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

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Keep reading Show less

Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel and deadly experiment

Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

Flickr user Tommy Truong79
Politics & Current Affairs
  • During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
  • The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
  • Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
Keep reading Show less

Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
  • In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
  • Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
Keep reading Show less