Console Buying Guide

February 25, 2009 by  

With a number of console giants available on the current market, it can be a daunting task choosing one as a gift for someone else. Whilst most of the top three consoles share a lot of games and features, there are certain important aspects that also set them apart. Here we present a quick guide to buying the right console as a gift for someone you know.

One of the first things to consider is not just the starting cost, but also the long term cost of a console. Game and accessory prices for consoles are steadily on the rise, with most new Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 games starting out at around £40. The Wii offers games slightly cheaper, but tends to utilize a number of add-ons and inclusive packs that can add to the base price. Most add ons for consoles are not compulsory and so wouldn't normally need to be considered, but with the Wii some of the best games need a number of specific controllers and add ons from the outset.

You may also want to consider gthe recipient, and the type of gaming console that may best suit them. Nintendo have always held a family friendly policy, favouring games that are low on violence and instead concentrating on game that appeal to a younger audience. This isn't to say that mature content isn't available to the Wii, it's just on a smaller scale. Conversely, the Xbox and Playstation counterparts are much more geared towards catering for the mature gamer, with popular yet violent titles such as Gears of War and Resistance.

Is the recipient a fan of any particular developer of company? If he has experience with games on older Nintendo systems, the games on Wii like Zelda: Twilight Princess, Super Mario Galaxy, and Metroid Prime 3 may be familiar and fun. However, if he's allowed to play more violent games and enjoys shooters and whatnot, the Xbox 360 has a better offering in that area. Not that he won't find good shooters on the Wii, but they are not as readily available as on the 360, or the PS3 for that matter.

All three consoles have access to online play and additional content that can be downloaded through a console specific marketplace.  Most additional and downloadable content comes a small cost. However, whereas gaming online with the Playstation 3 is completely free, the Xbox requires a subscription fee which is renewed every few months. Over time this charge can start to mount up, and seems ludicrous when compared to the Playstation equivalent which is free of charge.

Lastly, it's worth considering taking out some form of care plan for your new console. Xbox 360 in particular has been plagued with bugs and breakdowns since its release, and has become somewhat infamous in that area. It is an extra cost, but offers better peace of mind when you know that great big expensive piece of hardware is at least covered.

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