*mumblemumble* Console (What to get)

I say 360. Great online community. You get to make friends, play with them, share laughs, advice, whatever. It's awesome. Especially being a Goodjer. That said, I have my eye on LBP.

Jayhawker wrote:

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

Good to see more ppl guide others to the light

And for console, go C64. It's cheap and arcade classics are in!
In other words... I don't do consoles, can't really recommend one.

Go with the 360. I say this for two reasons. One, XBOX live is so much better than PSN. Even the free version kicks ass. Achievements are also alot of fun to track. Second, and most importantly, even though PS3 and XBOX share a majority if titles, I know from working in the industry the XBOX version gets the most development time.

I am currently working on a triple A project coming out next year, and the PS3 build is treated like an afterthought vs the XBOX, and even the PC version for that matter. There are alot of reasons why, but the primary reason is it is so much easier to develope for the XBOX.

I'm sort of on the fence. I have a 360 and a Wii, and the Wii gets almost no play time. Though there aren't any wives or children in the house, and those seem to be the primary playing demographic. If you were planning on taking advantage of the DLC for Rock Band, it should be a 360 or a PS3. I don't think reliability is an issue with the 360 much any more (although noise still is). If the PS2 back-catalog appeals to you, it may be worth getting an 80GB PS3 for that, especially if you're not likely to play online much.

As far as not having an HDTV, there are definitely some games that have issues with fine-details in standard definition. The text in Dead Rising being the standard example. Also, the mini-map in Burnout Paradise was near-unreadable. But most games (Rock Band included) don't have problems like these.

Et tu, Lou? Having all of them, the 360 by far gets the most use (in the limited time I get to spend with any of them). Keep in mind, though, that its online abilities are only a factor if you're willing to cough up the annual fee for it.

It's no contest. The Wii is the way to go.

You've got 3 young kids and a wife. (lightbulb goes off in head.) Plus you already have a pc rig capable of playing hardcore type games like Crysis (lightbulb gets brighter.)

Last Rockband (with "DLC" in some form or other) will be on the Wii here very soon. (lightbulb is now blinding me.)

No brainer. Wii.

Bah. The Wii is a novel controller looking for some decent games.

The present is for you and, as such, I'd go with the 360. There are plenty of kids games for the 360 (my 8 year old loves Star Wars Legos and Viva Pinata) and you'll get what you want - a great gaming machine. The RROD hasn't really been an issue for new boxes since the July 2007 manufactured ones updated the heat sink. Everyone that I know who has a Wii and a 360 plays the 360 while the Wii gathers dust after the first week. And I'm not talking about 16 year-olds, I'm talking about families with kids (such as yours). I just wouldn't let the kiddies around when playing XBox Live - the language in that online community is horrendous. Then again, the language in any online community is usually horrendous.

Enjoy Rock Band! It kicks ass!

I was in a similar situation, no kids though. I just bought a PS3 and haven't looked back. The reasons I chose Sony were:

-Reliability. The 360 just has too many technical problems. This is the biggie, I used to be a huge Xbox fan.
-Blueray. Not much out there in this format yet, but there will be.
-Lifecycle. It's younger and will have a longer lifespan than the 360 at this point.
-Exclusives. There aren't as may as you think. The only games I acually miss not having are Halo 3 and Mass Effect.

So far I love the PS3 and play it a lot. I'm about 50/50 on the playing game to watching movie ratio.

In my family the Wii has gotten a lot more use than the 360. The 360 has a lot of titles for guys who like shooters, racing, adventure, etc., but it's pretty light on the light hearted, wholesome, simpler stuff that my wife and kid play. Mario Galaxy, Star Wars Lego, Zelda, Wii Sports, Pokemon, and a few others have been the big titles on the Wii in our house.

With the 360, my 9-year old son is constantly asking for the kind of stuff that is targeted at the teen and college-age hardcore multiplayer crowd (Sorry, son, but Daddy doesn't need you cursing it up with a-hole pubtards for at least another few years).

If the console is for you alone, the 360 or PS3 are better choices. If online multiplayer with friends is also a big thing, the 360 is well set up with the LIVE service. BTW, I'm in the same boat with not having HDTV. On a regular TV, the 360 seems to me to be a very inferior gaming experience to the PC. I wouldn't even bother with it.

I vote 360. Why? there are actually a lot of decent titles outside of Bungie, Microsoft, Bioware etc not to mention XBLA games. Even if you already have a PC, theres a LOT you can't get on the PC. Basically the only recent ports have been what? Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed, Grid? that's 3 out of a much bigger library on the 360.

I will steer you away from the PS3 because I've been stuck using it with a SDTV for the past 6 months and nearly everything is damn near unplayable except for tennis games and Tekken. On the other hand, I have a friend who you might call a noob and he plays his 360 on a SDTV, most of the time he couldn't tell the difference between my setup with a VGA cable and his aside from the horrible Dead Rising text issues.

