Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Trends of this Generation: Consoles as media centers

4:00 PM on 02.12.2013 // Daniel Starkey

One Machine to Rule Them All

Yesterday, I looked at one of the most recognizable shifts we've seen in the past few years: motion controls. In the next segment for this editorial miniseries, I want to address integrating a number of disparate services into one device that rests comfortably in your living room.

I remember quite some time ago, I would wake up early on Saturdays, play games for a few hours and then just kinda stare at the screen for a bit. I distinctly remember thinking that when I wasn’t using my console to play games, there wasn’t too much else to do with it. While it’s a bit sad that I didn’t have much else to do on Saturday afternoons, in my defense, I grew up in Oklahoma. And there’s NOTHING to do there, but I digress…

Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, and a half-dozen other services now populate the dashboards and home screens of all the modern consoles. These electronics have become the centerpiece of the family living room. This is another paradigm shift which, in itself doesn’t seem too important, but when viewed within the larger context of consumer electronics makes an enormous amount of sense.

Previous generations, particular the PlayStation line, have always had some limited playback options, but only with the Wii, Xbox 360, and PS3 especially did we truly begin to see where technological integration was taking us. And even since then, we’ve seen so many more additions to functionality and capacity for each machine, that they can hardly be called the same beast.

The PC as we know it is dying, and has been for some time. Many people have switched their browsing to their mobile devices and use their televisions and home-theater setups to watch movies, play music, and organize their entertainment consumption.

This trend gets a bit more interesting when the idea of the “second screen” is taken into account. Many people no longer simply sit and watch TV -- they will look up facts about the show on their phones or tablets, use Facebook, text their friends, and generally divide their attention.

Microsoft’s Smartglass is the first of what will surely be many applications to begin taking full advantage of the fact that the current crop of media consumers doesn’t passively observe.

This is one of the few changes that I welcome with open arms. Integration of media playback has simplified my life. I can switch from playing a game for review when my roommates are out, to queuing up some episodes of Archer or Downtown Abbey. My house hasn't rolled music playback into this new multimedia paradigm like Microsoft probably hoped we would, but everything is still nice and smooth. I don't need to drag a computer into the living room to play Netflix, or Amazon video, for example; everything we need is available on one system, all the time.

I realize there's a lot of folks around who think that gaming consoles should be for games and games only, but honestly, I see no downside to these types of features on consoles. Anything that makes our lives easier should be a good thing, yeah? I can't help but wonder if all the people that think that consoles should only play games would really be okay with buying a Blu-ray player, setting up a second set-top box, getting another HDMI cable, and adjusting all of the appropriate settings. You'd also be saying goodbye to video streaming services. 

These are all things that increase the financial viability of consoles as all-in-one devices, and in an era where the invulnerability of the game market is now a vestige of an age long past, consoles need all the mainstream appeal they can get.

I, for one, can't wait for the day when I can do absolutely everything I need with one device, and that day may be coming soon.

Daniel Starkey, PC Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dcstarkey Tips
Some say he never sleeps and eats only gourmet amaretto cupcakes. Others claim he's a hyperactive optimist. To citizens of the Destructoid empire, though, he's Captain Starkey, Intergalactic Game... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I am pretty hyped for when I get a laptop because I'll be able to have a good enough connection to stream XbOne/soon PS4 games to it along with natively rendered Steam games. Hype!
Avoclefo avatarAvoclefo
Got a PS4 that came with SW Battlefront this week, and planning on picking up the FFX/X-2 remake. Hype is through the roof, especially for FFX. If I were to get one other game, what should it be?
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Did a google maps search around my parents house for bars and there isn't one in like 25 miles, so I picked up an Intel compute stick and South Park: Stick of Truth on Steam. That's more or less the drunken screaming I'm in the mood for at about the cost.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Do you ever have that moment of clarity when talking to someone and suddenly realising: You're just a skull, and they're just a skull, with fucking eyeballs and a sac of skin being the only comparative difference between you visually? ..just me then?
Nathan D avatarNathan D
After quitting for two days out of frustration, I beat Ludwig on my first try of the night. I'm on cloud fucking nine right now.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
When I did my retail shift today, we were moving more Smash/Splat Wii U bundles and the Gears/Rare Replay/Ori XB1 bundles than Uncharted and Battlefront PS4s. I think Nintendo and MS have better value on their side this holiday. Sony got lazy.
Confuseddalek avatarConfuseddalek
I found this weird game called Samurai Heroes for 8 dollars today. Its not bad.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
Got Deadpool, Arkham Asylum and BioShock 1 and 2 all for 30$. Not to bad for going Black Friday shopping late.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
If you haven't played Tales from the Borderlands yet, GO BUY IT! By far the funniest game I have ever played, and the characters and narrative are incredibly well written. Very few memes unlike BL2 by the way.
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Played all of Life is Strange today in one sitting. Bloody hell. You should all play it. Only game this year to make me cry. Bravo developers. Possibly the most valuable thing I've ever bought for £10.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Last night, got farther than ever in Wasteland 2. This is my third playthrough-once thru beta, once through the orig version, now on Directors cut. Worth the restart, and it speaks highly of the game that I like it enough to do this. DAMONTA HERE I COME!
KeithTheGeek avatarKeithTheGeek
GUYS HELP I KEEP BUYING MORE AMIIBO. Today it was Little Mac, since he went back up on Gamestop's website. I probably would have gotten Captain Falcon as well if I wasn't already running a little short on cash.
BigDoniel avatarBigDoniel
50 hours in and I can safely say that Xenoblade is the best JRPG I've played in years. Should hopefully be finished in time for X too!
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
One job down on day I should have off, now for the other job.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I beat Murasaki Baby on PS Vita. Easy 100% trophy. That ending theme tho.
TheGwailo avatarTheGwailo
I have 34 games in my Steam queue alone, 4 on xbone, and a handful on handhelds. I have 3 days to make a dent. Time's up, let's do this!
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: To make up for yesterday, I decided to ask a second Community Question today. Have you taken advantage of any Black Friday deals today? If so, what did you purchase? Feel free to share pictures of your spoils, if you have any.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Some Black Friday artwork arrived today ! [img][/img]
Lawman avatarLawman
Black Friday is getting to me. All these games I kinda, maybe want that are at anywhere between respectable and deep discounts, but I'm not sure if I want to bite. I'm wondering if Godzilla's worth $12? After checking review scores, I'm not sure.
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Mission complete![IMG][/IMG]
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -