Welcome to TechRadar's Console Gaming Week

From the Atari 2600 to the Nintendo Switch and beyond

Welcome to Console Week on TechRadar! We’re about to embark on seven days celebrating the gaming giants that have finally justified the evolution of opposable thumbs and well-developed planning skills.

With the Nintendo Switch tantalisingly hinting at a return to form for the grand old Japanese icon, Sony’s all-conquering PS4 and the challenger for the throne, the Xbox One, finally have some meaningful competition. 

But we’re not just looking at the current crop of console behemoths, but also the trailblazers of yesteryear that provided the shoulders for these consoles to stand on. 

TechRadar has already popped in its Konami code, and have unlocked a whole host of great gaming features for you over the coming days. From an interview with the lead designer of the Xbox One, to the painstakingly picked 50 best arcade games of all time (so many of which defined current console gaming as we know it) to a deep dive into the wonders of 8-bit music, we’ve prised our fingers away from our gamepads to tap out some incredible reads.

And, to cap it all off, there’s the fantastic response we had to our “best console of all time” poll. With your help, we’ve gathered the thousands of votes cast by you, our readers, and will be crowning your pick for the greatest of all time this Friday. (Spoiler: it’s not the WonderSwan).

So, ready player one?


The SNES is the best games console of all time, ever

The votes of our poll are in and it's official – you, our readers, have voted the SNES the king of consoles. A deserving winner it is, too, and we've written exactly why.

12 new games created for long-obsolete consoles

Sometimes consoles stick around long after their manufacturers stop making them and shops lose interest in selling them. Making new games for old consoles is an odd video game subculture but it's one well worth delving into so that's exactly what we've done here.

The ultimate mega shock: The story of the legendary Neo Geo

If you think console gaming is expensive now, you won't believe the story of the Neo Geo. Dubbed 'the Rolls Royce of gaming systems' it was powerful with a price point that proved it.

Apple's biggest flop? A requiem for the Apple Bandai Pippin games console

Did you know Apple once tried to break into the console gaming market? Let us take you back 20 years and tell you the ups and downs (mostly downs) of the tech giant's ill-fated Bandai Pippin console. 

The real-life physics of Super Mario: How could a portly plumber jump that high?

How is Nintendo's squat and portly plumber capable of the feats of athleticism he frequently performs? We put his anatomy under the microscope to find out.

The ultimate console war: How Sony beat Nintendo and Sega at their own game

It's hard to believe now, but Sony was once a minor player in the gaming world. Here's the story of how it rose to the top in the great console war of the 1990s.

Best games consoles: PlayStation 2, the console that made Nintendo and Sega weep

Consoles are still in their infancy, and yet in hundreds of years’ time people will look back and pick out the PlayStation 2 as a console that changed the very face of gaming; at the heart of dragging an industry out of the basement and into the mainstream. 

The best Mario Kart games (that aren't actually Mario Kart)

Like Mario Kart, but want something just a little bit different from your arcade multiplayer racers? No problem – these Mario Kart alternatives will have you covered.

Best games consoles: Nintendo 64, the console that brought 3D gaming to life

While it never achieved the runaway success of the original PlayStation, its killer games and laser focus on multiplayer play made it one of the most well-loved gaming consoles of the last twenty years. You've voted to herald it as one of the all-time console great.

The ultimate gaming controllers for comfort – an expert's guide

Over the years, video game controllers have changed beyond all recognition. What started as a joystick and a single button with the Atari 2600 has changed to add extra buttons, joysticks, shoulder buttons and even triggers. But which ones are actually best designed for your fingers?

The science of Street Fighter: how to (improbably) throw a real life Hadouken

(Sho)Ryu can – but you probably can't. We take a look at the improbable physics behind the most famous move in fighting game history.

Best games consoles: Nintendo GameCube, Mario's under-appreciated home

At number 8 on our list of the best consoles ever made we have the GameCube. It was under-appreciated at the time thanks to stiff competition from the PlayStation 2, but in retrospect this was a fantastic console filled to the brim with gaming delights. 

Middle-earth: Shadow of War's director of technical art talks Project Scorpio

The biggest console release of the year is still months away, but already we know one of Project Scorpio's launch games. Let's just say, it has a distinct Tolkien flair. We talk to a key member of the development team.

