What is/was your favorite console, and why?
This is not meant to be a "which is best"-style console war question but instead one of personal affinity: which console, if any, do/did you love the most, and why? Whether you're a diehard Dreamcast fan Hello friend!, you have fond memories of your first Gameboy, or you think the PS4 is the best piece of technology of all time, tell me your story and why it means so much to you.
Also, I know we have a lot of primarily/strictly PC gamers here, so if you're wanting to view that as a console, feel free -- whether that's looking at the platform as a whole, an individual piece of hardware (e.g. my laptop from college), a specific time period (e.g. the early 2000s), or some other division. The question is about attachment to a device with a lifecycle and identity, which computers undoubtedly have too, just in different ways from consoles.
Can’t say I have a favorite console. I have fond memories of playing Nintendo NES with my dad before he swore off video games entirely calling them “idiot boxes” to this day.
Ive played, or owned, most of the consoles, at one point or another, going back to the NES. Sega, N64, PlayStation, Xbox.....fond memories from each for various reasons. But my parents were anti gaming so I was always a console generation behind. Playstation 2 comes out? I’m lucky to have a PlayStation. Xbox comes out, our Christmas was a used GameCube. If I had to pick absolutely one, it’d probably be the Xbox One X.
It was the first console I was able to buy on my own, on release date, because I wanted it. Every other console was a gift or used because I wasn’t able to afford new.
But the One X was my mini accomplishment. It was my reward for working my way into a decent paying job, saving up, and getting my credit fixed.
It's gotta be the PSP for me, though mostly for the homebrew scene rather than first party titles. That little thing was a monster, emulators for everything through the nintendo 64, and for native titles, once jailbroken you could rip your games off of those janky UMD things and stick a whole bunch of them on an SD card. There were even these dual adapters that let you put two micro sd cards in the memory stick slot. Not sure what the maximum accessible storage was, but 32GB was more than enough to store the whole nintendo library through the 64, plus a respectable selection of PS1 and PSP games. I would say I miss mine, but I still use it today! I'm about 40 hours in to Persona 3 portable and loving it.
I would second this. I miss my gameboy advance a lot. I bought my son a switch for christmas and I actually kind of regret not just looking for a gameboy on ebay for him. I has such amazing times with that thing.
I'm a PC guy, but I'll leave it aside because it's sort of cheating to compare general purpose computers to dedicated hardware.
For me it has to be the GameCube. It was the first console, I played at least, that had games that had some staying power. There are a bunch of classics on SNES, N64, and NES, sure, but I generally have to say "for an old game" after I mention something significant about their gameplay in more action-oriented games. Some of my top favorites were on it (LoZ's entries for Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, Smash Brothers Melee, Animal Crossing, Ribbit King, Super Monkey Ball).
If we're going handheld, I like the Gameboy Advance generation. I honestly think 3d portable games are a step backward, as when you work with sprites, it's easier to give things meaning, especially in a distracting world.
I'll always have a soft spot for my Gameboy Advanced SP, I think I poured more hours of gaming into that than anything.
But I think the PSP is the ultimate winner for me. It was such a versatile little thing, it's insane. Right now, I've got my headphones on listening to music on my PSP with the SensMe Channels. Before smartphones ever really caught on, my PSP was a media consuming and content creating machine. I would download and load YouTube videos on here, occasionally rip a DVD or a season of whatever show to watch on long trips.
And it had music trackers, text editors, all sorts of script interpreters. At one point I wrote a pixel art image editor for the PSP entirely on the PSP in Lua using PSPWrite whenever I had free time to work on it.
As far as actual games, it had an enormous library of its own, as well as being able to reproduce the entire PS1's library and the Gameboy Advance, even J2ME midlets, among so many other systems.
And it's just getting better with age honestly. It's still being developed for. As of recently, every single commercially released PSP is capable of booting straight into custom firmware. And every PSP except the 1000 can play online with other players through an "ad-hoc over internet" plugin. Amazingly, there's even a few game servers still up and running. I can fire up Monster Hunter right now and download new missions. More staying power than any other console I've seen.
Man, I adore my PSP. It's a shame the Vita didn't follow up so much on the PSP's, uh, unintended successes. Can't say for sure whether it would've saved the console, but there's been a real gap in the market this past decade for a worthy successor to the PSP. While they're arguably what eroded the handheld market, smartphones occupy a different niche (the pay to win shovelware niche, more specifically). Hopefully the switch ends up cracked open as widely as the PSP was.
Oooof. That's tough. I have fond memories of pretty much every Nintendo mobile console and all of their traditional ones from the GameCube forward. My favorite would probably be the GBA SP. I got one when I was 7, and I used it all the time until I hit my mid-teenage years. It went everywhere with me, it has a lot of my favorite games on it (and a ton of variety, especially since it can play GB and GBC games too), and its sprite based artstyles really click with me. It's super portable compared to the Switch or even the DS, and pretty much all the games on it are designed to be satisfactory to play on your own, even with only a few minutes at a time.
And, now that I can program, it's one of the easiest and most enjoyable consoles to hack on. It really is an amazing little system, and I don't think there will ever be another one quite like it.
Sure! The GameBoy Advance is a very easy console to write your own programs for - it's technically advanced enough that you don't have to learn a difficult language known as Assembly, which is common on many older consoles and computers, or learn a bunch of esoteric tricks to do simple things like scroll the background or plot arbitrary pixels, but it doesn't have the restrictive anti-piracy measures or the complexity that the Nintendo Wii or the GameCube have. Emulators for it are very stable and run on almost anything, and the internals of the GBA are pretty well understood - the TONC in particular is a fantastic resource, it completely breaks down the GBA's functions and how it works. Not many other consoles have this level of support and accessibility.
