Do you like to play computer or mobile games and find this pastime fun and exciting? Excellent! Let’s get acquainted with another interesting entertainment — game consoles for TV.

They are different, each gadget is endowed with its own functions and capabilities, so before buying a game console, you should decide on important criteria.

What is a TV game console

First of all, a game console is an electronic device that connects to your TV or computer monitor and turns the big screen into a chic virtual playground. Control is via joysticks, steering wheels, gamepads, pistols or other manipulators.

Each game console is a separate console, which has its own hardware and software characteristics. Different devices are able to execute commands in different ways, transmit different effects and create their own control tools needed to visualize certain conditions in the game.

This is a kind of highly specialized computer, with its own processor, hard drive and memory, which allows the operator to play games with high quality. There are modern models of set-top boxes with multifunctional content: such devices allow you not only to play, but also to watch videos, listen to music and even access the global network.

However, a gaming gadget differs significantly from a traditional computer, primarily in that it is a closed system that cannot be upgraded, supplemented or expanded functionality. You buy a device with a certain set of skills and a recommended level of gaming load.

To date, there are eight generations of gaming systems that were released in different years:

  • I — 1972 — 1980;
  • II — 1976 — 1983;
  • III — 1983 — 1992;
  • IV –1987 – 1996;
  • V — 1993 — 2006;
  • VI — 1998 — 2004;
  • VII — 2005 — 2012;
  • VIII — 2012 — to the present day.

If you are choosing a game console for an adult user who prefers to play games with high graphics and speed of events, then it is better not to save money and buy new generation products: PlayStation, Xbox. And if the prefix is ​​​​needed for children as an educational or training program, then the choice can be made in favor of budget models of past generations: SEGA or DENDY Junior.

What else can the Sony Playstation 4 besides games?

Much. If earlier set-top boxes were used only for games, now this device is also intended for many other full-fledged home entertainment. And this is understandable — the Playstation 4 is equipped with more powerful hardware than many media centers and TVs.

So, what multimedia features are available to a modern game console:

  1. Music. The sound quality of avid music lovers may not impress, but picky users find the sound quite decent. PS4 recognizes the main formats: MP3, FLAC and AAC. Music is played from USB flash drives or discs.
  2. Socialization. The player can easily share screenshots or short clips of game moments in a chat with friends or social networks, post game walkthroughs, receive comments and feedback.
  3. Video online. If you need to urgently watch a video or broadcast an event on YouTube, you should not even switch to another device — the console will display the desired file on the TV screen without any problems.
  4. Online cinema. Having gained access to large online film libraries with new films and series (for example, Megogo), you can buy or rent interesting new items in just a couple of clicks. Movies can be viewed with PS4 on a large TV screen in excellent quality.

Of course, the activation of each of these functions takes time, but, having figured out the settings, you can completely replace the outdated media player with the modern PS4.

You can play Playstation 4 with a company

Useful information: Should you buy a PS4 in 2021 or wait for the Playstation 5?

Basic options for connecting to a TV

As mentioned above, game devices work in conjunction with a TV or monitor. Therefore, it is important to find out what type of connection your TV or PC unit supports. Of course, in our age of technology, devices can communicate wirelessly with each other via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, but this only applies to certain models.

Cable connection can be divided into 4 types:

An HDMI-type cable is the most sought-after option today, capable of delivering the highest color reproduction quality, making the image realistically similar, and pleasantly enhancing the impression of depth. To connect the set-top box to the TV, you just need to find the appropriate sockets. The HDMI cable has the same ends, so you can’t mix them up.

The connection of the gaming gadget must be carried out with the devices turned off. Then, after starting the TV, he will be able to independently determine the new device and transfer control of the set-top box to the television remote control.

The second connection method is via an AV cable, this is one of the varieties of tulips. AV transmission is also of high quality and image clarity. Externally, the component cord has 5 inputs for connecting to a TV and 1 plug on the side of the set-top box. Connection is made according to the colors of the plug to the input sockets of the corresponding color.

Another alternative method of connecting the set-top box is via an RCA connector or a composite cable. This is another variety of tulips, in which RCA plugs also have their own color differences and are inserted into the same color RCA jacks. The image with this connection will be of lower quality (576p).

