Playstation 4 Release and the Gaming Craze in America

To much of the world, Friday Nov. 15 was an ordinary start to a typical weekend. To the gaming world, however, last Friday marked a monumental event: the release of the new Playstation 4(PS4).

Not only does the release of the new PS4 mark a continuation of the ongoing battle between Playstation and Xbox, it was also accompanied by the release of new games to keep gamers occupied for the next few months.

The world of video games has grown rapidly in the past decade. According to a recent article by Forbes, Americans spent over $2.88 billion on video games and gaming consoles in the second quarter of 2013 alone. Americans of all ages invest in games and many of those who don’t set up consoles participate in the gaming craze online, whether by logging on to World of Warcraft or downloading Candy Crush for the iPhone.

While the world of gaming contains a broad range of games–everything from the sunny world of Super Mario to the more serious terrains of Call of Duty, all of this gaming begs the question of why video games are so appealing to Americans.

One of the first arguments to consider is that gaming is a social event, which, for many participants, is true. Whether gamers play with their peers in the same room or by connecting with friends or strangers online, most video games involve working with other people. Maybe it’s a strange way to connect with people–through a virtual reality–and this new form of socialization says a lot about American culture.

For other gamers, there are numerous reasons to play video games. Years ago the Wii introduced a way to play video games while staying fit with a controller that requires active movements from gamers. They’ve invented the Wii Fit series for a way for participants to exercise while enjoying the fun and ease of video games.

Regardless of the buzz surrounding the release of the PS4 and the rise in popularity of interactive games such as the Wii, a recent article from the New York Times warns of the decline of traditional gaming consoles. The article mentioned the growing popularity of games from Facebook, smartphones and tablets, which come at a much lower cost than the latest consoles. At $399, the new PS4 is a splurge even for serious gamers. As long as Americans are willing to spend money on the latest gaming consoles, the gaming industry continues to flourish.