Things You Can Do With Your Console Beyond Gaming

Things You Can Do With Your Console Beyond Gaming

Jesse Leikin
Jun 2, 2011

Every week we let you know about some of our favorite new apps to download for all of your favorite devices. And while we usually don't focus on gaming, the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, E3, is just around the corner. So in order to mix it up a bit, we decided to let you in on some of our favorite downloads and hacks for your gaming console.

Hack It to Dim Your House Lights (Xbox 360 + Kinect):
One crafty hacker modified their Xbox 360 and Kinect system into a home automation sensor system which turns on the lights when someone enters, dims down lighting when it notices seated people in the room or any other programmed commands

Netflix Streaming (PS3, XBox 360, and Wii):
As we all know Netflix is awesome. But what some subscribers often forget about is the ability to stream Netflix movies right to their TV through their gaming console instantly. This comes with every Netflix account, and require minimal setup. In fact, most consoles now have the Netflix app built in, but if not, then check the download stores for a free download. Once installed, login and start streaming movies instantly.

Browse the Internet With Multiple Windows Open (PS3)
Did you know you can browse online with multiple open windows? Though browsing via your PS3 can be laborious at best, here's how you can keep several windows open for faster browsing. Open the browser by going to "Network" and open the page you want. Press Triangle and choose 'Open In New Window'. Enter another URL and repeat the process until you've got six windows open. Now you can access multi-page mode by pressing L3 (click down with the left stick). Use the left stick to switch from window to window and use L3 again for zooming in. [Tip via Tech Radar]

Video Chat (PS3):
While video chatting with friends on your computer is nice, why not put the large screen real-estate of your TV to use. All you need is a USB headset and video camera. Plug both into the USB hub on your PS3, go to your friends menu and start a chat. Type "videochat?", hit send, and then your friend should see a pop-up asking to accept the video chat. This little known trick can provide for productive or entertainment face to face moments.

Let Your Console Blog For You (XBox 360):
Ever think about writing your own blog? Did you stop because you couldn't think of anything else to write? Well, now you can let your XBox 360 blog for you. With, your XBox can blog about what it has been up to. And if you forget to play your Xbox for a while, you will be sure to see a multitude of posts about how you have been paying too much attention to your real world friends and how you haven't played your games in a while.

Convert Movies for Wii (Wii):
People often run into problems playing movie files from their computer on their TV. While there are many elegant solutions, if you have a Wii, then Wii Video 9 is a simple alternative. Simply download the program to your computer, and then you will be able to convert your videos to a file format compatible with the Wii. Burn the files to a disc then put the disc in your Wii for easy playback on your TV.

(Images: Flickr users kennymatic and Alejandro Castro licenssed under Creative Commons)

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