Technology

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The gaming console seen here is seen as one of the best but is it really true?
The gaming console seen here is seen as one of the best but is it really true?

With the advent of the next generation consoles finally upon us, it seems like a good time to compare console gaming to another popular gaming platform. No, not mobile games or handhelds, this article is going to be talking about consoles versus PCs.

First, what exactly is a console and what is a PC? The former is a machine dedicated to the purpose of playing video games, which connects to a television or similar device. The latter is, as the name implies, a personal computer (in most cases, a computer which is running Windows) which can be used to play games.

Console Gaming

Console gaming is likely the well known gaming platform, and for good reason, it’s been around since the 70’s.  The NES (released as the Famicom in Japan) was arguably the beginning of console gaming as a successful industry and the oldest well known console, despite being predated by older systems released ten years earlier.

Fast forward a few decades. Not long ago, we saw the release of the Wii U, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, thus starting the eighth generation of consoles. Before that, we had their direct predecessors, the Wii, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 making up the seventh generation.

Traditionally, consoles are machines built with pre-determined and static hardware, meaning that the capabilities of the individual console will not change as time progresses.

What this basically means is that consoles won’t have their parts updated to keep up with advances in technology. While new models can be released, these are almost entirely updates to the exterior cases, making new versions less bulky or more aesthetically pleasing to the masses rather than actual upgrades.

So, a fancy new shooter might look flashier or fit more objects on screen at once, but it will be because the developers learned how to make better use of the console hardware or updated the engine that the game is running on. This can be restricting, as it means that games are inherently confined to certain limitations.

On the flipside, consoles that don’t change their capabilities means that consumers won’t have to repeatedly put money into upgrades to ensure that they can continue to play the latest releases. It also means that no research has to be done on which new parts are superior to previous ones or which ones are compatible with a given machine.

In other words, “it just works”. Plug it in, insert the disc, and play.

Something else to take in account is obviously cost. In general, a current generation gaming console will cost at least $200 and no more than $400, not including the cost of peripherals like extra controllers.

On the other hand, the price of most retail games will be around $60, which should clearly be taken into account as well. Assuming someone purchases more than one game a year, spending over a hundred dollars on games annually is not only common, but to be expected. Factor in the average lifespan of a console generation (seven to eight years), and this means that the average gamer will likely spend at least $840 to $960 on games for a single console.

Even being conservative and cutting the number of games purchased per year to only one, this is still $420 to $480. Putting aside possible sales or price cuts,  this means that the money spent on a gaming collection will almost always exceed the money spent on the initial console itself. In some cases, it’ll even be twice as much.

Pricey, is it not?

PC Gaming

PC games first appeared in the early 50’s and 60’s, but it wasn’t until the early 80’s that they acquired widespread popularity.

junior Kristian Vargas reveals, “While consoles cost a fraction of what a high powered computer might, the digital sales featured on online distributors vastly trumps the GameStops and EB Games of the console world.”

while both systems can be quite pricey, you are still getting a great value for each system. the controversy still stands whether pc or console gaming is the best, it is truly up to the players who can really decide its fate.

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PS4 - Newspaper (Pictures and Captions)Greatness awaits, now let’s see what a powerful next-gen console can do.  Sony has brought us yet another PlayStation addition to the world.  The PlayStation 4 comes out the 14th of November at midnight (12:00a.m.). The PlayStation 4, or PS4 for short, has been described as one of the next-gen consoles.  On par with the Xbox One, the PS4 offers dozens upon dozens of amazing new features.

PS4 vs Xbox One - Newspaper (Pictures and Captions   Looking back on PlayStation’s history, it may be just a shroud of darkness.  The original PlayStation was on its own in 1994, no competitors, nothing to stop it from rising.  It was at its best for its time until newer consoles arrived.  Still alone in the market of consoles, the PlayStation 2 had arrived at the beginning of the millennium; it was considered the greatest console ever.  It had even beaten out its future competitor: the original Xbox.  For quite a while, PlayStation 2 dominated with many game titles backing it up.

