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History of video game consoles (eighth generation)

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Title: History of video game consoles (eighth generation)  
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Subject: Video game consoles, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS line, Nintendo 2DS, PlayStation Vita
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History of video game consoles (eighth generation)

Part of a series on the:
History of video games

In the history of video games, the eighth generation includes consoles released since 2012 by Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony Computer Entertainment. For home consoles, the eighth generation began on November 18, 2012 with the release of the Wii U, and continued with the release of the PlayStation 4 on November 15, 2013,[1] and Xbox One on November 22, 2013.[2][3] These video game consoles follow the seventh generation: Sony's PlayStation 3, Nintendo's Wii and Microsoft's Xbox 360. For video game handhelds, the generation began in February 2011 with the release of the Nintendo 3DS, successor to the Nintendo DS, in Japan, followed by a North American and European release in March. Nintendo released the New Nintendo 3DS XL in North America on February 13, 2015.[4] The successor of the PlayStation Portable, the PlayStation Vita, was released in Japan in December 2011, and in Western markets in February 2012.

The generation was predicted to face competition from smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs.[5][6][7][8][9][10] Due to the proliferation of these devices, some analysts speculate the eighth generation to be the last generation of home consoles.[11] In 2013, gaming revenue on Android overtook portable game console revenue, while remaining a distant second to iOS gaming revenue.[12] In FY 2013 (ending early 2013), Nintendo sold 23.7 million consoles,[13] while Apple sold 58.2 million iPads in FY 2012 (ending late 2012).[14]

All three of the eighth generation home consoles use AMD GPUs, and two of them use AMD CPUs. Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony were not aware that they were all using AMD processors until all their consoles were announced.[15] Both AMD and Nvidia are optimistic for the PC market, as the unified CPU/GPU processors in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One use the same x86 programming architecture found in PCs, with AMD planning to introduce similar processors to desktop and laptop PCs in the near future.[16] Nvidia claims that game consoles will no longer be able to compete with PC graphics due to massive R&D funding by Nvidia and AMD, and stricter size and power requirements of consoles.[17]

The multi-million dollar pre-sale success of Ouya, an Android-based microconsole initially founded through crowdfunding has raised open-source development and the free-to-play model as key issues to be addressed by eighth generation consoles.[18][19] The microconsoles like Nvidia Shield Console, MOJO, Razer Switchblade, GamePop, GameStick, Ouya, and PC-based Steam Machine consoles are attempting to compete in this market; however these are seldom referred to as "eighth generation" consoles or even as "seventh generation" consoles.[20][21][22]

Contents

  • Transition 1
  • Regional markets 2
  • Home consoles 3
    • Wii U 3.1
    • PlayStation 4 3.2
    • Xbox One 3.3
    • Comparison 3.4
  • Handheld systems 4
    • Nintendo 3DS 4.1
    • PlayStation Vita 4.2
    • Comparison 4.3
  • Other systems 5
    • Microconsoles 5.1
    • Handhelds 5.2
    • Others 5.3
  • See also 6
  • References 7

Transition

Though prior console generations have normally occurred in five to six-year cycles, the transition from seventh to eighth generation has lasted more than six years.[23] The transition is also unusual in that the prior generation's best-selling unit, the Wii, is the first to be replaced in the eighth generation.[23] In 2011, Microsoft had stated they began looking at their next console, but they, along with Sony, considered themselves only halfway through a ten-year lifecycle for their seventh-generation offerings.[24][25][26][27] Sony and Microsoft representatives have stated that the addition of motion controllers and camera-based controllers like Kinect and PlayStation Move have extended these systems' lifetimes.[28] Nintendo president Satoru Iwata had stated that his company would be releasing the Wii U due to declining sales of seventh generation home consoles and that "the market is now waiting for a new proposal for home consoles".[29] Sony considered making its next console a digital download only machine, but decided against it due to concerns about the inconsistency of internet speeds available globally, especially in developing countries.[30]

Regional markets

The eighth generation of consoles also sees a re-entry of manufacturers into the Chinese market, following the lifting of a 14-year video game console ban there during 2014.[31][32] The Chinese government banned video game consoles in 2000, citing concerns of their effect on youth, meaning that consoles were forbidden to be officially and legally sold in retail stores in China, forcing console gaming into a niche and creating a black market for imported game devices.[33] Both Microsoft and Sony have announced that they intend on releasing their consoles in China via the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone,[34][35] with the Xbox One released there in September 2014,[36] whilst the PlayStation 4 has yet to have a fixed release schedule.[37][38] CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Andrew House has also explained in September 2013 that the company intends on using the PlayStation Vita TV as a low-cost alternative for consumers in an attempt to penetrate the Chinese gaming market.[39]

