6th Generation

1998-2009: The 128-bit Generation

The sixth generation began in 1998 in Japan with the Sega Dreamcast, but this would be the last console for the video game giant. The video game tides shifted in a new direction, introducing a new console power; the original Xbox. Although Xbox would be the most powerful console of this generation, it was the PlayStation 2 who would be king.

Home consoles:

  • 1998, November 27 (JP): Sega Dreamcast
    1999, September 9 (NA): Sega Dreamcast
    Company: Sega
    Original price: $199.99
    2019 price: $299.82
    Sales: 9.13 million
    Number of Games: 636
    Best-selling game: Sonic Adventure (2.5 million)
    Media: CD-ROM (1.2 gigabytes)
    Main controller(s): Dreamcast controller
    Other peripherals: VMU (Visual Memory Unit), Dreamcast mouse and keyboard, Fishing rod, Microphone, Light Gun, Dreameye, Sambas de Amigo Macaras (controller)

The Sega Dreamcast paved the way for sixth generation consoles…

  • 2000, March 4 (JP): PlayStation 2
    2000, October 26 (NA): PlayStation 2
    Company: Sony
    Original price: $299.99
    2019 price: $433.97
    Sales: 158 million
    Number of Games: 3909 (7978 for PS1)
    Best-selling game: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (17.3 million)
    Media: DVD, CD (games, movies, and music)
    Main controller(s): DualShock 2, DualShock, PlayStation controller
    Other peripherals: PlayStation 2 Memory Card, EyeToy, PlayStation 2 DVD Remote Control, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2 HDD, Network Adapter, Guitar/drum/microphone controllers, Dance Mats/Pads, Arcade sticks, Logitech cordless controllers, Sega Saturn Ps2 controller

Next came the PlayStation 2 in 2000…

  • 2001, September 14 (JP): GameCube
    2001, November 18 (NA): GameCube
    Company: Nintendo
    Original price: $199.99
    2019 price: $283.76
    Sales: 22 million
    Number of Games: 552
    Best-selling game: Super Smash Bros. Melee (7 million)
    Media: GameCube game disk
    Main controller(s): GameCube Controller (built-in rumble)
    Other peripherals: WaveBird, GameCube – GBA Link, Nintendo GameCube Broadband and Modem Adapter, Game Boy Player, DK Bongos, Dance pad, Nintendo GameCube Microphone.

The Nintendo Game Cube is Nintendo’s first disk-based console. Nintendo was hesitant to use disks in the previous because of its perpetual fear of piracy. However, the disks the Game Cube used were a different size from the standard CD and DVD.

  • 2001, November 15 (NA): Xbox
    2002, February 22 (JP): Xbox
    Company: Microsoft
    Original price: $299.99
    2019 price: $425.65
    24 million
    Number of Games: 1047
    Best-selling game: Halo 2 (8 million)
    Media: DVD, CD (games, movies, and music)
    Main controller(s): Xbox controller (the Duke), Controller S (smaller revision)
    Other peripherals: Xbox Live Starter Kit, Xbox Media Center Extender, DVD Playback Kit, Xbox Music Mixer, Memory Unit (8MB), Logitech Wireless Controller (2.4 GHz), Xbox Light Gun

Enter Microsoft: Microsoft…

Microsoft entered the video game market with the original Xbox. Microsoft had already established a virtual monopoly over the computer software market, now they put their foot into the waters of the video game console market, establishing themselves as one of the big three video game consoles.

The Xbox utilized DVDs, a medium which could hold 4.7 gigs of data. Aside from that, the Xbox could play DVD movies, making it a true entertainment system.

Second tier consoles:

  • 2000 (Early): Nuon (VM Labs)
  • 2003, November 17 (CN): IQue Player (IQue)
  • 2004, August 4: V.Smile (VTech)
  • 2004: Atari Flashback (Atari)

Handheld consoles:

  • 2001, March 21 (JP): Game Boy Advance
    2001, June 11 (NA): Game Boy Advance
    2003, February 14 (JP): Game Boy Advance SP
    2005, September 13 (JP): Game Boy Advance Micro
    Company: Nintendo
    Original price: ¥9800-¥12,500 (JP), $99.99 (US)
    2019 price: $144.36
    Sales: 81.51 million
    Number of Games: 1510 (1,931 backwards compatible original Game Boy and Game Boy color games)
    Best-selling game: Pokémon Ruby and Saphire (13 million combined)
    Media: Cartridge

The Game Boy Advance continued Nintendo’s hegemony over the handheld console market.

  • 2001, November 23: GP32
    Company: Game Park
    Original price: €199
    2019 price: €268.22
    Sales: N/A
    Number of Games: 28 commercial titles (open to home brew and emulation)
    Best-selling game: N/A
    Media: SmartMedia

Enter Game Park: Game Park…

The GP32 was cool underground home-brew handheld gaming device…

  • 2003, October 7: Nokia N-Gage
    2004: Nokia N-Gage QD
    Company: Nokia
    Original price: $299
    2019 price: $415.27
    Sales: 3 million
    Number of Games: N/A
    Best-selling game: N/A
    Media: Digital downloads

Enter Nokia: Nokia…

The Nokia N-Gage…

  • 2003: Tapwave Zodiac
    Company: Tapwave
    Original price: $299 (32 MB), $399 (128 MB)
    2019 price: $415.27 (32 MB), $554.15 (128 MB)
    Sales: N/A
    Number of Games: N/A
    Best-selling game: N/A
    Media: Digital downloads (SD cards or internal memory)

Enter Tapwave: Tapwave…

The Tapwave Zodiac…

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