I've only just recently procured a PS3, but I'm enjoying it very much. There are some fun downloadable games that are suitable for kids (Super Rubadub, Loco Roco), and I was surprised by how decent the library is at this point. (I'd spent the last two years scoffing about how there weren't any games I'd be interested in playing on any of the latest generation of consoles, only to have that notion completely disproven two weeks ago)

You can't really take my word for it, though. I'm irrationally opposed to the Xbox and Xbox360. I consider them to have blighted my local game stores with frat boys who think Bungee invented the FPS, and my forgiveness is hard bought. (It is also my understanding from reviews that the Katamari game for the Xbox is crap, and I don't know if I can ever forgive a console that ruined Katamari Damacy.)

As for the Wii, I'm still not convinced they actually exist. I haven't decided if anyone who claims to have found one to buy is lying or hallucinating or both. This impression is so ingrained into my psyche that when my wife pointed out to me someone actually purchasing a Wii in a gamestop, I frowned and without looking up I said "That's impossible. The Wii is vaporware. That guy's just a marketing plant to convince people that Nintendo's actually shipping a product."

The power of denial is strong with this one.

There are Wiis on shelves in nearly every big box store in my area.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

As for the Wii, I'm still not convinced they actually exist. I haven't decided if anyone who claims to have found one to buy is lying or hallucinating or both. This impression is so ingrained into my psyche that when my wife pointed out to me someone actually purchasing a Wii in a gamestop, I frowned and without looking up I said "That's impossible. The Wii is vaporware. That guy's just a marketing plant to convince people that Nintendo's actually shipping a product."

If you'd like to really be skeptical...

Mine was a Christmas gift the first Christmas after launch. My mother literally asked the electronics clerk at Wal-Mart if they had "one of those Wi-Fi thingees", and he went to the back, returning Wii in hand. Oh, and she did this around 8 AM on Christmas Eve. I imagine the Wal-Mart employee that hid it in the back was slightly perturbed that Christmas.

I didn't believe it either.

After much thought, I've made a decision.

The points I've come up with about each:

Xbox 360
+ Good, modern console.
+ Rock Band is full-featured.
+ Media-centerish capabilities.
+ Great library of games.
+ I'm fairly convinced that the new ones are reliable.
- FPS or other such games, I'll play (and be happier with) on my laptop. Playing them in the living room where the kids can walk out and see? Won't happen.
- Networked games cost money to play. I'll play most networked games on my laptop anyway.
- Wireless adapter? OVERPRICED. Adds a good chunk to initial investment.
- Not as kid/family friendly. My hardcore gaming side hangs out on the laptop.
- Need to put it out in the open so it can breathe properly. Our 1-year-old will eat it. Literally.

PS3
+ Good, modern console.
+ Rock Band is full-featured.
+ Great library of games including PS2, which has a huge amount.
+ Blu-ray player.
+ They think they're cool like Spiderman.
+ Network is free. 802.11 built-in.
- The cost! I'll end up paying a big chunk of change even after the family contributes.
- Can't find as many friends on the network. Like the Xbox 360, I'll use the laptop for that anyway.
- See the Xbox 360 as far as my "comparing to the laptop" part goes. Same drawbacks here.

Wii
+ Modern-ish. Fits with my current tech level (SDTV).
+ Game library and control scheme will get the wife and kids more involved. Everything is better with live, in-person company. The children need further indoctrination into the faith.
+ Network is limited, but free. 802.11 built-in.
+ I'll get Rock Band practice! The song selection on the boxed collections will be enough. (I won't buy a console for a single game!)
+ I actually remember Mario fondly. Have seen Mario Paper in action and liked what I saw! Nintendo's treatment of other games appears to be mostly good with few duds mixed in. (Mario Party 8? Really now.)
+ It's pure console. This thing doesn't try to be a bridge to anything else. I actually like the distinction. When I game, I use the right tool for the job.
+ CHEAP!
+ With proper controllers, I can play previous Nintendo system titles that I've never played before. Can pick them up used for dirt cheap.
- Rock Band lacks networked play. This isn't much of a bad thing because I have regular gaming and movie nights with friends along with occasional gaming marathons/mini-LAN parties.
- Rock Band lacks character customization. Actually, this is the worst thing for me. I get the biggest kick out of making strange looking people. *sigh*
- Tough to find. It's a good thing that I'm patient and don't mind tracker spam.

PS2
+ Modern-ish in a similar sense to the Wii. Not quite the same, but I'll give it this anyway. Definitely fits with my SDTV.
+ Large selection of games.
+ SUPER CHEAP!
+ Widely available.
- Same Rock Band issues as Wii.
- Almost like the PS3/Xbox 360 in the "I wish I were a PC" sense. Same problem with playing the majority of the games in the living room.

