Video game Console Generations

The first video game console emerged in 1972 when Magnavox licensed Ralph Baer’s television gaming device from Sander Associates and released the Magnavox Odyssey, a modified retail version of Baer’s Brown Box prototype.  The release of the Magnavox Odyssey kicked off the first-generation of home video game consoles.  

The first generation of home video game consoles were mainly dedicated systems which only gave the ability to play different varieties of one game utilizing the programming stored in the console it’s self.  As technology advanced video games consoles continued to innovate by implementing new ideas, approaches, and more advanced technology.   In 1976 video game consoles took a huge leap forward when the Fairchild Channel F introduced programmable interchangeable cartridges.

Video game consoles continued to improve and evolve over the decades and with every generational leap in technology came a new console generation.   The below content provides a high-level overview of the hardware console platforms that were released through each generation.

  • 1st Gen (1972-1978)
  • 2nd Gen (1976-1984)
  • 3rd Gen (1983-1991)
  • 4th Gen (1987-1996)
  • 5th Gen (1993-2001)
  • 6th Gen (1998-2006)
  • 7th Gen (2004-2014)
  • 8th Gen (2011-Present)
  • 9th Gen (2020-Present)

Magnavox Odyssey

  • Released August 1972 in North America, 1973 in Europe and 1974 in Japan
  • Launch price $100
  • Sold approximately 350,000 units

Magnavox Odyssey 2000Odyssey Series (11 variations)

  • Released between 1975 and 1978
  • Launch price between $100 and $230

TV Tennis -ElectrotennisTV Tennis Electrotennis

  • Released on September 12, 1975 in Japan
  • Launch price JP¥19,500
  • Sold approximately 10,000 units

Atari PongHome Pong

  • Released in December 1975 by Atari
  • Launch price $98.95
  • Sold approximately 150,000 units

Binatone TV MasterBinatone TV Master Series (9 variations)

  • Release in 1977 in both Europe and North America
  • Launch Price £39.95

Coleco Telstar ColortronColeco Telstar Series (14 variations)

  • Released between 1976 and 1978 in North America
  • Launch price $50
  • Sold Approximately 1 million units

Nintendo Color TVColor TV-Game Series (9 variations)

  • Released between 1977 and 1980 by Nintendo
  • Sold approximately 3 million units

Fairchild-Channel-F-System-II-ConsolebFairchild Channel F

  • Released November 1976 in North America and October 1977 in Japan
  • Launch price - $169.95
  • Sold approximately 250,000 units

Atari 2600 WoodgainAtari VCS (a.k.a - Atari 2600)

  • Released September 1977 in North America, 1978 in Europe and May 1983 in Japan
  • Launch price - $199
  • Sold approximately 30 million units worldwide

Bally Astrocade

  • Released 1978
  • Launch price $299

Magnavox Odyssey²

  • Released December 1978 in Europe, February 1979 in North America and 1982 in Japan
  • Launch Price $199
  • Sold approximately 2 million units worldwide

Intellivision

  • Released in 1980 in North America and 1982 in both Europe and Japan
  • Launch price $299
  • Sold approximately 3 million units

Emerson Arcadia ConsoleEmerson Arcadia 2001

  • Released in May 1982 in North America and 1983 in Japan
  • Launch price $199

ColecoVision

  • Released August 1982 in both North America and Europe
  • Launch price $175
  • Sold approximately 2 million units

Atari 5200 ConsoleAtari 5200

  • Released in November 1982 in  North America
  • Launch price $270
  • Sold approximately 1 million units worldwide

Vectrex ConsoleVectrex

  • Released in November 1982 in North America, May 1983 in Europe and June 1983 in Japan
  • Launch price $199

Sega SG-1000SG-1000

  • Released July 15, 1983 in Japan by Sega
  • Launch price JP¥15,000
  • Sold approximately 160,000 units

Nintendo Famicom ConsoleFamicom

  • Also known as "Family Computer"
  • Released on July 15, 1983 in Japan by Nintendo
  • Launch price JP¥14,800
  • Sold approximately 19.35 million units (totaling 61.91 million units with the NES)
  • Sold approximately 500.01 million units of software

Famicom Disk System ConsoleFamicom Disk System

  • Released on February 21, 1986 in Japan
  • Sold approximately 4.4 million units
  • Launch price JP¥ 15,000

Nintendo Entertainment System ConsoleNintendo Entertainment System

  • Also known as the "NES"
  • Released October 18, 1985 to test markets within the United States
  • Released September 1986 in both North America and Europe
  • Launch price $180
  • Sold approximately 42.56 million units (totaling 61.91 million units with the famicom)
  • Sold approximately 500.01 million units of software