Home consoles

Wii U

In November 2010, Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aime stated that the release of the next generation of Nintendo would be determined by the continued success of the Wii.[40] Nintendo announced their successor to the Wii, the Wii U, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2011 on June 7, 2011.[41] After the announcement, several journalists classified the system as the first eighth generation home console.[23][42][43] However, prominent sources have disputed this because of its comparative lack of power and older disc media type with respect to the announced specifications for PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.[44][45]

The Wii U's main controller, the Wii U GamePad, features an embedded touchscreen that can work as an auxiliary interactive screen in a fashion similar to the Nintendo DS/3DS, or if compatible with "Off TV Play", can even act as the main screen itself, enabling games to be played without the need of a television. The Wii U is compatible with its predecessor's peripherals, such as the Wii Remote Plus, the Nunchuk, and the Wii Balance Board.

The Wii U was released in North America on November 18, 2012, in Europe on November 30, 2012 and in Japan on December 8, 2012. It came in two versions, the Basic Model and the Deluxe/Premium Model, at the price of $300 and $349 US Dollars, respectively. On August 28, 2013, Nintendo announced production of the Basic model has ended and expected supplies to be exhausted by September 20, 2013. On October 4, 2013, the Deluxe/Premium model was price cut from US$349 to US$300.[46]

PlayStation 4

On February 20, 2013, Sony announced the PlayStation 4 during a press conference in New York City, and was released on November 15, 2013 in North America. The new console places a heavy emphasis on features surrounding social interaction; gameplay videos can be shared via the PlayStation Network and other services, and users can stream games being played by themselves or others (either through the console, or directly to services such as Twitch). The PS4's DualShock 4 controller is similar to the previous model, but adds a touchpad and a "Share" button, along with an LED light bar on the front to allow motion tracking. An updated camera accessory will also be offered for the system; it now uses 1280×800px stereo cameras with support for depth sensing similar to Kinect, and remains compatible with the PlayStation Move peripherals. The PS4 will also have second screen capabilities through both mobile apps and the PlayStation Vita, and game streaming through the recently acquired Gaikai service.[47][48]

The PlayStation 4 was released on November 15, 2013 in North America and November 29, 2013 in Australia and Europe at US$399.99, A$549 and €399 respectively.

Xbox One

On May 21, 2013, Microsoft announced the Xbox One at an event in Redmond, Washington. The console has an increased focus on entertainment, including the ability to pass television programming from a set-top box over HDMI and use a built-in electronic program guide, and the ability to multitask by snapping applications (such as Skype and Internet Explorer) to the side of the screen, similarly to Windows 8. The Xbox One also includes an updated version of Kinect with a 1080p camera and expanded voice controls, a new controller with "Impulse Triggers" that provide force feedback, and the ability to automatically record and save highlights from gameplay.[49][50]

The Xbox One was released in North America, Europe and Australia on November 22, 2013 at a launch price of US$499.99, €499 and A$599 respectively with Japan, and was later released in 26 other markets in 2014.

Comparison

Name Wii U PlayStation 4 Xbox One
Manufacturer Nintendo Sony (SCE) Microsoft
Design
Release dates
  • NA November 18, 2012
  • EU November 30, 2012
  • AUS November 30, 2012
  • JP December 8, 2012
  • NA November 15, 2013
  • EU November 29, 2013
  • AUS November 29, 2013
  • JP February 22, 2014
  • NA November 22, 2013
  • EU November 22, 2013 (select countries only)[51]
  • AUS November 22, 2013
  • JP September 4, 2014[52]
Launch prices Basic Model
  • US$299.99
  • £/, set by individual retailers
  • AU$348.00
  • ¥26,250