Nintendo Switch is the Game Boy we've all wanted since 1988

"I’ll admit it: I stood outside of a Toys ‘R’ Us on a frigid Friday morning for my Nintendo Switch. I’ll also admit that I have yet to even bother connecting the thing to its Dock attachment. The Nintendo Switch is just that great of a handheld gaming device."

11 weird and wonderful console peripherals

With gaming, sometimes a standard controller just isn't enough. Over the years we've seen game developers and console manufacturers try their best to add something a bit different to player experiences with peripherals that are either themed or designed to make a console stand apart from others on the market. Here's a selection of some of the kookiest controllers we've ever had a chance to get our hands on.

6 games console flops that gave gaming a bad name

If you've owned the machines listed here then you can consider yourself to be a true console connoisseur – or perhaps a glutton for punishment.

Best Games Consoles: Xbox 360, bringing online multiplayer to the living room

It had a production run of more than ten years and in that time it became one of the top ten highest selling consoles of all time. It’s safe to say that the Xbox 360 is one of the brightest stars in Microsoft’s sky. Not least because it’s outlined by a big red ring of death. You voted, and we listened. The Xbox 360 earns its place in our list of the greatest games consoles of all time.

How to build a gaming PC more powerful than Xbox Project Scorpio

Why wait for the "most powerful console ever" when you can just make one for yourself? Anything Microsoft can do, you can build better.

8-bit music: the soundtrack to a gaming revolution that resonates today

After decades of gaming, what makes 8-bit music in particular so memorable? We take a trip down memory lane, looking at the veteran audio tech behind so many unforgettable gaming tunes, and speak to those it inspires today.

Best games consoles: PlayStation, the moment that gaming grew up

Sony’s first attempt at a console is one of the best gaming products of all time. It put Sony on the map in gaming land, ready to take over the world with the PlayStation brand for the last two decades.

How to make 8-bit music

Want to make your own 8-bit masterpiece? Here's all you need to know about composing your own Chiptune bangers.

Best games consoles: Xbox One the slow-but-steady gaming workhorse

The Xbox One started its life-cycle as something completely different and has had to scratch and claw its way back to the top.But what a comeback! As voted by you, the TechRadar readers, the Xbox One has fought its way into our list of the greatest games consoles of all time.

Talking console creation with the designer of the Xbox One

We talked to Carl Ledbetter, the man who led the Xbox One design team, about the ups and downs of designing a games console.

Best games consoles: PlayStation 4 - bigger than Xbox One and Wii U... combined

In at number 9 on our reader-voted "Best Console Ever" poll is the home of BloodBorne and Uncharted, the PlayStation 4. Here's why it's already worth ranking up there alongside the greatest ever consoles.

The 50 best arcade games of all time, ever

From Computer Space to Marvel vs Capcom, these are the games that sucked up our pocket money and kickstarted the home gaming revolution.

Best games consoles: Sega Mega Drive/Genesis – when games consoles finally became cool

You voted, and your voice has been heard. Sega's 16-bit hero was easily one of the most important consoles of all time, and its fierce rivalry with Nintendo and its SNES machine brought about a goldenaxe age of home consoles. 

How to turn a Raspberry Pi into a retro games console

The latest version of the Raspberry Pi is great. It offers up to six times the power of the first-gen model, yet doesn't cost any more or take up extra space. It's the perfect base for building your very own retro games console – here's how.

The best console games you can play on a phone or tablet

Think phones and tablets aren’t proper gaming devices? Android and iOS have more console game ports than some consoles. Granted, only consoles no-one bought that sank pretty quickly, but you may still be surprised by the breadth and depth of these mobile platforms’ console game libraries.

Could the Amazon Echo become the first voice-only console?

Welcome to the new age of gaming. Our days of sitting in front of the TV, controller in hand might not be numbered – that core gaming experience will still exist – but they could soon be heavily reduced thanks to devices like Amazon's Echo.

Support Special Effect, the charity helping people with disabilities enjoy video games

Bringing gaming joy to those with disabilities, Special Effect is a great charity. Here's what they do, and how you can support them.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Global Editor-in-Chief

Patrick (Twitter) is Global Editor-in-Chief for TechRadar, and has been with the site since its launch in 2008. He is a longstanding judge of the T3 Awards, been quoted or seen on everything from the The Sun to Sky News and is on the #CoolBrands Council. He started his career in football, making him one of approximately one journalists to have covered both a World Cup final and an iPhone launch.