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History of video game consoles (fourth generation)
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|History of video games|
The fourth generation of video game consoles began on October 30, 1987. The fourth generation (also called the 16-bit generation) began with the release of Nippon Electric Company's (NEC) PC Engine. Although NEC released the first fourth-generation console, this generation was dominated by Nintendo and Sega. Nintendo became the largest worldwide market share in the fourth generation. Sega was also successful in this generation. It began a new franchise, Sonic the Hedgehog. This was done so Sega could compete with Nintendo's Mario series of games. Many other companies released consoles in this generation. However, none of them were successful, except for Neo Geo from SNK.
The first handheld game console released in the fourth generation was the Game Boy, on April 21, 1989. The Game Boy became the most popular handheld game console. The Game Boy's screen had no color. However, many of its leading competitors did. Three major franchises were introduced for the Game Boy. These include: Tetris, Pokemon and Kirby. Many of the popular games in this generation originally started in the 8-bit generations. These titles include Mario, Metroid, Zelda, Star Fox, Kirby, Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, Seiken Densetsu (Secret of Mana), Sonic the Hedgehog, Donkey Kong, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Mega Man X.
The next generation would be the one that changed everything.
Home video game consoles
|Name||PC-Engine/TurboGrafx-16||Mega Drive/Genesis||Super Famicom/Super Nintendo Entertainment System||Neo Geo AES|
|Launch prices (USD)||US$199.99||US$189.99||US$199.99||US$649.99 (Gold version)
US$399.99 (Silver version)
|Release date||JP October 30, 1987
NA September 1, 1989
|JP October 29, 1988
NA September 15, 1989
EU November 30, 1990
|JP November 21, 1990
NA August 23, 1991
EU April 11, 1992
|JP July 1, 1991|
|Media||HuCard (card-shaped cartridge)
CD-ROM (Turbo CD add-on)
CD-ROM (Mega-CD add-on)
Magnetic disc (Japan only)
Data card (Europe/Japan)
|Best-selling games||Bonk's Adventure||Sonic the Hedgehog (15 million)||Super Mario World, 20 million (as of June 25, 2007)||Samurai Shodown|
|Backward compatibility||No||Sega Master System (using Power Base Converter)||Game Boy (using Super Game Boy)||No|
|CPU||HuC6280A (modified 65SC02)
1.79 or 7.16 MHz
7.67 MHz (7.61 MHz PAL)
(based on 65C816)
3.58 MHz (3.55 MHz PAL)
|Memory||8 KiB work RAM
64 KiB video RAM
|64 KiB main RAM
64 KiB video RAM
8 KiB audio RAM
|128 KiB main RAM
64 KiB video RAM
64 KiB audio RAM
|64 KiB main RAM|
74 KiB video RAM
2 KiB audio RAM
|Super Famicom/Super Nintendo Entertainment System||49.10 million|
|Sega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis||40 million [cn 1]|
|PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16||10 million|
List of handheld consoles
|Console||Game Boy||Atari Lynx||Sega Game Gear||TurboExpress|
|Release date|| April 21, 1989
| September 1989
| October 6, 1990
April 26, 1991
April 26, 1991
| November 16, 1990|
|Units sold||118.69 million (as of December 31, 2009), including Game Boy Color units||5 million (as of July 30, 2007)||15 million (as of July 30, 2007)||1.5 million|
|Best-selling games||Tetris, 35 million (pack-in / separately).
||Unknown||Sonic the Hedgehog 2||Bonk's Adventure|
|Backward compatibility||No(Original Cartridges compatible with later models)||No||Sega Master System (using Cartridge Adapter)||No|
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Metroid II
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
- Dragon Quest V and VI
- Star Fox
- Final Fantasy V
- Secret of Mana
- Street Fighter II
- Phantasy Star
- Thunder Force II, III and IV
- Super Metroid
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