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Why consoles have become successful
This Hub is about why I personally think why games consoles have become so popular, as well as how games can be productive and beneficial and not just negative like the media portrays.
Popularity of consoles
Over the past 10-15 years, there has been a huge rise in the amount of games consoles and games played online. The main reason is because of the social aspect, with people wanting to play with and beat their friends on the latest games, such as Call of Duty and Fifa being hugely successful amongst the gaming community.
Also, the release of the Nintendo Wii helped pave the way for more family oriented gaming, with Grand Slam Tennis proving exceptionally popular. This in turn helped Microsoft and Sony develop their own version of the Wii, with Microsoft releasing the Kinect for the 360 and Sony releasing the Move for the Playstation.
There have been some arguments between gaming fans as to which console is the best, but at the end of the day, it is all down to personal preference.
Now that Microsoft and Sony have announced their new consoles, the PS4 and the Xbox One, people will be deciding which one to get. Die hard fans of either Sony or Microsoft will want to get the latest console on release date, though a lot of people are critising the Xbox One on a multiple of issues, mainly because the stance Microsoft has taken with pre-owned games and having to connect to the internet at least once in a 24 hour period.
With Sony not yet doing a full launch of the PS4, it will be interesting to see which console customers will be purchasing come the holiday season, and also if Sony will be able to take back some of the market they managed to dominate for so long with previous versions of the Play Station console.
Next Generation Consoles
As some of you may know, Sony and Microsoft have both released their next generation of consoles, the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. These consoles boast improved graphics, processing power and other improvements. The PlayStation has said to be the better of the two for gamers, as the Xbox has focused more on the social aspect of gaming to make it more of an all round entertainment machine as opposed to pure gaming.
With the Xbox One's price ranging from £429.99 to £529.99 depending on the bundle you choose, and the PlayStation 4 price ranging from £374.99 to £459.99, it has lead to questions as to why the Xbox costs so much more considering the PlayStation is the more powerful machine.
Social aspects of consoles
Now that consoles are able to play online, people are now able to play their favourite games with their friends, as stated above, and are able to have fun whilst not leaving the house.
This can obviously have negative implications, but one major positive thing is that they aren't out mixing with the wrong people. But on the other hand, they may not be necessarily learning the necessary social skills to be able to get a full-time job.
Playing on video games can also be a good way of making new friends, because they already have a common interest and can get to know each other better based on their shared love of video games.
I have found that over the past few years I have made a few friends online by playing on certain games like Call of Duty and Fifa, as well as finding friends who play on games consoles whilst I have been volunteering.
Also, with the amount of people that play on video games in the area where I live, more people have been donating video games to the charity shop where I volunteer, which has helped increase the amount of money that the shop generates for helping try to find a cure for heart disease.
Why gaming is now an important part of our structure and economy
As most of you may or may not know, the UK is the fourth largest video game developing country in the world behind the US, Japan and Canada, with major developers having offices here, as well as creating hundreds of jobs.
It also helps the retail industry as well because the games we purchase all help the economy because it helps retailers offer a wider range of stock and be able to reach a customer base that they may not have reached otherwise. It has also helped create a range of shops, both first and second hand, that specialise in selling games and games consoles, as well as DVDs.
How games can be educational
Over the years, I have played on a wide variety of games from sports games to games like Call of Duty.
I feel like I have learnt quite a lot from playing games like Metal Gear Solid about the Hiroshima Bomb, even though it only mentions it briefly, it made me learn about more about what happened, which then lead me to learn about World War 2. Also, whilst playing on Call of Duty: Black Ops, I did research on the events the game is based on, which helped me learn about some of the major war events in history. Even though those games are inherently violent, their stories made me want to learn more about history and be able to expand my knowledge. I think that it would be a good idea if more games were like that instead of just violence and sci-fi.
I think that if games had all the major components players enjoyed but offered them some educational value as well so gamers can learn something about the subject the game is based on, like if it's a war game, then it could give players information on war etc.
After showing all the different reasons and weighing up the pros and cons as to why consoles have become so popular, I have come to the conclusion that gaming is good for children, if done in the right way.
If children are just let to do what they want, then games can obviously have a negative influence because they don't develop their social skills. But now that you are able to games over the internet, for example on Xbox Live and on PSN (Sony's PlayStation Network), this can be beneficial for children and teenagers because they are able to talk to their friends whilst playing on their favourite games.
Also, from personal experience, I have found that video games has helped me communicate better with people and be able to perform better in certain aspects of my volunteer work.