My childhood was largely nintendo-less because my parents didn't approve of handheld gaming at the time. We eventually got a beat up ps2 that was shared amongst us cousins and that started off the love of videogames. I am proud to say that unit still works to this day, although it needs a bit of a prayer at the starting logo from time to time. The PS2 will always have a special place in my heart. That and the fact that I primarily play RPG games means I grew up almost exclusively with sony systems.
In terms of current favorites, the emulation scene is amazingly accessible even for the average programming illiterate consumer such as myself so I have to say the PC really opened up a ton of doors in terms of retro gaming, which I prefer and wish I played more of as a kid.
Probably the GB Advance SP, l got so many hours out of that. Mostly playing GBC games like Wario Land and Tetris. I think l have well over a thousand hours of tetris playtime; l used to play it every day during lunch break, play until 100k points in 15-20 mins or so.
It definitely helps with efficiently packing stuff in boxes when moving :p
Probably the Wii U.
I was overall pretty disappointed with the PS4 and Xbox One and my gaming PC was better than those consoles and their predecessors so the Wii U fit a niche for me that I was looking for. The games were awesome, the console menu design was charming, and it just felt like an improvement in every way over the Wii. Combine that with the console's ability to play most Nintendo console games and it's just perfect to me.
The system is collecting dust right now but I plan to go back and finish my back log one day. I just actually bought a 4000 mAh battery for the gamepad this past weekend so when I do start playing again, I will get 6 hours of battery life for the gamepad.
Speaking of the gamepad, I still think it's a piece of awesome tech. It's pretty lightweight and way more comfortable than the switch and 3ds. Both of those consoles cause my hands to go numb due to the way they press into my palm.
I'm definitely a PC gamer...but my favorite console is probably the PSP. I've played a lot of JRPGs and the PSP had one of the best libraries for it. Plus, JRPGs are perfect for handheld, pick-up-and-pause gaming.
Either my Gameboy Advance (which still sees very frequent use), my Gamecube or my Super Nintendo - I have a ton of great memories playing all of them with my brother in my younger days, which I couldn't replace now.
Nowadays we mostly play our PCs, but we still fire up a 2-player emulator every once in a while :)
It's hard to say, honestly. I would have to say that my favorite console is the Sega Genesis in conjunction with the Sega CD and 32x. Most games are simple and can just be picked up and played, and yet there are still a ton of really beautiful and technically advanced titles available for them. There is something magical about the coding tricks on the Genesis that are much more impressive to me than the mode 7 tricks on the SNES. Plus FM synthesis is awesome.
A very close second is the Saturn, because the hardware is so obscure and misunderstood. You would be surprised at how many people keep spreading the rumor that Sega hadn't even intended on having 3D capabilities until they saw what Sony was doing with the PlayStation. But did you know that the sound hardware had the same capabilities as Yamaha's previous flagship SY-99 synthesizer? Plus as an American most of the good games never came out here, so there's an extra layer of mystique.
Also the Saturn 3D controller is arguably one of the best controllers ever made. It had an extremely accurate magnetic joystick with a very wide throw and a concave space for your thumb which made it extremely comfortable. And with the analog triggers pretty much every controller since has been copying it. But once again, the greater throw and accuracy make it the superior version. Beyond that, the fact that all of this is magnetic means that they don't break down easily.
From a games standpoint, the Nintendo 64 was king. There were some solid third-party games like Doom 64, Rocket: Robot on Wheels, Glover, Turok, Chameleon Twist to name a few. Even without their third party lineup, Nintendo's solid first party titles alone could have carried the console to profitability, but the true lynchpin was Rare.
The N64 represents Rare in their absolute prime, before their top talent left the company to form Free Radical, before Microsoft snapped them up in a rather misguided $800m buyout where execs genuinely thought they were snapping up the rights to Donkey Kong as a result, and before mismanagement both on Microsoft's and Rare's own end squandered their IPs and damn near sank the company. With Rare at the helm, we had Goldeneye 007, Blast Corps, Banjo Kazooie, Banjo Tooie, Jet Force Gemini, Mickey's Speedway USA, Diddy Kong Racing, Perfect Dark, Donkey Kong 64 and Conker's Bad Fur Day. At that point Rare hadn't even released a mediocre let alone a shit game.
From a hardware architecture standpoint however, I'd say the PlayStation 2 is my favourite. I miss the days when consoles ran on dedicated gaming architecture and weren't just overglorified pre-built x86 rigs like the PS4 and Xbox One are. In particular, I'm a fan of consoles that have hardware specifically designed for very high throughput, even if there is a high learning curve to develop for it. The PS2 is the quintessential example of this. The Emotion Engine was incredibly powerful and some developers were able to push graphics almost on par with what early PS3 and Xbox 360 games looked like.
Imagine the kind of graphical fidelity that a modern take on the PS2's architecture could bring.
My choice is irrational, in that it never had the publicity or the games, but I will always be an Intellivision fan.
I loved my Dreamcast because piracy and schmups, and also there was some innovation.
But I also loved my Sega Saturn. Steep slope sliders was fun, and amazing at the time. And Sega Rally Championship was almost perfect, despite having just 3 cars and four tracks. They nailed the handling.
Other people have mentioned the N64 and they're right, it had a large library of amazing games and the controller was (imo) great.
Gaming is a great hobby and I had most of the consoles since the 80s to present day. PC is also great because next to being a PC, it can also emulate most of the consoles as well.
I rather not choose because I like the games and every system had great titles.
The only console I've ever had was/is the Switch. I wouldn't get it as my main gaming platform for sure, but I'm mainly a PC gamer and Switch is a great addition to that. Now if only I could have Steam Link on it as well......
PC, mostly because of the variety of games, inputs, outputs and arguably no store lock-in. My second choice would be Nintendo Switch, because of the portability.