Well, the oldest option is a SCART connection, almost the same composite connection, but with a connector containing 21 pins (pin). This socket is found on older TVs, which are also used for game consoles. PAL-version gadgets are equipped with a tulip-scart adapter. The quality of color reproduction and clarity will be the same as in RCA.

The very procedure of connecting the game console to the TV will take you no more than 5 minutes. The instructions for each gadget have complete information with pictures on how to do this, so there will be no questions.

A question of price

PC people (those who prefer computers) often speak and make strong arguments against consoles. Like, games are expensive for them. Well, that’s partly true. However, the console itself (minus the TV you already own) is much cheaper than expensive PC hardware that comes with a monitor. If you do not chase the latest innovations in the gaming console industry, but wait 2-3 months after the release of the novelty, then the games will not cost so much. On average, the game costs 50-60 percent less in 2-3 months, so you shouldn’t buy it immediately after the release.

And, of course, when talking about the prices of games, one cannot but mention the well-known pirated games. They are free a priori, but many do not recommend running on consoles. Firstly, there is a possibility of «catching a ban» of the console on the Web. Secondly, pirated games are severely curtailed and lack many features: you can’t download patches, additional content, often there is no multiplayer launch mode, etc.

Hmm, something we started talking off topic. Let’s get back to the point: how and which game console to choose?

Game Console Tips

Immerse yourself in the exciting and exciting world of virtual reality — what could be better after a busy day at work? Excellent graphics, amazing effects, intriguing plots and realism of the events taking place — all this conquers and beckons non-stop.

And in order for the sensations from the game to be expected, it is worth taking seriously the issue of choosing such a technique. There is only one rule that works here: the more expensive the game console costs, the more efficiently it can reproduce complex game effects. Of course, much depends on the generation of the receiving screen (LCD, plasma, LED), so the approach must be rational.

But not all users need stunning graphics. For example, if a prefix is ​​bought for children aged 3-6 who will learn letters, numbers, colors or shapes with it, then inexpensive prefixes with minimal technical characteristics are perfect for them. But a teenager who prefers hard games will not forgive you for excessive savings.

There are three main hardware characteristics of game consoles:

  • hard disk capacity;
  • processor parameters;
  • the amount of RAM.

Winchester or hard drive — this is the place where information about the game is placed. The larger the volume of this device, the more heavy products the prefix will pull. They are from 500 GB to 1 TB.

If you do not have enough hard drive capacity to download video or game content, you can always connect an additional external drive.

The game processor is responsible for the speed of the processed information. The most advanced console models are built on the basis of AMD processors, which are the most adapted and meet the system requirements specifically for gaming scenes.

Random access memory (RAM) is also responsible for the performance of the set-top box and the speed of processing software tasks. The more RAM, the faster the system works and the more resource-intensive products it can play.

Users want to spend quality leisure time, and manufacturers are trying to create more productive and powerful products. How to choose the right game consoles for your TV to have fun in the long run? And is it possible to buy such a gadget inexpensively? Let’s get acquainted with the most popular models and their parameters.

PS4 interfaces

The main focus of the redesigned PS4 interface is on quick access to the game profile and social features. A dozen personal profiles are stored in the console’s memory. In a family or friendly company, each player can create their own account.

The main menu is divided into two equal parts. In the first half — settings, game profile, friends list (up to 2 thousand), notifications.

The second part includes a feed with updated information of the user and his friends, access to running games, programs, personal game library.

The processing speed of any request is simply amazing — and this is the global difference between PS4 and previous models.

This is curious: Development and lineup of Sony Playstation: From 1994 to today

Unofficial retro consoles

Before we start talking about unofficial devices, it is worth making an important remark: most of them are in the so-called gray zone. They are not prohibited per se, but the bundled game images are pirated software. Cybersport.ru does not support the activities of hackers and «pirates». By downloading hacked games, you deprive developers of profits — buy licensed copies in official stores.

Android family (from ₽2,000 and above)


One of the most common devices on the market is a slightly modified version of the Android Box with an outer shell for games. Most often, such devices come with two cheap DualShock 2-style gamepads and a TV remote control. A big plus of such devices is their “omnivorousness”: a lot of emulators have been released on Android, and Console X is able to play applications from 60 different devices. Of course, the question of performance remains: on cheaper and weaker devices, gamers are unlikely to be able to run games from consoles more advanced than the PS1, but in some cases (as, for example, in the case of the Beelink GT-King equipped with 4 GB of RAM), it is quite possible to count on more less sane game even in titles from PSP or Dreamcast.

