Games consoles: what are the main gaming contenders?

A PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Wii and an Xbox 360

Gaming and games consoles are a huge business, making console and games producers millions every year. So who are the industry's big players?

The big three console companies are Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo.

Microsoft: Xbox 360 & Kinect

Xbox with Kinect

Microsoft are the guys behind the Xbox 360 and Kinect.

The Kinect for Xbox 360 was released in 2010 and was the first modern console that allowed you to play without any controllers - you just move your body around.

You can play against other gamers online using Xbox LIVE but you have to pay a membership fee.

Sony: PlayStation, PSP, Vita

A person testing the PlayStation Vita.

Sony make the PlayStation 3 and the handheld PlayStation Vita.

PlayStation Move allows gamers to play with wireless controllers, like the Nintendo Wii.

The PlayStation Network allows you to play online games, chat to friends and surf the web.

The handheld PlayStation Vita has a touchscreen on the front and a touchpad controller on the back. It was released in the UK in February 2012.

Rumours are now flying around the internet that the new PlayStation console, the PS4, will be called Orbis and may be released at the end of 2013.

Read more: PlayStation 4 'Orbis' rumours

Nintendo: Wii, DS, 3DS, Wii U

Nintendo Wii

Nintendo are the brains who brought us the Wii, the DS and the Wii U.

The Wii U is Nintendo's first console to output crisp HD graphics and has a unique touchscreen controller with its own screen.

Most people say that it's pretty simple to use, so it's good for gaming beginners!

The 3DS was the first handheld console to let gamers play in 3D without needing to wear special glasses.

More on This Story

  • Newsround logoWatch Newsround

    Watch the latest update from Newsround, CBBC's news programme for children.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.