*mumblemumble* Console (What to get)

A little backstory:

A few months ago, I found myself to be Gaming PC-less for the first time in 25 years. This was because I gave my old gaming rig to my father-in-law, who's hand-me-down (also from me) had bit the dust. I decided at that point to wait it out until PCI Express 2.0 systems were past their early adopter phase and entered mainstream.

Things were going alright until my employer gave me a new laptop: A Lenovo T61p. Crysis is quite playable at medium settings on this thing, and my manager doesn't care how I use it outside of getting my job done. That means my plans to save up for a PC are gone. However, I still have a birthday coming up and family that wants to know what I want. That sent my thoughts in an unusual direction: Gaming console.

I can't believe I'm committing to getting a console even as a collective gift from others! I haven't bought or been given a new console/console game since the NES, but Rock Band and other quality titles have tempted me too much. I value the opinions of my fellow Goodjers, so here are the factors I'm pondering.

- It's unavoidable: My wife will totally be in on the decision. I have to approach this like a business case with longevity, best bang for the buck (now and in the future), what's good for our family to have, etc. all presented clearly.

- There will be ONE console. We don't have disposable income to throw into different ones.

- As I mentioned, Rock Band is a big factor. Many of my friends have it and I don't. I'm tired of playing everything on easy/medium and avoiding the drums like the plague. It's still tons of fun, but I want to practice!

- Since Rock band is a big factor, PS3 and XBox 360 seem to be my main contenders. The price of the PS3 (it'd be the 80GB so I can play PS2 games, right?) bugs me. The reliability of the Xbox bugs me. Not sure what to do there.

- We have three kids (7, 4, and 1). The 7 year old can handle games, the 4 year old is learning fast from her sister, and the 1 year old will likely think the controllers are tasty. To get to the point: Though this is primarily a toy for me, I want a console that will work out for them too. Wii would seem like a great choice but the lack of downloading Rock Band titles seems like a bad thing to me.

- We don't have HD anything. Blu-ray movies do nothing for us now, but may in a few years or so.

- I like the media center-ish features of the Xbox and can see us using them plenty.

I'm excited about all of this and will accept any advice. Also, if you can think of factors I missed that might be important, feel free to throw them my way.

I'd say go with a 360. One of my friends has one and it's pretty cool and we actually play it often. Looks awesome on a big screen and Rock Band.

He also has a PS3 and a Wii but he doesn't play that at all =P

If 360 didn't have reliability issues I would recommend it in an instant. I still think it's the best console on the market, though. With the 3 year warranty the hardware problems are mostly covered.

It's pretty simple for me. 360 has the best game library, best (standard) controller, and best online service. Hardware quality is the only thorn in its side.

Have you looked at the 360/PS3/Wii game lineup (present and future)?

That might help you out a lot too.

I too would recommend the 360. Besides 'Rock Band' you have the GWJ'er community well at hand to ask questions too, or even play with. X-Box Live makes this all so convenient. Plus, if you are into it, nice arcade games to download directly (beside movies, tv shows etc. if you are into that and of course lot's of media aspects). The 360 is a bit of a pig compared to the PS 3, but the X-Box Live service is well worth it.

360.

Games library, online service, lots of people around here to play with.

Yes there is the hardware issue, but the newer machines are much improved and the warranty covers it.

Unless you really care about Metal Gear or Final Fantasy, you'll be wanting an Xbox.

Is the Wii in the picture or are you thinking between 360 and PS3? Because they aren't really competing at the same level with Wii on one side and 360 and PS3 on the other. The Wii is good, but if you are looking for the largest amount of titles (at least for grown-ups) the 360 has the most robust library of games. With little kids though the Wii might be just the right fit with all of the physical movements and flashy characters, just something you would have to weigh.