RetroPie family (from ₽5,000 and above)


To date, there are many devices on the market based on the Raspberry Pi board. You can buy the board yourself and assemble the device from scratch: there are a lot of tips on the Internet for all stages, from assembling and installing software to creating custom cases. Supported platforms range from the Atari 2600 to the Sony PSP (and if you’re using the Pi 4, up to the SEGA Dreamcast). When self-assembly is cheaper, but more difficult to operate. However, all instructions are freely available, it remains only to pick up the emulator cores.

Mini PC (from ₽4 500 and above)


Recently, PC-based builds have been gaining popularity: small devices are not much larger than Android devices, but with the right approach, for under $100, you can get a pretty convincing retro machine. When installing a special system, you can achieve both high performance and a huge library of games for every taste, both from arcades and from home consoles of the early 2000s. On sale, you can also find ready-made devices with pre-installed games and emulators. Words are superfluous here: this is a familiar PC, just in a small case, with all its pluses and minuses. For a higher price, you can buy quite a decent device that plays games up to PS2 and Wii.

Setting up the gamepad (joystick)

The gamepad needs to be configured only after you have installed the emulator you need. The media center has built-in drivers and can work with almost all known joysticks.

To set up your controller, open Settings, then System. Connect your device and go to the «Enter» section, after «Setting Connected Controllers»:

Select the type of your joystick and customize the button values:

That’s all. As you can see, everything is simple to disgrace. Have you thought that your Smart TV can be a game console?

If you have any questions, write in the comments and together we will solve everything.

Smart TV and Android TV Box are amazing devices that provide almost unlimited possibilities. This time, I will show you how to make a game console (Sega, Sega Dreamcast, Dandy, NES, Sony PlayStation, etc.) from any Smart TV / TV Box without additional equipment.

Best Wireless Retro Console: Retro Genesis 8 Bit HD Wireless

No wires while maintaining the spirit of the classics

Retro Genesis 8 Bit HD Wireless Console

Pros: the appearance of the retro console repeats the style of the Japanese Famicom and the well-known classic Dandies. The case is made of white plastic with red inserts. There are special openings on the sides for placing wireless joysticks, so you won’t lose them, and they won’t roll around all the sofas and tables.

The controllers themselves are familiar rectangular Dandy waffles: on the left is a cross, on the right are four buttons (two of which are with turbo mode). The gamepads are comfortable, do not rattle, the button travel is pleasant and responsive.

A hinged red lid, according to the canon, protects the cartridge slot. Suitable for all types of cassettes: remakes, old, Chinese and original NES. At the back of the case there is a 4:3 aspect ratio switch (for connoisseurs of antiquity) and 16:9 (for newfags), a power supply input, tulip connectors and an HDMI output. The picture is displayed on the screen at 60 fps.

Among the 300 pre-installed games, there are real hits (tanks, flintstones, contra), but there are also a lot of really rare games that will interest hardcore gamers. In the box, the manufacturer put a list of all platformers with notes on the class of the game and the presence of Russian voice acting in them. Users note that there is no input-lag when playing on a retro console with wireless joysticks, so you can dodge all the shots in time. The absence of delay is ensured by a protocol similar to the PlayStation 4.

Minuses: not detected

Best Retro Gaming Console: SEGA Magistr Titan 3

The most popular model in online stores

Retro console SEGA Magistr Titan 3

Pros: the most popular stationary emulator of 8- and 16-bit gaming systems in online stores. The manufacturer has already loaded 500 of the most popular Dendy and Sega titles into the memory of the console. To expand the collection of games, you can use the MicroSD slot: download games to the card and run them on the gadget.

The best retro gaming console is easy to use and set up, great for kids from 3 years old as a first console. The price is adequate and amounts to 2500 rubles. The case is glossy, measuring 17 x 17 cm. It is made of safe plastic, so it does not pose a threat to children. Behind are three connectors for analog tulips and a power supply. Two wired joysticks are made in the style of Sega Mega Drive, they fit well in the hand and provide precise button pressing.

It is worth mentioning that the device supports various audio image formats, so you can listen to music in mp3 and view photos on it. For a relaxed holiday in the country, this will be very useful.