Deluxe/Premium Model

  • US$349.99
  • £/€, set by individual retailers
  • AU$428.00
  • ¥31,500
Launch Model[53]
  • US$399.99
  • €399
  • £349
  • A$549
  • ¥41,979
Launch Model
  • US$499.99
  • €499
  • £429
  • A$599
Current prices Deluxe/Premium Model
  • US$299.99
  • £/€, set by individual retailers
Launch Model
  • US$349
  • £299[54]
  • A$479 (500 GB Model)[55]
Launch Model
Same as launch prices
1TB Model (without kinect)
  • US$349[56]
  • £299[57]
  • A$499 (500GB Model)[58]
Units shipped Worldwide: 10.01 million (As of 30 June 2015)[59] Worldwide: 29.3 million (As of 30 September 2015)[60] Worldwide: 10 million (As of December 2014)[61][62]
Units sold Worldwide: 9.54 million (As of 31 March 2015)[63] Worldwide: Over 25 million (As of 28 October 2015)[64] Worldwide: 3 million (As of 31 December 2013)[65]
Best-selling game Mario Kart 8, 5.43 million
(As of 31 March 2015)[66]
Media Wii U Optical Disc
Similar to a 25 GB single layer BD at 5x CAV[67]
Wii Optical Disc
Similar to a 4.7 GB DVD or 8.4 GB DVD-DL at 6x CAV
Blu-ray, DVD
Blu-ray at 6x CAV, DVD at 8x CAV[68]
Blu-ray, DVD, CD
CPU Tri-Core IBM PowerPC "Espresso" @ 1.24 GHz[69][70]
  • L1 cache: 64 kB per core (32 kB instruction + 32 kB data)
  • L2 cache:MB L2 cache (Core 0: 512 KB, Core 1: 2 MB, Core 2: 512 KB)
  • L3 cache: Shared 32 MB (off-chip)
  • 45 nm

Secondary low power ARM9 processor (for background tasks)[70]

Octa-Core (2 quad-core modules) AMD x86-64 "Jaguar"-based @ 1.6 GHz[71]
  • L2 cache: 4 MB (Cores 0-3: 2 MB, Cores 4-7: 2 MB)[72]
  • 28 nm

Secondary low power ARM processor (for background tasks)[73]

Octa-Core (2 quad-core modules) AMD x86-64 "Jaguar"-based @ 1.75 GHz[74]
  • L2 cache: 4 MB (Cores 0-3: 2 MB, Cores 4-7: 2 MB)[75]
  • 28 nm
GPU AMD Radeon "Latte"[70][76] AMD Radeon "Liverpool"
  • 1152 shaders @ 800 MHz (1.84 TFLOP/s)[75]
  • 25.6 Gpixel/s, 57.6 Gtexel/s[78]
  • 28 nm
AMD Radeon
  • 768 shaders @ 853 MHz (1.31 TFLOP/s)[79]
  • 13.6 Gpixel/s, 40.9 Gtexel/s[80]
  • 28 nm
Memory
  • GB DDR3 RAM @ 800 MHz (1600 MHz effective) (12.8 GB/s)[81]
1 GB available for games[82]
  • 32 MB eDRAM @ 550 MHz (70.4 GB/s)[83] (on-die)
  • 3 MB eSRAM (on-die)[70]
  • 8 GB GDDR5 RAM @ 1375 MHz (5500 MHz effective) (176.0 GB/s)[75]
5 GB available for games[84]
  • 256 MB DDR3 RAM (for background tasks)[73]
  • 8 GB DDR3 RAM @ 1066 MHz (2133 MHz effective) (68.3 GB/s)[75]
5 GB available for games[85][86]
  • 32 MB eSRAM @ 1706 MHz (3412 MHz effective) (204-218 GB/s) (on-die)
Storage

8 GB/32 GB eMMC flash memory (non-replaceable)
1 GB flash memory (reserved for the OS)[70]

500 GB HDD, 1 TB HDD (user replaceable)[87][88] 500 GB HDD, 1 TB HDD (non-replaceable)[89]
8 GB flash memory (reserved for the OS)[80]
Supports up to 32 GB SDHC cards
Supports up to 2 TB USB HDD (Wii U Mode only)[90]
No external HDD support[91] Supports USB HDD larger than 256 GB[92]
Game Installation Only downloaded games can be installed to storage All games must be installed to a connected HDD[91] All games must be installed to a connected HDD
Network
  • Fast Ethernet (requires an attachment)
  • Built-in 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi @ 2.4 GHz
  • Built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi @ 5 GHz (connection to the Wii U GamePad)[70]
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Built-in 802.11a/b/g/n dual-band Wi-Fi @ 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz[94]
Dimensions When lying down on its side:
Width: 172 mm (6.7 in)
Height: 46 mm (1.8 in)
Length: 268.5 mm (10.5 in)
(can be oriented vertically using a stand)
When lying down on its side:
Width: 275 mm (10.8 in)
Height: 53 mm (2.0 in)
Length: 305 mm (12.0 in)
(can be oriented vertically using a stand)
When lying down on its side:
Width: 309 mm (12.1 in)
Height: 83 mm (3.2 in)
Length: 258 mm (10.1 in)
(must be oriented horizontally)[95]
Weight 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) 2.8 kg (6.1 lb) 3.2 kg (7.0 lb)
Power 75 W (external power supply)[96] 89 W (internal power supply) External power supply
Included accessories

