History of video game consoles (sixth generation)

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The sixth generation of video game consoles began on November 27, 1998. The sixth generation is also called the 128-bit generation. The sixth generation began with the release of the Dreamcast in Japan. This generation included the game consoles of the PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube and Microsoft Xbox. The Dreamcast was discontinued in 2003. The GameCube and Xbox were discontinued in 2008. The PlayStation 2 was discontinued in 2013, which ended the sixth generation.

Game systems[change | change source]

Comparison[change | change source]

Name Dreamcast PlayStation 2 GameCube Xbox
Logo
Dreamcast logo as used in North America
PlayStation 2 logo
Manufacturer Sega Sony Computer Entertainment Nintendo Microsoft
Image(s) An NTSC Sega Dreamcast Console and controller with VMU. Slimline (right) and Original (left) PS2 consoles Indigo GameCube and controller Xbox console with "Controller S"
An NTSC Dreamcast console, controller and VMU. The logo on PAL consoles was blue instead of orange. Left: An original model PlayStation 2
Right: A slimline PlayStation 2 with DualShock 2 controller and memory card.
An indigo GameCube and controller An Xbox console and "Type-S" controller
Launch prices US$199.99[1]
GB£199.99[1]
US$299.99
GB£299.99
US$199.99
GB£129.99[2]
€199.99[2]
US$299.99
GB£299.99
€214.99
Best-selling game Sonic Adventure, 2.5 million (as of June 2006)[3] Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, 19 million shipped (as of April 30, 2008)[4] Super Smash Bros. Melee, 7.09 million (as of March 10, 2008)[5] Halo 2, 8 million (as of May 9, 2006)[6][7]
Release date JP November 27, 1998
NA September 9, 1999
EU September 23, 1999
AUS October 14, 1999
JP March 4, 2000
NA October 26, 2000
EU November 24, 2000
AUS November 30, 2000
JP September 14, 2001
NA November 18, 2001
EU May 3, 2002
AUS May 17, 2002
NA November 15, 2001
JP February 22, 2002
EU March 14, 2002
Discontinued March 30, 2003[8] JP December 28, 2012[9]
2007 JP 2007
NA 2009
EU 2008
Accessories (retail)
  • Xbox Live Starter Kit
  • Xbox Media Center Extender
  • DVD Playback Kit
  • Xbox Music Mixer
  • Memory Unit (8 MB)
  • Logitech Wireless Controller (2.4 GHz)
  • More...
CPU 200 MHz SuperH SH-4 294 MHz MIPS "Emotion Engine" 485 MHz PowerPC "Gekko" 733 MHz x86 Intel Celeron/PIII Custom Hybrid
GPU 100 MHz NEC/VideoLogic PowerVR CLX2 147 MHz "Graphics Synthesizer" 162 MHz ATI "Flipper" 233 MHz Custom Nvidia NV2A
RAM Main RAM 16 MB SDRAM
Video RAM 8 MB
Sound RAM 2 MB
Main RAM 32 MB RDRAM
Video RAM 4 MB
Sound RAM 2 MB
Main RAM 24 MB 1T-SRAM, 16 MB DRAM
Video RAM 3 MB embedded 1T-SRAM
64 MB unified DDR SDRAM
Optical media CD, 1.2 GB GD-ROM DVD, CD GameCube game disc DVD, CD
Video outputs VGA (RGBHV), SCART (RGBS), s-video, composite Component/d-terminal (YPBPR), VGA (RGBS; progressive scan games/PS2 Linux only), SCART (RGBS), s-video, composite Component/d-terminal (YPBPR), SCART (RGBS; PAL consoles only), s-video (NTSC consoles only), composite VGA (RGBHV), component (YPBPR), SCART (RGBS), S-Video, composite
Online service Sega Net (2000–2002), Dreamarena (2000-2003) (can still be played using various private servers) Non-unified service (2002–present), XLink Kai (2003-present) Non-unified service (2003-2009) (can still be played using various private servers), XLink Kai (2003-present) Xbox Live (2002–2010) XLink Kai (2003-present)
Backward compatibility No PlayStation Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance No
System software SegaOS, Windows CE, KallistiOS Proprietary OS, PS2 Linux Proprietary OS, Gamecube Linux Xbox Music Mixer
DVD Playback Kit, Xbox Linux
Consumer programmability Homebrew possible via KallistiOS, Windows CE, Katana (the latter two are illegal in the homebrew community) Yabasic software and limited Linux OS. Homebrew also possible via both modchips and softmods. Homebrew possible via SD card adapters and SD media launchers Via Softmods and/or modchips; Modified Windows CE 2.x, Linux

Worldwide sales[change | change source]

