I love gaming. Any chance I get to relax, I’m usually found sitting on the couch, playing one of the latest video games to hit store shelves. It’s not simply something that I like to do, it’s a passion of mine. But video game consoles aren’t liked they used to be.
[Image credit: Irish Typepad]
Years ago, the Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis, or just about every other old console really only allowed people to play video games. Over time, consoles became more sophisticated, allowing folks to pop a CD into a console to listen to music or throw a DVD into the device to watch a movie. But other than that, most consoles throughout history have been focused on gaming.
With the new generation of consoles, the Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation 3, and Microsoft Xbox 360, all that has changed. Gaming is just one part of the experience of using those devices. And thanks to continued updates, it’s clear now that all a person really needs in their living room to be entertained is a game console.
Let’s think about the Xbox 360 for a minute. The console obviously plays games both online and offline, but it also delivers ESPN content now, along with social networking features, Netflix, and available television shows and movies. Plus, users can still pop a DVD into the device to watch a movie from their library.
The same can be said for the PlayStation 3. It offers gaming, along with that Netflix content, television shows and movies, and much more. And unlike the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 offers Blu-ray playback, making it all the more viable. Like Microsoft’s alternative, it’s an all-in-one device.
But when we look beyond the consoles, we quickly find that no other device can match it. Sure, the Apple TV is priced right at $99, but it only has access to a finite number of television shows and movies, along with Netflix access. Other than that, you’re pretty much out of luck when it comes to entertainment, other than having the ability to access your music library.
The same can be said for Roku set-top boxes, TiVos, and just about every other set-top box on the market. They all offer some of the best features available in game consoles, but they lack gaming, which makes them less attractive.
Now, some might say that the Logitech Revue wins out in this category. After all, they say, the device allows users to access the Web, which provides a wealth of opportunity. But let’s not forget that the Logitech Revue costs $300. And for that price, consumers aren’t even getting the chance to play a game like Call of Duty: Black Ops.
So, maybe it’s time that we focus more of our entertainment attention on video game consoles. They are the real entertainment hubs in our living rooms. They deliver television shows, movies, Web features, and gaming. They provide the full end-to-end experience that consumers covet today.