All Models

Deluxe/Premium Model only

  • Wii U GamePad stand
  • Wii U GamePad charging cradle
  • Wii U console stand
Video

1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p

576i, 480i (standard 4:3 and 16:9 anamorphic widescreen)

4K, 1080p, 1080i and 720p
  • HDMI

4K resolution supported for videos, movies and pictures only.

4K, 1080p and 720p[97]
  • HDMI in
  • HDMI out
Integrated 3DTV support Yes[98] Yes Yes
Second screen Wii U GamePad (bundled with console) PlayStation Vita
PlayStation App on iOS and Android devices
SmartGlass on Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android devices
Local game streaming via Off-TV Play to Wii U GamePad for some games Local and remote game streaming via Remote Play to PS Vita or selected Sony Xperia smartphone[99] for all games,
except those that require the PS Camera or PS Move[100][101]
Local game streaming via Xbox App to Windows 10 PC.[102]
Audio
  • 5.1 LPCM output via HDMI
  • Analog stereo via "AV Multi Out" port
  • Stereo output via 3.5mm jack in the Wii U GamePad
  • 7.1 LPCM and bitstreaming output via HDMI
  • 2.0 LPCM and bitsreaming output via optical out
  • Stereo output via 3.5mm jack in the DualShock 4
  • 7.1 LPCM and bitstreaming output via HDMI
  • 2.0 LPCM and bitstreaming output via optical out
  • Internal system speaker[103]
  • Stereo output via extension port on controller (requires adapter for 3.5mm jacks)
Peripheral abilities
  • Wi-Fi Direct
  • HDMI (1 in port and 1 out port)[104]
  • 3 USB 3.0 ports (1 at side of console, 2 at rear)
  • Kinect port
  • Optical out port
  • Ethernet port
Controller
Touch capability Wii U GamePad includes an integrated resistive touchscreen DualShock 4 controller includes an integrated 2 point capacitive touchpad N/A
Camera Wii U GamePad camera (bundled with all consoles) PlayStation Camera Kinect
Online services Nintendo Network PlayStation Network Xbox Live
Downloads games and automatic updates in the background via SpotPass Downloads games and automatic updates in the background Downloads games and automatic updates in the background[107]
Free Paid PlayStation Plus subscription required for online multiplayer, except for free-to-play titles.[108][109] Paid Xbox Live Gold subscription required for online multiplayer and party chat.
Game DVR Screenshots with Miiverse integration (can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Tumblr) Screenshots with Facebook and Twitter integration Screenshots with Twitter integration
Gameplay replays with YouTube integration (select games only) Up to 15 minutes of gameplay with Facebook, YouTube and Dailymotion integration Up to 5 minutes of gameplay
N/A Live streaming with Twitch and Ustream integration Live streaming with Twitch integration
Free Free Paid subscription to Xbox Live Gold required[110]
Regional lockout Region locked[111] Unrestricted[112] Unrestricted worldwide, excluding China[113][114]
List of games List of Wii U software List of PlayStation 4 games List of Xbox One games
Backward compatibility Supports Wii software on disc and downloaded from Wii Shop Channel. Games from previous generations available for digital purchase and download via Virtual Console on Nintendo eShop. PlayStation Now cloud support for selected PlayStation 3 games began in January 2015 for North America. Subscription required.[115] Selected Xbox 360 games; feature in beta for preview program members, for general availability by end of 2015. Requires download of ported version of game at no additional charge to existing owners of the game.[116][117][118]
System software Wii U system software PlayStation 4 system software Xbox One system software
Updates are downloaded and installed automatically in Standby Mode Updates are downloaded and installed automatically in Rest Mode Updates are downloaded and installed automatically in Instant-on Mode

