At first, game controllers were very simple, and only consisted of 3 or 4 buttons on a simple pad, or just a joystick, but now there's loads of buttons and analogue sticks etc. The games industry has to keep up to date with it's audiences ever changing needs and wants. Gamers constantly want the latest and most realistic gaming experience to enhance their escapism from reality. This is a little ironic, trying to make it more realistic to be able to escape reality, but that's how it is. One of the current attempts to make games more realistic is having the character move with the player through the medium of controllers (Wii / Playstation Move) and cameras (Xbox Kinect) that sense the players movement. However they haven't brought out any interesting games for this new technology in my opinion, for some reason they have focused it more on children and families, releasing more board game style arcade games which shuns out the proper gamers. I must admit, sometimes I do enjoy playing these brightly coloured mini games, but they get boring very easily.
The consoles themselves have been changed to suite most peoples lives as well, they have been made smaller, sleeker and less noisy, some with the option of changing their colour.
The Xbox was late starting in the games market, and the first console they released was a big heavy black bulky box with a huge X on the front. It looked very masculine and boring.
Years later the Xbox 360 was released, offering a much nicer thinner design and the ability to play with the console any way up you wanted it, for some reason they only brought out white consoles at this point, possibly to stand out from the other consoles on the market. This console had a removable hard drive in it and memory card slots so that you could store as much game information as you wanted, it also gave the option to take your game saves with you and play on someone else's console. It has 2 USB ports and an Ethernet cable port for connecting to the Internet. There was a lot of problems with the original Xbox 360 though, as a lot of people experienced their console overheating and the “red ring of death”, which meant that there was something wrong with your console and it had given up with life.
A few years later the Xbox 360 Elite was released, which apparently had most of the problems fixed, it included a HDMI cable for better quality visuals, and a much larger hard drive, it was also black like the original Xbox, maybe they realised that most people prefer black as a colour as opposed to white (much easier to keep clean!).
A few more years later, Microsoft released the Xbox Slim, this was a much smaller console, it came with a glossy or matt finish option, it had a built in hard drive, and also built in wireless. It came with 5 USB ports, built in Wifi, and a port for Kinect, the overall console was a lot quieter than the previous models as well. Some people say that this was the console Microsoft wanted to initially release, if they hadn't been rushed to compete with the other console releases.
Soon enough the next generation consoles will be released, most people are excited about this, personally I am not, I am quite happy with my current Xbox and I don't want to have to spend loads of money on a new console so I think it will be quite a few years until I get a new one. Just like with Kinect, I will wait until they've brought out some good games for it first!
The Internet's response to next generation Xbox consoles.
Some people are calling it the Xbox 720, I sincerely hope it isn't actually called that, because that name makes no sense and is stupid. :)