Sony will unveil the PlayStation 4 later today - and it will do it live, on the internet, to an audience of millions.

There will be HD show-reels, amazing renders and (hopefully) a seamless broadcast of these pictures around the world.

It didn't used to be this way.

Not only did news about new consoles tend to hit the mass audience in print - or on TV news - rather than live video streams and blogs, there was also a distinct lack of razzmatazz compared to today's high-profile launches.

Take a look at some of the announcement videos, on-stage unveilings and breaking news about the consoles of yesterday - and then be very glad once 11pm Tuesday rolls around and The Rock doesn't walk onstage to awkwardly mispronounce two-syllable words.

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  • PlayStation (Japan, 1994)

  • PlayStation 2 (2000)

  • PS3 (2006)

  • Xbox (2001)

  • Xbox 360 (2005)

  • Nintendo 64 (1996)

  • Nintendo Wii (2005)