My brother once made the bold claim “video games are the modern equivalent of reading a novel for fun.” While Big Mike may be far from the truth, I think he was on to something. Today, hundreds of people are involved in the making of a video game and crafting the story line is a task usually given to a team of multiple writers.
As we move forward in time I have noticed how complex and intricate video games have started to come. Quite a lot of progress has been made if you compare Pong (1972) with the most recent game in the Grand Theft Auto series.
For this blog post, I will not discuss the multimillion dollar gaming industry but one small part of it: Mircosoft’s Xbox.
Xbox truly changed my life for the better, and it has also changed yours (you just don’t realize it yet)
My family has a long history with video games. My brothers and I were so serious about gaming as little boys that the room housing all of our video games has appropriately been name “The Nintendo Room.” Our first console was the super Nintendo. However, we switched our brand loyalty as soon as we unwrapped an Xbox on Christmas morning in 2001.
The most amazing feature of the original Xbox was not cutting edge graphics or games released exclusively on Xbox. The most incredible feature was the ability to connect to the Internet. This feature, known as Xbox Live, allows players to connect with and play against other users all across the globe.
This ability to play online had several important impacts. In my personal opinion, the most amazing feature was the ability to make and maintain friendships. As soon as I would get home from school, I would turn on the Xbox and find all of my friends gaming together. Physically, we were all alone in our respective bedrooms. But in spirit, we were all together. We would play together as a team for hours. And once Xbox made it possible to actually talk to each other and hear their voices with the help of a headset and microphone, things were taken to the next level.
I have family members located all across America, and we have all agreed that our friendships would not be as close if it were not for the time spent together on Xbox Live. My cousin Jack first told me about his now fiancé during a game of Halo. And as sad as this might sounds, I have even made new friends because of Xbox Live.
The original Xbox was great, and the Xbox 360 was even better. However, the Xbox One (the newest console in the series, released at the end of 2013) is taking the Xbox brand to new heights and unconquered territory. Yes, Xbox One can be used to play video games, but that is only a fraction of its full potential. Xbox One is no longer a video game system, but rather a home entertainment unit.
The console places an increased emphasis on cloud computing and the integration of entertainment applications and services. Much like Apple TV, users can download a variety of programming applications (such as HBO Go, Netflix, and Hulu) and utility applications (like Skype, Internet Explorer, Amazon, and even a State Farm app). Some of the features available to users are the ability to stream live televisions, split-screen multitasking of applications, and full Internet access. The disc drive is also capable of reading Blu-ray, DVD, and CD.
If the Xbox One’s 8GB hard drive proves to be too small, no need to worry. The system also utilized cloud storage, allowing all of your precious information to be safely stored somewhere in the Internet. The Xbox One also utilizes motion tracking and voice recognition software, which allows people to control the device without the need for a physical controller.
Xbox One is a product like no other. It is every electronic device you have owned over the past 10 years combined into one. It is the embodiment of social and digital media. It is a fun factory that can be used for an endless amount of hours. It is more than a video game system; it is a way of life.
Bravo, Bill Gates, bravo.