A history of videogame hardware: Xbox

When Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, took to the main stage at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, California on 10 March 2000 to announce the company’s long-rumoured entry to the home video game console market, he was full of hyperbolic promise.

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A history of videogame hardware: Sony PlayStation 2

For a video game system that scraped its way into existence by way of a simple grudge, the original PlayStation exceeded the meagre expectations of Sony’s management who had once viewed the idea with such disdain.

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A history of videogame hardware: Sega Dreamcast

On the 21 May 1998, Japanese salarymen opened their newspapers to find a full-page advertisement showing a picture of a battlefield littered with the bodies of samurai. Overlaid on to the gruesome scene was the text: “Has Sega been defeated for good?”

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A history of videogame hardware: Nintendo 64

For 13 years Nintendo consoles had dominated the video game landscape.

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A history of videogame hardware: Nintendo’s Virtual Boy

Not only was it the first blemish on Nintendo’s unspoiled track record in the video game hardware business, but the Virtual Boy was also the handheld that helped end the illustrious career of its inventor, Gunpei Yokoi.

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A history of videogame hardware: Sony PlayStation

Never underestimate the force of revenge. Without it, Sony’s PlayStation would never have made it from designer Ken Kutaragi’s wild imagination into 102 million homes around the world.

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A history of videogame hardware: Nintendo Game Boy

Nintendo’s Game Boy became synonymous with handheld gaming overnight.

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A history of videogame hardware: Sega Master System

With the Famicom achieving huge profits in the home video game market, Sega was just one of a number of companies eager to try its hand at launching an alternative, and wrestling some of Nintendo’s 90 per cent market share back.

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A history of videogame hardware: Nintendo Famicom

Dinky, with red and white plastic casing and rounded edges, you’d be forgiven for thinking Nintendo’s defining video game system of the 1980s was a child’s toy. It’s no accident.

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A history of videogame hardware: Atari 2600

With its wood panel effect frontage, and black, plastic- rimmed hood leading up to a retro-futuristic panel of orange-rimmed knobs and levers, the Atari 2600 is one of the most iconic machines of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

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