Welcome to another edition of Nerding 101 with your friendly Professor Nattata. ^.^ Today we’ll be discussing Video Games 101 — Current Generation Consoles.
On the market today, there are three home consoles that are available for purchase in this – the seventh generation of home video gaming. Please note that today we’re just talking about home consoles and not handheld. We can talk about handheld consoles at a later date. If you enjoy playing video games at all, or are simply looking to get into the newest generation of video gaming, you’ll need to educate yourself on your options to make the best choice for you. After all, a home console is an investment these days, and no one wants to make an unwise investment in this economy.
Console #1: The Xbox 360
The Xbox 360 is produced by the Microsoft company and is the second home video gaming console from the company. Initially released in 2005, the Xbox 360 completely sold out in all sales regions (except Japan) in it’s initial month. Today, over 41 million Xbox 360 systems have been sold worldwide.
Pictured here is the most commonly recognized form of the Xbox 360, though if you go out to purchase a brand new Xbox today, you’re more than likely going to be looking at one of the new models, which is slimmer than the one pictured here, and is also black. The new models are very impressive, sporting five USB ports, integrated WIFI capabilities, and a 250 GB hard drive.
Currently selling for $300, this system is an investment. But Microsoft has announced that with the release of the Xbox 360 Slim (the new black models) that they expect the system is only halfway through it’s life cycle and plans to continue producing it until 2015. So even if you were to purchase this system now, you’d be getting a good solid five years out of it before anything new comes out, and you’ve got five years of games behind you already.
And if that $300 price point is a bit high for you and you’re willing to sacrifice the storage space in the hard drive, a very new release has just happened in America – an Xbox 360 Slim with a 4GB hard drive selling for $200.
Console #2: The Nintendo Wii
Second, we have the Nintendo Wii. Perhaps the most well-known home gaming console system currently available, it is produced by the Nintendo company – a leader in video gaming, both console and handheld. Released a year later than the Xbox 360, the Wii has sold more units than either of it’s competitors, hitting nearly 74 million units sold worldwide since it’s initial launch.
The Wii has the ability to play both Wii titles as well as the titles of its predecessor, the Nintendo Gamecube. It contains only 521 megabytes of internal storage and uses external memory cards to provide the user with space to store save files and such for games. It also features motion control – the first of the current generation consoles to offer motion-controlled gaming. It has ports for 4 Nintendo Gamecube controller and can handle four Wiimotes (the name for the controller used to play Wii games).
The Nintendo Wii is currently selling for $150 and is the most affordable of the current generation systems. And it’s honestly good that it’s the least expensive console, as Nintendo has not given any sort of lifespan expectancy for the Wii, stating only that they will continue to produce it until they have run out of ideas and meaningful content for the system.
Console #3: The Playstation 3
The last console on our list today is the Playstation 3. Produced by the Sony company, it first hit the markets in 2006, the same year as the Nintendo Wii. It sports the least amount of sales overall, having sold just over 38 million units worldwide since it’s release four years ago.
The Playstation 3 (often shortened to “PS3”) is the only of the current systems to provide the ability to play BluRay Discs — and in fact uses the BluRay as it’s medium for video games. It comes with various sizes of hard drives, from 120 gigabytes to a full 320 gigabytes. The current slim edition runs very quietly and smoothly.
It sports very little extra other than the BluRay, but for many, that is more than enough. For those with big, flat-screen TVs and HD cravings, bluray is a great way to go.
The Playstation 3 sells for between $300 and $350 on the market today, depending on the size of the hard drive you’re looking for. It is the most expensive console on the market, considering that bluray players on the market go for well over $100, that often factors in to the decision on purchasing this particular console. There’s no word on how long the PS3 will be on the market, which may make some nervous at spending that much money on a home console system.
So how do you go about deciding on what console is the one for you? I mean, it’s a big investment, and you don’t want to end up making a decision you’ll regret. So here I’ll provide a bulleted list of the pros and cons of each system, and you can make your decision and get into the wonderful world of home video games!!
The Xbox 360
- Wide Variety of Games
- Intuitive Gaming Interface
- Massive Amounts of Storage
- Cordless and Corded Controller Options
- Triple Core Processing
- Good Warranty and Product Servicing
- Reliable Company
- Plays DVDs
- Compatible with Netflix Streaming
- Connects with PCs for Music and Video
- Solid Graphics and Sound
- Fantastic Online Play
- Controller is big and sometimes clunky
- Older models have over-heating problems
- Great for the Casual Gamer
- Wonderful for Children and Families
- Interactive Play
- Streams Netflix
- Intuitive Controls
- Simple controller design
- Durable, Reliable System
- Long-standing, Reliable Company
- Many interesting control add-ons
- Small, Compact Design
- Most Affordable System
- Does not support DVD play
- Very few games for the “hardcore” player
- Motion Control can be quite finicky
- Less impressive graphics than it’s competitors
- BluRay Compatible
- Online Connectivity and Play
- Superior Graphics and Sound
- Solid Console-Exclusive Titles
- Most Storage Space
- IBM-Designed “Cell Processor”
- Corded and Wireless Controller Options
- Lots of “System Extras”
- Access to the best Roleplaying Titles
- Comfortable Controller
- Most Expensive System
- Limited Game Choices
- Not Good for the Casual Gamer