Saturday, June 23, 2007

Thought I wanted a Wii

(I could not resist the title, the alternate one is "Wii or Xbox 360 or PS3")

Last year the Nintendo Wii was on my Christmas wish list, but I choose the 8GB iPod Nano instead. I'd more or less intended to buy a Nintendo Wii sometime during this year either as a present or an entertainment appliance.
But after thinking about it, once the novelty of the motion sensitive play wears off, the selection of games do not really appeal to me. Nintendo-lovers relax – I’m not saying the games for the Nintendo Wii are not good, I’m just saying that they don’t appeal to me personally.

The most costly competitor is the Sony PlayStation 3, which seems a natural choice since I have the PlayStation 2 and the Sony PSP. The PS3 would even allow me to play PS One games on my PlayStation Portable. Almost 600 US Dollars for a gaming console is well out of price range though. Okay, it plays high Definition Blu-ray movies too, but I don’t have a HDTV. It also plays most PlayStation 2 games, but I have one of those. As for showing media, I have a Media Edition PC. I was almost tempted by a "trade in your working Sony PlayStation 2 and get $100 off the PS3", but then the rumors of a price drop began to surface. Now it appears that there will possibly be a price drop by Christmas. Since it is unlikely to be more than $150, I don't think I'd want to wait that long.

Then there is the Xbox 360, somewhere in the middle ground between the Wii and the Sony PlayStation 3 (although many may differ). It has been out for over a year and has a large selection of games. Generally the games appeal to me more than the Wii selection of games. There are also a large number of accessories, including third-party accessories, which are cheaper than official Xbox 360 accessories. Of course if you add enough extras to the Xbox 360 it is going to cost as much, if not more, than the PS3, but it also boils down to the games. The Xbox 360 is a year ahead of the PS3, and it shows in the wide selection of games. The latest games are so expensive I would be likely to rent to make sure I like a game before shelling out $60 for it. Another thing which intrigued me is that I could use the XBox 360 as a media extender for my Media Center PC . My main concern about the Xbox 360 was its reputation for failure. I researched this and figured that it should be an acceptable risk if I got a decent warranty.

One requirement I had was that I wanted to be able to play games in my study, where I don't have a television, but two PC monitors. That way I would have more chance of actually using the gaming console – the PlayStation 2 is in a spare room hooked up to a nice LCD TV, but I very rarely play it. That is no real problem since it is mainly used to watch DVDs. A PS3 or Xbox 360 are too expensive for use as mere (standard definition) DVD players. The decision was swayed by the availability of a VGA cable for the Xbox 360. So, after talking it over with my wife, I got the okay to get an Xbox 360 as a birthday present.

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