Game industry leads race for digital 'uberdevice'
By David Becker and John Borland
One of the most heavily touted concepts of the Internet boom was "convergence"--the notion that practically all consumer technologies, from television to instant messaging, would be housed in a single box.
Staff Writers, CNET News.com
December 9, 2003, 4:00 AM PT
Digital soothsayers spent years debating whether this all-in-one device would look more like a TV or a PC, the two most obvious contenders. To date, neither side appears to have been right. Instead, to the likely surprise of most shoppers this holiday season, the box of the future may end up being the humble game console.
Game companies are expanding their technologies, in part to avoid being eclipsed by digital video recorders and other living room boxes that have similar survival instincts. The experiment could have multibillion-dollar consequences for industries as diverse as computing, consumer electronics, entertainment and communications, while redefining household entertainment.
Game devices are leading the path to convergence by tapping consumer interest in entertainment rather than in information and communication functions.
The rivalry between the PlayStation and Xbox consoles represents the first major conflict in a long-anticipated battle between Sony and Microsoft.
Multipurpose game boxes reflect a new breed of digital technologies that threaten to break the television industry's dominance of home entertainment.
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