Handheld systems

Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo 3DS is a portable game console produced by Nintendo. It is the successor to the Nintendo DS. The autostereoscopic device is able to project stereoscopic 3D effects without the use of 3D glasses or any additional accessories.[119] The Nintendo 3DS features backward compatibility with Nintendo DS series software, including Nintendo DSi software.[119] Announcing the device in March 2010, Nintendo officially unveiled it at E3 2010,[119][120] with the company inviting attendees to use demonstration units.[121] The console succeeds the Nintendo DS series of handheld systems,[119] which primarily competes with PlayStation Portable.[122] It competes with Sony's handheld, the PlayStation Vita.[123]

The Nintendo 3DS was released in Japan on February 26, 2011; in Europe on March 25, 2011; in North America on March 27, 2011;[124][125] and in Australia on March 31, 2011. On July 28, 2011, Nintendo announced a major price drop starting August 12. In addition, as of September 2011 consumers who bought the system at its original price have access to ten Nintendo Entertainment System games before they are available to the general public, after which the games may be updated to the versions publicly released on the Nintendo eShop. In December 2011, ten Game Boy Advance games were made available to consumers who bought the system at its original price at no charge, with Nintendo stating it has no plans to release to the general public.[126]

On June 21, 2012, Nintendo announced a new, bigger model of the 3DS called the Nintendo 3DS XL. It has 90% larger screens than the 3DS and slightly longer battery life. It was released on July 28, 2012 in Europe and August 19, 2012 in North America.

On August 28, 2013, Nintendo announced a low cost, 2D version of the 3DS called the Nintendo 2DS. This redesign plays all Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS games, albeit without a 3D option. Unlike previous machines of the DS family, the Nintendo 2DS uses a slate-like design instead of a clamshell one. The console launched on October 12 in both Europe and North America.

On August 29, 2014, Nintendo announced a newer model of the 3DS called the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL. It was released in Japan on October 11, 2014; in Australasia on November 21, 2014; in Europe on February 13, 2015; in North America on February 13, 2015 for the XL version. The smaller version for North America will be released on September 25, 2015.[127]

PlayStation Vita

PlayStation Vita is a handheld game console developed by Sony Computer Entertainment.[128] It is the successor to the PlayStation Portable as part of the PlayStation brand of gaming devices. It was released in Japan on December 17, 2011[129] and was released in Europe and North America on February 22, 2012.[130][131]

The handheld includes two analog sticks, a 5-inch (130 mm) OLED/LCD multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, and supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and optional 3G. Internally, the PS Vita features a 4 core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor and a 4 core SGX543MP4+ graphics processing unit, as well as LiveArea software as its main user interface, which succeeds the XrossMediaBar.[132][133]

The device is backward-compatible with a subset of the PlayStation Portable and PS One games digitally released on the PlayStation Network via the PlayStation Store.[134] However, PS One Classics and TurboGrafx-16 titles were not compatible at launch.[135] The Vita's dual analog sticks are supported on selected PSP games via button mapping. The graphics for PSP releases are up-scaled, with a smoothing filter to reduce pixelation.[136]