Sega Mark IIISega Mark III

  • Released on October 20, 1985 in Japan
  • Launch price JP¥15,000
  • Sold approximately 1.28 million units (totaling 20.19 million with the Sega Master System)

Sega Master System ConsoleSega Master System

  • Released in September 1986 in North America and August 1987 in Europe
  • Launch price $199.99
  • Sold approximately 18.91 million units (totaling 20.19 million units with the Mark III)

Atari 7800 ConsoleAtari 7800

  • Released in May 1986 in North America and July 1987 in Europe
  • Launch price $140
  • Sold approximately 100,000 units

PC Engine ConsoleTurboGrafx 16 Console

PC Engine / TurboGrafx-16

  • Also known as "TurboGrafx-16" in North America
  • Released on October 30, 1987 in Japan and August 29, 1989 in North America
  • Launch price JP¥15,000, $199 USD
  • Sold approximately 10.5 million units

Sega Genesis ConsoleSega Genesis Model 2 Console

Sega Genesis

  • Also known as "Mega Drive" in Europe and Japan
  • Released on October 29, 1988 in Japan, August 14, 1989 in North America and September 1990 in Europe
  • Launch price $189.99
  • Sold approximately 40 million units

Super Famicom ConsoleSuper Nintendo Console

Super Nintendo

  • Also known as "Super Famicom" in Japan
  • Released on November 21, 1990 in Japan, August 23, 1991 in North America and April 11, 1992 in Europe
  • Launch price $199.99
  • Sold approximately 49.1 million units
  • Sold approximately 379.06 million units of software

NEO GEO ConsoleNeo Geo

  • Released on April 26, 1990 (rental only) & July 1, 1991 in Japan and July 1, 1991 in North America
  • Launch price $650
  • Sold approximately 1 million units

Philips CD-iPhilips CD-i

  • Released on December 3, 1991 in North America and in 1992 for both Europe and Japan
  • Launch price $699.99
  • Sold approximately 570,000 units

Game BoyGame Boy

  • Released on April 21, 1989 in Japan, August 1989 in North American and 1990 in Europe
  • Launch price $89.95
  • Sold approximately 118.69 million units
  • Sold approximately 501.11 million units of software

Atari LynxAtari Lynx

  • Released in September 1989 in North America and in 1990 in Europe
  • Launch price $189.99
  • Sold approximately 5 million units

Sega Game GearGame Gear

  • Released on October 6, 1990 in Japan and on April 26, 1991 in both North America and Europe
  • Launch price $149.99
  • Sold approximately 15 million units

Turbo ExpressTurbo Express

  • Released on November 16, 1990 in Japan and in 1991 in North America
  • Launch price $299.99
  • Sold approximately 1.5 million units

3DO ConsolePanasonic 3DO

  • Released on October 4, 1993 and in 1994 in both Europe and Japan
  • Launch price $699.99
  • Sold approximately 2 million units

Atari Jaguar ConsoleAtari Jaguar

  • Released on November 15, 1993 and in 1994 for both Europe and Japan
  • Launch Price $249.99
  • Sold approximately 500,000 units

Sega Saturn ConsoleSega Saturn

  • Released on November 22, 1994 in Japan and in 1995 for both Europe and North America
  • Launch price $399.99
  • Sold approximately 9.4 million units

Playstation ConsolePlayStation

  • Released on December 3, 1994 worldwide
  • Launch price $299.99
  • Sold approximately 102 million units

N64 ConsoleNintendo 64

  • Released on June 23, 1996 in Japan, September 29, 1996 in North America and on March 1, 1997 in Europe
  • Launch price $199.99
  • Sold approximately 32.93 million units
  • Sold approximately 224.97 million units of software

Neo Geo CDNeo Geo CD

  • Released on September 9, 1994 in Japan, December 1994 in Europe and January 1996 in North America
  • Launch price $399.99
  • Sold approximately 570,000 units

Sega NomadSega Nomad

  • Released October 1995 in North America
  • Launch price $180
  • Sold approximately 1 million units

Virtual BoyVirtual Boy

  • Released on July 21, 1995 in Japan and on August 14, 1995 in North America
  • Launch price $179.95
  • Sold approximately 770,000 units

Game Boy ColorGame Boy Color

  • Released in November 1998
  • Launch price $69.99
  • Sold approximately 118.69 million units
  • Sold approximately 501.11 million units of software

Neo Geo PocketNeo Geo Pocket

  • Released on October 28, 1998 in Japan
  • Launch price $69.95
  • Sold approximately 52,182 units

