The history of digital game consoles – Part 2


After the first episode where we witnessed the birth of game consoles, we look at the emergence stories of the Playstation and Xbox brands in this video.

In the first episode, we witnessed the birth of game consoles with the Magnavox Odyssey and conveyed the important developments that took place until the 90s. After looking at the first four generations, this time too Playstation and Xbox We touch upon the emergence stories of such brands. This special series of two episodes ends with our entry into the 9th generation.

Digital game consoles documentary

To watch the first episode click on

5th Generation game consoles

With the 4th generation, where Nintendo started running, Sony had its eyes on this field. The company wanted to make this breakthrough with Nintendo, one of the leaders of the industry. As a matter of fact, from this table, which is a CD version of the SNES console and later Nintendo Playstation There was a console decision, also known as.

During this period when Sony started to work, some consoles began to drift towards the dusty shelves of history under the rule of Sega and Nintendo. Atari had to pull the plug of Atari Jaguar, who could not find the expected support in terms of the game, although he started the 5th generation and had a strong equipment. This console was also the last game console Atari signed. Even though this period exceeded the two million threshold again, consoles such as 3DO Interactive Multiplayer and Amiga CD32 could not compete with their rivals.

The history of digital game consoles - Part 2

The biggest surprise of this period was Nintendo’s Virtual Boy. Virtual Boy, which has a design out of the War of the Worlds book and is seen as the ancestor of virtual reality glasses, was below expectations by selling only 770,000 units. Launched in 1995, the device could not avoid being the target of criticism with its advertisements, which were seen as deceptive. Sega, which adds strength to its power with the Sonic brand, entered the 5th generation with its console called Sega Saturn. Reaching a sales figure of more than 9 million in total, the console managed to open the door of the Dreamcast console in the next generation, although it remained in the class of the 3rd party.

Ken Kutaragi’s role was great in the birth of Playstation, which was founded in 88. The CES fair held in 1991 brought the end of the Sony – Nintendo partnership. After previous disagreements, Sony made its Playstation announcement at this fair. The day after, it was a big surprise for everyone, including Sony, that Nintendo announced a deal with Philips. Hiroshi Yamauchi, one of Nintendo’s legends, thought this console was actually the console they had to build together. A series of lawsuits followed the agreements, which were shattered. From that moment on, the bridges had been destroyed. Sony would start shaking Nintendo’s throne with the Playstation console it released in 1994.

The history of digital game consoles - Part 2

With CD technology, memory cards and a completely 3-dimensional orientation, Playstation made a bombshell entry into the gaming industry. In addition to larger games, the age of PlayStation started with the controller, which got its analog structure in 1998. The console also gave birth to hugely important series, such as Gran Turismo, Crash Bandicoot, and Resident Evil, selling millions. In addition to these games, games such as Final Fantasy 7, 8, Tekken 3, Dragon Quest and Silent Hill also achieve great success on the console. Playstation, which later released a different version, reached 102 million units sold in total.

In 1996, the Apple Pippin console, based on the Machintosh architecture, was launched. The console, which uses IBM and Apple technologies, was launched in Japan in partnership with Bandai. The console, which was not very successful in terms of sales figures, would be the first and only console produced by Apple, as well as one of the biggest fiascos in the history of the console. This period, the success of Playstation also caught the attention of Microsoft boss Bill Gates. Congratulating Sony, Gates has already hit the button for his new move.

The history of digital game consoles - Part 2

While all this was happening, Nintendo, which separated its ways with the Playstation, started working on a console codenamed Ultra 64. Nintendo 64, released in 1996, reached nearly 33 million sales worldwide. Super Mario 64, which came on the console that hosted successful games such as Ocarina of Time, inspired many games in the gaming industry. So much so that Dan Houser, one of the creators of the GTA series, said in 2013, “Anyone who says he is not inspired by the Mario and Zelda games in Nintendo 64 and makes a 3D game is lying.” He would explain.

6th generation game consoles

The technology that left its mark on the 6th generation was DVD technology. Apart from the larger file sizes, the 6th generation opened the door to playing online games on the console, just like on the PC. Although this system did not run, we can say that it would start to crawl with the 6th generation. The console that started the 6th generation was the Sega Dreamcast, which was also the company’s last console. GD-Rom media format used against pirated software had put 3rd party game producers in great difficulty. With Dreamcast, which is far behind its competitors despite selling 9 million in total, Sega has announced that it will no longer produce consoles and will only turn to software.

The company that acted fast in this generation was Sony. Launched in Japan in March 2000 and the western market in autumn after the Millennium Playstation 2 Sony declared its kingdom with. Considered one of the most successful consoles in the gaming industry Playstation 2As it hosted unforgettable games, it would also set a hard-to-break record with sales of over 155 million worldwide.

The history of digital game consoles - Part 2

Nintendo tried to respond to Sony’s Playstation 2 move, while Gamecube and Microsoft tried to respond with the Xbox console. Despite the Gameboy Player add-on and successful games, GameCube remained far behind its competitors, selling 21.74 million units worldwide.

