Years ago, people thought video gaming systems were just a fad that wouldn’t last very long. Thirty years later, they’re now in direct competition with movies, music and TV in terms of sales and storytelling. Aside from PC and mobile gaming, the three main console companies are Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. Each has their own first-party titles and motion control support, but that’s where the similarities end. Also, each one of the companies’ game consoles has different features than the others. Overall, all of them have something fun to play (depending on what you’re into).
Nintendo is the oldest creator of video gaming systems out of the three. With so many recognizable characters such as Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Kirby, and others, it’s hard to find someone who has never heard of them. When it comes to game consoles, the Nintendo Wii and their DS handheld are two of the best selling devices in video game history. While the DS has dual screens, tons of family-friendly games and even a camera to take pictures, the Wii uses motion controls for just about every game they make for it. You can also play games online, surf the web, and even stream Netflix for no additional charge.
Sony became one of the newest console makers when it released the first PlayStation back in the 90’s. It was also one of the first game consoles to use discs instead of F95zone cartridges. Today, the PlayStation 3 is the most technologically advanced (and expensive) video game system available. With its built-in Wifi, Blu-ray drive, 3D TV support, motion control, plus Nextflix and Hulu Plus, you’re getting more than just a device that plays games in HD. Also, you can buy movies and TV shows through the PlayStation Network as well as digital games and demos.
Microsoft is not only the newest participant in the console wars, but they’re the first and only U.S. Company to make a game console. The Xbox brought online gaming to the forefront, as well as downloadable content and the Halo franchise. Today, the Xbox 360 is the best-selling game console this holiday season thanks to the Kinect motion camera and games with exclusive content. Even though you have to buy an Xbox LIVE Gold membership ($60/year) to play games online, multiplayer is rock-solid on this video game system. Just like PlayStation 3, you can buy and watch movies through the LIVE marketplace, as well as stream them from Netflix. Hulu Plus will be available Q1 2011.
Overall, video gaming systems today will have something fun to play. However, it all comes down to what you like to play. The Wii ($199) is great for families with young kids, but not so much for online multiplayer. The Xbox ($199 for 4GB system, $299 with Kinect) has solid multiplayer, but most of the games people play online are shooters, racers, sport titles, and third-person adventure games. The PlayStation 3 ($299 for 160GB) is great for fans of entertainment in general, but there’s not enough content to take advantage of the 3D TV support or its motion controls. Take a look at the exclusive content on each system to help you make the best choice for you and/or your family.