One type of technology that definitely brings people a lot of entertainment, enjoyment, and even social bonding is video gaming platforms. Ever since Atari and other primitive video game platforms first came out about thirty years ago, the video gaming industry has tried to make better and better devices to keep people interested in all the have to offer.There have been a number of breakthroughs in video gaming technology over the years, and as a result we now have video game platforms that have built in hard drives, optical disc drives, enormous amounts of RAM, and even multiple computer processors working in parallel. In the past, the major competitors in the video gaming industry have been Atari and Intellivision, and later Nintendo and Sega, but now it’s pretty much come down to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s Play Station 3. Both of these two products have a lot in common, including the fact that they both have multiple processors, built in hard drives, optical disc drive, the ability to connect to the Internet, and stunning graphics that can reach HDTV resolutions.One of the features that they both have in common is the ability to play high definition DVD’s onto HDTV sets, making them high definition DVD players (as well as normal DVD plays and CD players). Even these High Definition DVD formats are in competition because the Play Station 3 plays Sony’s Blu-ray high def DVD format and the Xbox 360 plays Toshiba’s HD-DVD format. The way in which these two devices accomplishes this are a little bit different though. That’s because the Xbox 360’s ability to play high def DVD’s comes from an optional HD-DVD drive that can be attached to the unit via cable, and the Play Station 3 comes with a Blu-ray drive installed.The fact that these two devices play different High Def DVD’s has brought them right into the middle of a format war between Blu-ray and HD-DVD. Both formats essentially accomplish the same thing (although there are technical reasons why Blu-ray may be superior), but can’t be played on each other’s players and disc drives. For that reason, it’s generally agreed that only one of the formats can survive the format war.Both Sony and Toshiba (with Microsoft’s help) have been trying to gain an edge in the market for their respective formats, and both of these video game systems have become pawns in the format war. It was hoped that the Play Station 3 would promote the benefits of the Blu-ray format to people who would buy a Play Station anyway and then watch Blu-ray discs on it as an afterthought. The problem with this strategy has been that the extra cost of including a Blu-ray drive is reflected in the Play Station 3’s price and many gamers don’t want to pay the extra money. The Xbox 360, on the other hand, has avoided that pitfall by making its HD-DVD drive an optional separate purchase.All format wars aside though, these to gaming platforms are very impressive pieces of technology.