New game consoles are blurring the tech lines

Bill Weedmark, Co-Editor

On Jan. 27, a new news channel debuted worldwide with a built-in audience of 1.1 million U.S. viewers. But what makes this news service unique isn’t the content, it’s the method of delivery.

Nintendo signed a two-year deal with the Associated Press, who will provide the new Wii News Channel with top stories and photos of the day to access through the game console.

But Nintendo isn’t the only company using their consoles as more than just a game machine. Microsoft recently announced that they plan to release a patch for the Xbox 360 that will allow it to act as a digital video recorder.
What seems to be happening with the current generation of video game consoles is that the makers are trying to appeal to a broader audience.

The consoles aren’t just for games anymore. They’re quickly becoming the all-around multimedia device for your living room.

With the Xbox 360, for example, you can use the console to rent movies, buy music videos or download the latest South Park episodes.
Apple is making phones that are iPods and Macs and probably even toasters all in one, so why not video game consoles as well?

I’ve been consistenly impressed with the abilities of the new video game consoles, and I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction. It’s making the consoles an every-day device rather than a way to kill time, and it’s helping to lower the prices of new technologies.

A new Blu-Ray DVD player might cost over $1,000, but with the PlayStation3, you get a game system with the player for $600.

It’ll be interesting to see where the future of “video game consoles” takes us, but we can definitely expect future machines to be more than just game machines, and that can only be good for the industry.

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