Console Units sold
PlayStation 2 153.6 million (as of November 21, 2011)[10]
Xbox 24 million (as of May 10, 2006)[11][12]
GameCube 21.74 million (as of September 30, 2010)[13]
Dreamcast 10.6 million (as of September 6, 2002)[14][15]

Handheld game consoles[change | change source]

Name Game Boy Advance / Advance SP / Micro N-Gage / QD
Logos Gameboy advance logo.svg
Manufacturer Nintendo Nokia
Images Game-Boy-Advance-1stGen.jpg Game-Boy-Advance-SP-Mk1-Blue.jpg Game boy micro all black.JPG Nokia N-Gage.jpg N-GageQD.png
Pictured left to right: Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Advance SP, Game Boy Micro Pictured left to right: N-Gage, N-Gage QD
Manufacturer Nintendo Nokia
Release dates Game Boy Advance: JP March 21, 2001
NA June 11, 2001
PAL June 22, 2001

Game Boy Advance SP: JP February 14, 2003
NA March 23, 2003
PAL March 28, 2003

Game Boy Micro: JP September 13, 2005
NA September 19, 2005
AUS November 3, 2005
EU November 4, 2005
N-Gage: October 7, 2003
N-Gage QD: May 26, 2004
Discontinued Game Boy Advance: JP Q4 2007
NA Q1 2008
PAL Q4 2008
N-Gage: 2006
Launch prices GBA:
Japan: ¥9,800
North America: US$99.99
Europe: ?

GBA SP:

Japan: ¥12,500
North America: US$99.99 / C$149,99
Europe: €129,99
Australia: A$199,99

GB Micro:

Japan: ¥?
North America: US$99.99 / C$?
Europe: €?
N-Gage:
North America: US$299.99
Europe: €289,99 / £229,99

N-Gage QD:

North America: US$179.99
Europe: €229,99
Media Game Boy Advance cartridge MultiMediaCard (MMC)
Best-selling game Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, 13 million combined (as of November 25, 2004)[16]  ?
Accessories
(retail)
OS Symbian S60
CPU 16.8 MHz, 32-bit, ARM7TDMI with embedded memory 104 MHz, 32-bit, RISC based on ARM9 series
Memory 32 kilobyte + 96 kilobyte VRAM (internal to the CPU), 256 kilobyte WRAM (outside the CPU) 16 megabyte RAM, 16 megabyte ROM (3.4 MB accessible for storage)
Interface
  • D-pad
  • Four face buttons
  • Two shoulder buttons
  • D-pad
  • Numbered keypad
  • Music player, Radio and Menu hotkeys
  • Dial and hang up buttons
  • Four other face buttons
  • Microphone
Dimensions GBA: 144.5 × 24.5 × 82 mm (5.69 × 0.96 × 3.2 inches)
GBA SP: 84 × 82 × 24.4 mm (3.3 × 3.23 × 0.96 inches)
GB Micro: 50 × 10 × 17.2 mm (2 × 4 × 0.7 inches)
N-Gage QD: 70 mm (2.8 in) (h) 134 mm (5.3 in) (w) 20 mm (0.79 in) (d)
N-Gage QD: 118 mm (4.6 in) (w) 68 mm (2.7 in) (h) 22 mm (0.87 in) (d)
Weight
GBA: 140 g (4.9 oz)
GBA SP: 142 g (5.0 oz)
GB Micro: 80 g (2.8 oz)
N-Gage: 137 g (4.8 oz)
N-Gage QD 143 g (5.0 oz)
Online service N-Gage Arena
Backward compatibility Game Boy, Game Boy Color N/A
Resolutions 240 × 160 176 × 208
Storage 3.4 MB internal storage, MMC
Battery life GBA: 15 hours
GBA SP: 10 hours continuous play with light on, 18 hours with light off
GB Micro: 5 hours with top brightness and sound, 8 hours with both features on default
N-Gage: 2 hours continuous play
N-Gage QD: 4 hours continuous play
Units sold (all models combined) Worldwide: 81.51 million (as of September 30, 2010)

Japan: 16.96 million
Americas: 41.64 million
Other: 22.91 million

Worldwide: 3 million (as of July 30, 2007)

Note: First year of release is the first year of the system's worldwide availability.

