PowerPC-based game consoles

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There are several ways in which game consoles can be categorized. One is by its console generation, and another is by its computer architecture. Game consoles have long used specialized and customized computer hardware with the base in some standardized processor instruction set architecture. In this case it is PowerPC and Power Architecture, processor architectures initially developed in the early 1990s by the AIM alliance, i.e. IBM, Motorola and Apple.

Even though these consoles share much in regard to processor architecture, game consoles are still highly specialized computers so it is not common for games to be readily portable or compatible between devices. Only Nintendo has kept a level of portability between their consoles, and even there it is not universal.

The first devices used standard processors, but later consoles used bespoke processors with special features, primarily developed by or in cooperation with IBM for the explicit purpose of being in a game console. In this regard these computers can be considered "embedded".

As of summer 2013, there is no known new game console planned based on Power Architecture even though the Nintendo Wii U is still heavily marketed and considered to be of the latest, eighth generation. The three main consoles of the previous, seventh generation, the Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, continue to be marketed and sold.


Name Image Manufacturer Generation CPU Clock RAM On the market No. sold
Pippin Pippin-Atmark-Console-Set.jpg Apple
Katz Media
5:th PowerPC 603 66 MHz 6 MB 1995 - 1997 42.000
M2 3DO
5:th PowerPC 602 2× 66 MHz 8 MB 1997
Never marketed
GameCube GameCube-Set.jpg Nintendo 6:th Gekko 486 MHz 24 MB 2001 - 2007 21.74 million
Xbox 360 Xbox-360-Consoles-Infobox.png Microsoft 7:th XCPU (Xbox 360)
XCGPU (Xbox 360 S and Xbox 360 E)
3.2 GHz 512 MB 2005 - 2016 77.2 million
March 2013
Wii Wii-Console.png Nintendo 7:th Broadway 729 MHz 64 MB 2006 - present 99.8 million
March 2013
PlayStation 3 PS3Versions.png Sony 7:th Cell B.E. 3.2 GHz 256 MB 2006 - present 78.4 million
May 2013
Wii U Wii U Console and Gamepad.png Nintendo 8:th Espresso 1.24 GHz 2 GB 2012 - present 3.45 million
March 2013