Advice needed- Games consoles

Discussion in 'Console Games' started by Martin29, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. Martin29 macrumors 6502


    Nov 25, 2010
    Quimper, France
    I'm thinking of buying my wife a games console..

    We're in our 50's and have never gamed before, don't think we'll be looking for 'shoot em up' type games, but rather harmless type stuff (I remember years ago Sonic the Hedgehog was great) Pinball games, Golf, flight simulators, Constructive type stuff..

    So, the questions are, what is the best console to buy?

    What do I need to buy with it to make it work? (seems there are no controllers in the boxes any more!)

    Any specific games you would recommend?

    Since there's only a few days left before Christmas your ideas would all be welcome!

    Happy Christmas to all.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I think the Wii has the most "family" friendly type of games out on the market.
  3. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    I'd go with the Wii. It's got the best range of family-focused games, and a decent (not fantastic) selection of other games. It's also the least expensive of the current gen. Wii games also tend to be less expensive than their XBOX/PS3 counterparts.

    PS3 has Move, and XBOX has Kinnect, which give a similar experience to the Wii, and there will be more and more Move/Kinnect games coming out to compete with Wii games. But the XBOX/Kinnect and PS3/Move bundles are way more expensive than the Wii. They will, however, have more powerful graphics, if that matters.

    The last thing to consider is that both the XBOX and PS3 can be media boxes in addition to consoles. So if you want to stram music/video, the XBOX or PS3 might be a better solution than a Wii.
  4. vincenz macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    If price is a factor, then get a Wii. That system has more games of the type you're looking for also. It's much more pick-up-and-play than the PS3 and the 360.
  5. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816


    Nov 27, 2010
    In your case here is another vote for the Wii. Not only does it have the most "family friendly" games, but you can also get LOTS of legacy games, for instance, you mention Sonic the Hedgehog. Pretty much all the sonic games that used to be available for sega can be had on the wii, as well as old school mario and other stuff. (They are fun too!) That's not even taking into account the Wii native versions of those games, and other outright new games for the system.
  6. Martin29 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Nov 25, 2010
    Quimper, France
    I hear what you are all saying.. But are the graphics on the wii any good? We have a 50" screen and I'd hate for the graphics to be so poor we concentrated on them rather than enjoying ourselves.

    For this reason I had been thinking maybe xbox360?

    Whatever the system, am I right in thinking I need to buy the controllers separately?

    Any games recommendations?
  7. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    I've never seen a Wii plugged into an HD set, but I'd imagine it would look fine. SD picture looks fine on my HD set. Wii graphics also tend on the cartoony side anyway (in many games), so using it on an HD set shouldn't cause any problems imo.

    That said, if you want the best graphics performance, you will be happier with an XBOX 360 or PS3.

    The basic bundles will include one controller, if you want another you'll have to pay extra. For the Wii, make sure you have two controllers + nunchucks, as lots of games require the nunchuck attachment to play. IMO it's also worth picking up a Classic Controller Pro, as the Wii remote is just not suited to some games (FPS especially). Some bundles are available with multiple controllers etc., so take a good look at what's available.

    It's hard to recommend games if you're not sure which console you want, but if you get a Wii I highly recommend Super Mario Bros Wii and Mariokart. Both a lot of fun. Super Mario Galaxy (1&2) are also good.

    I've got a Sonic game for XBOX 360... it's all right, if that's what you're into. :)
  8. Martin29 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Nov 25, 2010
    Quimper, France
    Please don't take the reference to Sonic as saying I would specifically like that game. It indicates the games which were around the last time I saw a console up close :)

    I must admit I would like decent graphics, and we're not into violence so any kind of war games is out. All other suggestions welcome..
  9. -SD- macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2009
    Peterborough, UK
    How do you feel about wildly flailing around the lounge after a few beers?

    Seriously though, what are you saying about this whole motion sensing thing? Would you rather be sat on the sofa with a joypad in hand, or are you both up for getting a little more involved with the action?

