Starting with 1st Atari Space Invaders game consoles all the way to the acclaimed Nintendo Wii, there’s no doubt that these devices are the ‘IT’ toys of the new generation. They’re in trend, and both Microsoft and Sony are hoping for them to last another 20 more years.
As consumers are ready to spend hundreds of dollars on these consoles, industry watchers can’t help but wonder – is the gaming industry evolving beyond the mere idea of a game console? Let’s hope not; when PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 hit the market almost a decade ago, the iPhone didn’t exist. Now that we have PS4, Xbox One and iPhone 5, we cannot wait to see what will happen 10 years from now.
Today’s average gamer is a devotee. Whether we’re talking about 10 year old kids or about 40 year old adults, we have to admit that gaming consoles are meant for everyone. They’re being used for lots of purposes, they’re fun to employ, and they’re an excellent way to stay busy. If you’re thinking of investing some money in a console this year, have a look at some of the most appreciated, acclaimed, and thrived for consoles on the market.
A visual throwback to earlier designs, the Sony PlayStation 4 bears a strong resemblance to the PS2, with a wedge-like outline and comfortably compact dimensions. The convenience continues with a built-in power supply rather than an external one. The front features the USB ports and optical drive, while the gaming ports are, predictably, mounted on the console’s back.
At £349, the PS4 is an affordable alternative to the Xbox One, which has a retail price of approximately £429. You can also choose to add the PlayStation Camera if desired, an accessory that costs £49 extra. At the moment, this accessory is not worth its retail price to most gamers, as its only function is to add voice control and a few mini-games in the Playroom. That’s unlikely to change in the future, however.
The Xbox One is Microsoft’s latest entry in its console line. Far from being a dedicated game controller like the Xbox 360, this new piece of hardware is a versatile digital tool, providing Skype, live streaming TV, and app support simultaneous with gaming. It also handles games with satisfying aplomb and vigor, of course. Though some glitches remain to be ironed out, the new Xbox is a fascinatingly multifunctional piece of equipment that boasts gesture and voice control, a Kinect camera, and infra-red detection capabilities.
The central premise of the Nvidia Shield is its ability to stream PC gaming content onto the device, using the Android platform to do so. Resembling a flip-up five-inch screen mounted on an Xbox controller, the Shield can play Android games or stream directly from 600-series Nvidia Ge-Force graphics cards. This controller’s Android operating system enables checking Facebook, playing Spotify music, or streaming movies from Netflix without breaking stride. Though the U.S. release was delayed, the tougher design and $50 reduction in retail price help to make up for the longer wait.
Nintendo Wii U
The Nintendo Wii U has a tough act to improve on, since the strength of the original Wii was that its straightforward design opened the gaming world to practically everyone. Its no-nonsense approach made it a great introductory console for every age and level of experience. Introduced eight years ago, the console was ageing, however, leading to the introduction of the Wii U. This controller is designed to breathe new life into the device series with its focus on the Game-Pad touchscreen. It supports high-definition graphics and is backwards compatible with all previous Wii software and games.
Sony PlayStation Vita
Large but lightweight, the seven inch Sony PlayStation Vita is reinforced to stand up to tough gaming sessions and ergonomically designed to make long periods of play comfortable. The 3G capable version weighs 279 grams and costs £299, while the WiFi-only variant is lighter (250 grams) and cheaper (£250). A quartet of face buttons, a directional pad, dedicated “start” and “select” buttons, and a PlayStation button furnish users with a versatile interface for gaming. The top of the console body includes trigger buttons, a slot for the 3G SIM card if necessary, and a terminal to connect a future line of accessories too.
A daring design, the Nintendo 3D S enables intriguing three-dimensional gaming experiences without the need for glasses. Costing £187, this controller is a small, highly mobile media center which happens to include gaming among its functions. The device can handle 3D photos, social networking apps, and a host of other digital media. Whether it is the right controller for you depends in part on your need for 3D. If three-dimensional gaming without the need for uncomfortable glasses sounds tempting, then the Nintendo 3D S may indeed be the device you have been waiting for, while if 3D is unimportant to you, a different console might offer more functionality.
The development of the Ouya micro console was supported and funded by Kickstarter; the whole project gathered over $8.5 million and it became the website’s 2nd highest earning plans in history. Released to the world in June 2013, Ouya quickly managed to draw a lot of attention. The console has an exclusive store for games and apps designed particularly for the platform. The device supports media apps like the XBMC media player and TwitchTV. Furthermore, it runs on Android and it comes with a typical game-pad. Rather intriguing, Ouya comes with a single-touch touch-pad, magnetically attached faceplate’s, and dual analogue sticks.
Are you ready to make gaming part of your life? Which console appeals best to your senses? With the recent release of PS4 and Xbox One a lot of avid players will probably invest between $300 and $400 on those gadgets just because they’re newest releases. If you’re not ready to spend such a high amount, you can always stick to low cost consoles that are equally engaging such as the Nintendo Wii and Ouya.
Author Bio: Christopher Austin wrote this awesome article. He is a video game expert and mostly writes about the latest video games available in the market. Also he is running a number of on-line gaming sites including Airplane Games 365.