The Eighth generation of video games is the current generation of video games. It consists of Microsoft's Xbox One, Sony's Playstation 4 and Playstation Vita and Nintendo's Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Due to the iterative nature of the hardware as well as the failure of the Wii U, each company also produced hardware in the middle of the generation; The Playstation 4 Pro, the Xbox One X and the Nintendo Switch. The hallmarks of this generation include the fastest selling console with the Playstation 4, the decline of the handheld consoles, the first mid-generation upgrade hardware in addition to budget models and the first hybrid gaming device as a major player. Numerous startups also have attempted Android-based and Linux-based gaming hardware with limited success

Nintendo 3DS[edit | edit source]

As a follow-up to the ever-popular Nintendo DS, Nintendo released the Nintendo 3DS with the main gimmick being the glasses-free 3D. The device was a large step-up from the DSi with a screen resolution of 400x 240 for the top screen. The 3DS also featured a local radio wave communication called StreetPass that interacted between multiple 3DS in the same area. The device was revealed at E3 2010 but, the device launched in March 2011 at $249. The device had a slow start but, after a price cut in August 2011 alongside the release of Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 that winter, the Nintendo 3DS recovered with a total sales across all iterations reaching almost 75 million as of December 2019. The device alone has sold over 24 million in Japan, making it the 3rd best selling gaming device in the region.

New Nintendo 3DS[edit | edit source]

As developers were reaching some of the limits of the 3DS, Nintendo decided to put out the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL. The new hardware added more processing speed and cores, head-tracking for the glasses-free 3D, better battery life, an additional circle pad and additional rear buttons. The regular New 3DS model also supported face plates to customize the 3DS. The device launched in most of the world in February 2015. Most software was still compatible the old Nintendo 3DS but, this hardware tended to play them better with shorter load times. In time, the original Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL models were phased out by this device. However, the regular new Nintendo 3DS model was vastly outsold by the XL version resulting in it being phased out as well. The currently available models are the Nintendo 2DS, New Nintendo 2DS XL and the New Nintendo 3DS XL.

Playstation Vita[edit | edit source]

The Playstation Vita was revealed properly at E3 2011 with a Japanese release that winter and an international release in February 2012. The device was much stronger than its competitor, the Nintendo 3DS and its based launched at the same price, $249.99 with a 3G compatible model at $299.99. While initial sales were strong, sales dropped fairly hard afterwards especially outside of Japan. The systems poor performance resulted in Sony's lessened focus. They eventually released a set top box version called the Playstation TV (PS Vita TV in Japan) though with much less success. Sony stopped developing full releases for the device in 2015 with the device no longer being shipped outside of Asia as of 2017.

Nintendo Wii U[edit | edit source]

To follow-up the very successful Wii, Nintendo released the Wii U. Revealed at E3 2011, the device was Nintendo's first HD console. The hardware focused on the gamepad controller which incorporated a 480p screen that streamed directly from the Wii U. The device was compatible with all Wii software and hardware as well. The system performed rather poorly partially due to the lack of must-have software that released at the device's launch in November 2012. The device struggled to reach its final total of 13.56 million. Software highlights include Mario Kart 8 that has an attach rate of over 60% on the device and Splatoon.

Microsoft Xbox One[edit | edit source]

The Xbox One had a rocky start. With announcements that it wouldn't allow the use of used games, and requiring players to always be online, and being 100 dollars higher than the PS4, the Xbox One was at a clear disadvantage. As the generation progressed, enticing exclusives came to a screeching halt, which hindered the Xbox One's progress as well. Microsoft has stopped releasing sales data, but it has sold an estimated 47 million.

Xbox One X[edit | edit source]

PlayStation 4[edit | edit source]

The Playstation 4 had long been rumored with the rumors conforming around the name Orbis in late 2012. In February 2012, Sony held a press event where they revealed the device along with several titles developers were bringing to the console. Sony dedicated their E3 conference that year to talking about the Playstation 4 and its software lineup. The release in November 2013 was massively successful with the device selling over a million units on launch day and 4.2 million by the end of the year. By the end of the device's first year, the system had shipped more than 13 million units. Currently, the device has shipped 108 million units, making it the clear market leader for the generation

Playstation 4 Pro[edit | edit source]

Nintendo Switch[edit | edit source]

After the failure of the Wii U and the 3DS mediocre performance, Nintendo went through a restructure which resulted in a combined hardware team. Additional, they contact Nvidia to work on their hardware. Nintendo announced their next generation device as the NX though the device was not properly revealed until a trailer in Fall 2016. Nintendo released the Nintendo Switch in March 2017 to much fanfare with the release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The Switch had sold so well that the Switch version of Zelda had greater that 100% attach rate at launch. The device is has sold over 52 million currently with expectations to sell over 55 million by March 2020.

Other consoles[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Eighth generation of video games
Nintendo 3DS· Wii U · Xbox One ·PlayStation 4 · PlayStation Vita
Nintendo Switch· Xbox One X · Playstation 4 Pro

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