List of home video game consoles
Since the early 1970's game consoles have gone through eight generations so far, with no sign of a ninth one coming up.
Console makers have come and gone, with only Nintendo staying in business from the beginning to the present.
Console specs have improved enormously over the years.
- Working parts: discrete components, CPU chips: 8-bit, 16-bit, 32-bit, 64-bit.
- Color depth: black-and-white (2 colors), indexed color, truecolor.
- Game code and data storage: hardwired, cartridges, optical disks, hard disks with over-the-Internet delivery.
- Onboard writable storage: none, cartridges, hard disks, flash memory.
- Game characters: simple geometric shapes, blocky sprites, smooth sprites, 3D models.
- Operating systems: none, runtime software libraries, full-scale OSes
- Connectivity: standalone, on the Internet: complete with movie and TV access.
The most recent generation has not had much progress in kind relative to what earlier generations have had, though it has had progress in degree. Nevertheless, the flagship consoles, the Playstation 4, the Xbox One, and the Wii U, would make respectable desktop computers by present-day standards.
What might be next for the ninth generation? When might it appear? From how long previous generations have lasted, it should be due around 2019. I've seen speculation about a Playstation 5 and an Xbox Two, but that's about it.