    And let's all be honest; on a 50" screen the difference in graphical power between the Wii and 360/PS3 is quite apparent.

  10. Martin29 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Nov 25, 2010
    Quimper, France
    Depending on the circumstances, we are happy with the motion sensor idea and equally with the traditional controllers (wireless or not are better?)
  11. shinji macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2007
    The Wii does not look good on an HD display, as it's not capable of HD resolutions. I don't think it makes sense to buy one at this point.

    The 360 and PS3 both include one standard controller in the box with all packages. If you want Kinect or Playstation Move, those you would have to buy separately or as part of a bundle.

    If you aren't interested in shooters, I think the PS3 is a better choice. It also has a blu-ray player built-in.

    There are golf games for it including the exclusive Hot Shots Golf (which is like a whimsical type golf game). There is also LittleBigPlanet (with a sequel coming in January) that is very non-violent and enjoyable...a platformer similar in gameplay to Sonic and Mario. Possibly Portal as well, which critics loved, a 3D puzzle game available on both 360 and PS3.
  12. Martin29 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Nov 25, 2010
    Quimper, France
    Ok folks, I'm leaning towards the xbox360 bundled with kinect. Based this on a wish for reasonable graphics at a better price than a ps3..

    If I go this route, anyone have any game suggestions?

    Finally, can anyone tell me, if i connect my windows laptop to the 50" screen using an HDMI, are there good games out there that mean the laptop can become the game console? If so, do I need anything in particular to make it work? (it just seems I use my laptop for nothing else now I have this Mac, so why not use it for games?
  13. Ivan P, Dec 19, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010

    Ivan P macrumors 68030

    Ivan P

    Jan 17, 2008
    It's not really possible to turn a computer (notebook or desktop) into a proper gaming console, in the end you generally will need to use a keyboard and/or mouse as opposed to a traditional controller to play games on it. Plus, depending on how powerful your computer is, a lot of newer games may not play (even if that's not an issue now it definitely will be eventually). That's a good thing about consoles - throughout it's entire life, even if you buy one from the very first batch, it will never be too underpowered to play any kind of game made for that console, even after a decade. It's not the same case with a computer.

    I would recommend the Wii as well. I have all three of the current consoles, and that's definitely the one that is easiest to use and also has the more 'fun', family classics (Mario and Donkey Kong especially, which you can't get on any of the other systems). The other two consoles are marketed more as multimedia centres than solely as gaming consoles - the PS3 is generally marketed with Blu-ray and other devices (Move, PlayTV, etc) in mind. The Xbox 360 is generally renowned for it's online services, such as Xbox Live and it's integration with other services, and it's vast online store. Yes it does have Kinect, but that even has it's drawbacks - for one, it won't work if you're sitting down, so it becomes a bit of a paperweight unless you're willing to get up on your feet every time you want to play a Kinect-enabled game.


    - Really easy to use. Just point at the screen and click the button on the remote.
    - A fun range of games, some of the best games of the Mario series, one of the best Zelda's, an amazing Donkey Kong installment.
    - Virtual Console, which basically means you can play classic games for older Nintendo consoles right on your Wii.
    - Cheaper than the other consoles.

    - Won't play movie DVDs.
    - Standard definition only.
    - You need to replace the batteries in the remote when it dies

    Great games:
    - Super Mario Galaxy/Super Mario Galaxy 2
    - The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
    - Donkey Kong Country Returns
    - Lots of stuff you find on Virtual Console


    - Blu-ray player (which is generally why it costs more than the other consoles)
    - Pretty impressive range of exclusive titles (though a lot of them are shooters)
    - Free online multiplayer
    - The addition of some peripheral devices can greatly improve the use of the console (for example, I bought Sony's PlayTV adapter and can use it as a personal recorder)
    - Rechargeable controller, just plug it into the USB port on the console and you're good to keep playing

    - A bit temperamental, and the menus can be confusing at times
    - Some people will argue it's range of games isn't as good as the other consoles (I disagree)

