Gaming Consoles Offer More Than Meets the Eye
Media extender or media bridge solutions that connect to networked PCs can be complicated to setup and use, but game consoles simplify the process a bit. The PS3 and Xbox360 connect to your home network to retrieve media stored on your Windows Media Center PCs. While the PS3 can connect to a wireless network, the Xbox360 uses a wired connection, and an add-on wireless adaptor is available. Once set up with your home network, a single menu choice connects the systems and makes media content available on the home theater system.
All three game consoles have online features for customers looking to go on the Internet without connecting the TV to a computer. Sony’s Playstation3 has a full-featured Internet browser. The Nintendo Wii has an Internet browser available by clicking on WiiWare in the Wii shopping channel. After purchasing Wii points, you can buy the “internet channel” for $5 worth of points. Note that the Xbox360 has online capabilities but no Internet browser. The Xbox360, though, has online chat features through Windows Live Messenger. A USB computer keyboard can be connected to the Nintendo Wii. While Xbox360 offers a small qwerty keyboard that connects to a game controller to make it easier to type messages without using an onscreen virtual keyboard.