Ladies and gentlemen, we are on the verge of perhaps the greatest event ever to happen in the history of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) - Sony and Microsoft squaring off with their next generation hardware, a long list of new games on the horizon, and hopefully an update on some long overdue Wii U games.

Let's not forget the announcement Valve made earlier in the year with their own gaming device or that Vince Zampella of Call of Duty fame claimed he had no intention of showing up to E3 empty handed. Heck, even the official website looks flashier than previous years and you can get an app to help organize the sheer and utter chaos that is E3.

And while all of this is about to transpire in just under a week, I have to admit I'm quite content with the current generation just the way it is with what we have available now. Oh sure, assuming I can afford one, I'll be in line for the Xbox One on the day it releases (I already have a store staked out that shouldn't have too long of a line - assuming they get any) - but I have to say I'm rather fond of the Xbox 360 and the games I'm playing on it. I lost not one, but two consoles to the dreaded RROD. But the one I have now has been humming along happily the last few years. The same is true of the Playstation 3. I don't spend near as much time on it, but I'm pleased with it. It's a great system. And the PC, despite the on again, off again rumors of its demise, I think the PC is holding its ground if not making up some. Valve has turned Steam into a behemoth online service easily competing with the consoles in features and content. Now, that doesn't mean I'm not excited for E3 and the whirlwind of breaking news likely to cause quite a stir among my fellow gamers but it does mean I'm not in a rush to cast out the old and usher in the new either.

There is something I've been mulling over and the impact it might have on video game consumers. The current trend by the PC and gaming consoles is the evolution into this home entertainment appliance you can use for more than just playing games. Despite Sony executives poking fun at Microsoft's Xbox One announcement suggesting they (Sony) were more focused on games, there is no denying the Playstation has other capabilities besides just playing games...and I'm sure these features will at least transfer over to the next Playstation...and perhaps even be improved and/or expanded.

If it's true (and why wouldn't it be) video game consoles are becoming more than just game players, how is this going to change the complexion of gaming. When I was a kid, the "console" was not hooked up to the family TV. On rare, special occasions (usually Christmas vacation) we MIGHT be able to move the Atari 2600 or the Commodore 64 into the living room and hook it up to the big TV... Woo Hoo. But most of the time, not. Now, I realize those kids like me who grew up in homes like mine are also grown up gamers now who will want a video game console in the living room, but does that mean the gaming system in your man cave, den or in your kids' room is a thing of the past? I mean, the next Xbox (and presumably the next Playstation) is sure to carry a hefty price tag and are designed to complement your existing entertainment system, so how many are going to end up tucked away in your son or daughter's bedroom?

If I'm not mistaken Valve has hinted their solution will allow video games to be streamed into other rooms, which sounds interesting but hard to fathom. I haven't really heard (or paid much attention) whether Sony or Microsoft plans to offer a similar feature...but I don't recall hearing anything about it.

So, I guess what I'm getting at...

Are we destined to only play video games in our living rooms?

Maybe it's a big deal, maybe it's not...I suppose that depends on the individual and the family (or lack thereof) but it seems like it could. I've had two Xbox 360s in my home for a while now and a few other systems in other rooms - certainly not all hooked up in the living room. But it seems like it might be overkill to buy one of these next generation consoles for anywhere other than the living room or the main room or whatever you call where your primary TV is located. Does it also mean lugging your console to a local establishment for a tournament is also a thing of the past? The Xbox One comes standard with a Kinect and requires an online connection - I dunno, but that kind of sounds like portability goes out the window. I routinely move my PS3 from TV to TV depending on where I want to play, what I'm going to play and who I'm going to play with - but I don't know how much I'll be doing that with the Xbox One. Again, I don't know if this is a big deal or not...just something I'm wondering.

Regardless of these lingering questions, I'm excited the next generation is finally upon us. It's amazing how far games and systems have progressed over the years (or decades for some of us). From playing games on tiny screens in black and white with one buttoned joysticks in the privacy of your bedroom to playing games on big screen high definition TVs hooked up to surround sound systems with multi-button wireless controllers over the Internet with hundreds of other players in the comfort of your living room.


Well, I should go. I have a job interview tomorrow I'm very excited about and need to try and get some sleep. In closing, whether you plan on migrating to the next generation that is about to become the current generation, or you plan on sticking with the current generation that is about to become last generation, may all your games be good and your life blessed.