Xbox 360 Advances Beyond Mere Child's Play

Video gaming is a very big deal the world over. Whether games are played on computers, over consoles, via handheld devices or even over telephones, video games are taken seriously by those who love them. Offering challenges for the mind, hands and heart, games provide an escape from the everyday world and they simply can be a whole lot of fun. Microsoft's Xbox 360 may have launched with some bugs, but the console's popularity is incredible.

Next-gen consoles for gaming are different from their predecessors simply due to the hardware choices they offer. The 360, for example, offers some of the best graphic capabilities gamers have ever seen. Designed for fast-paced, beautiful play, this machine is more than just a gaming box. The next-gen features on the 360 ​​include a hard drive in many of the consoles, online capability, information storage and more. They are meant to be used for gaming and a whole host of other things as well.

Thanks to some smart partnering, Microsoft's 360 can not only handle game play, but also television and movie downloads. The console easily doubles for an extra DVD player, has a remote and more. Pretty much the only thing the 360 ​​does not do is windows. But, given time, Microsoft may come up with a way to make that possible as well.

The popularity of the next-gen machines is simply due to their superior graphic and playability features. Smooth and responsive, the machines are some of the best platforms going for game play.

Hot game types for the Xbox 360 include:

Sports games: A longstanding favorite of gamers, these include boxing, racing, football, hockey and more. Through 360 games, players can take on the persona of their favorite sports star or even head up and entire team. There's also the possibility of playing with or against friends in remote locations through Xbox's online service. This just adds to the fun.

Role playing games: These kinds of titles allow a player to create a new persona for themselves online or off. Typically heroes, players can get online and pal around with buddies from different parts of the country or the world as they take on challenges and bad guys together. Or, with a lot of titles, they have the option of going it alone, offline, as well.

Strategy: Ever wonder what it was like to be on a World War I battlefield. Gamers can get a safe taste of combat through these games. Or, if war games are to a player's loving, there are plenty of other strategy games, including chess, puzzle games and more.

First-person shooters: These are games that enable a player to become the hero with the gun. Titles like Doom and Quake have made this genre a favorite among players of all ages. In these games, players are expected to move through mazes, battlefields and what not, shooting their way to victory while solving problems along the way.

The Xbox 360 was the first next-gen console on the market. Backed by the largest software and game making company going, the machine is expected to only get better over time.