If one thing’s for sure, video games have come a long way since PacMan and Pong. In fact, it’s not just about games anymore. From shopping to fitness, today’s systems provide an entire experience rather than a few hours of fun from the couch. With a combination of topnotch visual, audio and communication tools, systems like PlayStation3 (PS3), Wii and Xbox are redefining what it means to connect and compete:
- PlayStation3: The motto “It only does everything” is no understatement when it comes to the newest system from Sony. On the PlayStation network, users can text friends or use the PlayStationEye, a revolutionary new webcam that accommodates up to six people. With an array of microphones and a frame rate of 120 frames per second, the Eye reduces background noise and offers sharp image transfers, even in low-light environments. Special effects include Color Filters and Distortions, so you can edit photos and even put them into a movie, all with the tiny Eye. PS3 also puts out some stiff competition with its Blu-ray Disc Profile 2.0. With 1080p resolution, the system offers the highest definition available, along with theater-quality audio, 50GB of storage, downloadable bonus content and movie-based games via BD-Live.
- Wii: When Nintendo first launched the Wii in 2006, it took the market by storm. Allowing three-dimensional interaction, the system gets gamers up and off the couch. And because of Wii’s commitment to active participation, it wasn’t long before Nintendo started redefining its games as well. In addition to classics like Super Mario Brothers and Pokémon, Wii offers lifestyle games like the Wii Fit series. One of the most popular challenges is the yoga session. Choose your instructor and mimic the poses. Postures like “tree” and “king dancer” are done on the Balance Board and held for about 35 seconds. The Balance Board measures how well you’re holding your center of gravity and ranks your score against other players on your system. The virtual instructor will also give advice, like whether your weight isn’t being distributed equally or if your overall Body Mass Index needs some adjusting.
- Xbox 360: As a cutting-edge company, Microsoft is always looking to one-up the competition and even themselves. Fortunately, the newest Xbox 360 doesn’t disappoint, offering a multitude of devices that get you hooked up to gaming communities around the world. Whether you’re gripping the steering wheel in a neck-to-neck race or belting out tunes into the microphone on Rock Band, Xbox has made the experience completely wireless, giving you the freedom to play without limits. Xbox LIVE is another of Microsoft’s tools that will get you fully connected: from video chat and Netflix to photo sharing and free game demos, you’ll never be bored.
Whether you’re looking to travel in space, channel your inner rock star or learn a new sport, video game systems allow you a certain level of unbeatable escapism. Challenge a gamer in Italy or discuss current events with someone in Canada – simply by plugging in your console. So, grab a controller and step into a virtual world of wonders!
For more information, visit www.xbox.com, www.us.playstation.com and www.nintendo.com/wii.