    Sony is now introducing the PlayStation 4, an amazing console with brand-new features.  It gave shock and awe to the audience at its reveal in February 2013.  It was slimmer, required no online to play, and even introduced interactive on-the-go experiences, which is not included on the Xbox One.  It will allow tablet and smartphone connectivity to further increase gaming experience, something that is far away than its rivals.  It will also include a social share-button feature on the brand-new PS4 touch-integrated controller which will allow you to compete with friends and show your best experiences to the world without requiring a recording device.

Kevin Kenson from TLD Today states, “The PS4 respects indie game titles without always relying on their console gaming exclusives, pushing toward multi-platform titles rather than just their own.”

In comparison to the Xbox One, the PS4 dominates in terms of gaming and sharing with social media.  Though, the Xbox One does include better Sports Features, the PS4 is able to play it’s older brother’s games from the original PlayStation and PlayStation 2 via downloads from the PlayStation Store.  It is also noted that it is one hundred dollars less than its competitors; the PS4 will be sold for a total of $399, while the Xbox One will be sold for a total of $499.  However, all these features come at somewhat of a cost.

Garret Soden, 9th Grade, says, “I’m really excited for the HD games that the PS4 will be able to have with the HDMI ability!”

The PlayStation 4 will require online pay.  Most PlayStation Gamers will hate that they will finally have to give up their free service and start paying.  However, there are some very good intentions for online pay: you will still be given access to single-player games, usage of Netflix, access to social media, and will be given more.  When you pay for online play for PS4, it will carry on throughout two other PlayStation family members.  PlayStation Plus is what the required pay is for, although, you will only need to make one payment to a number of PlayStation consoles.  The PS3 is known for its free online play, PlayStation Plus will boost any gamers’ experience by adding free games monthly, a 75% discount off of everything bought in the PlayStation Store, and given early access to newer titles.  But that is not the end of it; PlayStation Plus will also benefit the handheld PlayStation Vita with the same features.

Mauricio Castillo, 11th Grade, states, “I am looking forward for a more social system and I am looking for some new hit-releases for the PS4.”

This year, the PlayStation 4 has put all of its bargains on the table, what really matters is what will gamers expect from it. Will they throw their attention again to another Xbox?  Or will they try something different and look toward the PS4?

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A cluster of Google Products
A cluster of Google Products

There are over seven billion people in the world, and yet only two billion of those have access to the internet. Google wants to change that.

If you ask people what Google is, most would probably say a search engine, or a way of searching for things on the internet.

Melissa Corona, Freshman, agrees with that by simply saying, “Google is a way to search for things.”

That was their mission, when in 1997 a guy named Lary Page decided of the name, “Google”, as a play on words for “googol”, a number with a bunch of zeros after it. Formerly, it was known as “BackRub”, which uses bots and scripts to get everything notable and everything not notable on the web and organize it. In 1998, a check was written for a company that did not even exist yet, and in September they actually file to be a company. This trend continued for a while, including the conception of Google Ad words, which is why you see a bunch of ads on YouTube (really annoying for some).

However, in November 2007 something interesting happens.

The first Android smartphone
The first Android smartphone

The search engine dedicated to crawling the web for anything and everything like books, movies and maps decided to buy a little operating system known as “Android”. T-Mobile was the first company to offer an Android powered smartphone, the G-1.

Why should we not overlook this? Think about it. The search engine that is, most likely, already your homepage wants to be on your phone. They want into your life.

Ever notice that sometimes when you go on a site like Amazon, search for something, then leave, you start to see ads specifically for that product? That is Google. In March 2008, Google acquired a company called DoubleClick, who serves ads relevant to you.

Again, do not overlook this. There is only one way that they know what you are looking for.

The technology is called Cookies, and it is easy to imagine; every time you visit a site like Amazon, they put a ‘chocolate chip’ in your browser, and Google goes and observes the chocolate chip for what it holds. It could be milk chocolate, dark, white, whatever. It is unique to you. They use it to pair you with an Ad. Microsoft realized this, and started a campaign about being ‘Scroogled’.

Again, the company wants to know you. We are all too busy looking at the NSA to realize that Google is where they might be getting their information from.

In April 2012, Google decided to tell what else they have been working on: Project ‘Glass’.

