Pharma has dabbled in gaming as a way to improve adherence, but now the next generation of gaming is on the way. Sony and Microsoft unveiled their latest consoles with some serious hardware upgrades at last month’s annual E3 conference. Plus, people are now using crowd-sourced funds to launch their own gaming systems, including one that will bring virtual reality to the gaming masses.
Microsoft Xbox: All-In-One Entertainment Console
The Xbox One ($500 this November) was designed to be more than just a gaming console. It is a complete media entertainment system that can handle TV, music, movies and more; however, that doesn’t mean that it skimps on the gaming. Its upgraded CPU, GPU and ESRAM deliver real-life graphics and “Living Game” technology always keeps the game going thanks to the cloud—your friends can play against your shadow even when you’re not on. You can also watch TV through the console by connecting it to your cable or satellite box and create your own channel with all of your favorite shows and video apps.
Nintendo Wii: New Way to Play
Nintendo’s Wii U ($300–$350) was the first of the next-gen systems to hit the shelves when it came out last fall. The reception so far has been tepid, though Nintendo hopes sales will pick up as some of the company’s biggest game franchises start coming out this holiday season. The Wii U experience is once again unique from its competitors with a controller (the Wii U GamePad) that has a 6.2-inch touchscreen that offers a second window into the game, which could just provide another perspective, such as a map, or allow you to control what happens on the TV in a new way.
Sony PlayStation: Graphic Level Up
The PlayStation 4 ($400 this holiday season) is built around a custom chip that contains eight x86-64 cores and a state of the art graphics processor that will allow developers to push boundaries and create games with deeper worlds, richer graphics and an overall more immersive experience. The new DUALSHOCK 4 controller should add to the increased immersion with its six-axis sensor as well as a touch pad that offers a new way to interact with games. The controller also has a Share button that allows you to scan the last few minutes of gameplay and upload that video for your friends (or rivals) to see.
Oculus VR: Putting the Gamer in the Game
In 2012, Oculus VR, a developer of virtual reality technology, launched a Kickstarter campaign for its Oculus Rift headset which provides an immersive, stereoscopic 3D experience with a huge field of view—110 degrees diagonally—so that gamers don’t even see the screen. The Rift also overcomes the latency challenges that have plagued VR headsets in the past. The company was able to start shipping development kits to donators just a year after the campaign’s launch and now anyone can pre-order a kit for $300 and start developing Oculus-ready applications and interactive content.
OUYA: Kickstarted Into Reality
Julie Uhrman, a video game entrepreneur, partnered with designer Yves Béhari to create OUYA ($99), a console for gamers by gamers. Their Kickstarter campaign to get the console off the ground found overwhelming support from gamers as it was one of the most successful campaigns in the site’s history. With OUYA, not only can all games be downloaded directly to the console—no discs needed here—but each one comes with a free taste so you can play before you buy. Even better, OUYA is open to any and all developers, so anyone can create a game and upload it for free.