By Vangie Beal
A console can refer to a couple terms:
(1) Also known as a terminal or computer console, a console is a combination of a display monitor and an input device, typically a keyboard and/or mouse. It allows users to input commands and receive visual output from a computer or computer system. It is connected to another computer, server, or mainframe and is used to maintain or monitor the status of the network or computer.
While any computer with a monitor and keyboard may be considered a console, the term is most commonly used when referring to a system used to control one or more servers. Modern consoles provide a graphical user interface used to control machines on a Local Area Network (LAN) to provide remote access to remote systems. To navigate the graphical interfaces, these consoles usually include a mouse.
(2) A video game console is an electronic or computer device that outputs a video signal or visual image to display a video game playable through a game controller. These consoles are controlled by their respective manufacturers. The software is suited specifically for the machine’s capabilities. Games created for a specific console are not interchangeable with other consoles, although the software publishers may develop games for multiple platforms. A video game console functions similar to a personal computer and includes many of the same components such as a central processing unit (CPU), graphics processing unit (GPU), and random access memory (RAM).
A video game console can be a home console or handheld console. A home console is a console placed in a permanent location within a home and is displayed on a device such as a television. It’s controlled with a separate game controller. Popular home consoles include Wii, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.
A handheld console includes its own display unit and game controller functions built into the unit. These units contain a rechargeable or replaceable battery and can be played anywhere. Popular handheld consoles include Game Boy, PlayStation Portable, and Nintendo 3DS.