Comparison

Product Line Nintendo 3DS PlayStation Vita
Name Nintendo 3DS Nintendo 3DS XL Nintendo 2DS New Nintendo 3DS New Nintendo 3DS XL PS Vita (PCH-1000) PS Vita (PCH-2000)
Manufacturer Nintendo Sony (SCE)
Console New Nintendo 3DS New Nintendo 3DS XL
Release dates
  • JP February 26, 2011
  • EU March 25, 2011
  • NA March 27, 2011
  • AUS March 31, 2011
  • JP July 28, 2012
  • EU July 28, 2012
  • NA August 19, 2012
  • AUS August 23, 2012
  • EU October 12, 2013
  • NA October 12, 2013
  • AUS October 12, 2013
  • JP October 11, 2014
  • AUS November 20, 2014
  • EU January 6, 2015 (Ambassador Edition)
  • EU February 13, 2015 (General release)
  • NA September 25, 2015
  • JP October 11, 2014
  • AUS November 20, 2014
  • EU February 13, 2015
  • NA February 13, 2015
  • JP December 17, 2011
  • EU February 22, 2012
  • NA February 22, 2012
  • AUS February 23, 2012
  • JP October 10, 2013
  • EU February 7, 2014
  • NA May 6, 2014
Launch prices
  • ¥25,000
  • US$249.99[137]
  • £/€, set by individual retailers[138]
  • A$349.95[139]
  • ¥18,900
  • US$199.99
  • £/€, set by individual retailers
  • A$249.90
  • US$129.99
  • £/€, set by individual retailers
  • A$149.95
  • ¥16,000
  • A$219.95
  • £/€, set by individual retailers
  • ¥18,900
  • A$249.95
  • £/€, set by individual retailers
  • US$199.99
Wi-Fi
  • ¥24,980
  • US$249
  • €249
  • £229.99
  • A$349.95[140]
Wi-Fi+3G
  • ¥29,980
  • US$299
  • €299
  • £279.99[141]
  • A$419.95
  • ¥19,929
  • £180
Current prices
  • ¥15,000[142]
  • US$169.99[143]
  • £/€, set by individual retailers
  • A$249.99[142]
Wi-Fi / Wi-Fi+3G
  • ¥19,980
  • US$199.99[144]
  • €199
  • £, set by individual retailers[145]
  • A$269.95
Units shipped Worldwide: 50.41 million (As of 31 December 2014)[59] Worldwide: 4 million (As of 4 January 2013)[146]
Best-selling game Pokémon X and Y, 13.99 million units (as of June 30, 2015)[147] TBA
Display Top Screen:

Bottom Screen:

Top Screen:
  • Autostereoscopic (3D) LCD
  • 4.88 in (124 mm)
  • 800 × 240 px (400 × 240 px per eye in 3D)

Bottom Screen:

  • 2D LCD touchscreen
  • 4.18 in (106 mm)
  • 320 × 240 px QVGA
Top Screen:
  • 2D LCD
  • 3.53 in (90 mm)
  • 400 × 240 px

Bottom Screen:

  • 2D LCD touchscreen
  • 3.02 in (77 mm)
  • 320 × 240 px QVGA
Top Screen:

Bottom Screen:

Top Screen:
  • Autostereoscopic (3D) LCD
  • 4.88 in (124 mm)
  • 800 × 240 px (400 × 240 px per eye in 3D)

Bottom Screen:

  • 2D LCD touchscreen
  • 4.18 in (106 mm)
  • 320 × 240 px QVGA
5 in (130 mm) OLED 960 × 544 px[148] 5 in (130 mm) IPS LCD 960 × 544 px
Approximately 16.77 million colors[149] Approximately 16.77 million colors
5 brightness levels 0-100% brightness levels
Autostereoscopy (3D) Yes No Yes No
CPU Dual-core ARM11 MPCore & Dual-core VFP Co-Processor Quad-core ARM11 MPCore & Quad-core VFP Co-Processor Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore[148][150]
GPU Digital Media Professionals PICA200 PowerVR SGX543MP4+[148]
RAM 128 MB FCRAM, 6 MB VRAM 256 MB FCRAM, 10 MB VRAM 512 MB RAM, 128 MB VRAM[151]
Camera One front-facing and a set of two rear-facing 3D 0.3 MP (VGA) camera sensors Front and rear 0.3 MP (VGA) camera sensors[148]
Audio
  • Stereo speakers (2) (with pseudo-surround support)
  • Headphone jack
  • Mono speaker (1)
  • Headphone jack
  • Stereo speakers (2) (with pseudo-surround support)
  • Headphone jack
  • Stereo speakers (2)
  • Headphone jack
Storage 1 GB internal flash memory No internal storage 1 GB internal flash memory
Supports up to 128 GB SDXC, up to 32 GB SDHC and up to 2 GB SD memory cards[152]

Supports up to 128 GB MicroSDXC, up to 32 GB MicroSDHC and up to 2 GB MicroSD memory cards