I would recommend if you are looking only at the 360 or PS3 that you look at the libraries of exclusive games (current and upcoming) and weigh that. I personally am really happy with my 360 and have not found a compelling reason to get a PS3 (maybe when the price drops some more). If you are a big fan of MGS4, which I'm doubting since you haven't had a console since the NES, or something like that then the PS3 might be worth it, but more likely the 360 would be a better option.
Online play is currently best on the 360 as well.

However, the PS3 also acts as a Blu-Ray player (supposedly the best deal for a Blu-Ray player out right now) so if you are interested in that you may consider the PS3 to be the smarter purchase. Though there are rumors of a Blu-Ray drive for the 360 being announced in the not too distant future.

Good luck with your decision.

Are we to the point yet where someone can go out and buy a 360 that might not be a time bomb? I notice the red ring thread isn't nearly so active as it used to be. Either way I'd go 360 due to the library and Live, then just bank on not having it for some random, three week interval.

Live and Library points to 360. I love them all though.

As someone who is primarily a PC gamer who only seriously joined the console generation since the 16-bit days this time around, I can say you will probably feel the most at home with the 360, from the interface layout to the games library. The only issue you might run into is how some titles can come off as blurry or have nearly unreadable text on an SDTV. Keep in mind also that the Live gold subscription and the network adaptor if you want wireless means the PS3 isn't that much higher in price. Still, the 360 has been the console I've felt most comfortable with when not messing around with config settings on my PC.

However, if you can get over the lack of easy access to downloadable songs, I agree that your "family" situation might make the Wii preferable. 360 has a lot of great titles, but other than the marketplace there isn't a huge selection of family-type games as far as I can tell.

Though not a 360 owner, I'd have to throw my vote that way as well. Library + Live + Goodjers + Rock Band. Someone correct me, but I thought the general sentiment was that PS3 and 360 on SDTV was lacking. Not broken, but lacking.

We're (wife and toddler) getting by just fine on the Wii and PS2. Rock Band requirements pretty much chuck both of those from consideration. If you like the multiplayer online stuff, that would also pretty much chuck them as well.

360, hands down. I own all of the consoles, and none of them gets as much play time as the 360, by far. It's starting to compete for my PC gaming time.

A console?

Shun!

Go 360. Yes it may die (mine has), but the replacement process is about as painless as that sort of process can be.

I have all 3, I play the 360, kids play Wii, PS3 plays movies (Blu-rays do kick ass in HD).

If your budget allows down the road, add a Wii and gamefly for the kids and their short attention spans.

My $0.02

I'd suggest PS3 here. It works better as a streaming platform for movies than the 360, doesn't brick, you can replace the HDD and it fits in with other home theatre components. If its online your looking for, 360 is the best now in terms of install base. PS3 does have a lot of exciting things coming out for it that excite me, little big planet, home.
There are getting fewer and fewer exclusives now that we are moving into the center of the cycle, and I think long term PS3 looks like it has more potential to work.

Oh, and although 360 does do DL on 360 well, throw a DVDrip onto a networked drive or flash drive and put it in the PS3 and it works great.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

A console?

Shun!

Damn. The *mumblemumble* didn't distract my friends well enough. If Stone noticed and bothered to read, the rest of them surely will. I'm gonna get some crap over this.

I've gotten a lot of things to think about so far. This looks like it'll still be a tough decision. I'm already feeling much more informed though!

The Wii is barely a contender, but I have to weigh the family and our TV. There are some definite drawbacks I'd have to live with. (If there were a second console, this would definitely be one of them. However, there's only going to be one.)
I didn't even consider Xbox Live Gold ($50/year) or that I might want a wireless network adapter ($100). Those are good points.
Yes - I also have a fairly big SDTV and no HD in the foreseeable future. It definitely figures into things.
Plus lots more. (I just read Boogle's post, and it has some good points about the PS3, too.)

I didn't even consider Xbox Live Gold ($50/year) or that I might want a wireless network adapter ($100). Those are good points.
Yes - I also have a fairly big SDTV and no HD in the foreseeable future. It definitely figures into things.

You just bullet pointed the two biggest reasons we own a Wii, and not an Xbox 360.

