As you know from yesterdays piece, it’s all fun and gaming at Innovatrs this week… Do you know what? I think I’m the only male of my age group that doesn’t own a PlayStation 3. I haven’t taken a straw poll of the entire world to reach that conclusion, but it’s become pretty clear over time that my console-less status puts me in the minority. Seriously, it’s hard to find anyone between the ages of 12 to 35 that doesn’t own a PlayStation or Xbox. You can also be sure there is a wide range of people doing their brain training and exercise using a Nintendo Wii – gaming seems to have taken the world by storm. In fact, when I speak to my friends they are astonished when I tell them I won’t be joining them online for a game of COD. So where did this phenomenon come from then? Well it hasn’t just crept up on us. Ever since the early 80′s when Atari was propping up the balance sheet of an entertainment powerhouse like Warners, the signs have been there that the computer gaming sector is a beast. Since then, the beast has got a lot more sophisticated… As we said previously, the gaming sector is as innovative as they come. Take the PlayStation 2 as an example – The second generation of Sony’s console really broke a lot of boundaries in the home entertainment market by coming with the ability to play CD’s and DVD’s. That might not seem like a big deal now, but it was quite a development back in 2000 and one of the first steps to integrate gaming into our home entertainment ritual as a whole. The innovations didn’t stop with CD and DVD. The Xbox has turned the humble gaming console from a machine with a couple of add ons, to a fully fledged computer. Features like Internet connectivity, online games, online store and large hard drives have really helped to take the gaming world onto another level. Over to the PlayStation 3 then, which came out with the addition of a Blue Ray player to add to all the Xbox’s advancements. It seems the gaming sector is one that simply wont stand still. I mentioned the Nintendo Wii before, a perfect example of how gaming has crept into so many other parts of our lives. Who would have thought in the days of the Commodore 64, that we would see a generation of women - traditionally the least likely gamers – utilising a gaming console to help stay fit? We focussed on social gaming yesterday, another perfect example of how the gaming world has spread its reach into different areas. Now we have Microsoft kicking Apples butt with the sales of its Kinect device. Kinect is an infrared add on to the Xbox console that allows players to control games with the movement of their bodies. It just became the fastest selling consumer electrical device EVER. People queued in tents for days to get an iPhone and along comes a gaming add which sells more than 10 million in just four months. Incredible figures. What is clear from the computer gaming world today, is that it is far from a niche – gaming is entrenched in the entertainment industry just like music, TV and film. Those fields better watch out – this is far from a game…
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