Game consoles are computers or computer-like devices that are designed primarily for video games. In addition to the games, game consoles providing additional functionality (such as the playback of audio CDs and DVD-video). It is estimated that game consoles make up 25% of the world's total computer capacity of multi purpose computers in 2007.


Distinction between stationary Standgeräten be connected usually to a TV and portable game consoles with built-in monitor (see handheld console).
During their respective development period corresponds to the graphics performance of a game console of the current computer models usually about or exceeds even the performance of the current computer. Partly, there are consoles, whose processor power is also located on the current PC, usually it is but less.
From the perspective of the game developer is the biggest advantage of game consoles over PCs is that they have to do it with an each Unified hardware platform, for which they can improve the software. PCs, however, consist of the various components, it is therefore more difficult to find a single line when tuning of programmes and to ensure a smooth functioning of the game with all of these components.
Although the hardware components compared to at the same time offered PCs are usually less efficient in game consoles, a console game is often more than a PC game. This is achieved on the one hand by the programmers are able to fully exploit the resources of the console. On the other hand respected already in the development phase of a console on it, to use components that are designed just for playing. Unnecessary peripherals and various connections is waived for cost reasons. Modern game consoles have indeed advanced ports, but these serve as gadgets and are rarely used. The advantage is that no system maintenance and expensive operating system installation is necessary in consoles is for the user. A fixed stored firmware to boot the device.
The disadvantage of the consoles is that the platform on a certain level of development is frozen and the performance in the life cycle of the game console increasingly lags behind the current personal computer. A performance by exchanging individual components, as it is often possible for PCs is not in game consoles typically or only conditionally possible and also not provided. Also the control possibilities of the console are limited compared to the PC. Furthermore, the prices for video games usually due to royalties that pay game developers on the console manufacturer, are higher than their PC counterparts (even if it's the same game). Various hardware and gadgets are available for game consoles only in a high price range, because there are special developments for each console model, while works PC peripheral with pretty much all simultaneously available PCs and can be produced in larger quantities.

 History of stationary game consoles

You can divide roughly these by the year 2012 in eight generations, where the numeration but varies. In particular "Spätgeborene" often ignore the beginnings before the 1983 crash and here include "third generation" devices referred to as the "first generation". See also history of video games and list of video game consoles.

1St generation (Festverdrahtet, no processor, 1972-1979)
The first game console in the world was the 1968 Ralph Baer developed and published in 1972 Magnavox Odyssey. First generation for the connection to commercial TV equipment were designed, they were called mostly audio in Germany. Pong was one of the first games. The audio offered only predetermined game variants, modules were not usually provided. These devices not involved yet to computer in the true sense; There were no programs, but the individual games have been created directly through hard-wired electronic circuits. The first generation consoles include the home Pong console by Atari, as well as the Coleco Telstar by Coleco.
Second generation ("8-bit", before crash, 1976-1983)
The second generation had simple 2D-Grafikfähigkeiten, could represent only a few colors, had no graphics acceleration and only a very limited memory. It was however "real" computer. Came mostly as CPU 8 bit processors used, as storage media plug-in uses.
Inter sound VC4000 (1978, first and only German console, similar with Grundig Superplay computer 4000)
Channel F (1976)
Atari 2600 (Japan Atari 2800, in the United States partially as the Sears video arcade known)
Sega SG-1000
Intellivision (the first 16-bit consoles)
Atari 5200
Philips consoles
Nintendo's color TV game 6, only in Japan (1977)
Hanimex HMG 2650
The video games market collapsed in 1983, the gap in the history of game consoles has been filled by home computer; see history of video games. It predicted a part of market conquered back the end of the game console era, to new consoles.

