Selecting a gaming console to purchase is not as simple as it was back when Pong was released in 1972. The game consisted only of hitting a white dot across the screen with two paddles. At the time, there were few consoles available, with Atari being the main one. Now, there are several very advanced gaming systems with realistic graphics and a multitude of games available. In addition to that, there are previous generations of the consoles. For example, Nintendo has released eleven consoles since their first one hit the market in 1983. This is because every few years the competing video game companies release a new console that is better than the last.
Video games have become an everyday part of life for many people. With the superior audio, high definition graphics, and interactive features, they are exciting to play and can become very addictive. When it comes to home entertainment, video games are nearly as popular as films are. Unfortunately, consoles are expensive, but not only are the consoles themselves pricy, but the games, extra controllers, and any other accessories have to be purchased separately.
Top of the line consoles include the Sony PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii U, however, none of these systems are considered to be very affordable, but one way to save money is to shop for a used one or the previously released version.
Choosing Which Console to Purchase
When it comes to selecting a console, there are only three main manufacturers to choose from: Sony, Nintendo, And Microsoft. They each have their strong points to consider, but which one to choose is a matter of opinion. Most people select the console based upon the games that they like. For example, Nintendo usually produces more family friendly games, but the games are also more interactive. The Wii was the first console to incorporate motion sensors into the system. Although Sony and Microsoft did try to add motion capabilities to their consoles, their effort fell short of being successful.
Sony and Microsoft are more well known for their high quality graphics and their online gaming capabilities. What usually pulls people from one console to the other is just the game selection and the controller setup. Certain games such as Halo are only available on the Xbox, and others like Uncharted are exclusive to PlayStation.
Nintendo Wii U
The Wii U is the latest console from Nintendo and is vastly different from their previous gaming platform. They actually removed the movement based gaming and tried to replace it with better graphics and an innovative controller. The controller is the first of its kind and is the biggest pull towards getting the console. It is larger than normal controllers and comes with a touch screen that people can use to pull up extra game features like maps, tools, and other things. Some of the Wii U games can even be played entirely on the controller without the TV. In other words, it is similar to playing the portable Nintendo DS. The advantage is that players can still have access to the game while someone else is watching TV.
Currently, the Wii U has a graphics system that is compatible, if not better, than the other two consoles. However, both of the other manufacturers are due to release their new platforms soon, and if history is any indication, Microsoft and PlayStation will surpass Nintendo in the graphics department again.
Like the previous system, the Wii U also has streaming features such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. However, this is the first of the Nintendo consoles that can stream HD TV. However, Nintendo dropped the ball in one area; the Wii U cannot play DVDs and Blu-ray discs. This has been a huge drawback for those who use their console as their DVD and Blu-ray player to avoid having too many electronic devices cluttering up their entertainment system.
As it has always been in the past, the Wii U has the most kid-friendly games available. The popular characters such as Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong are exclusive to Nintendo.
Microsoft Xbox 360
The Xbox 360 is mostly geared towards the hardcore gamers who want realistic sound effects and detailed graphics. The system was designed to be an entertainment powerhouse, and it met its goal. Many people who cannot decide between the PS3 and Xbox 360 go for the system with the games that they like. The two most popular exclusive games for the Xbox are the Gears of War and Halo series. However, these two games are for mature adults only and are not considered to be appropriate for all age groups.
The Xbox is available with different amounts of memory. It can be found with 250 GB or 4GB. The larger amount of space is really only needed for those who download movies from the online store. The system comes with Wi-Fi built in and it can play DVD discs, unlike the Wii U.
Those who want to play with motion sensors games have to pay a lot more to purchase the separate Xbox Kinect device. Though reviewers say that the motion sensor is lacking accuracy and is not worth the extra investment.
The HDMI graphics and the online community seem to be the biggest draw to the Xbox. The online community is arguably the largest one of all three gaming systems. Through the Xbox LIVE membership, people can purchase games, movies, gift cards, and can stream free films from sites like Netflix and Hulu.
The Xbox does not come without its downfalls, though. The lack of kid-friendly games tends to turn most families away and the device itself is notorious for breaking down and overheating.
A newer version of the Xbox console has now been released, the Xbox One.
Sony PlayStation 3
The PlayStation 3 has the most features out of all the gaming systems. The graphics, processor, and sound are all top notch. It comes with Wi-Fi, a DVD and Blu-ray player, and access to all of the popular online streaming sites. Like the Xbox, the PS3 has fewer family oriented games and also has some more mature ones that are exclusive to PS3 such as Uncharted, Resistance and Gran Turismo.
The console is available with 500, 320, 160, or 80 GB and the prices vary accordingly. The PS3 system can also be purchased with a motion sensing device and controllers, though the popularity of the accessory never caught on. Nintendo still seems to hold all of the cards when it comes to motion activated gaming.
The PlayStation 3 has access to its own online community and store where people can find free downloads, video game previews, chat rooms, and the ability to purchase and download games. However, the online games take hours and sometimes an entire day to download.
So far, the PS3 has proved itself to be quality built with fewer instances of breaking down than the Xbox. Its only drawback is the large array of adult games and the small selection of children's games.
No matter how many gaming consoles someone has owned, finding the right platform to purchase next is important. What they buy dictates what games they get, what the graphics look like, how the games are played, and what extra features come with the system. Since the consoles are not inexpensive to buy, it is a good idea to get the decision right the first time.
There is no right or wrong console to purchase because they each have their strengths and weaknesses. Those who just want some inexpensive entertainment can also choose to buy a previous console model that Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft has released. Anytime a new system hits the market, the older versions are always reduced in priced, especially if they are bought used. Just make sure that the device is in good working condition and that the seller accepts a return if it is not functioning properly.