Appropriate Video Game Systems for Your Family

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With a new set of video game systems coming out every few years it can be tough to decide the best system for your family's needs. Unfortunately, because this is technology we're talking about, "hand-me-downs" are mostly out of the question when it comes to game systems. Luckily, consoles are lasting longer between new versions and many family-friendly games can be found at reduced prices.

Handheld vs. Console

The first thing you need to consider when choosing a game system for your family is how you're planning on using it. Game systems come in two kinds: handheld systems and console systems. Handhelds currently are dominated by two companies; Sony, with the PlayStation Portable (PSP), and Nintendo, with the Nintendo DS. The 3 big players with consoles are Sony's PlayStation 3 (PS3), Microsoft's Xbox 360, and Nintendo's Wii.

There are pros and cons to each type of system and it depends largely on who is going to be playing video games in your family. If you are looking to buy a system for a single child then you can go either for a handheld or a console, since you only need to worry about one player. However, if you have multiple children or the whole family wants to get involved you will most likely want a console system that supports up to 4 players at once on some games.

Handheld Systems: Nintendo DS Review

The Nintendo DS is currently the top-selling system with 3 versions on the market: DSLite, DSi, and DSXL. There are many differences between the 3, but for this review we're focusing on the systems' shared features.

As a single-player system, the DS sports a huge library of games for every type of gamer. For the younger kids, there are games based on popular children's shows, educational games, and adventure games. Older kids can enjoy more mature titles, many that support multiplayer features either locally or over Nintendo's Wi-Fi connection. One of the biggest draws to the DS is the popularity it has found with older players because of its large library of brain-teaser and personal improvement titles.