Circuit Breaker: A brief history of cutdown game consoles.

While only brief in that it’s limited to Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft: the modern names in the console gaming business, it is never the less a good write up.

I also find it interesting how times have changed. The way I encounter such revision has changed more than the patterns too the hardware alterations.

The alterations to the earlier NES and PlayStation consoles were things that I first encountered in stores, or later read about (PS2 Slim) after the fact. Seeing such things in stores were head scratching events. More recent history such as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 iterations are principally things I’ve only encountered online because I skipped much of that generation. Current affairs like the One S are both things I’ve usually read about online ahead of time and have also encountered personally.

Growing up, I was pretty much exposed to everything Nintendo and Sega offered in the United States until the great dominance the Sony PlayStation achieved, and I mostly exited mobile while the Game Boy Color was still getting new titles.

Somewhere in the early 2000s, I kind of made a switch away from consoles. If they interested me: I would still buy games for the PlayStation 2. But by in large my gaming activities became focused on PC. Thus while my peers were typically (original) Xbox converts: I had returned to the desktop. Up until the late ’90s our PC was limited to MS-DOS 3 and a single 5 ¼ floppy drive, so it wasn’t hard for consoles like the Super NES and original PlayStation to ingrain themselves in my gaming habits and draw me away from our Tandy. Around when Medal of Honor: Allied Assault was young and popular: we finally gained a PC up to playing modern games. That remained the pattern and is again my norm.

It was actually my brief but multi year affair with the first model Xbox One, that I had experienced a console younger than the launch model PlayStation 2. Platforms like the 360 and PS3 are ones I either skipped totally or only experienced through games ported to PC or Xbox One backwards compatibility.

Seems the popularity of game consoles hasn’t stagnated over the decades. Changes to make the hardware cheaper as the platform ages of still the norm. But the way that I learn about them has.

On the flip side it seems like the hardware reliability has also largely remained the same, since Deathstar One remains fully operational. Despite its growing age and my focus returning to PC. Underneath my Xbox One is a Steam Link and a PlayStation 2, non slim. The PS2 still works just as well as the Christmas I first played Ghost Recon on it. Ditto for the GameBoy Color in my closet, sitting next to a Pokemon Blue and Yellow cartridge. This stuff tends to last 😁. Although I do wonder when analog A/V inputs will disappear from televisions, lol.