The system console is an interface used by human to control the computer. Basically, it consists of a keyboard and a monitor that can provide a text user interface.
The console is used to give feedback of user input and display textual results of executed commands.
The concept originates from the beginnings of the IT world, where limited displaying capabilities were available.
The computers and displays were connected through low-speed serial ports and the monitors could display texts only based on built-in character-sets.
Nowadays everyone uses high-resolution graphical displays, so the console environments are emulated by the videocards.
Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_console