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Video games have been around for decades, and they have been a constant source of entertainment and recreation for people of all ages and nationalities. A video game gives an individual the opportunity to live out their fantasies, and take up personas that they can only dream about. Being an avid video gamer myself, I can assure you that this is not a realm that is targeted at small children, since there are many adult based games as well that can open up new doors of possibilities for you.

The video game industry has morphed into a multi-billion dollar sector today, and one of the most interesting aspects of this world has been the rise of the video game console. The consoles that we see today are part of the seventh generation consoles, and the first generation ones can be traced back to the 1950s. Over the years technology has progressed by leaps and bounds and this evolution has led to the video game mammoths that we find in our homes today. These consoles are not just restricted to playing games now, and one can carry out a myriad of tasks like watching movies, surfing the web, downloading content, interacting with friends from all over the world and playing massively multiplayer online games on them as well.

Different Gaming Consoles

The Seventh Generation Home Consoles
The three primary candidates in this realm are the Sony PlayStation 3, the Microsoft Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii. The Xbox 360 was released in 2005, and the PS3 and the Wii followed in 2006 and 2007 respectively. Many people say that video game consoles have reached a plateau in their development cycles, and there is nothing further that can be done with them. This could not be further off the mark, and new forms of technology are slowly creeping into this segment as well.

The Wii introduced the world to motion gaming, and this brought many non-gamers to their couches and playing video games as well. Sony followed suit with their PlayStation Move, and Microsoft took it to a whole new level with their Kinect system that allows the gamer to play without a controller, and make use of body movements and gestures and voice recognition alone. These consoles are capable of carrying out so much more than this, and they have become full-fledged home entertainment centers as a result. Plenty of rumors are also doing the rounds about the eight generation of consoles, and it remains to be seen what the Sony PlayStation 4, the Microsoft Xbox 720 and the Nintendo Wii 2 bring to the table.

Handheld Gaming
It is a fact that people lead very busy lives today. As a result they are constantly on the move, but still need their daily fix of games to accompany them. This has led to the rise of the handheld gaming console market, and this is a throwback to the era of the Nintendo Game boy. Today you have advanced devices like the Sony PlayStation Portable and the Nintendo DS series that make full use of their unique powers of providing 'gaming on the go'.

The PSP has now been revamped to the NGP (Next Generation Portable) and the Nintendo DS is also now available as the Nintendo 3DS, which provides 3D gaming without the need for 3D glasses. These consoles are not meant to replace your home game consoles, but simply provide a means of playing your favorite games when you are outside your home.

The New Avatar
With the release of the Apple iPhone and several high-end Android based smartphones, handheld gaming has become a new fad amongst non-gamers as well. The touchscreen and the gyroscope on these devices has introduced a whole new method of gaming, and the success of Angry Birds is merely the tip of the iceberg. The games that are available here are very cheap when compared with regular games, and more and more developers are jumping on to this bandwagon.

The recently released PlayStation phone, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, is a shining example of how seriously developers and gamers are taking this segment now. As time goes by, more 'serious' games will be developed for this platform, and obtaining them will be as simple as visiting the Apple App Store or Android Market and downloading them.

Your preferences and gaming habits will determine which console suits you best, and the fact is that there has been no better time than the present for game developers and game console makers, and especially for the hardcore video gamers out there.