Consoles of the 2000s

Console: Gizmondo
Manufacturer: Tiger Telematics
Discontinued: Might get a new release

This shitty handheld game came with GPS, mp3 player, prepaid text messages and in-system ads (booooo!). However, Gizmondo’s most interesting story deals with greed, the mafia and car wrecks. Apparently a number of Gizmondo employees, including noted criminal Stefan Eriksson, were dealing with the Swedish mob while extorting cash from the company. It’s aconvoluted story, but we’ll letNext Genfinish this sordid tale…

“In February 2006 Stefan Eriksson, former executive at Gizmondo, taught his Ferrari Enzo how to fly on a stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway, slicing the million-dollar car neatly in half, and creating the world's first performance art re-enactment of the rise and fall of a videogame company.

Of course, it wasn't really Eriksson's fault. As he told it, a mysterious German named Dietrich was driving the doomed sportscar when it crashed. Eriksson was just innocently sitting in the passenger seat of a flying Ferrari when it collided with a pole and blood flew off his lip and onto the driver-side airbag.”

Console: Wii
Manufacturer: Nintendo
Discontinued: Are you kidding?
Originally codenamed “Revolution,” the Wii is known for the Wii Remote - that remote-control looking doohickey that you swing around to play games. The sleek white console (possibly taking a cue from Apple) is notorious for reaching people who don’t normally play games and is populated mostly by third-party “casual” releases. This may account for the console having sold close to 25 million units worldwide, but you wouldn’t know it considering you can’t find the damn thing anywhere. Even though online play is proving to be dismal when compared to the 360 and PS3, the Wii store enables gamers to download older games from systems like the Genesis, NES, SNES, N64 and Turbo-Grafx. Amazing first-party games like Super Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime 3, Twilight Princess and Smash Bros. Brawl are among the finest in its library.

Console: DS Lite
Manufacturer: Nintendo
Discontinued: Yeah, right

The redesigned DS is slimmer, has a brighter screen and the stylus storage is on the side of the system. Also, the power button is now a slider and the battery holds a longer charge. It's sold about 52 million units worldwide and when combined with the original, that adds upto about 70 million. You just might have one of these.

Console: PlayStation 3
Manufacturer: Sony
Discontinued: Give it about ten more years

Announced at the ridiculous price point of $500/$600 before dropping to a much more affordable range, the PS3 was built to be essentially future-proof with its incredible graphical prowess and built-in Blu-ray player.
Even with all that muscle tech behind it, the PS3 lags in sales with an estimated 13 million units sold worldwide. This can be attributed to pompous marketing, a higher-than-competitive price point, lack of killer-apps (for now) and console ports that take longer to develop for. Not to mention a lawsuit that initially kept rumble from its controllers. Still, it’s one hell of a machine and seems to be hitting its stridewith itsHome service andhit gameslike Uncharted, Ratchet & Clank Future, Resistance and Metal Gear Solid 4.

Console: PSP Slim
Manufacturer: Sony
Discontinued: Nope
1/3 lighter and 19% slimmer, the new PSP accounted for a surge of sales. Even with a slimmer battery, a more efficient use keeps the runtime the same as the previous version. With a number of slight design and hardware changes, this newer model has met a fair bit of praise, including more tactile feedback in the buttons.

Jun 20, 2008