The Top Gaming Consoles – Which One is Right for You?

Best Video Game Consoles

Everybody plays video games. While thatâ??s a slight exaggeration, enough people play video games that itâ??s not far from the truth.

Video games arenâ??t just for teenage boys anymore. American cable news and talk radio host Joe Scarborough admits to playing Call of Duty. Actor Jason Ritter and actress Tara Reid both use the Wii as a way to combine exercise and video games. Even NFL football team members like Tony Romo, quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, spends his down time playing Guitar Hero for Xbox 360. But with so many options, which gaming console is right for you?

A Gaming Console is an Investment

Video gaming is not an inexpensive hobby. Even if you limit yourself to free games downloaded from the indie market, consoles are an investment that offer much more than just gaming. Todayâ??s video game console offers music apps for internet radio, social networking apps so you can connect with all your friends and followers, and video apps that allow you to watch YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu Plus. Once youâ??ve decided on a console, be sure you can afford the accessories.

Depending on the console you choose, you might want to purchase a headset, extra remote, cooling station, or any number of things to enhance your gaming experience. Of all the consoles, the Wii undoubtedly has the most accessories due to the fact that its interactive games require things such as steering wheels, fitness belts, tennis rackets, and aerobic step equipment. Other accessories you might need regardless of which console you have could include HDMI or AV cables for connecting your console to an HDTV, spare controllers, battery chargers, and instruments for music-inspired games.

Some Deciding Factors

Of course, accessories are only one deciding factor when choosing a console. There are other things to consider as well. Here is a short list to help you pick out the right gaming console for playing video games with your friends and family members.

  • Demographics â?? Each gaming console appeals to a specific demographic. For example, Xbox 360 appeals to the masculine side of its players by promoting games with a primarily male player base, like Call of Duty or Gears of War. Meanwhile, Wii markets to families with children with games that feature popular characters like Mario and Princess Peach. And meanwhile, PlayStation appeals to a broad range of players.
  • Video Game Library â?? How big of a video game library do you want? The PlayStation has always boasted a larger gaming library than the other brands, and now the PS3 offers backward compatibility allowing you to play games from your PS1 or PS2 all on that same console. The Wii offers also access to its past games, such as the ones associated with retro consoles like the Nintendo 64 and Game Cube, through use of a virtual console feature. Xbox 360 on the other hand has exclusive games such Halo or Grand Theft Auto IV that you wonâ??t find available on the other brands.
  • DVD Playing Abilities â?? Do you want to play DVDs on your video game console? If so, forget about trying to play them on Nintendo consoles. It also lacks a large hard drive. However, it boasts a lower purchase price than the other models. And while the Xbox 360 and PlayStation consoles cost more, their storage capacity, better quality of cables, and ability to play DVDs make up for it. PlayStation 3 can even play Blu-Ray discs.

People Powered Video Games

Since they were first introduced to consumers, people have complained about the hazards of gaming, from eye strain to addiction. This was true whether it was a handheld game, video game console, or retro Pac-Man game or other arcade game. Japanese video game designer and producer Shigeru Miyamoto once quipped, â??Video games are bad for you? Thatâ??s what they said about rock-n-roll!â? But video games arenâ??t ignoring the concerns, and even developers like Shigeru Miyamoto are now finding ways to use video games to combat serious health issues like obesity.

The Wii Fit gets people off the couch and moving with virtual sports such as tennis, bowling, baseball, golf, and boxing. The game uses your age, sex, height and weight to calculate your body mass index and Wii fit age. While the activities aim to give players a core workout, it shouldnâ??t be considered the only option for exercise. Instead it should be used to enhance or inspire people to participate in exercise that doesnâ??t involve use of video games.

Meanwhile the Kinect for Xbox 360 offers fitness games based such as Your Shape Fitness Evolved, EA Sports Active, Dance Central, the Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout, and Zumba Fitness. These games are geared towards people who are familiar with exercise routines and leave it up to the player for their preference of stretching, warm ups, and cool downs.

Some Final Considerations

In addition to what games youâ??ll want to play and who will be playing them, consider how your new console will work with your current home entertainment system. Some consoles work better on HDTV than others. Are you going to need a router that allows you to access WiFi with your gaming console? No one console will fit every piece of criteria, but when you do your homework and research the fine points of each one thatâ??s available, youâ??re sure to select something that suits everyone in your household.

Mark Harris is a freelance writer and internet marketer who enjoys working from the comfort of his own home. He and his wife used tips from turn the family room into a home office where he can attend webinars or write blog articles. But when he needs a change of pace takes his laptop to a local coffee house where the WiFi is complimentary and the coffee carafe is bottomless. In their free time Mark and his wife enjoy exploring the area around their White Rock, BC home with outdoor activities like kayaking and hiking.


CC image courtesy of Wikipedia

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