Microsoft, on the other hand, succeeded in surpassing Nintendo with its first console launched in the United States in 2001 and in Europe and Japan the following year. With the PC architecture, storage method, Ethernet, DirectX support and the Xbox Live system, the console would be Xbox, which also enables the online infrastructure to be shaped on the console. Especially the Xbox, which has hit the Halo games, has been sold more than 24 million worldwide.

7th generation game consoles

Although there were some trials in the 6th and 7th generations, the console market was left to neither Sony, Microsoft nor Nintendo. Microsoft would be the first company to enter the ever-growing game market with the 7th generation. The company, which crowned the experience they gained from the first console with the Xbox 360 released in 2005, had features that we can call unrivaled, especially on the online side. Behind the 3rd party support and surpassing its competitors on the online side, the company offered a different experience with its motion sensitive Kinect system.

Microsoft had to deal with a big crisis, especially on the first party consoles. This error, also known as the 3 red light error, turned into a nightmare in the regions that are not officially sold, including our country. Microsoft had to replace many products as a result of this error, which caused the solder on the GPU to break due to the high temperature.

The history of digital game consoles - Part 2

Sony, whose ego peaked with the success of the Playstation 2, launched the PS3 console in 2006. In this period when Microsoft was struggling with three red lights, Sony, on the other hand, received great criticism of its pricing policy and decisions. On the other hand, it would also make the beginning of the blu-ray trend that is still used on PS3 consoles. The Cell architecture used in the console, on the other hand, had a structure that was difficult for 3rd party companies in game development.

Nintendo has taken a different course with the 7th generation and has made a radical change for the following years of the company. The company, which could not achieve the success it expected in the Gamecube console, launched the Wii console at the end of 2006, where it will further expand its audience. This console, which remained in terms of resolution, promised a completely different experience in terms of entertainment, despite its technical deficiencies. The Wii, which attracted the attention of everyone, especially in terms of control, took a completely different turn on the game side. Indeed, Nintendo’s plans were hired. In this generation, where PS3 sold 86 million and Xbox 360 sold 85 million, Nintendo multiplied the number of players, reaching a sales figure of over 101 million.

The history of digital game consoles - Part 2

Of course, while these were happening on the home consoles side, large numbers began to turn on the portable consoles side. Nintendo DS, which was released with PSP in 2004, managed to sell a total of 154 million units with two different screens and successful games. Sony’s first handheld console PSP, which was launched in the west in 2005, would challenge its brothers with a sales figure of over 80 million. Before the 8th generation, Sony and Nintendo each released another handheld console. Nintendo 3DS, which was released in 2011 and has 3D technology that was later deemed unnecessary, exceeded 75 million in total. PS Vita, whose last nail was nailed in 2019, was a console that lagged behind its rival despite its powerful hardware.

8th Generation game consoles

Nintendo was the first company to enter the 8th generation, which is not far away and that many of you remember. Taking a different path with the Wii, Nintendo suffered a major crash with the Wii U console, which was inspired by tablets. Actually everything was very good on paper. But when implemented, that explosion on the Wii backfired on the Wii u console. Wii U, which was launched in 2012, was able to sell only 13.56 million units in total.

Having learned the lesson in the previous generation and realizing that the shoe is expensive, Sony launched the Playstation 4 console in 2013. Just like Microsoft, Sony, who switched to X86 architecture on the processor side, would regain the trust of the players with the special games and new IPs it developed except for 3rd party games. Although it lags behind its competitors in terms of software, Sony has been able to come up with many more examples in terms of private games with the improvements made on the online side. The console, which is still on sale, has managed to take the lead in the 8th generation with a sales figure of over 110 million.

The history of digital game consoles - Part 2

Microsoft, which is living its golden age with the Xbox 360, turned to the service side more. The famous TV TV TV presentation was actually a marker of the company’s roadmap. The company that made a show with the previous generation Halo and brought IPs such as Gears of War to the game industry.Although the 3rd party received full support in games, special projects that were canceled one by one upset the users. Moreover, the improved Kinect version was shelved, not having the expected success and game support despite its excellent technology.

Sony, on the other hand, launched the Playtation VR glasses in 2016 with the popularity of virtual reality glasses. PS VR, which introduced many game lovers to virtual reality glasses, reached a sales figure of over 5 million. Nintendo, which we think has thrown the towel early in the 8th generation, has actually announced a new console that came out in this generation but that we can position it in the transition period. The Nintendo Switch, which came out in 2017, was screaming that it was a different console with its portable and TV unit. Switch, a hybrid console, has achieved a good start with new Mario, Zelda, Animal Crossing and 3rd party support. In this generation, where its competitors released the Pro models, it was able to reach more users with the Lite model. Despite its large library, it actually turned into a huge mess on the independent side. Nintendo Switch It has reached a sales figure of over 80 million so far.

The history of digital game consoles - Part 2

9th generation game consoles

As you know the 9th generation at the end of 2020 Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X/S We entered with models. If we do not count the transition games and some 3rd party games, we can also say that the consoles have a barren start. Although there is a similar picture in recent generations, the Covid-19 outbreak that broke out at the beginning of 2020 has hit the production side in the gaming industry with a big ax.

Yes, we are ending our two-part documentary series with the 9th generation here.


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