Words Worth Knowing

Words Worth Knowing: Console Generations

One of the most challenging aspects of video-games culture for a newcomer, especially for a busy parent, is trying to learn and understand the many, many acronyms and specialised terms. GameHub HQ entries are jargon-free, so you can get the information you need as easily and painlessly as possible, but there are still some words worth knowing. Every Monday, we break down one Word Worth Knowing from the world of gaming.

Console generations can be a hard concept to get your head around, especially when manufacturers insist on calling them all the same thing! So if you don’t know your Playstation 3 from your Playstation 4, or your Wii from your Wii U*, this week’s Words Worth Knowing is here to help you out!

*And quite frankly, why would you? Life’s too short. This kind of technical boon-dogling is ours to worry about, not yours! 

What It Is: Console Generations = successive iterations of gaming console hardware

What It Means: When a new console or handheld is released, we will speak of it as being of chronological ” generation” of hardware. For example, the original Xbox was a 6th Generation console, the Xbox 360 was a 7th Generation console. All these generations belong to the same family of Xbox devices, but each generation represents a significant advance in the technological capabilities of the hardware. Each generation should be a technological improvement on the last.

Why You Care:  When a console or handheld is released, the manufacturers may describe it as having “backwards compatibility”, meaning it can play games bought for the previous generation consoles in that console family. Hence Xbox 360 was backwards compatible with Xbox, but the Xbox One is not backwards compatible with the Xbox 360. Backward Compatibility is not a concept that applies to PC gaming, as all computers are of the same “family” and do not advance in generations. When buying games, handhelds or consoles, it is important to check carefully that the game will run on the generation of console you own. Every GameHub HQ game entry displays the named consoles the game will run on. Look under “Platform,” the second tab down on the left-hand side as you browse each game title, or, if you have a specific question, get in touch via the contact form below.

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