In the history of video games, the seventh generation includes consoles released since late 2005 by Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony Computer Entertainment. For home consoles, the seventh generation began on November 22, 2005 with the release of Microsoft's Xbox 360 and continued with the release of Sony Computer Entertainment's Play Station 3 on November 17, 2006, and Nintendo's Wii on November 19, 2006.

Each new console introduced a new type of breakthrough in technology.

It became the first handheld video game console to use an optical disc format, Universal Media Disc (UMD), as its primary storage media.

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Microsoft joined the scene in November 2010, with its Kinect (previously announced under the working title "Project Natal" in June 2009).

Unlike the other two systems (Play Station 3 and Wii), Kinect does not use controllers of any sort and makes the users the "controller." Having sold 8 million units in its first 60 days on the market, Kinect has claimed the Guinness World Record of being the "fastest selling consumer electronics device".

The Xbox 360 offered games rendered natively at high-definition video (HD) resolutions, the Play Station 3 offered HD movie playback via a built-in 3D Blu-ray Disc player, and the Wii focused on integrating controllers with movement sensors as well as joysticks.

Some of the Wii controllers could be moved about to control in-game actions, which enabled players to simulate real-world actions during gameplay (e.g., in the Wii sports tennis game, the user swings the controller to hit the on-screen image of a tennis ball).

As in previous generations, Nintendo provided strong support for its new console with popular first-party franchises like Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Pokémon, among others.

To appeal to casual and non-gamers, Nintendo developed a group of core Wii games, consisting of Wii Sports, Wii Play, Wii Fit, With the exception of Wii Music, the games and their sequels have all been highly successful.

Nintendo expressed hope that the new control schemes it had implemented would render conventionally controlled consoles obsolete, leading to Nintendo capturing a large portion of the existing market as well.

On September 12, 2007, it was reported by the British newspaper Financial Times that the Wii's sales surpassed those of the Xbox 360, which had been released one year previously, and became the market leader in worldwide home console sales for the generation.

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Despite high sales numbers for both consoles, Play Station Portable sales have consistently lagged behind those of the Nintendo DS; nevertheless, the Play Station Portable has the distinction of being the best-selling non-Nintendo handheld gaming system.