How to Buy Consoles for Role Playing Games

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How to Buy Consoles for Role Playing Games

Role playing games, or RPGs, refer to games where players take on the role of a character in the game. RPGs usually consist of a fantasy world, and involve complex storylines. This type of game has existed for years and used to be played with pen and paper. With the advent of game consoles, role playing games had an outlet for newer, more immersive, experiences. Game consoles have evolved since they were first introduced in the 70s. They are defined by "generation", the current crop of consoles being part of either the seventh or eighth generation. Each successive generation took advantage of advances in technology, resulting in improved graphics, better distribution media for the games, and innovative control mechanisms.

Although some gamers consider PCs the best system for role playing games, today's consoles are capable of providing an equivalent experience. Before buying a console for role playing games, buyers should know what types of role playing games exist, and what consoles they can be played on. They should also know what features each console offers.

Types of Role Playing Games

The first role playing games were designed for single players. In the 1990s, action role playing games raised the popularity of multiplayer RPGs. As the Internet became available worldwide, multiplayer games grew into massively multiplayer online role playing games. Besides the number of players, role playing games can be classified by genre.

Type of Role Playing Game

Characteristics and Features

Fantasy RPGs

The most popular setting for RPGs

Usually has heavy European medieval overtones

Some may be set in a fantasy future

Examples include "Final Fantasy", and "Elder Scrolls"

Western RPGs

Nonlinear storylines

Player usually creates a character

Players make their own decisions

Examples include the "Fallout" series

Japanese RPGs

Linear storylines

Players control predefined characters

Examples include the "Dragon Quest" series

Sandbox RPGs

Players allowed to roam freely

Usually a type of Western RPG

Examples include "Fallout 3" and the "Gothic" series

Action RPGs

Includes elements of action or action-adventure

Heavy emphasis on combat

Examples include the "Dragon Slayer" series

Tactical RPGs

Incorporate gameplay from strategy games

Whatever the type of role playing game, they all share common traits. The player's character grows in knowledge and skills as the game progresses. Points are gathered, or money is made, as the protagonist completes quests or tasks and progresses through the game's storyline. Characters develop relationships in multi-player games, sometimes teaming up to accomplish a difficult task.

Types of Game Consoles

As of early 2013, there are three major manufacturers of game consoles. These are Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. There were several other console makers, such as Atari and Sega, in the early years of game consoles, but many of them are no longer in the game console business.

Name of Console


Release Date


Microsoft Xbox 360

Seventh generation


DVD movie playback

Internal hard disk drive

Up to four controllers connected wirelessly

Optional motion gaming through "Kinect"

Sony PlayStation 3

Seventh generation


Internal hard drive

Blu-ray Disc support for games and movies (including 3D titles)

HDMI full HD output

Up to seven controllers connected via Bluetooth

Support for removable media storage on some models

Motion gaming via "PlayStation Move"

Nintendo Wii

Seventh generation


Usually bundled with "Wii Sports" and "Wii Sports Resort"

No internal hard drive

Supports removable SD card storage

Has 512MB of internal Flash memory

Maximum resolution of 480p

Uses the Wii Remote for motion sensing

Nintendo Wii U

Eighth generation


Supports high-definition graphics

Has 2GB of RAM dedicated to the operating system

Backwards compatible with Wii

Uses the new Wii U GamePad as a controller

Controller has embedded touchscreen

Has near field communication (NFC)

Integrated social network called "Miiverse"

As gaming consoles increased in power, they took on additional roles. Most modern consoles also double as entertainment centres A new addition to the gaming console market is the OUYA (released in 2013), a small console dedicated to gaming. Upcoming consoles that are expected, but have not yet been released currently (first quarter of 2013) are the PlayStation 4, the next version of the Xbox, and a new console from Valve, called the "Steambox".

Factors to Consider When Choosing Consoles for Role Playing Games

Buyers looking for consoles specifically to play role playing games should take several factors into consideration. The most important factor is the availability of game titles on a particular console. Other factors that buyers should consider are the types of controllers used, the capacity of any hard drives, and the extra features of a console.

Availability of Games

While some role playing games are available on all consoles, many titles are exclusive to one console or the other. For example, the popular Mario games are only available on the Nintendo consoles. If buyers are looking for consoles to play a particular RPG title, they should first find out which consoles support the game they are interested in.

Motion Sensing Controllers

The three major manufacturers of consoles each offer motion sensing controllers. A motion controlling sensor uses the motions of a player's body to control the character in the game. The Nintendo Wii remote is included with the console, while the Xbox's "Kinect" controller and the PlayStation's "Move" require accessories that have to be purchased separately, unless they are part of a package deal. Each type of controller uses different methods to sense a player's movement. The Wii remote uses accelerometers to detect orientation and acceleration, and an image sensor that allows it to be used as a pointing device. The PlayStation Move offers similar capabilities. The Xbox's Kinect, on the other hand, uses cameras to detect a player's movements.

Internal Storage Capacity

Not all consoles have internal hard drives for storage. The same console may also be sold in various configurations, some of which may have different internal storage capacities. The PlayStation 3 for example, was initially available in 40 GB or 80 GB models, and is now available with up to 500 GB of internal storage. Larger capacities allow users to store downloaded games on the console itself. They also provide ample storage room for films and music.

Display Connectivity and Resolution

One of the biggest draws of role playing games is the ability for players to explore an environment or "world" at their own pace. Some RPGs have worlds that have been created in great detail. These games are best enjoyed in high-definition. Unfortunately, not all of the seventh generation consoles are capable of high-definition video output, the notable exception being the Nintendo Wii. The new, eighth generation Wii U now offers full high-definition video output via HDMI.

Entertainment Other Than Video Games

If buyers want to use their game consoles for more than just playing RPGs, then they should consider the consoles other capabilities. Buyers should consider optical disc compatibility (DVD, Blu-Ray Disc, or both), wireless networking capabilities, and the ability to stream content from online services such as Hulu or Netflix. Game consoles can also be used to video chat, as a stereo, or for social networking.

Buying Consoles for Role Playing Games on eBay

Buyers looking for consoles for role playing games can choose from all major makes and models on eBay. Buyers can start looking on eBay's home page by using the search bar to quickly find the console they are looking for. Buyers can quickly narrow down results by choosing from different criteria including the model of the console, its hard drive capacity, and even its colour. Buyers can also choose from a wide range of role playing games, as well as other games, for their chosen console.

For buyers who are setting up from scratch, eBay also offers gaming accessories and high-definition televisions. Before committing to a purchase, buyers should review the seller's return and exchange policy. This can come in useful if, for any reason, the purchased game console is not as expected and needs to be returned. If this information is not already available on the item's page, buyers can contact sellers directly for it.


Role playing games (RPGs) on computers and gaming consoles evolved from older games that were played using paper and pen. Consoles gave the games a platform that allowed them to become more immersive and interesting. Gamers playing an RPG today enjoy some of the most realistic "worlds" ever created. Though they share these common elements, there are actually several different types of role playing games. There are also a variety of game consoles available in the market today, made by three major manufacturers.

Game consoles are classified by "generation". Currently available consoles are either seventh or eighth generation consoles. Buyers looking for consoles to play role playing games on must research which games are available for each platform. Though some games are cross-platform, many of them are specific to a particular console. Buyers should also consider other factors including the output resolution of the console, its internal hard drive capacity, and other features it may have, before deciding which console to purchase. Online, eBay offers a vast collection of game consoles, video games, and accessories.

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