Appropriate Video Game Systems for Your Family

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Console Systems: Nintendo Wii Review

Of the 3 consoles, the Nintendo Wii stands out the most from the other two because of its innovative controller and family-friendly game library. The Wii has found notoriety in being helpful with physical rehabilitation and activity, especially in the elderly. Many nursing homes have brought in the Wii Sports and Wii Fit games as a low-impact exercise option for their residents. The controller motion technology can also help movement-impaired gamers regain dexterity and safely simulate playing sports that they couldn't in real life.

For the best family gaming experience, the Wii has the largest library of family-friendly titles with the most accessible controllers and game play styles. With 4 controllers and one console, plus a large library of exercise/motion-promoting games, the whole family can get moving and playing at the same time. Game discs from the Nintendo GameCube console can also be played on the Wii, although the system does not support DVD playback.

The Nintendo Wii also boasts the Virtual Console feature which allows you to download classic games from their older systems such as the original Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and Nintendo 64. Games are downloaded with WiiPoints; $20 for 2000, with a typical download costing 500-1500 points. The system retails for $200, games costing an average of $50 for popular titles.

Pros: Cheapest console, many family-friendly titles, exercise companion, classic game downloads, easy to play.

Cons: Less mature gamer titles, does not play DVDs, needs adapter to have wired Internet connection.

Console Systems: Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) Review

The PlayStation 3 stands out from the console crowd as the only system with a Blu-ray player. It serves as an all-around media hub with the ability to play movies, music, photos, and browse the Internet. It shares connectivity with the PlayStation Store to download game content, media, and share these with the PSP handheld.

The majority of games on the PS3 system are mature titles with the most popular being sports, racing, and notably first-person shooting (FPS) games. The online multiplayer allows for ranking and competition in FPS games and many feature online voice or text chat.

The PS3 is the most expensive of the 3 consoles, currently retailing for anywhere between $250 and $400 depending on bundled features and hard drive size. Games are typically $50-60; some older models supported the play of PlayStation2 games, but this has since been discontinued in the current retail models.