Multimedia devices, or how we as consumers created a monster

I’ll never forget the day that I got my PS2. After owning a PSONE, Game Boy, N64, and Atari Jaguar when Sony unveiled the PS2, I like many other gamers was awestruck. The graphics in comparison to the previous consoles were undeniably sharp and clean. Heck even the menu interface was a thing to behold, it was like a consol/computer. And while all that was nice, what really convinced me to drop a quarter of my college tuition reimbursment check on the system was the fact that it doubled as a pretty decent DVD player, which at time was the hot new technology on the market and not a common item in the living room.

DVDs were the wave of the future, from the extra features, the higher picture quality, and no rewinding, they held every possible advantage over VHS tapes. I mean even the packaging for the movies was slick. But little did I know that this was the beginning of the end. No one can deny the titanic success of the PS2, that’s not even up for debate, considering the thing still currently goes toe to toe with the next generation of systems. But after the success of the PS2 with cross media, there begun a slew of products offering added features to their primary purposes.

While the PS2 wasn’t the first electronic device to do cross media, it was pretty much one of the spearheads for the upcoming movement. If you owned a computer tower and had a little extra cash to play with, you could do what the PS2 brought to the living room and more way before Sony released the little black beast. But that was a niche market back in the early to mid 90’s, and most consumers would use their computers for academics or business purposes primarily, not really tapping into the entertainment options of their computer units.