Monday 28 November 2005

Is Xbox 360 A Heed To True Convergence?

The dominance of Microsoft in personal computing is undeniable. The launch of the Xbox 360 last week marks the next effort following the original Xbox by Microsoft to dominate the personal gaming market. Its competitors are the Sony Playstation 3 and Nintendo Revolution that are not due out until 2006. More than a gaming console, the new Xbox differentiates itself from other systems by also billing its own to be the ultimate convergence device for all digital media—music, video, and pictures. Little attention, however, has been given to the “social” convergence that this device may bring. While the powerful hardware of the Xbox 360 is no doubt a technological marvel, its Xbox Live service may turn out to be the “killer” architecture that will bring on true convergence. The development of a persistent online community with its Live Marketplace creates an unique social construct through which gamers around the world can interact seamlessly with each other without ever meeting face to face. Over time, this social convergence beyond any geographical border will make a greater impact on our young generation than any technological convergence such machine may bring. Regardless of which platform emerges as the winner of this console war, ultimately it will be the social and not technological impact it may make that will determine its legacy.

By Philip Jong • At 07:12 AM • Under Column • Under Life • Under Play • Under Tech • Under World
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