Supports 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB proprietary removable memory cards
2 GB SD card included 4 GB SDHC card included 4 GB microSDHC card included No external storage included
Media Nintendo 3DS Game Card (1–8 GB) / Nintendo DS Game Card (8–512 MB)
Digital distribution
PlayStation Vita Game Card (2–4 GB)
Digital distribution
User interface
  • Circle Pad (2× with add-on (3DS/3DS XL only))
  • C-Stick (New 3DS/New 3DS XL Only)
  • D-pad
  • Autostereoscopic (3D) 15:9(5:3) screen (top screen) (2DS displays 2D only)
  • Resistive 4:3 touchscreen (bottom screen)
  • 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyroscope[153]
  • Volume slider
  • 3D depth slider (Not available on 2DS)
  • Front 2D camera and rear 3D camera sensors
  • Microphone
  • Wireless communications switch (3DS/3DS XL only)
  • SLEEP switch (2DS only)
  • 12 × buttons
    (X, Y, A, B, L, R (ZL and ZR with add-on or New 3DS/New 3DS XL), START, SELECT, HOME, POWER)
  • 2 × analog sticks[154]
  • D-pad[154]
  • Capacitive 16:9 touchscreen[154]
  • Rear touchpad[154]
  • Sixaxis motion sensing (3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyroscope)[154]
  • Three-axis electronic compass[154]
  • Front & rear 2D camera sensors[148]
  • Microphone[148]
  • 12 × buttons
    (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square, L, R, Start, Select, Home, Volume ±, Power)[154]
Battery 1300 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 3DS Mode: 3–5 hours
  • DS Mode: 5–8 hours
1750 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 3DS Mode: 3.5–6.5 hours
  • DS Mode: 6–10 hours
1300 mAh lithium-ion battery[155]
  • 3DS Mode: 3.5–5.5 hours
  • DS Mode: 6–9 hours
1400 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 3DS Mode: 3.5–6 hours
  • DS Mode: 6.5-10.5 hours
1700 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 3DS Mode: 3.5–7 hours
  • DS Mode: 7–12 hours
2200 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • Gameplay: 3–5 hours
  • Video playback: 5 hours
  • Music: 9 hours[156]
2210 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • Gameplay: 4–6 hours
  • Video playback: 6 hours
  • Music: 10 hours
Determined by screen brightness, Wi-Fi, sound volume, and whether 3D is active (3DS models only) Determined by screen brightness, Wi-Fi, sound volume, and whether 3G is active (3G model only)
Connectivity
  • Integrated 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
Console Connection Wii / Wii U PlayStation 3 / PlayStation 4
Stylus Extendable up to 100 mm (3.9 in) long 96 mm (3.8 in) long 76.5 mm (3.01 in) long 86 mm (3.4 in) long N/A
Weight 235 grams (8.3 oz) 336 grams (11.9 oz) 260 grams (9.2 oz) 253 grams (8.9 oz) 329 grams (11.6 oz) Wi-Fi
260 grams (9.2 oz)
Wi-Fi+3G
279 grams (9.8 oz)
219 grams (7.7 oz)
Dimensions
  • Width: 134 mm (5.3 in)
  • Depth: 74 mm (2.9 in)
  • Height: 21 mm (0.83 in)
  • Width: 156 mm (6.1 in)
  • Depth: 93 mm (3.7 in)
  • Height: 22 mm (0.87 in)
  • Width: 144 mm (5.7 in)
  • Depth: 127 mm (5.0 in)
  • Height: 20.3 mm (0.80 in)
  • Width: 156 mm (6.1 in)
  • Depth: 93 mm (3.7 in)
  • Height: 22 mm (0.87 in)
  • Width: 160 mm (6.3 in)
  • Depth: 93.5 mm (3.68 in)
  • Height: 21.5 mm (0.85 in)
  • Width: 182 mm (7.2 in)
  • Depth: 83.6 mm (3.29 in)
  • Height: 18.6 mm (0.73 in)[148]
  • Width: 183.6 mm (7.23 in)
  • Depth: 85.1 mm (3.35 in)
  • Height: 15 mm (0.59 in)[157]
Online services Nintendo Network Sony Entertainment Network
Full game download/installation and automatic updates in the background via SpotPass Full game download/installation in the background
Free Free
Preloaded applications

Applications

Multitasking Applications

  • Welcome Park
  • near
  • Photos
  • Music
  • Videos
  • PlayStation Store
  • Trophies
  • Friends
  • Party
  • Group Messaging
  • Notifications
  • Internet Browser
  • Email
  • Maps
  • Content Manager
  • Remote Play
  • Cross-Controller
  • Settings
Regional lockout Region locked[160] Unrestricted[161]
List of games List of Nintendo 3DS games List of PlayStation Vita games
Backward compatibility

Nintendo DS / Nintendo DSi
Downloadable only

Downloadable only
System software Nintendo 3DS system software PlayStation Vita system software
  1. ^ The Virtual Console classic video game re-release distribution service on Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, Nintendo 2DS, New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL currently have available for purchase digital versions of select games for the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Sega Game Gear and Nintendo Entertainment System platforms, via Nintendo eShop. Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors also have 10 Game Boy Advance games available for download.