    Great games:
    - Uncharted series (shooters)
    - LittleBigPlanet (kind of like a modern take on Mario)
    - Metal Gear Solid 4 (shooter)

    XBOX 360

    - Amazing online experience (though costs $$$)
    - Simpler to use in comparison to the PS3
    - Kinect (though as I said above, it only works if you're standing up)
    - Some of the most acclaimed games of this generation are 360-exclusive

    - Virtually everything extra costs money (online play, high def video players [and even then it's for the obsolete HD DVD format)
    - Batteries in controller need to be replaced when they die, not a rechargeable controller like the PS3
    - Known for it's higher failure rates even though Microsoft seem to slave over fixing the issues

    Great games:
    - Gears of War series (shooters)
    - Halo series (shooters)
  14. Martin29 thread starter macrumors 6502


    Nov 25, 2010
    Quimper, France

    Thank you for that response. A great summary of the various pros and cons!

    Now I really don't know what to do!

    I understand all that everyone has said.. It's 'horses for courses'. Problem is I thought at the beginning that this was a great idea, buy a console, a couple of games, and we'll be like a couple of latter day Darby and Joan types, zapping pinballs, building virtual worlds, (enjoying golf even when there's a metre of snow outside), flying virtual aircraft and the like. To do that, I envisaged the big screen in high definition, linked to the surround sound and all within reach of a glass of scotch..

    I began thinking of the Wii, liked the look of the PS3, and decided that the XBox was probably the better value for money. (we already have the Blue Ray player) Then I had this brain wave, why not use the now nearly redundant but new laptop, hook it to the screen and invest the difference in a few more games and another bottle of scotch.

    From your analysis, it seems this would not be the best investment!

    I've also spent hours with our old friend google which has left me more undecided than ever, since it seems you can read whatever opinion you wish to hear.

    I really don't know which way I shall go, but since time is running out for the big day, I'm gonna have to decide pretty soon. In the meantime, the bottle of scotch is a safe bet!
  15. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    You can get rechargeable battery kits for the Wii and XBOX 360 controller, so that's not a huge con imo. I actually prefer that to the PS3's built-in battery since as we all know, rechargeable batteries don't last forever. And IIRC a new PS3 controller is $80+.

    That said, from your last post I think a PS3 + Move might be your best bet. PS3's generally only run $50 or so more than an XBOX 360. If you plan on playing online, the PS3 actually winds up cheaper (XBOX + Kinnect + 1 year XBOX Live Gold is $360, PS3 can be had for $350).
  16. e²Studios macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2005
    PS3 controllers are $43.99 at Amazon, MSRP is $49.99
  17. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Just wanted to add, this is absolutely untrue. I was playing Wii Resort Sports this morning on a 42" HD set and it looked great. Wii graphics - especially in the type of games you want - are pretty cartoony anyway, so lack of HD resolution is not a dealbreaker.

    But, as I said before, if graphics are a big concern, the 360 or PS3 both offer HD, so they will look better. :)

    So they are - my mistake.
  18. det2004 macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2007
    Personally, I would go with the Xbox 360. Many people say the Wii is the most family friendly console, but not everyone wants to move to play games. With a 360 you can buy some classic games on Xbox Live in the Arcade section.
  19. shinji macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2007
    You might want to consider how much storage you need. Downloaded demos, installed games, etc., quite a few of which are over a gig, all add up. If you need to expand that 4gb that comes with the $200 Xbox 360, you'll have to spend more anyway.

    I don't think you can go wrong with the 250gb 360 or any PS3 (newest models start at 160gb).

    If you don't need the blu-ray player, then I think it boils down to which console's exclusive games you prefer. Both have plenty of non-shooter games.

    The PS3 is the same price as the 250gb 360. The only 360 that is cheaper (by $100) is the 4gb model. In the US, that is.

    I originally bought my Wii back when I had an SD set, and when I got an HDTV and my PS3, and I couldn't believe how bad the Wii looked, even with the Wii component cable. The difference favoring the PS3 is not a minor improvement. It's night and day.

