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Evolution of the console: Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii

As we near this year's E3 and we hear rumblings of a next-gen console from Nintendo, let's take a look at how far the current consoles have come.


Six years. That's nearly how long it's been since the Xbox 360 first debuted back in the fall of 2005. The next year, the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3 followed.

Typically, new consoles emerge no later than five years after the debut of the last iteration. This generation seems to be the exception. Perhaps that's because of the ripples of a recession, but we can also credit the Wii, PS3, and 360 for being hardy, versatile consoles. In fact, looking back at what these systems were compared with what they are now, it's hard not to appreciate how far gaming has come in the current generation. HD graphics (well, for the PS3 and 360, at least), online gaming, downloadable content, and motion-controlled gaming--these are all hallmarks of the current console age.

How far have we come in just 5.5 years? Click through to see what the original consoles cost, what they offered, and what today's versions include by comparison. We also look at some of the most distinctive console-evolving peripherals: the Move, Kinect, and Wii Balance Board.