The Battle of In-Home Entertainment

New entertainment systems mix video and gaming.

By on July 3, 2013

There is a competition going on among connected entertainment devices vying for a spot in the modern living room, particularly between streaming video boxes and game consoles.

Devices that offer streaming content have pushed their way into the entertainment fold as appointment TV makes a begrudged retreat. Roku is one of the most popular streaming video players with more than 5 million users taking advantage of 750 available channels featuring on-demand TV shows and movies in an easy-to-use interface. Roku’s popularity is expected to climb with a mobile app that turns the device into a remote control.

Recently, Microsoft debuted the Xbox One, the latest iteration of its popular gaming console that now provides users with better visual graphics, video-on-demand and voice control. The console’s new features could position it to become the hub for TV entertainment as it moves beyond gaming functionality.

However, Microsoft is not alone. Also competing for the top spot are Sony with PlayStation 4 and Nintendo with Wii U, both appealing to consumers looking for quick and easy access to live and streaming video from the comfort of their couches. 

Today’s streaming video players and game consoles are a far cry from the TV sets of generations past and the gaming technology Atari pioneered in the ‘80s. As their capabilities continue to evolve, the lines between watching and gaming will continue to blur.