Who's the console really for? What kinds of games are the family going to be into? My wife loves casual games, so the Wii works nicely. If we had an HDTV, she'd probably love to watch some of the 360 stuff, but she's not terribly into the 360 catalog. Basically the same as the PS2, she loves watching GOW and Psychonauts, but has no interest in playing them. As a teenager, I would have hated the Wii, and gone with a 360.

zeroKFE wrote:

Unless you really care about SOCOM and LittleBigPlanet, you'll be wanting an Xbox.

Fixed. I couldn't give two craps about Final Fantasy, and MGS I'll maybe give a half a crap, but the PS3 will be my fall console home because of these, WipeOut, Buzz, and possibly Resistance 2.

Buuut... I don't know if I'm actually prepared to go chasing people away from a 360 purchase at this point in time...

Where's Mr. Green?

Good questions and points, LilCodger. You've helped to clarify why the Wii won't just go away. At the end of this I know I'll be making the best choice all around. Everyone here is helping far more than my time so far spent looking up reviews, specs, prices, and title libraries.

I am going to steer you from the 360 for a different reason. You already have a PC. That means that for many of the popular third party titles, CoD, Orange Box, etc, you get equivalent(arguably superior versions with the mods, community maps, etc.). And there are great, arguably better ports, of big 360 games like Mass Effect and Viva Pinata. So unless you and your family REALLY REALLY love Epic and Bungie, no real reason to steer towards the Red Death there.

Outside of Rock Band, my PS3 gets limited usage. There is a plethora of downloadable game content using the Eyetoy that looks really kid friendly. I have no hard feelings there. I downloaded Everyday Shooter, Symphony of the Night, Tower Defense Monsters, and Super Stardust.
Again, not much your PC is not already giving you other than the mediocre fare. Drake, Ratchet, Resistance are nothing special. Certainly nothing to buy a system for.

The Wii just got the full Rock Band kit. Saw a TV ad for it some time ago. It also has the kid friendly appeal. I can see a family of 4, 5 having a blast with Mario Kart, Smash Bros, Mario Party is tailor made for kids and wives. Boom Blox may be the Puzzle Quest of 2008.
The problem is that your odds of finding a unit not bundled with 300 bucks of pure sh*t are slim. You will end up spending 600 bucks to get 4 controllers and a package with Rayman and Red Steel, etc.

PS, No one who actually READ YOUR POST would suggest a 360 or a PS3, feel free to ignore them.

Let's just be clear that $50 a year for live is a much better deal than $0 a year for whatever Sony is calling their online service these days. Once you get a decent list of GWJ friends, you will realize what a benefit Live is, even if you aren't playing games with them at the moment.

Live really is that good. Look back at the rants when Live went through a bad period last Christmas. Microsoft wasn't ready, and the service went bad for about a month. People freaked, but what it really told me was just how popular Live is, and it was easy to take for granted. Look at the message boards for multiplayer 360 games vs the Wii. I'd say check it for the PS 3, but then, there really aren't any. The 360 threads are full of people talking about playing, while the Wii threads are full of people figuring out how to play online (including using their 360 for voice chat while playing SSBB). The few PS3 threads are just gamers looking for someone to play with.

Reliability is a concern, no doubt. I'm not sure where the reliability is at the point. Think about how strong the 360 support is despite most of us having already shipped one box back. While I sent mine out, the only question was whether I could wait for it to get back, or if I might by a new one and sell the repaired 360. Going PS3 never crossed my mind. I'm considering a PS3 now, but only in addition to the 360, which would still get 90% of the play. But if I am considering a BluRay player, why not consider the PS3? Then I can enjoy the 3 or 4 games I'd like to try out.

Then, once you realize just how sublime console gaming really is, buy a Mac for your next desktop.

KingGorilla wrote:

PS, No one who actually READ YOUR POST would suggest a 360 or a PS3, feel free to ignore them.