3Rd generation ("8-bit", after crash, 1985 and later)
The third generation offered improved 2D-Grafikfähigkeiten, more colors, graphic acceleration and slightly larger memory. Again, still 8-bit processors were used.
Nintendo Entertainment System, in Japan family computer (Famicom).
Sega Master system
Atari 7800
Action Max
PC engine (8 bit)
Fourth generation (late 1980s, early 1990s)
The fourth generation had mostly 16-bit processors, large 2D-Grafikfähigkeiten, rudimentary 3D-Fähigkeiten, and opportunities for larger memory modules and extensions. For the first time, the CD was used as a storage medium.
Sega Mega drive, in America, Sega Genesis (16-bit)
Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), in Japan Super Famicom (SFC) (16-bit)
SuperGrafx from NEC (16-bit)
Neo Geo by SNK (16-bit)
CD-i Philips (16-bit)
CDTV Commodore business machines (16-bit)

Fifth generation (mid to late 1990s/32-64-bit)
The fifth generation offered 3D-Grafikfähigkeit, rendered video sequences and better sound. The most consoles now used CDs instead of modules as a storage medium. To an online access were vibration functions on controllers, memory cards for storing games, play audio CDs, and in exceptional cases.
Pippin Apple and Bandai
Saturn from Sega (32 bit)
Nintendo 64 by Nintendo (64 bit)
PlayStation from Sony (32 bit)
Panther by Atari (32 bit; but prior to market launch of Jaguar replaced)
Atari Jaguar (64 bit; was released in October 1993)
Jaguar 2 by Atari (64 bit, 64 MHz;) (Launch for early 1996 scheduled, then canceled)
CD m³ m² of Commodore International (32 bit; in the early 1990s appeared already)
Virtual boy from Nintendo (32 bit)
3DO, Panasonic (32 bit)
iQue Player by Nintendo (64 bit)
PC-FX, NEC (32 bit)
6Th generation (late 1990s to the mid 2000s)
The sixth generation was partly expanded multimedia capabilities (video-DVDs playable, online access, multichannel sound, remote control optional), some optical audio outputs, USB and network connections, better 3D graphics and an optional installation of hard disks.
Dreamcast by Sega (32 bit CPU / 128 bit FPU)
PlayStation 2 from Sony (64 bit CPU / 128 bit vector units)
GameCube by Nintendo (32 bit CPU / 64 bit FPU)
Xbox Microsoft (32 bit Celeron)
7. Generation (from 2005) [edit]
The seventh generation consoles via Ethernet or Wi-Fi online capable and offer enhanced multimedia capabilities. The increased use or the solid establishment of game controllers by means of movements was still significant in this generation. While the various concepts of the manufacturer to implement a motion control vary enormously.
Xbox 360 from Microsoft (256 bit)
Wii by Nintendo (128 bit)
PlayStation 3 by Sony (256 bit)
Microsoft and Sony consistently further developed their consoles in the direction of increasing the processing power and graphics capabilities, as well as playback of DVD successor formats. After Sony had discarded their plans to the new PS3 gamepad due to negative feedback, it was decided after presentation of the Wii - to integrate a wireless motion-sensitive controller (SIXAXIS) corresponding to the original exterior design of the PS2 controller. Since July 2008, well-known controller with dual shock function are available from previous models.
Nintendo delimits, however, from its two competitors and relies on innovative controller (Wiimote) that have motion sensors and a built-in infrared-sensitive camera for hardly improved graphics performance. Thus both a position and Acceleration detection is similar to a mouse on a PC possible as also the accurate detection of the target point on the picture. With comparatively favourable price and accessible game design, attempting to attract additional customers. The power consumption is below where the two competitors. Later, in the year 2010, also Sony and Microsoft published improved movement controls as extensions for their consoles. During Sony's PlayStation move a motion-sensitive controller, as well as a camera (PlayStation Eye), which detects this, includes Microsoft's Kinect dispenses with a controller and is controlled by using a depth sensor camera and cinematography alone by body movements.

8. Generation (as of 2012)
Wii of u of Nintendo
The Wii U should appear in 2012 and have a touch screen in the controller. The console is backward compatible to software as well as accessories for the Nintendo Wii.
The Ouya appears likely to be early 2013. An Android version is used as the operating system. In contrast to conventional consoles, the Ouya was financed by a fan base via the Crowdfunding website