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Games Consoles of Christmas Past - The 3D Years

Sony PlayStation (1995)

Sony PlayStation

The console that marked Sony’s presence in the video game arena, the 32-bit PlayStation upset the status quo by soundly beating Sega’s Saturn and Nintendo’s N64. With its sleek design, cool branding and flood of third-party support, the console became the must-have gaming platform of the mid-’90s.

More than a few gamers in the UK will have fond memories of blasting along to the sound of The Chemical Brothers in the futuristic racer Wipeout while the turkey was cooking in the oven.

Nintendo 64 (1997)

Consoles 4

Although Nintendo got its nose well and truly bloodied by Sony’s PlayStation, the N64 still witnessed some of the greatest games of the ‘90s. Few launch titles can rival the epic nature of Super Mario 64, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is rightly regarded as one of the finest games of all time.

Sure, Nintendo’s insistence on sticking with expensive cartridges was a questionable move, but as soon as you and three mates sat down to play a deathmatch on GoldenEye 007 on Christmas morning, such concerns quickly became irrelevant.

Sony PlayStation 2 (2000)

Consoles 5Sony’s second home console was greeted with incredible demand when it launched in the UK at the end of November 2000. Those who were lucky enough to find one underneath their tree come Christmas time were faced with the first home console that doubled as a DVD player - quite a revelation back at the turn of the millenium.

The fact that films could be watched on the system was something of a godsend, as the PlayStation 2’s early output wasn’t exactly amazing. However, once developers had found their feet, the console got more than its fair share of solid-gold classics, including Metal Gear Solid 2, Gran Turismo 3 and Grand Theft Auto 3.

Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2001)

Consoles 6

Released in the middle of 2001, the Game Boy Advance had ample time to build up a following before infiltrating Christmas at the year’s end. Like its predecessor the Game Boy, this pocket-sized games machine was perfect for covert gaming sessions when out on dull visits to relatives on Christmas day, and was blessed with some typically brilliant releases.

A version with a folding front-lit screen was released later, and the Game Boy Micro - the final handheld to bear the famous Game Boy branding - came in 2005.

What was your first Christmas console? Let us know in the comments.

Mak Wa

December 22, 2012, 6:08 am

How about the Panasonic 3DO, Sega Saturn and Sega Dreamcast.

fried_egg

December 22, 2012, 4:46 pm

"previous gaming hardware that was on our wish lists" should answer that. the 3do was far too expensive to be on peoples lists, and sega's machines got hit by successful "wait for our machine" campaigns from the competition that kept them off the lists.

Mak Wa

December 23, 2012, 3:45 am

I'd have to disagree. The Atari 2600, PS1, PS2, PS3, even the XBOX & XBOX 360 when they were all first released they where pretty expensive too.

fried_egg

December 23, 2012, 7:17 am

expensive but not relatively. the 3do was far far more expensive than anything else around that was selling, while the ps1/2/3 were dear but not ott dear. the atari was in relation to other machines, had an "arcade" known games library (when arcade machines were everywhere), was "ground breakingly new" and uber trendy. the 3do for example had none of that, it was only an evolution and it was 2 to 3x the price of things that seemed to do something similar enough. the 3do which was something like a £700 bill (with a game and needed bits) when it launched (thats something like trying to sell a games machine well over £1000 now) set the rule book of what will not be paid by the mass market it relied on to follow.

Andrew_TR

December 23, 2012, 9:56 am

I will admit to having a huge Xmas WANT for the 3DO and Philips CD-i back in the day. But I'm the guy that bought an Atari Jaguar, so what do I know?

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