Gaming consoles have proved themselves to be the best in digital entertainment. Gaming consoles were designed for the sole purpose of playing electronic games and nothing else. A gaming console is a highly specialised piece of hardware that has rapidly evolved since its inception incorporating all the latest advancements in processor technology, memory, graphics, and sound among others to give the gamer the ultimate gaming experience.
WHY GAMING IS SO IMPORTANT TO THE COMPUTER INDUSTRY
Research conducted in 2002 show that 60% of US residents aged six and above play computer games. Over 221 million computer and video games were sold in the U.S. Earlier research found that 35% of U.S. residents surveyed said that video games were the most entertaining media activity while television came in a distant second at 18%. The U.S. gaming industry reported sales of over $ 6.5 billion in the fiscal year 2002-03. Datamonitor estimates that online gaming revenues will reach $ 2.9 billion by 2005. Additional research has found that 90% of U.S. households with children has rented or owned a computer or video game and that U.S. children spend an average of 20 minutes a day playing video games. Research conducted by Pew Internet and American Life Project showed that 66% of American teenagers play or download games online. While 57% of girls play online, 75% of boys reported to having played internet games. This has great impact on influencing online game content and multiplayer capability on websites.
The global computer and video game industry, generating revenue of over 20 billion U.S. dollars a year, forms a major part of the entertainment industry. The sales of major games are counted in millions (and these are for software units that often cost 30 to 50 UK pounds each), meaning that total revenues often match or exceed cinema movie revenues. Game playing is widespread; surveys collated by organisations such as the Interactive Digital Software Association indicate that up to 60 per cent of people in developed countries routinely play computer or video games, with an average player age in the mid to late twenties, and only a narrow majority being male. Add on those who play the occasional game of Solitaire or Minesweeper on the PC at work, and one observes a phenomenon more common than buying a newspaper, owning a pet, or going on holiday abroad.
Why are games so popular? The answer to this question is to be found in real life. Essentially, most people spend much of their time playing games of some kind or another like making it through traffic lights before they turn red, attempting to catch the train or bus before it leaves, completing the crossword, or answering the questions correctly on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire before the contestants. Office politics forms a continuous, real-life strategy game which many people play, whether they want to or not, with player-definable goals such as 'increase salary to next level', 'become the boss', 'score points off a rival colleague and beat them to that promotion' or 'get a better job elsewhere'. Gaming philosophers who frequent some of the many game-related online forums periodically compare aspects of gaming to real life-with the key difference being that when "Game Over" is reached in real life, there is no restart option.