Neo Geo (1990)
A lightly modified version of the Neo Geo Multi Video System found inside arcade machines, the Neo Geo was for a time the holy grail of consoles with the best graphics of its day. Virtually impossible to get hold of in the UK, and with games that cost about a quarter of the price of the already very expensive console, it disappeared within two years.
Sony PlayStation (1995)
Sony's first PlayStation rose from the ashes of a broken alliance with Nintendo. It ushered in the era of disc-based gaming and was the launching platform for some of the biggest names in gaming: Metal Gear Solid, Gran Turismo, Tony Hawk and more. Compared to Nintendo's ever-changing controller design, the PlayStation controller has remained virtually unchanged since the first DualShock controller was introduced in 1998.
More after the break...
Atari 7800 (1987)
The followup to the 5200, one of the Atari 7800's killer features was its ability to play old Atari 2600 cartridges. Released a couple of years late due to a change of ownership, its best titles were already looking a bit old by the time it hit the shops. This, coupled with weak sound capabilities, meant that it was quickly outclassed when the NES landed on the scene.
Nintendo Entertainment System (1986)
Home to the most famous plumber in history, the NES largely owes its success to the ground-breaking games pumped out by Nintendo. Even today, we could still while away whole days playing Super Mario Bros., and if you haven't played Duck Hunt, you haven't lived.
Nintendo Gamecube (2002)
Nintendo's fourth console was also its first to use optical discs, though strangely it opted for miniDVD, meaning it wouldn't play DVDs or CDs. Then again, it was the only console to have a handle. Super Monkey Ball made its first appearance here and as far as we know it's the only console to have ever had a bongos controller (for Donkey Konga).