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After the tweaks, upgrades, price adjustments and promotional packages, the gaming world is left with three evenly matched video game consoles --- the Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, and Playstations 3. Yet the question still remains: which is the ultimate game console in the market?
With their own strengths and weaknesses, none of them truly stands above the rest. Each caters to a specific type of gamer, and knowing which one you are is the only way to determine which console is right for you. Here are some of the aspects you might want to look into before you make your choice.
With Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console, it has the first and last dibs on all Nintendo titles, both old and new. This is why this console is perfect for those who are still in love with Mario, Kirby and Donkey Kong. Among its most compelling titles are the Super Mario Galaxy series, Metroid Other M, Donkey Kong Returns, Mario Kart and the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Mix these with its line of wholesome fitness, shooting and racing games, and the Wii becomes the the best entry-level type of video game console for the entire family.
As far as exclusive titles go, the Xbox 360 has the most explosive lineup, with the Halo, Fable, Forza, and Gears of War series, and just recently, Steel Batallion gracing its library. Most bestselling games are available on the 360, as well, with some even looking more impressive than their PS3 counterparts. Its line of Kinect titles is not as remarkable, though, with the exception of Fruit Ninja Kinect, Steel Batallion and Dance Central franchise. But with further developments in the works, there’s plenty of reason to stick with the Xbox 360.
Much like the 360, the Playstation 3 has one of the best collection of titles for people willing to spend serious hours of game time. The Uncharted, InFamous, Killzone, LittleBigPlanet, Gran Turismo, and Resistance series are just some of its compelling exclusive titles. It also supports 3D games but that would also mean that you’d have to buy a 3D TV.
When playing against your friends or AI has gone stale, it’s time to look for fiercer competition across the world. Easier access to the web has changed the video console landscape and it is here that Xbox 360 leads the trio. Xbox Live is, by far, the most comprehensive online experience with over 20 million players vying for the leaderboards. The XBL dashboard also has special offers for simple arcade games, full titles, and other downloadable content (DLC) such as photos and HD videos.
PS3’s Playstation Network also offers DLC, but it’s not its greatest strength. Even with its upgrade, the Playstation Plus, PS3’s online community still can’t compete with XBL in terms of activity and special deals. Wii’s attempt at online gaming suffers a worse fate, with its 16-digit friend code flopping miserably. Its only saving grace, Mario Kart Wii.
Nintendo Wii is the only console that doesn’t double as a CD/DVD player. Even Wii’s additional Netflix streaming function may even prove to be too little and too late compared to its competitors’ other non-gaming features such as Facebook and Twitter apps, ESPN, Hulu Plus and Vudu. Xbox 360 can also become a Windows Media Extender for people using Windows Media Center and is compatible with most MP3 players and external drives. Meanwhile, PS3 boasts of its HBO content and its Blu-ray disc playing capability.
Gaming Peripherals and Add-ons
The Wii, being a motion-based console, has the most number of optional peripherals. Aside from the Wii Remote, one has to buy the Wii Wheel, Wii Zapper, classic controller, and a myriad of other third-party accessories to fully enjoy the “Wii experience”. Wii’s basic bundle is relatively the cheapest of the three, but it’s also the one with the most hidden costs.
The Xbox 360 has its fair share of add-ons such as wireless controllers and headphones, charging docks and a few game-unique peripherals. Note that if you’re planning to acquire lots of Xbox DLC, you may want to consider buying a 250GB model or updating your dashboard to so your Xbox can recognize USB sticks for storing media and game data. Xbox’ Kinect will also be a must have, if only for its few, but very fun games such as Dance Central series, Fruit Ninja Kinect and Steel Batallion.
Of the three, PS3 is the most stingy on accessories even with its software Playstation Move installed. Like the Xbox 360’s Kinect, PS3’ Move has a shortage on decent titles that really incorporates controller movement. Some of its noteworthy games are The Shoot and Sports Champions. PS3 can connect to any Bluetooth devices such headsets which means more cash saved on peripherals.
Wii not only caters to loyal Nintendo fans, it’s also for people looking for casual and wholesome gaming. While it cannot outdo Xbox and PS3 in terms of graphics, it may be the best console to have during parties.
The Xbox 360 and PS3 are both for hardcore gaming, but latter has the upper hand in terms of added functions solely because it doubles as a Blu-ray disc player. Xbox 360’s Kinect also can not be ignored because of its unique take on motion-based gaming. Note, however, that Kinect requires a lot of space to detect movements.
One last thing consider would be future developments. Right now, there are only speculations as to when the next generation consoles will be released. Manufacturers of these machines will do all their best to keep these dates secret, but keeping track of newly released titles for each console will help; a wane in production of noteworthy games could be a sign.