A specialized desktop computer used to play video games. The two most popular consoles are Sony's PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox. Nintendo's Wii is also a contender that simulates physical participation in activities such as bowling and playing tennis (see Wii).Game software is available on CDs or DVDs, although earlier game machines used cartridges containing read only memory (ROM) chips. Video game consoles require a TV or monitor for display.Proprietary SystemsVideo game consoles are typically powered by operating systems and CPUs that differ from desktop computers. The consoles are under the control of their respective manufacturers, and the software is geared to the machine's capabilities. Games are not interchangeable with other game consoles or desktop computers, although software publishers may develop games for more than one platform.Handheld GamesHandheld video games are miniature versions of game consoles and less elaborate. They are entirely portable, self-contained, battery-operated devices with their own small screens. Examples are the PlayStation Portable, Nintendo GameBoy and earlier Sega GameGear and Atari Lynx machines. See gaming, video game, video game controller, wireless game adapter, PlayStation, Xbox, Steam, Nintendo DS and Wii.