Those of us of a certain age can remember a time when computer gaming signified all the excitement inherent in a game of Pong, that toe-curling, breathtaking game where one or two players hit a computerized ball against a computerized wall or between two, you guessed it, computerized paddles.
While those early days of gaming were exciting enough for a generation to whom all this technology was new, todays gamers are merely bemused by what used to pass for a good time.
But then theyre used to so much more, a fact exemplified perfectly by the 2005 pre-Christmas release of Microsofts Xbox 360.
Computer gaming has come a long way in the last twenty years. From iconic Atari Pac-man who chomped through a screen of varying two-dimensional foes, gaming today is now barely recognizable as the same species of fun.
Today an enormous variety of games include graphics that are startlingly life-life and storylines complex enough to sustain film versions of the same plot, creating a leisure activity so immediate and thrilling that it satisfies the urges of the most dedicated adrenaline junkie.
The Xbox 360 exemplifies all that is possible in todays gaming world.
With powerful graphic and audio capabilities, this console offers a gaming experience that is second to none.
And as developments in the world of technology allow functional lines to be easily crossed, the Xbox 360 also offers much more than those old Atari games ever could.
With the release of the Xbox 360, Microsoft also revamped their Xbox live, the service that allows gamers to connect to the Internet and thereby to one another, creating their own personal profile and gaming history and buddy lists that allow communication between fellow gamers.
As well as this high quality gaming experience, and the ability to share it with others, the Xbox 360 also acts as a larger media center, allowing users to download movies, music and pictures, on top of playing movies on DVD and music CDs.
With the release of the Xbox 360, many reviewers argue that Microsoft has set a new standard for gaming.
And with a variety of functions and an enormous array of games to choose from, there is little doubt that this new standard will not disappoint.