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.