In the list of games, the user can find all the most popular action games, fighting games and adventure games that were popular in childhood. The prefix will definitely become the center of attention during Friday gatherings with friends, and the joint passage of Chip and Dale will return you to childhood.

Minuses: missing

Install emulators

I hasten to please, installing the emulator is as simple and fast as installing Kodi itself, in addition, you don’t even need to download anything, everything is already built in. Let’s move on:

  1. Open settings.
  2. Click on add-ons and go to the «Install from repository» section.
  3. Select «Game Addons»

then the «Emulators» section:

  1. Select the emulator you need and install it. Consider the example of «Sega» You can install any other.

By and large, we are all set. It remains only to download games for the emulator, which are full on the network. To simplify everything as much as possible, I have collected an archive in which there are 100,500 games for Sega and Dandy. You can download it from this link from Google:

Install emulators

I hasten to please, installing the emulator is as simple and fast as installing Kodi itself, in addition, you don’t even need to download anything, everything is already built in. Let’s move on:

  1. Open settings.
  2. Click on add-ons and go to the «Install from repository» section.
  3. Select «Game Addons»

then the «Emulators» section:

  1. Select the emulator you need and install it. Consider the example of «Sega» You can install any other.

By and large, we are all set. It remains only to download games for the emulator, which are full on the network. To simplify everything as much as possible, I have collected an archive in which there are 100,500 games for Sega and Dandy. You can download it from this link from Google:

Best cheap retro console: Dendy Classic 255

Prefix for the price of going to the cinema

Retro console Dendy Classic 255

Pros: the most budget model in the ranking of the best retro gaming consoles of 2021. The technical characteristics of the motherboard guarantee high-quality 8-bit sound and picture in your favorite games, of which there are 255 pieces. The full list of games is listed on the back of the box. Speaking of the box: like on models from the 90s, there is a photo of a motorcyclist on it.

The power supply is built into a plastic case, the console is connected to the network using a one and a half meter wire. Weighty and always overheated blocks, tied with blue electrical tape, are a thing of the past. For control, two wired joysticks with the Dandy logo are used. The controllers are Segov’s, six-button, but this does not affect the immersion in the gameplay.

The entrance for cartridges with soft collars is made very high quality. Original NES cassettes and yellow-orange Chinese replicas that we all remember well from childhood are supported.

Minuses: at a cost of 1200, the device fully meets expectations. No deficiencies have been identified.

Best retro console with HDMI connection: Hamy 5

Set-top box the size of Apple TV

Retro console Hamy 5

Pros: The compact game console is made using modern technologies and high-quality components. The case has dimensions of 130 x 130 mm, made of black plastic, on the top panel there are power and menu buttons. Two wired joysticks follow the style of Sega controllers — 6 buttons, eight-way d-pad and turbo mode.

The console is dual-system: it reads 8-bit and 16-bit games. The manufacturer uploaded a total of 505 video games (315 Sega and 190 Dandy). The collection includes the most iconic games from the 90s: Battletoads, Batman Forever, Comix Zone, Contra, Mortal Kombat 3 and many more. Most support the Russian language.

If that doesn’t seem enough, you can always download roms from the internet, upload them to a microSD memory card, and run them on your console. For this, there is a special connector in the case. We note right away that you need to download the .nes and .bin files.

From competitors, the retro set-top box advantageously distinguishes the ability to connect using an HDMI cable. Therefore, the device is suitable for all modern TVs — the picture does not crumble, does not lag, there are no friezes.

Minuses: you cannot save the process in platformers.

Best Retro Pocket Console: Dendy Expert

Great souvenir gift

Retro console Dendy Expert

Pros: inexpensive portable retro console, the body of which is made in the form of a slot machine. With its form factor, the gadget is able to surprise anyone and become a worthy decoration of a geek collection. The game system includes 240 games, including the original versions of Black Cloak, Chip and Dale, Mary and Aladdin. Platform architecture is 8-bit.

The front panel has a 2.5-inch screen, so no connection to a TV is required. You can play anywhere, you only need a couple of batteries. It is controlled by a 4-way joystick and two action buttons (A and B). Sound adjustment (4 positions) is possible.

In user reviews, it is noted that the retro console has a good assembly and will be an original gift to friends. One of the non-trivial places where you can play it is the toilet.

Minuses: The buttons are small, fingers sometimes slip off when pressed.