Last year, Xbox 360 celebrated many achievements, including superb releases such as Borderlands 2, Spec Ops and Dishonoured. It left gamers aghast when viewing the scads of AAA titles showcasing the sheer power of the Xbox. Halo 4, The Witcher 2 and Forza Horizon are mesmerising when viewed on an HDTV and one last accolade for Xbox Live Arcade revealed many respectable downloadable games, including the drug-likeTrials Evolution, Minecraft (one million sold)and Alan Wake: American Nightmare.
Of course, these releases only represent one area of the gaming market with consoles matched and sometimes beaten by the offerings provided by physical computers, laptops and netbooks. If you decide to take the plunge and sell your old netbook to invest in a higher spec PC capable of supporting even the most complicated games or are sticking firmly in the realms of console gaming, there are plenty of platforms for you to explore – and here are an overview of what’s on offer.
The name behind the famous PlayStation, there are some who feel this console is struggling to compete with its brothers as the focus on motion detection gaming seems to be led by Microsoft and Nintendo. Of course the release of the PSP, which targeted the portable console market, and other next generation consoles has allowed the brand to retain much of their reputation although they may not be able to boast the same lead as they once did.
In terms of their platform, Sony has always been known for creating good games with even better graphics. You need only look at the range of titles supported to understand the complexity of what is on offer and any new developments are sure to be worth the wait.
Alongside their pivotal Xbox, Micorsoft are also responsible for the main operating systems of most PCs, laptops and netbooks. For gamers, this means the company provides plenty of options when it comes to choosing your preferred gaming platform.
Where the Xbox is concerned, Xbox Live and Xbox Kinnect are the two frontrunners; paving a way for new games with every step. For PC games, the Microsoft Windows OS is one we’re more than familiar with and the arrival of Windows 7 has really kicked things up a notch. The intuitive nature of the OS makes it far easier to use and mirrors that of smartphones and other modern devices. This makes it more accessible to the public – something which could allow gamers to make better use of its features.
In terms of game support, this will depend on the exact game you are attempting to play and all PC games will detail the minimum requirements and specifications on their product information.
Finally, no evaluating of gaming platforms would be complete without a look at Nintendo. A brand who was once known primarily as a portable console manufacturer, the arrival of the Nintendo Wii helped to transform this perception. The handheld Nintendo DS made sure they didn’t drop the ball when it came to their former glories but innovations in motion detection which were pioneered by the Wii have completely transformed the world of gaming and made this one platform to keep an eye on.