Appropriate Video Game Systems for Your Family

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A single DS console can serve the whole family with the right library of games. It's light, portable, and boasts a good battery life for long car trips. The DSLite basic system retails for $130 and games average $20-35 with many titles on sale at major retailers.

Pros: Portable, huge library of diverse games, great for all ages, cheapest system available.

Cons: Only one player per system, need multiple systems for multiplayer games, may be too big for small children.

Handheld Systems: PlayStation Portable (PSP) Review

The PlayStation Portable system comes in 2 retail versions, the original PSP and the PSPgo. It makes a BIG difference which system you buy: the PSP needs game discs (called UMDs) while the PSPgo does not support game discs and gets its content from downloading over Wi-Fi networks.

Most new titles are available on both systems, but many older UMD games are not available on the PSPgo, so if you're looking to play a certain title you need to make sure it's on the right system. Both systems allow for the playing of movies, music, photos and Internet browsing. They can be connected to a PC to transfer media files and allow for memory expansion with a Sony Memory Stick.

The games available on the PSP are varied, but comprise mostly of mature titles with less focus on educational games. The majority of PSP titles are racing, fighting and adventure games, with online multiplayer games through local or Wi-Fi connections and media downloads from the PlayStation Store.

The PSP console retails for $170 ($200 for the bundle with a game, movie and memory stick) or $250 for the PSPgo. UMD games retail from $20-40 and are generally the same price as their digital counterparts available online at the PlayStation Store for download.

Pros: Plays movies and MP3s, shows photos, expandable storage, larger screen, Internet browser.

Cons: System versions incompatible with game discs, games mainly for more hardcore gamers, expensive.