The Nintendo Wii revolutionized video games upon its release in November 2006. Its innovative wireless handheld controller gives users more freedom and control to interact with games than ever before. The Wii offers people of all ages “a new way to play,” to quote the product’s slogan. Rather than compete directly with Sony’s Playstation 3 or Microsoft’s Xbox, the Wii attempts to gain market share by appealing to a wider audience than the traditional market for computer games. While most computer consoles (prior to the Wii’s release) drew younger market segments, the Wii aimed to attract a wider demographic: younger and older people who wanted to play or keep fit at home. Its intuitive, accessible features made this possible. (This blogger’s Granny loves to play a bit of Wii after Sunday dinner.)
In response to Nintendo’s success with the Wii, Microsoft has developed a new device, Kinect for the Xbox 360, which eliminates another impediment to immersion in a game – the handheld controller. The Kinect, which contains an infrared motion sensor, allow gamers to control characters in a game by means of their body movements or voice commands. This development could change the face of computer gaming forever.
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