History of video game consoles (seventh generation)
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The seventh generation is the era in the history of computer and video games that began on November 21, 2004 with the release of the Nintendo DS. The console portion of the generation began with the release of Microsoft's Xbox 360 on November 22, 2005 and continued a year later with the releases of Sony's PlayStation 3 on November 17, 2006 and Nintendo's Wii on November 19, 2006 in North America.
- See also Comparison of seventh-generation game consoles
Having only just formally begun, the console wars of the seventh generation have yet to be won and lost. The Xbox 360 by Microsoft has gained a much larger share of attention than it had previously thanks to it having been on the market for about a year before its competitors' launches. While sales figures in North America and Europe have been healthy, the system has struggled in Japan due to a lack of RPGs and the poor reception of some Japanese developed games, such as Ninety-Nine Nights and Every Party. However, sales have increased in the region recently, due to the release of the highly anticipated Blue Dragon.
It is more difficult to assess whether the PlayStation franchise will be successful in this generation. It has a comparatively higher price. The PS3 has been released roughly a year later than its primary competitor, the Xbox 360, and reliance on very new technology such as the Cell microprocessor and Blu-ray format may disrupt Sony's dominance of the console market into a more even spread of market share among Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft. Nonetheless, despite many initial setbacks, Sony demonstrated the capabilities of the PlayStation 3 at Tokyo Game Show 2006, with 27 playable demos and numerous titles ready for launch. It will ultimately be decided by whether or not players feel that the games are worth the higher price of the console.
Nintendo also entered this generation with a new business plan. The plan is firstly to capture a new market of 'non-gamers' (and lapsed gamers) through new game play experiences and new forms of interaction with games. If the new market grows sufficiently large, Nintendo hopes that the new control aspect will render current conventionally controlled consoles obsolete, leading to Nintendo capturing a large portion of the existing market as well.
Worldwide sales standings
Not all consoles have been released worldwide. Sales figures subject to change over time.
Handheld game systems
- See also: Comparison of handheld gaming consoles
For video game handhelds, the seventh generation began roughly with the release of Nintendo's DS. This system was based on a design fundamentally different from the Game Boy and other video game systems. The Nintendo DS offered new modes of input over previous generations: a touch screen and a microphone. Around the same time, Sony released its first handheld, the PlayStation Portable (PSP), in Japan. Although released around the same time, the PlayStation Portable was marketed to a different audience from the Nintendo DS. Also in 2005 was the release of the Gizmondo from Tiger Telematics, however the Gizmondo sold poorly and Tiger Telematics was forced into bankruptcy by February 2006 and the Gizmondo was discontinued.
2005 and 2006, respectively, saw the release of the GP2X from Gamepark Holdings and the formal announcement of the XGP from GamePark. Both handhelds follow a completely different market strategy from either the Nintendo DS or the PlayStation Portable. They utilize a Linux-based operating system on an open-source architecture for emphasis on portable software emulation and homebrew games. The GP2X is a 2D handheld that focused on stored media content such as user-uploaded music and videos. The XGP will be a 3D handheld similar to the PlayStation Portable, designed for commercial games. It promises the same open-source Linux architecture, while also supporting Windows CE. The XGP will be a much more advanced handheld than the GP2X, offering the same stored-content features while integrating advanced live-content features such as T-DMB mobile television and Wi-Fi. The release of the XGP may spark renewed controversy over the two GamePark companies that split from the one mother company, GamePark, over disagreements about the successor to the GP32 handheld (which eventually became the two handhelds mentioned). The two handhelds mark South Korea's official entry into the seventh generation handheld market.
Worldwide sales standings
Seventh generation systems
The definite European release date for the PS3 is unknown.
Note: First year of release is the first year of the system's worldwide availability.
Game Wave Family Entertainment System (ZAPiT Games), ? ?-Present
HyperScan (Mattel), October 2006-Present
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