Video Game Consoles Buying Guide

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With all the new video games comes the largest selection of video game systems in history. Although a few games are available to play on several different systems, in general, when you choose a video game console, you are really choosing to play the games that are made for that specific console. You'll want to consider the features you want in a video game console, but your choice should be driven by choosing which games you are interested in playing.

Nintendo Video Game Systems:

  1. Nintendo Wii: When Nintendo released the Wii in 2006, they started a revolution in home video game playing; it was the first system that encouraged physical activity while playing. The activity of Wii brings people of all ages together, making this console the favorite of families.

    Why Buy a Wii:

    • The wireless Wii remotes use LED sensors to create three-dimensional infrared detection. Game play involves gestures and movements; the way you move the controller in addition to the buttons you push causes a particular action in the game. For instance, if you are playing a tennis game on the Wii, you swing the controller just as you would swing a real racquet to hit the virtual ball.

    • "Mario Cart Wii" is the best-selling Wii game. Other popular Wii games are also family-friendly, and include "Wii Sports Resort," "Wii Play," and "New Super Mario Bros. Wii." The "Wii Fit" and "Wii Fit Plus" gave people a new way to get exercise while playing video games. Nintendo has stopped making new games for the Wii.

  2. Wii U: Nintendo released the Wii U in 2012, and it includes upgrades from the Wii, like an LCD touch screen built into the controller, called a Wii U GamePad.

    Why Buy a Wii U:

    • In addition to the GamePad, the system supports the Wii U Pro Controller, which is meant for more serious gamers. The Wii U is the first Nintendo console to support HD graphics.

    • Not many Wii U games have come out yet. "Mario Kart 8" spurred sales of the Wii U, and other new games that are sequels to old Nintendo favorites are expected to be released. You can also play old Wii games using the old accessories on the Wii U.

  3. Nintendo DS: With a clamshell design, two bright screens, easy-to-hold stylus, built-in microphone, and long battery power, the Nintendo DS is an excellent way to take your video games on the road.

    Why Buy a DS:

    • The Nintendo DS is equipped with Wi-Fi, allowing you to connect wirelessly with other players. The DS is also backwards compatible with Game Boy Advance games.

    • The Nintendo DS is currently sold in three formats: DS Lite, DSi, and DSi XL. The DS Lite is the base model of the DS line. The DSi adds two cameras and the ability to purchase downloadable games. The DSi XL takes the DSi format and expands it with large, easy-to-view screens and a larger stylus.

Sony Video Game Systems:

  1. PlayStation 3: Also known as the PS3, Sony's Playstation 3 was released in 2006. The PS3 is a powerful video game console with incredible graphics and audio, making this console the favorite of tech-heads.

    Why Buy a PS3:

    • The PS3 features a large built-in hard drive which allows you to store game data, music, photos, and more. Because the systems is so powerful, many companies have developed games to play on the PS3, from social games you can play with your family to action-packed games with high-definition graphics and sound.

    • PlayStation also offers online gaming and motion-based play with the PlayStation Move accessory. Aside from gaming, a popular feature of the PS3 is the built-in Blu-ray player.

  2. PlayStation 4: The PlayStation 4 is the newest generation of gaming consoles from Sony. Released in late 2013, the PS4 contains nearly all of the same great features of the PS3 but has the power needed to play newer and higher quality games.

    Why Buy a PS4:

    • Gaming gets more social with the PS4 because you can share screen shots of game play. Many games are designed to play online with other gamers.

    • Games that have come out for the PS4 so far include lots of intense, action-packed games that take advantage of the system's power, like "Killzone: Shadow Fall," "Battlefield 4," "Resogun," and "Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag." Sony has designed the PS4 to be easy for independent game developers to create even more titles for the PS4.

  3. Sony PSP: The Sony PSP, which stands for PlayStation Portable, is a handheld device that gives you diverse portability with gaming, an imbedded web browser, and multimedia playback -- including the ability to play UMD movies and MP3s.

    Why Buy a PSP:

    • The PSP also has optional attachments to make it work as a digital camera and a GPS.

    • Games for the PSP are often intense action games. Sony also offers PSP Go, which provides players with the ability to download games and movies from the PlayStation store.

Microsoft Video Game Systems:

  1. Microsoft Xbox 360: The Microsoft Xbox 360, released in 2005, is more powerful than the Wii and less expensive than the PS3, and Microsoft has chosen to market the Xbox 360 as a versatile console, giving it widespread appeal. It's sold in two versions: the Xbox 360 Arcade, with 256 MB of memory, and the Xbox 360 Elite, which has 120 GB of storage as well as backwards capability and a network cable for online play.

    Why Buy an Xbox 360:

    • Both versions of the Xbox 360 are popular video game console choices among players who love big action, and the Xbox 360 has been the most popular platform for high-quality shooter games.

    • It features advanced HD graphics and sound and offers extensive online play through a paid subscription to Xbox LIVE. Xbox Kinect is Microsoft's version of the motion-based gaming experience and is the only one that does not require a controller but creates a user interface through motion and voice commands.

  2. Xbox One: The Xbox One was released in North America on November 22, 2013. It has an all new and upgraded Kinect system and comes with all the next generation specs. Most interesting of all, it responds to voice commands.

    Why Buy an Xbox One:

    • The Xbox One is meant to be your entertainment and communication hub. Use it to watch movies and live TV, access apps, play games, and even to make Skype calls.

    • Many of the games that have come out for the Xbox One so far are action games, like "Titanfall," "Dead Rising 3," and "Call of Duty Ghosts."

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