Big Ticket Christmas Gifts for Gaming Kids

PlayStation 4 and XBox One are high on the Christmas wish list of lots of gaming kids around the world. XBox One came out on the 22nd, and the new PlayStation is set for release in Australia on the 29th of November. Sales of both will contribute to an industry that is worth over 1.1 billion dollars in Australia and a whopping 63 billion dollars in the US market.

Gaming consoles are expected to be a top-selling gift this year–despite a price tag of around $550 for PS4 and $600 for the new XBox. PS4’s new system boasts a companion app that allows players to link their console to their smartphone. Some pundits are predicting gaming consoles are on the way out as video gaming moves to cloud-based formats. The change will mean that games won’t be limited to playing while connected to a single large device in one room, like the flat screen TV in the living room.

Safety Considerations

Parents who are taking the plunge on one of these big-ticket items might want to be forearmed with some directions on setting up parental controls. Parents can restrict access based on ratings, limit movies and purchases, and more. A big consideration, especially for young gaming kids, is blocking live chat. Any (honest) kid will tell you foul language and bullying are rife in live chat.

Worse, still, it’s a known fact that predators search for victims through platforms such as XBox Live. Yes, we’re talking about games played on the TV (etc), but it’s no different to chatting with a stranger on the internet. A 12-year-old boy described the language and verbal abuse he encounters while gaming with chat enabled. Vile and degrading are the two best descriptors.

Yoursphere for Parents has posted a great go-to resource on how to set up parental controls on the new PS4. The website includes links to similar directions for Wii. This post by Tom’s Guide has step-by-step instructions for XBox One.

Want to know more?

Here’s an article that compares the XBox One and the Playstation4. But chances are, you gaming kid already knows which one s/he wants. Don’t forget, violent games affect brain function, while skill games can have some positive impact. More info can be found here on this eQuipped post.