    The lack of HD resolutions are the console's primary drawback, and even cartoony graphics look much better in HD...LittleBigPlanet, Modnation Racers, Ratchet & Clank, especially.

    I don't think it makes sense at all to buy one at this point in the gen for use with an HDTV. And if he wants surround sound, one more reason to go with 360 or PS3 instead, as the Wii is limited to Dolby Prologic II.
  20. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Just my 2 cents:

    Pick the console that has the games you want to play. Inferior graphics on a game you love playing is a lot better than awesome graphics on a game that you find frustrating or boring.

    I see a crap load of games at work on our 46" LCDs and while things like FPS on the Wii really call attention to the SD GFX games like Mario Brothers, Mario Galaxy, Super Smash Brothers Brawl, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Donkey Kong Country, Mario Kart, etc., do not (at least in my opinion). When I play Madden 11 Wii with my brother, Super Mario with my nephews or Wii Sports with my friends (all on HD displays mind you) I've never once thought, "Man, even though I'm having an absolute blast playing this game I wish the GFX were in HD."

    With all that being said I have a 360 because it has more of the games I want to play.

  21. Mag1c22 macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2010
    just want to touch on his xbox 360 pro/cons.

    actually you can use the kinect sitting down, it has voice recognition so you can tell it if you want it to play a movie, or pick a certain "tile" to open in the xbox dashboard. it's quite neat.

    I personally have an xbox 360 and kinect and love it and the potential it has.

    It has two decent games, the one pre-packaged with the console which is kinect adventures and then kinect sports.

    In the future better and more games will be released, especially since it is only a month old.

    I have had a wii, and while it was fun and i loved the game selection, from mario to zelda to classics, the graphics and lack of use other than the system itself for gaming really cut the experience short for me.

    i LOVE using my xbox 360 as a media extender and using it for netflix as well as the occasional video chat with the kinect sensor.

    Live is the best online experience hands down, but like previously stated it costs money (60 per year, but you can find discounts on amazon, newegg etc)

    not to mention the graphics are tremendous.

    The ps3 pretty much copied the wii for it's motion sensing remote.
    the xbox 360 detects your whole body and you need no separate controller for it.

    if you don't care about graphics or using your console for much else besides gaming, get a wii. (wii online is awful btw)

    If you care about a great online experience, and a new advanced motion gaming system, get a 360.

    if you care about the best graphics and free decent online and a motion system that mimics the wii, but not as well, get a ps3.
  22. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    When I was looking (about a month ago) the 360 bundle was $250, and the PS3 bundle was $300. I just checked again, though, and the 360 bundle is now up at $300. Weird.

    I agree that HD graphics are a huge improvement over Wii graphics. My point is only that the Wii graphics aren't bad, they're just not as good. The Wii is still a lot of fun to play, even with its inferior graphics.

    And as LethalWolfe says, it comes down to the games. The OP hasn't expressed any particular interest in any of the Wii exclusives like Mario or Donkey Kong, so there might not be any point in getting a Wii. But for a user who really wants those games, inferior graphics shouldn't keep them from buying a Wii.

    A little off topic, but what's the timeframe for Nintendo's next-gen console? I know Microsoft says the XBOX has another five years or so, but Nintendo must be feeling the pressure to release an HD Wii...
  23. Mag1c22 macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2010
    because that 300 dollar xbox 360 package, comes with kinect and the 4gb xbox 360 slim console.

    or it is just the slim 360 with 250 gb hdd.

    the slim xbox 360 without kinect and 4g memory is 200.
  24. redshift1 macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2010

    You might like the ps3 for adventure games:

    Uncharted 1&2 plus the upcoming Uncharted 3 a little bit of shooting plus lots
    of puzzles. IMO the best story and graphics available on a console.

    Played on the easy level the learning curve is fairly short.

    Big plus I can spend 25-30 hours from start to finish. A good deal for a $60.00 game

    There are many people over 50 playing Uncharted.

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