 had a redesigned controller named the DualShock 4. The DualShock 4 was the newest in the DualShock controller series, which popularized the Dual Analog control scheme.
The DS4 changes the typical “Start” and “Select” buttons to “Options” and “Share”, adds a touchpad that clicks in, and higher quality triggers.
The “Options” button works like a typical “Start” menu, depending on what software you run. The “Share” button is unique to the PS4 OS which allows players to instantly share footage online or to friends.
Technical Specs

  • CPU: AMD “Jaguar” Series Custom Processor; 8-core.
  • GPU: AMD Radeon Graphics
  • Memory: 8GB GDDR5
  • Storage: 500GB, user swappable.
  • Media: Blu-Ray/DVD drive
  • IO: USB 3.0, AUX
  • Networking: Ethernet, IEEE 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1
  • Video: HDMI
  • Audio: Digital Output (Optical)


Microsoft is the newest of the 3 console producers, with
both Sony and Nintendo having been made before the 50’s.
Microsoft also has the distinction of being the only console producer
that is also of American origin, whereas Nintendo and Sony are both Japanese
Microsoft, established in the 70’s by Bill Gates, is known mostly for the software that they produce.
Windows and Microsoft Office both Microsoft’s most well known softwares,
being used worldwide.
Various versions of Windows having over 90% of the market share combined.
(Windows 7 Makes up 58. 39% of the market share.)
Though they have produced hardware in the past… hardware was never their primary focus nor was it their most profitable product.
Microsoft’s very own Xbox line of products is the company’s most successful hardware lineup however.
Xbox’s history began as the original Xbox.

The Xbox was Microsoft’s first foray into the console market.
Released in 2001, it was in direct competition with the Nintendo GameCube and the PlayStation 2.
The Xbox was the very first successful online gaming console with its widely popular service “Xbox Live”.
Xbox Live was a monthly service that allowed players to access online functions, including additional downloadable expansions, online play, and bugfixes for games.
It was a revolutionary experience that shaped up the generation that followed.
Of the 3 consoles it was the most powerful of them all; it had a customized Pentium III chip as well as Nvidia graphics to bolster its performance.
It could not beat the PlayStation 2 in terms of sheer sales and best selling software, but it was successful enough for Microsoft to have made a
dent in the console industry.

2005’s Xbox 360 was the successor to the Xbox and an incremental upgrade.
It featured more powerful hardware and more powerful graphics.
It was this console that eventually overtook Sony’s PlayStation series in sales.
The PlayStation 3 could not follow the Xbox 360’s success.
The Xbox 360 put an even greater focus on the online aspects of the system.
It allowed for digital downloads of games and more dynamic online gameplay similar to that of PC gaming.

Xbox One

The oddly titled Xbox One is the newest console in the Xbox lineup, released in 2013.
Almost 8 years has passed since the release of the Xbox 360, so technology has had some time to mature.
Similarly to the gap between the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, the Xbox 360 to Xbox One jump was a significant jump in terms of hardware.
The Xbox One very similar hardware to the PS4. In fact, the Xbox One uses the exact same processor as the PS4, but clocked at a lower frequency.
The XBO’s online features are as strong as ever.
One of the Xbox One’s main sellings points is media connectivity. All 3 consoles have access to media functions.
Of the 3 consoles (Wii U, PS4, and XBO) however, the XBO is the only one with 2 HDMI ports, an HDMI-out to plug into a TV, and an HDMI-in to plug another device into.
This was designed for cablebox integration (includes a TV Guide APP as well!) and was designed as a fully functioning media player….
y’know, in case people actually didn’t want to play video games, but wanted a convenient and powerful media center.
Of course if you really… really wanted, you could plug your other consoles (including competitor consoles) into your Xbox One and play it like that, but that would be a massive waste of power.
Technical Specs

  • CPU: AMD “Jaguar” Series Custom Processor; 8-core.
  • GPU: AMD Radeon Graphics
  • Memory: 8GB DDR3
  • Storage: 500GB, non-user replacable.
  • Media: Blu-Ray/DVD drive
  • IO: USB 3.0, AUX
  • Networking: Ethernet, IEEE 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1
  • Video: HDMI
  • Audio: Digital Output (Optical)


The Wii U, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One are in direct competition with one another.
The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are the closest in specs.
What will ultimately sell consoles though is the softwares, the exclusive must-have games for each console.
VGChartz reports, as of February 15th, 2015

  • PS4 sold 19,052,353 units.
  • Xbox One sold 11,298,462 units.
  • Wii U sold 9,137,844 units.

Sony has a significant lead this generation, the PS4 selling almost 8 million more units than the Xbox One.
The Wii U is unfortunately starved in sales, being beaten by the Xbox One by rougly 2 million units.
The PS4 was sold for $399 when it was first released, the Xbox One was sold for $499 when it was first released,
and the Wii U was sold for $299 for the basic model, or $349 for the Deluxe edition.

Possible Explanations

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One was officially announced at E3, a massive Electronic Expo contention for electronics (primarily gaming) at the same time.
However, Microsoft had announced some… questionable details.
There was a massive outcry and PR disaster for Microsoft.

First was that they had announced a sort of “DRM” scheme.
For the uninitiated, DRM or Digital Rights Management is an anti-piracy precaution that currently exists on PC gaming.

  1. The Xbox One needs to be online to register the game to your account
  2. You cannot play the game offline.
  3. You cannot resell the game or give the game to a friend to loan without going through a lengthy process.

DRM on a console is almost unheard of. Aside from consoles being unable to read pirated software, there’s been almost no real DRM.

You could easily borrow a cartridge, CD, whatever the form factor be and have the software run without licensing issues.

There is also a large second hand video game market that thrives on this. GameStop is such a company.

There were many people who had Xbox 360s who were opposed to these changes and expressed their vocal disapproval.

Sony exploited this by creating a humorous video, showing the “process” of sharing a video game.
(Which was nothing more than handing the game over to someone else.)

Another mistake Microsoft made was the emphasis on the media features.
The media features were extensively featured and touted.

It had Skype, cable integration, media apps, anything you could want!

However it seemed all of this came at a cost: video games.

Microsoft during then neglected to call the Xbox One a “console” but a “all-in-one entertainment device”.

I guess technically one could argue that the “entertainment” part includes video games, but it’s clear in their presentation that that was clearly not the case.

People were excited for the Xbox One because of new games, and Microsoft had failed to deliver the goods.

Sony on the other hand, casually mentioned media functions, but focused on what was important: games.

The games themselves, as well as functions that change the way you play the game, or functions that allow you to share footage of the game with others.

It seems that Sony poised themselves for success, and all of that paid off in terms of 8 million more units sold than MS.


Console sales eventually taper out because many people only buy one console type per household.

Eventually the console sales will become less stratified.

Under normal circumstances, those with their desired consoles will probably not buy another one of the same kind.

They may however, buy competing consoles for their exclusive games.

Consoles are sold at a loss so that they can get more people to join their platform.

Eventually you will need to buy software for your console. The software is where most of money comes from.

Eventually the console sales will become far less stratified, and at that point it could become anyone’s games.

Companies could sell system selling games and have people buy consoles in droves for a single game.

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