Xbox & Playstation: Total family entertainment
You don't have to wait for birthdays or the holidays to give (or get) a gift the whole family will love. A modern gaming console is a present everyone can appreciate all year, because these days, gaming consoles are for more than just video games.
The new Xbox One and Sony PlayStation4 both make claims to be the most advanced gaming machines ever made. Beyond being state-of-the-art gaming consoles, they're also fully functional media centers that connect your TV to the Internet and bring a world of entertainment to your living room.
These are brand new, cutting-edge machines packed with features. But much of the same functionality can also be found in the predecessors—the Xbox 360 and PlayStation3—to these newer consoles. Both will continue in production and are a budget-friendlier way to build up a home media center.
Gaming the system
With newer consoles, game time can also be family time. There are now more family-friendly games on both platforms than ever before. The Nintendo Wii kick-started this trend, but the new Xbox One takes it to the next level with Microsoft's Kinect technology built right in. (For the Xbox 360, it's available as an add-on.) Kinect is a motion-capture technology that turns your whole body into the game controller. A microphone hears your commands and translates them into action. That's right—you tell your TV what to do!
With Kinect, you can do things like explore the world of Harry Potter with a wave of a virtual wand or get fit with Nike+ Kinect Training.
The PlayStation brand has been a leader in immersive gaming since the debut of the original PlayStation console. With new, exclusive titles like DC Universe Online, it's set to continue that lead. The PlayStation has a catalog of old games you can download as well. Re-live your old gaming days with Crash Bandicoot and Tomb Raider, and school the kids with your elite skills.
Beyond games (fun as they are), movie streaming is another way these new consoles can satisfy your entertainment needs instantly. Both PlayStation and Xbox offer up ways to rent or buy movies for digital download.
Along with new services from Sony and Microsoft, you can access platforms and subscription services you already trust, like Netflix and HBO Go.
If you're a high-definition cinema and television fanatic, you're in luck: Both new consoles come with a built-in Blu-ray player. You can enjoy your library of movies at pin-sharp resolution.
It's worth remembering that although the older Xbox 360 only plays standard DVDs, the PlayStation3 includes a Blu-ray player. And for a small additional cost, you can buy PlayTV, the PlayStation3's add-on for digital video viewing and recording. The small attachment allows you to receive digital TV signals and record your favorite shows to the built-in DVR. All you'll have to do is pop some corn and put your feet up.
Music is at the heart of every home, and both PlayStation and Xbox offer up ways to stream your favorite songs. For ad-free listening, subscribe to Xbox Music for $9.99/month (or use the ad-supported free version).
If you prefer to own your music, you can download new tracks or full albums through the same service at better-than-CD quality. At the same low price, Sony Entertainment Network has a similar service called Music Unlimited. Your subscription enables you to listen through the PlayStation at the heart of your home cinema set-up—or take your music with you.
Keeping in touch
One of our favorite things about modern consoles is that they're Internet connected. That means you can use them to keep in touch with friends and family, whether overseas, away at school or just a few blocks down the road. With add-on apps and both console's web-connected browsers, you can use social media to keep in touch—all through your TV.
With the Xbox One, you can Skype directly through your TV too—no downloads or add-ons required. Skype is a Microsoft-owned service for making free audio and video calls to other Skype users. An exclusive version that uses the Kinect camera is built right in to the Xbox One.
PlayStation owners can use the PlayStation Vita console to Skype with loved ones. The PS Vita is a handheld PlayStation-compatible game console. It connects with the PlayStation to act as a second screen, remote control and game controller. There's no version of Skype currently available for the main console, but Skype has said that it will look into developing a version for the PlayStation4.
Whether you choose a new cutting-edge gaming console or you choose the previous generation's PlayStation3 or Xbox 360, it's easy to build a whole entertainment system the entire family can enjoy.
Used with permission. © 2017 Walmart. All Rights Reserved. See full legal
Important Walmart Disclaimer:
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. Neither the author nor Walmart.com assumes any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein. Walmart does not sponsor, recommend or endorse any third party, product, service or information provided on this site.