Which games platform should I buy?
This can be a divisive and entrenched conversation among serious gamers who already know what each and every device is capable of. But for non-gamer parents, this is often a serious question. After all, if you are going to buy one you want to make sure you buy the right one.
However, like all seemingly simple questions, there is not one simple answer. Game consoles all do one thing very well: they play games. That is the main purpose of the device, so often the question is not one of capability but of value for money, and of what else it is capable of.
The three big consoles you can chose from are The Playstation 3, The XBox 360 and the Nintendo Wii. Each of these has pluses and minuses and come with added extras or features that can complicate your decision (or make it easier).
Your choice is relevant to what you want the device to do. If you are looking for top-of-the-line games that really push the ability of gaming then the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360 are the best.
If you want a games console that is mostly fun with loads of interactivity and aimed at a younger audience, then the Wii is probably more your speed (though the other two also cater to younger gamers).
If you want the device to be more than a gaming machine, then your choice is in what else the machine does, and again this is the choice between the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360. Both of these devices have wireless connectivity and play movies from the hard disc or from the drive, but the PS3 plays Blu Rays and DVDs while the Xbox 360 plays DVDs only.
All three of the devices support motion detection, but with the Wii this is a core concept and how the device works in all models. On the PS3 and the X Box you can get either the Kinect system or the PS Move systems that are optional extras to get this function.
(depending on extras) Capability Motion detection Blu Ray/DVD
Playstation 3 $350-$500 High Added extra Both
X Box 360 $350-$500 High Added extra DVD only
Nintendo Wii $240-$400 Moderate In all models Neither
It really depends on what you want to do and how much you want to pay. They all play games and they all do their jobs very well in different ways. You may also want to see what you children’s friends or relatives have, because if they are going to swap games they have to have the same kind of console for the games to work.
If you’re still not sure, ask your kids – I’m sure they’ll have an opinion and may already know which one they think is best.
What console do I have? I have all of them and the handheld versions as well, but then again I work in the games industry.
By Wayne Webb
Wayne Webb is a community services manager for SmallWorlds – an online gaming site that caters to a 13 plus age range – an avid technology fiend and the father of two children who also love “screen things”.