The advent of games on smart phones, tablets and social networks has put a dent in console gaming in recent years, but starting at midnight Thursday one of the major game system makers looks to reclaim some of its turf.
Sony is launching its PlayStation4.
It will be followed next week by one of its main rivals, Microsoft's new Xbox One.
The revamped PlayStation offers richer visuals, ten times faster computing power and more multitasking features for users.
Several retailers, including Best Buy and GameStop, are having midnight launch events for PlayStation4 and XBox One, but those events are largely to distribute the pre-orders that customers have already made.
Off-the-rack sales are expected to be hard to come by in the early days of both releases.