Google Glass is shown above
Google Glass is shown above

For those who do not know, Google glass is really just smart-enabled glasses. It has a screen on the front so you can use the device, while it is out of the way when you do not want it.

In the concept video, you can see that they clearly seem to be having a good time with Glass. Why? How would this enhance my life? In the same way that your phone did, they know you will use it all the time. Actually, the point here is that you do not have to use your phone all the time. You will phone will be the hub for the glasses instead of the hub for you. This is just one more step towards a world of wearable tech. It could also take video. You can video chat. Again, cheat on tests. Plus, you do not need headphones, yet you still hear the sound. In a brilliant move, while Apple just released the ‘Ear Pods’, Google has been working on a way to play sound through a bone near your ear.

But they are not done yet.

Google recently tried to patent a tattoo. This tattoo could do phone calls, and it could also function as a lie detector. While this may be the only things that the new patent reveals, the possibilities are endless. Much like Google Glass or the smartphone, only science fiction could come up with an idea like this.

First reaction: well that is creepy…

Why not though? This is the search engine where you go to search for your deepest desires, whether it is a cat video or a tutorial on how to save someone’s life. Perhaps this tattoo could save lives by you asking it to play for you how to do CPR, like the video below:

The tattoo can use the signals in your skin to know if you are lying or not, and other signals that can communicate with gaming devices, smartphones, and other devices.

But even freakier, it might know what you are thinking.

We are getting closer and closer to being able to ask Google: “what is that song I cannot get out of my head?” The day is coming fast where Google could tell us if he or she is right for us. Sooner rather than later, we can cheat on a test and no one would know it, because only we can hear the sound coming from our glasses (this technology exists today, and the sound travels through a bone by your ear).

We need to start a conversation, and fast, about how invasive we can let technology become. We have to predict when it will be enough to just have a phone.

Google will become the place for your secrets, and the world will know all of them.

Invasive? Mr. Lee, engineering teacher on campus, thinks so by telling: “Google knows a lot about us, but we do not have a choice. Compared to a search engine like Bing, Google is the only option if you want to find anything,” Lee states, and tells how Google is unstoppable “unless society anchors down and says enough is enough.”

Warning: this is a long shot. Any technology listed below here is in the complete future.

However, the technology is starting to be developed now. Research and development is starting to take place right now at the headquarters of Amazon.com, the world’s platform for buying products, in order to find a better way to get products from the warehouse to you faster.

Their solution: drones.

In a recent interview with Jeff Bozos, the C.E.O. of Amazon, by 60 Minutes, Bozos claims that the drones can carry products of up to five pounds in distance of a couple of miles.

Now make a connection.

A chip that knows your thoughts.

A drone that can carry you products.

Given the technology that may be available in the future, all you have to do is think about the want for something and within minutes it is right in front of you. It is brilliant, invasive, shocking, yet cool. It is also an idea that has only been presented in Science fiction, but like most ideas presented in Fiction, companies are bringing this to life.

Sure, it may know what you want, which is very invasive.

This kind of scary could save lives. Think about this scenario: you are running on a trail, dehydrated. You faint, and then collapse. Because you have your smart phone and the tattoo, it knows all your blood chemistry. It automatically sends an alert to 911, but it also dispatches a drone to fly to the rescue, with plans to give you medication and/or assess the situation.

All of the sudden, scary turns cool, and that is what Google wants. We need to start a conversation weighing the pros and cons.

Towards the cooler side, imagine a situation where you’re sitting at home one day and want a bar of chocolate. You think in your mind: “Google:” and you hear a sound. You then say, “Tell Amazon to send me a bar of chocolate.” You are then left, doing what you were, until about three minutes passes. You have your bar of chocolate, generously dropped out of the sky and onto your front porch.

See, if you have been paying attention lately, you would know that science and technology is starting to move more and more central to us. The brain and your DNA more specifically, and sense that game came out where by focusing on something, you can make the ball go up, I personally have been in wonder and thought about how technology can change the way that we interact with technology.

The game is changing and changing fast.

We need to become more aware of what is happening. We need limits and laws.

But most of all, we need to think of the impact we have on the next generation.