Other systems

There are other consoles and handhelds released during the same time period, including microconsoles. Almost all of them don't support physical media except for the PlayStation TV and Neo Geo X.

Microconsoles

Name Manufacturer Release date OS System-on-chip used CPU GPU Physical Media support Notes
Amazon Fire TV Amazon.com April 2, 2014 Fire OS Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T Quad-Core Qualcomm Krait 300 Qualcomm Adreno 320 No
GamePop BlueStacks TBA Android 4.2 Unreleased specs No Subscription-based
GameStick PlayJam October 29, 2013 Android 4.2 Amlogic 8726-MX ARM Cortex A9 Mali-400 MP GPU No
MOJO Mad Catz December 10, 2013 Android 4.2.2 Tegra 4 1.8 GHz Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A15 Nvidia 72-Core No
Nexus Player Google & Asus November 3, 2014 Android 5.0 1.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Atom Imagination PowerVR Series 6 Graphics 2D/3D Engine No
FunBox ZTE & The9[162] March 19, 2014[163] Android 4.3[162] Tegra 4[162] 1.8 GHz Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A15[162] Nvidia 72-Core[162] No
Ouya Ouya Inc. (formerly Boxer8) June 25, 2013 Android 4.1 Tegra 3 1.7 GHz Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A9 Nvidia 12-Core 520 MHz No
PlayStation TV Sony Computer Entertainment November 14, 2013 PSVita OS Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore PowerVR SGX543MP4+ Yes, many physical Vita games are compatible[164] A home console version of PlayStation Vita
Pandora TV-Box 2013 Android 4.1.1 RK3066 1.6 GHz Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9 Mali-400 MP4 No
Xtreamer Multi-Console Unicorn Information Systems January 2014 Android 4.2.2 RK3188 1.6 GHz Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A9 Mali-400 MP4 No
T2 TCL April 9, 2014[165] Android 4.2.2[165] A31[165] Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A7 PowerVR SGX544 MP2 No
TIMEBOX TIMEBOX October 28, 2014[166] Android 4.4[167] Amlogic M802[167] 1.6 GHz Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A9[167] Mali-450 MP GPU 600 MHz 8-Core[167] No
G-BOX Geeya November 15, 2014[168] Android 4.4[169] RK3288[169] 1.6 GHz Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A17[169] Mali-T764[169] No
Forge TV Razer May 5, 2015 [170] [170] Quad-Core Krait 450 CPU - 2.5GHz per core[170] [170] No
Shield Console Nvidia May 28, 2015 Android TV (Android 5.0-based)[171] Tegra X1[171] ARMv8 ARM Cortex-A57 quad-core + ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core (64-bit) 256-core Nvidia Maxwell-based GPU[171] No
Apple TV (4th generation) Apple Inc. October 26, 2015 tvOS (based on iOS 9.1) Apple A8 ARMv8 64-bit Dual-Core Apple A8 PowerVR Series 6XT GX6450 No

Handhelds

Name Manufacturer Release date OS CPU GPU Physical Media support
Archos GamePad Archos December 6, 2012 Android 4.1 Rockchip Dual-core @ 1.6 GHz Mali 400 quad-core No
Archos GamePad 2 Archos TBA Android 4.2 Rockchip Quad-core @ 1.6 GHz Mali 400 quad-core No
JXD S7800 JXD October 2013 Android 4.2 Amlogic MX Dual-core @ 1.5 GHz Mali 400 quad-core No
Neo Geo X SNK Playmore December 18, 2012 Linux Ingenic JZ4770 @ 1 GHz Vivante GC860 Yes, additional games were released in compilation packs
Nvidia Shield Nvidia July 31, 2013 Android 5.1 Tegra 4 Quad-core @ 1.9 GHz Custom 72-core GeForce No
Wikipad Wikipad, Inc. June 11, 2013 Android 4.1 Nvidia Tegra 3 Quad-core @ 1.4 GHz Custom 12-core GeForce No

Others

Name Manufacturer Release date OS Notes
Steam Machine Valve Corporation November 2015 SteamOS Line of consoles to be developed by various vendors that meet minimum specifications for SteamOS.

See also

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