Playing games has always been an enjoyable way to pass the time, and buying a gaming console for that special person on your list is a great gesture. Over time, games have evolved with new technology. Video games are an increasingly popular way to spend time for young people and adults alike. Family game nights have transformed from sitting around the dinner table, playing cards or a board game, to sitting on the couch playing virtual games.
There are quite a few great consoles on the market to choose from. All three of the leading gaming console companies, including Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony, have remained competitive because they each offer something unique to consumers. Understanding what each console has to offer is the best way to get the most from your console purchase.
The Nintendo Wii is a great choice for families and casual gamers. One of the biggest benefits the Wii has is its competitive price. Starting at only $134, the Wii is a full one-hundred dollars less expensive than its competition. Because the next generation of Nintendo consoles is on its way to stores, now is a great time to buy a Wii at unbeatable prices.
The other big advantage this console has is its game library. Although it's lacking in some of the first-person-shooter type games, which are popular with hard-core gamers, the Wii's library is full of fun, family-friendly games. Some of the most popular games include Mario Kart, Mario Party 8, Zelda and other great, iconic stories.
Microsoft Xbox 360 Slim
The Xbox 360 Slim's main feature is the design improvement from the first generation of Xbox 360s. This console is the most expensive of its competition, starting at $299, but it makes up for the price in features. A huge draw for the Xbox 360 is its gaming catalog. Microsoft has a bit of an edge on Nintendo in featuring games that appeal to hard-core gamers.
The Xbox 360 Kinect also improved on the motion-sensing game-play first features on the Nintendo Wii. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of games available in the catalog that appeal to new gamers. Where the Xbox lacks in family-friendly games, it makes up in streaming and other internet features.
Sony PlayStation 3 Slim
Like the Xbox 360 Slim, the PlayStation 3 Slim's biggest improvement is in the design. Instead of focusing on its next generation of consoles, Sony put its energy into improving on the original PlayStation 3 console. The PlayStation 3 is most competitive with the Xbox 360, mostly due to the types of games featured in each of their catalogs. While Sony has lowered their price over the last few years, at $249, the PlayStation 3 Slim is still among the most expensive gaming consoles.
One feature that really sets Sony apart from Microsoft and Nintendo is the ability to play Blu-ray HD DVDs. Unfortunately, the internet and streaming features, although still ahead of Nintendo, aren't quite as advanced as Microsoft's Xbox Live feature. Also, Sony is the only major console not currently offering motion-sensing game-play.