Home Console

For people that like to sit in a sofa.

This page is about home consoles. For newer consoles (sixth gen+) i limit this pages to information that have been published in books book, articles or public talks. The need for secrecy is a strange part of the work as a game developer. Every game development dinner is an exercise in finding out what the other person already know so you can talk with them about it. Bring in a journalist to the table and everyone get amnesia and no one knows anything anymore. That's why we need all this stupid code words when talking about the projects in public. Some times i feel like I'm a member of a the Thief's guild or the Dark Brotherhood and we all are sitting around and speaking in rogues' cant.

Ninth generation (2017)

Switch ()

Eighth generation (2011-)

Playstation 4 (54M), Xbox One (26M), Wii U (13M) and Steam Machine.

Seventh generation (2004-)

Wii (101M), Xbox 360, (84M) and Playstation 3 (80M)

The Wii changed the face of gaming with the Wii Remote. Then XBox and Playstation followed and each gaming event we could enjoy overweight CEO's jumping around like idiots on stage.

Sixth generation (1998-2013)

Playstation 2 (155M), Xbox (24M), GameCube (21M) and Dreamcast (9M)

Fifth generation (1993-2006)

PlayStation (102M), Nintendo 64 (32M), Sega Saturn (9M), 3DO, Atari Jaguar and PC-FX

3D polygon graphic with texture mapping and games on optical CD-ROM media. Analog stick on controllers. 32-bit CPU.


Nintendo 64

Sega Saturn

Fourth generation (1987-2004)

SNES (49M), Sega Mega Drive (30M), Neo Geo and PC Engine (10M)

More buttons on the controller with the SNES adding the shoulder buttons and the four face buttons. 16-bit microprocessors. Multi-layered playfields and scaling/rotation of sprites.

Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Sega Mega Drive

Third generation (1983-2003)

NES (61M), Master System (10M) and Atari 7800 (3M)

The controller with a D-pad and two or more buttons. Tile based playfields that could scroll and multiple sprites of larger size.

Second generation (1976-1992)

Atari 2600 (30M), Fairchild Channel F (205k) and Intellivision (3M)

ROM cartridges was used to store the games on in the second generation and microprocessors was used for the game logic. The game control switched to a joystick with one or sometimes more buttons. Color graphics, sprites and multiple gameplay screens. Games made for single player.

Atari 2600

First generation (1972-1980)

Magnavox Odyssey (350k) and Home Pong (150k)

The first generation consoles was made up of discrete transistor-based circuits and the games was built into the consoles. Gameplay would be made up of lines, dots or blocks and take place on a single screen. They used paddles as controls, a round wheel with one or more buttons.


Architecture of Consoles