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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Life With Sony (Playstation)

At the dawn of the console gaming age, the likes of Nintendo and Sony dreamed of having a conduit into millions of living rooms.

Personal computer sales were growing, but the feeling was they were too complicated for people to actually use for anything other than, well, computing. Forget streaming television, recording shows, listening to the radio.

The computer was for spreadsheets, email and games.

The console, though, was designed with ease-of-use in mind. The best designs had simple controls (or easy to figure out controls), solid functionality and built-to-last.

And it hooked up to the television in the living room.

Since then, game companies have been adding features: Internet connectivity, Web surfing, voice chat. Anything they could to create a more social environment around their machines.

Nintendo's Wii is the first truly successful platform. With its full-motion controllers and simple games, the system has drawn in millions of non-gamers.

Now, Sony -- with its next-generation Playstation 3 console -- is trying to follow suit at least in terms of building a community. The Life With Playstation software just launched with very basic features: a weather map.

But it's not just any weather map. The software uses a 3d representation of the earth using satellite weather maps that allows users to scan the globe for emerging weather patterns.

Why weather? Ask any newspaper with a good website: weather draws a crowd. We're rubbernecking the Earth looking for disasters.

For console makers, that's just one more way to bring people into the living room.

By Brad at 12:38 PM | Comments (0)

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