Turning Gaming Consoles in Media Centers

Home gaming consoles have changed a lot from the days when Atari first hit the market thirty years ago. The graphics and games have become a lot more complex and, thanks to the Internet, users can now play online with their friends. But, today’s systems can also do more than just handle video games. They can play DVDs and Blu Rays, making it unnecessary to buy additonal players. Some of them even have the ability to instantly stream movies online. And third party companies, like Nero, are making software that will allow you to access the entertainment files you have on your computer with your gaming console.

DVDs and Blu Ray

Sony's Play Station 2 was the first major gaming system capable of playing DVDs when it was launched in 2001. This can be considered the first gaming console media center, as it eliminated the need for users to own an independent DVD player. Sony followed up on this device a few years later with the Play Station 3, a gaming system that can play both DVDs and Blu Ray discs.

This had a direct impact on the Blu Ray market because most people were not willing to spend a few hundred dollars to upgrade their DVD players to Blu Ray. But, they were willing to spend a few hundred dollars on a state of the art gaming console that could also play Blu Rays. Without this device, people would not embrace Blu Ray discs like they do today.

Streaming Movies Online

Netflix revolutionized the video rental industry by offering their customers the ability to rent movies without leaving home. They then upped the game by offering users the ability to watch movies online from their computer. Not many people took advantage of this because it's more fun to watch a movie on the TV from your couch as opposed to your desk. 

Netflix teamed up with Sony's Play Station 3 to offer it's custumers the chance to watch movies on the TV from the Internet, with the PS3 making it possible. Since then they made a deal with Nintendo, and now Wii systems can streamline from Netflix as well. 

Third Party Software

There are also companies out there that are designing software to enhance gaming consoles into media centers. Nero MediaHome 4 allows you to enjoy the music, video and photos that are on your computer with your gaming consoles. Automatic transcoding and streaming takes the work out of your hands so that you can sit back and enjoy being entertained.