Other handhelds[change | change source]

Tapwave Zodiac(2003)
Neo Geo Pocket Color(1999)

Sales[change | change source]

Console Units sold
Game Boy Advance
(figure includes GBA SP and Game Boy Micro)
81.51 million[13]
N-Gage 3 million[17]
Tapwave Zodiac less than 200,000 units[18]
GP32 30,000

Popular games[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "BBC – Sega Dreamcast to spark price war". BBC. April 16, 1999. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/321289.stm. Retrieved January 16, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "BBC – GameCube gets midnight launch". BBC. May 2, 2002. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/1963749.stm. Retrieved November 12, 2011.
  3. Daniel Boutros (August 4, 2006). "sega smash pack". A Detailed Cross-Examination of Yesterday and Today's Best-Selling Platform Games. Gamasutra. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/1851/a_detailed_crossexamination_of_.php. Retrieved November 24, 2007.
  4. Sony Computer Entertainment (May 9, 2008). "Gran Turismo Series Shipment Exceeds 50 Million Units Worldwide". Press release. http://asia.playstation.com/hk/en?q=node/1517. Retrieved June 3, 2008.
  5. Nintendo of America Inc. (March 10, 2008). "At Long Last, Nintendo Proclaims: Let the Brawls Begin on Wii!". Press release. http://www.nintendo.com/whatsnew/detail/1u0FthaPxTSSeJelWm4Jt8TI0VJlTt5j. Retrieved March 11, 2008. "The previous installment in the series, Super Smash Bros. Melee, was the best-selling game of all time for Nintendo GameCube with 7.09 million copies sold worldwide."
  6. Asher Moses (August 30, 2007). "Prepare for all-out war". The Sydney Morning Herald. http://www.smh.com.au/news/biztech/prepare-for-allout-war/2007/08/30/1188067256196.html. Retrieved November 24, 2007.
  7. Morris, Chris (May 9, 2006). "Grand Theft Auto, Halo 3 headed to Xbox 360". CNN. http://money.cnn.com/2006/05/09/technology/e3_microsoft/index.htm. Retrieved November 24, 2007.
  8. BBC News | BUSINESS | Sega scraps the Dreamcast
  9. BBC News - Sony stops production of PlayStation 2
  10. "Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Vodafone announce Preferred Partnership for 3G provider PlayStation®Vita". Sony Computer Entertainment. November 21, 2011. http://www.scei.co.jp/corporate/release/pdf/111122_e.pdf. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  11. "Gamers Catch Their Breath as Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Reinvent Next-Generation Gaming". Xbox.com. 2006-05-10. Archived from the original on 2007-07-09. http://web.archive.org/web/20070709062832/http://www.xbox.com/zh-SG/community/news/2006/20060510.htm. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
  12. "Xbox". A Brief History of Game Console Warfare. BusinessWeek. http://images.businessweek.com/ss/06/10/game_consoles/source/16.htm. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Consolidated Sales Transition by Region" (PDF). Nintendo. October 27, 2010. Archived from the original on November 16, 2010. http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/library/historical_data/pdf/consolidated_sales_e1009.pdf. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
  14. Russell Carroll (September 6, 2005). "Good Enough: Why graphics aren't number one". Game Tunnel. Archived from the original on 2006-03-27. http://web.archive.org/web/20060327084459/http://www.gametunnel.com/articles.php?id=263. Retrieved August 7, 2006.
  15. Blake Snow (May 4, 2007). "The 10 Worst-Selling Consoles of All Time". GamePro.com. Archived from the original on May 8, 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070508014611/http://www.gamepro.com/gamepro/domestic/games/features/111822.shtml. Retrieved November 22, 2007.
  16. "Consolidated Financial Statements" (PDF). Nintendo. 2004-11-25. p. 4. http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/pdf/2004/041125e.pdf#page=4. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
  17. Blake Snow (July 30, 2007). "The 10 Worst-Selling Handhelds of All Time". GamePro. p. 1. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20071012194600/http://gamepro.com/gamepro/domestic/games/features/125748.shtml. Retrieved December 3, 2008.
  18. Blake Snow (July 30, 2007). "The 10 Worst-Selling Handhelds of All Time". GamePro. p. 2. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20071013043037/http://www.gamepro.com/gamepro/domestic/games/features/125749.shtml. Retrieved December 3, 2008.
  19. "Final Fantasy X Sells Like Crazy; World Not Shocked - PS2 News at IGN". Ps2.ign.com. http://ps2.ign.com/articles/096/096716p1.html. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  20. 'Halo 2' clears record $125 million in first day | CNET News.com
  21. "Metroid Prime on GameRankings". http://www.gamerankings.com/gamecube/447244-metroid-prime/index.html. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  22. "Metroid Prime on Metacritic". http://www.metacritic.com/game/gamecube/metroid-prime. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  23. "Most Expensive Video Game". October 9, 2006. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmXVco0Bkyk. Retrieved April 14, 2007.
  24. IGN: Soulcalibur Review
  25. Soul Calibur for Dreamcast Review – Dreamcast Soul Calibur Review
  26. Gamespot "SSBB gets perfect score from Famitsu" includes list of perfect score recipients in order