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HindustanTimes Wed,24 Sep 2014

Technology

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Four reasons why your next gadget should be a game console
Siladitya Ray, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, September 01, 2014
First Published: 10:27 IST(1/9/2014)
Last Updated: 10:35 IST(1/9/2014)

Never mind the naysayers who say video games are only either for children or for those who never grew out of their teenage years. Take a look around and you'll see video games everywhere, from the pages of your social networking site to that 'all-in-one' smart phone of yours, to the tablet and even to that trusty old PC of yours. But most casual gamers stop short of buying a console because of a few preset notions. Make no mistake: modern gaming systems have evolved many fold since they were first introduced about two decades ago, and can now even interact with the other gadgets in your living room or your pocket. No longer mere self-contained boxes, most devices can easily be synced to be part of a larger multimedia ecosystem. So if you own a smart phone, a HD set top box or a tablet , your console will become you living room hub, the tool through which all your entertainment needs can be fulfilled

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While the PlayStation 4 was launched by Sony in December last year for Rs. 39,990 in India,  Microsoft is launching the Xbox One in India via Amazon on September 23, and is also priced at Rs. 39,990. In order to get the most to get the most out of your systems, however, it is advisable to spend an extra Rs. 5000 on a bundled camera accessory. This modern era of console gaming doesn't just promise a more enthralling gaming experience but much more.

Still not convinced gaming consoles are good fun even if you are not a hardcore gamer? We give you 4 reasons that will change your mind in an instant.
 
1. Entertainment powerhouse
Both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 come laden with multimedia features. Both systems are the by far one of the most feature laden BluRay players your money can buy.  The Xbox One has some built in TV integration features as well. “If you have an HD DTH or Cable set top box, you can plug it into the Xbox One and control your TV from within the Xbox One.” says Anshu Mor, Head of Xbox India. “You can even snap the TV to one corner of the screen and use the rest to play games,” he added.

2. Voice and gesture commands
The ‘Minority Report’ gave us a glimpse of a world where man could interact with machine using voice and gesture commands. The new consoles are turning this fantasy into reality. The PlayStation comes with an optional camera accessory which can be used for voice input and gestures. The Xbox One offers the Kinect 2 which can be used for the same. “The Kinect recognizes voice commands with ease, the user give commands in his/her own accent without any issues.” Anshu Mor said.

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3. Free to play games
Free to play(f2p) is the mantra that is taking the gaming world by storm. You can get a game and play it for free and you only have to pay for any additional items you want to purchase within the game. This allows users to sample games and pay only if they want to. The PlayStation 4 at the moment has a very strong list of f2p titles and has many more coming. The Xbox One will also feature f2p titles in the future but lacks any notable titles at the moment.
 
4. The 5 to 10 year ecosystem
When you buy a console, you buy into an ecosystem of games, apps and other entertainment services, same as any other electronic device. But a major difference is that your smart phone or tablet gets relaced by a new model in the market every 6 months or so, but manufacturers support their consoles for 5 to 10 years with new software and services. Both Sony and Microsoft still sell and support their decade old consoles the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. “Our strategy with the Xbox 360 is still the same, we’ll continue to support it and launch games on it,” Xbox India boss Anshu Mor said.


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