From Peripheral to Preeminence: The Rise of the Video Media Console, Part III, “From arcade to VR ecosystem.”

In other words, just like the Playstation 1 became the Playstation 4, so the Playstation-VR appliance will also be another giant step forward in the evolution of the console, and media delivery in general. It is with this in mind that I introduce my vision of the next generation of Video Media Console, what I have termed the “Fony” VR-Appliance (see Figure 5).

Figure 5: BOOM Salad introduces the "FONY" VR-Appliance (VR-A) future!
Figure 5: BOOM Salad introduces the “FONY” VR-Appliance (VRA) future!

Clearly it is a PS4 that I have expanded, albeit, poorly, and cut in half. This was done to demonstrate how these devices could change moving forward. More importantly, it suggests the capacity that the future appliances may have for expansion and upgrades, making the central debate between PC and console irrelevant.

In this series, we have considered the role of the console and its evolution, from its gaming-only origin, to its current manifestation as an online, multimedia, distribution and presentation platform. In addition, we have analyzed the emergence of VR and its influence on the way in which the household may consume media, and so called, “reality,” in the near future. We, also, examined the relationship between VR and the console, as fundamental components of a future, “VR Ecosystem (VRE)” (see Figure 6).[5]

Figure 6: Conceptual view of the primary components of the future VR ecosystem.

Finally, we looked at one of the precursors to the ideological schism between the PC and the console, and discovered how its misrepresentations are beginning to influence the development of VR.

From these considerations, it is evident that the console now occupies the most prominent position in the home-entertainment paradigm, second only to TV. With the emergence of VR, that role should expand to the point that the console replaces the TV at the top of the home entertainment food chain. In so doing, its march from being a simple peripheral, to King of the home entertainment ecosystem, will have been completed.

But like my grandfather always said, “time will tell.”

Thanks for stopping by, and as usual, I hope you were informed and entertained.

See you all next month. Until then, try something else but a noob tube, please? I am asking, please? – BOOM.

[1] A period beginning in the early 80’s, often referred to as the “8-bit era,” which signified the first console generation to reproduce PC and arcade level performance.

[2] I recall a video game that was installed as a multiplayer at a local pizzeria. The controllers were large and box-shaped, and had buttons. There were two games. One was called “Duck Hunt” (a prototype of the early NES version). The other was called “Home Run” or something similar. They used very simplistic, LED-based graphics and hung on the wall for all in the restaurant to watch.

[3] This visual and sonic experience of the video arcade continues to this day. The primary difference between then and now is that, in the 80’s, arcades were a new experience for the under-18 crowd who had few opportunities for inter-relational events outside their immediate sphere of friends. Arcades would prove to be an important social environment for generations of teenagers, and pre-teenagers, to come.

[4] Even in the “rose-colored glasses”  industry-forecast of the Gartner group post, “PC Sales Bottoming Out,” they can’t spin away the horrific numbers for the desktop PC industry, and how they are expected to continue, well into 2019.

[5] The “VR ecosystem” and its conceptual rendering in Figure 6, will be future subjects of the BOOM.

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