Video Games & Gear

Video games have come of age as an entertainment medium and the technology continues to mature. Learn about how your favorite video game consoles work, and see what's on the gaming horizon.

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Halo History

A little rusty on what happened in the first Halo game? Our guide gives you the story, plus details of what was happening off-screen.

Halo 2 and the Art of Storytelling

For many, the only thing bigger than a new Halo game would be an actual alien invasion of Earth. In our exclusive interview, Bungie Studios manager Pete Parsons discusses the ins and outs of creating the story for this monster sequel.

How the PlayStation Portable Works

With its widescreen display, powerful graphics and ability to do more than play games, the PlayStation Portable (PSP) stands out in the crowd. Find out what else Sony has packed into the PSP and see how it measures up.

How Nintendo DS Works

With Sony's new portable on its tail, Nintendo's chose not to create a bigger, faster processor, but the Nintendo DS, which stands for either "dual screen" or "developer's system," depending on who you ask.

How the Phantom Worked

The Phantom was supposed to be launched in 2005, but it never made it to production. Learn about the specs and features of the Phantom game system.

How Joysticks Work

Video games are amazing creations, but the fact remains that if you input you can't play. Take a look inside the quintessential game controller and see how it has evolved over the years.

How Billiard Tables Work

Billiards, also known as pool, is played all over the world. But there's a lot more to it than just putting a ball in a pocket. Find out how pool tables are made, and learn about the games that are played on them.

How Pinball Machines Work

The pinball machine is an arcade standard that most enjoy having a game or two on. There are also those who have truly mastered its secrets. Find out about the vagaries and nuances of tilt sensors, replays, matches, combination shots and more.

How do the characters in video games move so fluidly?

If you've ever gotten immersed in your game character's story and movements, you've probably wondered how these creations can move so fluidly. Here's your chance to find out!

How Game Boy Advance Works

Nintendo’s handheld gaming systems have dominated the market for years. Find out what made the Game Boy Advance such a major success.

How do developers get such realistic environments in video games?

How do developers get such realistic environments in video games? Learn about the game-creation process and how it's getting more advanced every year.

How GameCube Works

It's not the best-selling console ... or the one with the best buzz... or the one with the most bells and whistles. But it's still one heck of a cool machine. Check out what the GameCube has under the hood.

How 3DO Creates Video Games

3DO is one of the top video game companies in the U.S. with dozens of popular titles. Go behind the scenes and learn exactly how 3DO creates a new game!

How Xbox Works

Microsoft's Xbox was one of the top game systems in its day, and with Xbox Live you can even use it to play on the Web. Take a look inside the Xbox.

What do video game ratings mean?

Just like film and television, the video game industry maintains a level of age-related ratings. Find out how the ESRB system works.

How does the ball return work on a coin-operated pool table?

On a coin-operated pool table, if you hit one of the numbered balls into a pocket, the ball goes into a locked storage compartment. If you hit the cue ball into a pocket, the table returns it. How does the pool table tell the difference?

How PlayStation 2 Works

The PlayStation 2 was one of the most anticipated game systems ever developed. Take a look inside and see what the PS2 had to offer.

How Dreamcast Works

It may be a relic now, but in 1999, Popular Science magazine recognized the Sega Dreamcast as one of the most important and innovative products of the year. Find out what made it so amazing.

How N64 Works

The Nintendo 64 was an extremely popular video game system, with millions of users around the world. Learn where it all started and what's inside.

How PlayStation Works

The PlayStation is one of the most popular video game systems of all time. Learn how PlayStation started and what's inside this video game console.

How Video Game Systems Work

From Pong to PS3, take an inside look at computer consoles and how they work their magic to keep you entertained for hours (or days …) on end.

What are Gouraud shading and texture mapping in 3-D video games?

If you look at the description of some 3-D video games, you'll see references to Gouraud shading or texture mapping. What does that mean?

How does the light gun for a video game work?

How does a video-game light gun work? How does the game know where the gun is aiming? See the technology behind this popular video game accessory.

How Chess Computers Work

Have you ever wondered how a $30 program can consistently beat you at chess? Computer chess programs calculate their game plan based on formulas -- algorithms that determine whether a position is "good" or "bad," taking the whole board into account.