Neo Geo Pocket ColorNeo Geo Pocket Color

  • Released March 16, 1999 in Japan, August 6, 1999 in North America and October 1, 1999 in Europe
  • Launch price $69.95
  • Sold approximately 259,133 units

Dreamcast ConsoleDreamcast

  • Released November 27, 1998 in Japan, September 9, 1999 in North America and September 23, 1999 in Europe
  • Launch price $199.99
  • Sold approximately 9.13 million units

PS2 ConsolePlayStation 2

  • Released March 4, 2000 in Japan, October 26 in North America and November 24, 2000 in Europe
  • Launch price $299.99
  • Sold approximately 155 million units

GameCube ConsoleGameCube

  • Released September 14, 2001 in Japan, November 18, 2001 in North America and May 3, 2002 in Europe
  • Launch price $199.99
  • Sold approximately 21.74 million units
  • Sold approximately 208.57 million units of software

Xbox ConsoleXbox

  • Released November 15, 2001 in North America, February 22, 2002 in Japan and March 14 in Europe
  • Launch price $299.99
  • Sold approximately 24 million units

Game Boy AdvanceGame Boy Advance

  • Released March 21, 2001 in Japan, June 11, 2001 in North American and June 22, 2001 in Europe
  • Launch price $99.99
  • Sold approximately 81.51 million units
  • Sold approximately 377.42 million units of software

Nokia NGageN-Gage

  • Released October 7, 2003
  • Launch price $299.99
  • Sold approximately 3 million units

Xbox 360 ConsoleXbox 360

  • Released November 22, 2005 in North America, December 2, 2005 in Europe and December 10, 2005 in Japan
  • Launch price $399.99
  • Sold approximately 84 million units

PlayStation 3 ConsolePlayStation 3

  • Released November 11, 2006 in Japan, November 17, 2006 in North America and March 23, 2007 in Europe
  • Launch price $599.99
  • Sold approximately 87.4 million units

Wii ConsoleWii

  • Released November 19, 2006 in North America, December 2, 2006 in Japan and December 8, 2006 in Europe
  • Launch price $249.99
  • Sold approximately 101.63 million units
  • Sold approximately 921.85 million units of software

Nintendo DSNintendo DS

  • Released November 21, 2004 in North America, December 2, 2004 in Japan and March 11, 2005 in Europe
  • Launch price $149.99
  • Sold approximately 154.02 million units
  • Sold approximately 948.74 units of software

PSP ConsolePlayStation Portable

  • Released December 12, 2004 in Japan, March 24, 2005 in North America and September 1, 2005 in Europe
  • Launch price $249.99
  • Sold approximately 81.09 million units

Wii U ConsoleWii U

  • Released November 18, 2012 in North America, November 30, 2012 in Europe and December 8, 2012 in Japan
  • Launch price $299.99
  • Sold approximately 13.56 million units
  • Sold approximately 103.39 million units of software

PS4 ConsolePlayStation 4

  • Released November 15, 2013 in North America, November 29 in Europe and February 22, 2014 in Japan
  • Launch price $399.99
  • Sold approximately 115.2 million units

Xbox One ConsoleXbox One

  • Released November 22, 2013 in both North American and Europe and September 4, 2014 in Japan
  • Launch price $499.99
  • Sold approximately 49.9 million units

Nintendo Switch ConsoleNintendo Switch

  • Released March 3, 2017 worldwide
  • Launch price $299.99
  • Sold approximately 89.04 million units
  • Sold approximately 632.4 million units of software

Nintendo 3DS

  • Released February 26, 2011 in Japan, March 25, 2011 in Europe and March 27, 2011 in North America
  • Launch price $249.99
  • Sold approximately 75.94 million units
  • Sold approximately 386.94 million units of software

PS VitaPlayStation Vita

  • Released December 17, 2011 in Japan and February 22, 2012 in both Europe and North America
  • Launch price $299.99
  • Sold approximately 16.21 million units

Xbox Series XXbox Series X

  • Released world wide on November 10, 2020
  • 4K Capable with Ultra Blu-ray Drive
  • Launch price $499.99

Xbox Series SXbox Series S

  • Released world wide on November 10, 2020
  • 1440p Capable, Digital Media
  • Launch price $299.99

PlayStation 5PlayStation 5

  • Released November 12, 2020 in both North American and Japan then on November 19, 2020 throughout Europe
  • 4K Capable with Ultra Blu-ray Drive
  • Launch price $499.99

PlayStation 5 Digital EditionPlayStation 5 (Digital Edition)

  • Released November 12, 2020 in both North American and Japan then on November 19, 2020 throughout Europe
  • 4K Capable, Digital Media
  • Launch price $399.99