Is The Games Console Becoming Obsolete?

Writer Tom Chatfield says no: Despite the proliferation of mobile devices, there are still people who appreciate the transporting experience that console gaming can provide.

What's the Latest Development?


Among the critiques surrounding last month's release of Microsoft's latest Xbox iteration, the Xbox One, is this: In an age where, according to writer Tom Chatfield, "there are more smartphones in the world than consoles have been sold in history" and high-quality mobile games can be had for under a dollar, is it possible that the Xbox and similar systems are no longer relevant? The question is especially pointed given that Nintendo, which brought the world the Wii, has seen lackluster sales with its new Wii U and, this April, cited the drop as one cause for the annual loss it experienced in 2012.

What's the Big Idea?

"Games consoles have never been for everyone," argues Chatfield, who admits that he entered his teens when the two great gaming consoles, Sega and Nintendo, were vying for gamers' loyalties. Describing the Xbox One's upgraded version of Microsoft groundbreaking Kinect sensor technology, he says, "[W]hat seems gimmicky when you’re waving at it to change TV channels can become, in the middle of play, little less than a miracle...it’s about becoming an active, physical presence within the screen itself." The heart of console gaming, he says, is "the passionate desire to meld play and technology into something entirely apart from everyday life."

Barone Firenze / Shutterstock.com

Read it at BBC Future

European wind farms could meet global energy demand, researchers now say

A new study estimated the untapped potential of wind energy across Europe.

Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • A new report calculated how much electricity Europe could generate if it built onshore wind farms on all of its exploitable land.
  • The results indicated that European onshore wind farms could supply the whole world with electricity from now until 2050.
  • Wind farms come with a few complications, but the researchers noted that their study was meant to highlight the untapped potential of the renewable energy source in Europe.
Keep reading Show less

First solar roadway in France turned out to be a 'total disaster'

French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.

Image source: Charly Triballeau / AFP / Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
  • The French government initially invested in a rural solar roadway in 2016.
  • French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.
  • Solar panel "paved" roadways are proving to be inefficient and too expensive.
Keep reading Show less

New vaccine (for cats) nixes allergic reactions for humans

You want one. Now you may be able to survive one.


Photo credit: Jie Zhao
/ Getty contributor
Technology & Innovation
  • Cats live in a quarter of Western households.
  • Allergies to them are common and can be dangerous.
  • A new approach targets the primary trouble-causing allergen.
Keep reading Show less