I hardly think steering a seasoned PC gamer to the Wii is the way to go. The Wii is a great family console, and all that, but the present is for him. I made this move last generation, when I got a Gamecube long before the Xbox. While the Wii is still the console of choice for kids, the 360 is much better than the Xbox was. Not only are there better games on the shelf this time around, Live Arcade has a ton of great games for kids.

Jayhawker wrote:

Then, once you realize just how sublime console gaming really is, buy a Mac for your next desktop.

Hey now! None of those shenanigans!

LouZiffer wrote:

You've helped to clarify why the Wii won't just go away.

Just think/talk about what it's really for. If playing with Goodjers is important to you, it's either PC or 360. The Wii really sucks at online play. If casual family games are more important, go for the Wii, if you can find one.

Personally, I'd love to pick up a 360 and play with the Goodjers, even with the SDTV. Other money sinks and the Wii's presence have squashed that so far, but I'm guessing by around Christmas time (especially if there's a price cut) I'll be hard pressed not to pick one up. I swore I'd never buy two consoles again ...

LouZiffer wrote:

Damn. The *mumblemumble* didn't distract my friends well enough. If Stone noticed and bothered to read, the rest of them surely will. I'm gonna get some crap over this.

Yes, I am sneaky.

KingGorilla wrote:

The Wii just got the full Rock Band kit. Saw a TV ad for it some time ago.

No downloadable content for the Wii version of Rock Band (as anyone who actually READ his post will note ). Instead, only some songs will available on expansion disks. Also, Wii instruments will not be compatible with your friends' versions of Rock Band, which are all 360.

While i don't have any of the three consoles (so take my thoughts with a grain of salt). I would probably get either a PS3 or a 360. But that is based solely on the fact that i'm mid-late twenties, single and have lots of disposable income.

If i had a family with young children i'd go for the Wii. Why? Because although there would be games that i'd buy on the Wii for myself (Alone in the Dark, Metroid 3, Super smash bros, Okami and all those old classics on the download service - regardless of space issues) i know that i'd get many hours of joy bonding with my children playing little games that they would enjoy too. I don't see these games on either the 360 or PS3 - at least not with a controller that they would find easy to use.

Just wanted to add that I have a Wii and a 360. The 360 gets more play from the family (wife, 5 year old, 2 year old) than the Wii. The idea that the Wii is the ultimate kid's machine doesn't hold true in this family.

I will go against the grain and suggest that if you haven't played the PS2 library, and you think you might want to, then that's a great way to go.

The hardware *and* the games are both cheap. And, unlike the Xbox the thing won't melt and it won't fill your living room with the noise of a vacuum cleaner.

psu_13 wrote:

I will go against the grain and suggest that if you haven't played the PS2 library, and you think you might want to, then that's a great way to go.

The hardware *and* the games are both cheap. And, unlike the Xbox the thing won't melt and it won't fill your living room with the noise of a vacuum cleaner.

That's a really good option.... ooh, ohh! Is it too late to change my vote?

I will say that my daughter, turning 11 next month, games almost exclusively on the Wii. We just picked up Super Smash Brothers Brawl, which has been a huge hit. She also plays a ton of Zelda and Mario games. She also still plays quite few Gamecube games on the Wii. Let's not forget the hours upon hours she and her friends spend making Miis and wasting time on Everybody Votes.

She also plays Viva Pinata and its Party game, old school Bomberman from XBLA, and helps my wife as she battles through Lost Odyssey.

I'd say her console of choice is the DS, though. I bet it gets five times the use that the Wii does.

psu_13 wrote:

I will go against the grain and suggest that if you haven't played the PS2 library, and you think you might want to, then that's a great way to go.

The hardware *and* the games are both cheap. And, unlike the Xbox the thing won't melt and it won't fill your living room with the noise of a vacuum cleaner.

I almost suggested the same thing, and I've never had a PS anything. Well, I have a PSP now.

Although if it is a gift and it isn't costing you anything you might as well get one of the newer systems. If you could get a few games to make up for the difference then that might be worth it...