The Microsoft XBOX 360 made its mark with edgy, mature, and violent games. Indeed the most popular XBOX 360 titles include Unreal Tournament 3, Soulcalibur, Alone in the Dark, and of course Grand Theft Auto.
As Wired.com explains, “Microsoft has assembled a crack team of studios that churn out Mature-rated titles like there’s no tomorrow. The Xbox 360 has no shortage of Gears of War or Halo. But the company has not been nearly as successful at creating family-friendly entertainment.” (Wired.com, May 13, 2008)
Family-Friendly XBOX 360 Options
With the mature gaming crowd largely captured, Microsoft turned toward families. Not content to let Nintendo fully dominate the family market with its hugely popular Wii system, Microsoft made efforts recently to compete.
In 2007, Microsoft took one of two major steps to make the XBOX more family-friendly. The company introduced time controls into its settings, so parents could regulate the amount of time their kids play the XBOX 360.
Also, Microsoft rolled out the family-friendly XBOX 360 Arcade bundle, which featured five kid-friendly game titles: Pac-Man Championship Edition, Uno, Luxor 2, Boom Boom Rocket, and Feeding Frenzy.
More Family-Friendly XBOX 360 Games on the Horizon?
Microsoft made it fairly clear that it wants to broaden its appeal beyond its young male demographic. This will require continued development of family-friendly titles. It isn’t just Microsoft, of course, looking to expand its market share. As the UK-based TimesOnline reports: “Today the race is on to create the family and female-friendly gaming equivalents of Titanic, Sex and the City and Love, Actually.”
Another dimension to this is the economy. When times are tough, people have less disposable income, and this will only intensify Microsoft’s competition with Sony and Nintendo. And what about that competition? Microsoft outperformed Sony, but lagged behind Nintendo’s hugely popular Wii.
The bottom line is that Microsoft intends to keep the XBOX 360 competitive, and that means (among other things) more family-friendly game titles.
Recommended Family-Friendly XBOX 360 Games
Of course, many parents want family-friendly game titles now. The family-friendly XBOX 360 games recommended by this author include:
Lego Star Wars
Lego Indiana Jones
Kung Fu Panda
Thrillville: Off the Rails
A Guide to the PS3 Slim
Sony’s PS3 Slim brought with it some upgrades and a change in the price charged for the console itself to boost before sales.
PS3 Slim Changes and Upgrades
The console came with a range of useful upgrades compared to the standard PS3 like:
Size and weight: The new console considered to be around a third smaller and lighter than a regular PS3.
Hard drive: The hard drive on this model was boosted to 120GB to please both hard core gamers and games enthusiasts in general.
Power consumption: The model uses a lot less power than the regular console and players noticed a significant reduction in fan noise.
Software upgrade: Version 3.00 of the system’s software brought with it a few useful tweaks. For example, a What’s On screen gives a range of useful shortcuts and shows gamers exactly what they can do in the PlayStation store and what their recent games activity has been.
Cost: The new console retailed at around £250.
Will the PS3 Change Again in the Future?
There are always lots of rumours about future developments in games consoles in general and there are plenty floating around about what might happen here.
How to Find the Best Deal for a PS3 Slim
The current UK retail price for the new console stands at £249.99. Whilst the base console price may remain steady in both high street and online stores consumers may be able to pick up some bargains by shopping around. Bundle deals that include one or more PS3 games may well see some potential costs savings, for example, especially with online stores and specialist gaming outlets. It is also likely that phone providers will continue to bundle mobile phone offers to include the new console at some stage.