If you read all of that, you can probably guess that I decided on the Wii. As much as I'd like to think that this is MY console, I have the laptop for the truly heavy stuff and that's where it belongs in both the "right tool for the job" and the "hide the mature stuff from the kids" ways. This is the best fit for my situation and preferences.

For the Wii folks: DON'T GLOAT. The Xbox 360 and PS3 people are true servants of the gaming gods. They've bought into the future in terms of technology. I wish we all had that technology matched up with the Wii's innovativeness, accessibility, and something intangible I'll call 'console purity'. Then there would have been no question for me as there would be no trade-offs. I'd have known what to go after immediately.

For everyone else: THANK YOU for taking the time to help by expressing your opinions. I needed to consider every angle I could find on this. You added the pebbles of concentrated info that rattled around in my brain for a few days. I wouldn't be nearly as sure of my decision without my goodjer friends.

Congrats on your decision! As my wife will tell you, I'm terrible at making decisions, especially if it involves research (warranted or not :)). Oh, and I know its unsolicited, but I'd suggest Excite Truck &/or Mario Kart, my wife has had a blast with these (especially the former) even though she's never touched a racer before.

For the record, leave WiiConnect24 OFF and just check every now and then for updates. The system uses a lot of energy, and gets pretty darn hot with WiiConnect24 on. My one friend had his Wii on top of his 360 with WiiConnect24 on and couldn't figure out why his 360 kept locking up on him, until I pointed out how hot the Wii gets.

Congrats on the decision, though you left out the PS3 also has media center capabilities and I think they might even be better than the 360's. I've been using it as a media center and while the support isn't as good as a PC codec wise it's making big strides each firmware update. Ive been very impressed.

One minus you should add to the Wii is added cost of peripherals; as a family man you'll probably want three additional controllers ($30 each), a Nunchuck ($20) and a Classic controller or Gamecube controller ($10-$20) for the Wiiware and Virtual Console games. Not to mention Wii Fit's Balance Board if that ends up working out ($90). The cost can be spread across several months, helping budgeting quite a bit, but it's still there.

wokavan wrote:

Congrats on your decision! As my wife will tell you, I'm terrible at making decisions, especially if it involves research (warranted or not :)). Oh, and I know its unsolicited, but I'd suggest Excite Truck &/or Mario Kart, my wife has had a blast with these (especially the former) even though she's never touched a racer before.

Thanks for the suggestion! I'll take a look at those games.

nsmike wrote:

For the record, leave WiiConnect24 OFF and just check every now and then for updates. The system uses a lot of energy, and gets pretty darn hot with WiiConnect24 on. My one friend had his Wii on top of his 360 with WiiConnect24 on and couldn't figure out why his 360 kept locking up on him, until I pointed out how hot the Wii gets.

Ugh. So that's what the "system coolers" out there are for. Good tip. Heat buildup is a bad thing with any electronic device. I'll keep an eye on that.

fathamburger wrote:

Congrats on the decision, though you left out the PS3 also has media center capabilities and I think they might even be better than the 360's. I've been using it as a media center and while the support isn't as good as a PC codec wise it's making big strides each firmware update. Ive been very impressed.

That was unintentional. The PS3 is indeed very good as a media center. Honestly it sucks that I can't have something that includes the best of each kind of feature from each one of these boxes. It'd make a fantastic dream machine.

bnpederson wrote:

One minus you should add to the Wii is added cost of peripherals; as a family man you'll probably want three additional controllers ($30 each), a Nunchuck ($20) and a Classic controller or Gamecube controller ($10-$20) for the Wiiware and Virtual Console games. Not to mention Wii Fit's Balance Board if that ends up working out ($90). The cost can be spread across several months, helping budgeting quite a bit, but it's still there.

True, it only comes with one controller. They all have that minus even though the Wii needs more controllers to play classic games. My ignoring that part was deliberate. To me it doesn't truly set the Wii apart from any other expandable game system - PC included. You have to buy peripherals and games. That is a big reason why there will only be one console for me.

WiiConnect24 on wireless definitely makes the box much hotter. A friend tells me it isn't nearly as bad wired.

Consider Wii Play. It's like Wii Sports in that it's Wii-mote training in disguise. Silly little $10 game packaged with a $40 Wii-mote. If you play a lot, also consider the Nyko recharge kit.

If you pick up a "legacy" controller (cough ... WaveBird ... cough), you can likely skip the "Classic Controller". I haven't needed it yet, and it won't help you if you want to load a GameCube game. You will also need a GameCube memory card if you do that. And continuing the stream of consciousness, you'll want an SD card or two if you're going to be a heavy VC user.

Our setup grew quite organically. Don't feel like you need to get everything right out of the gate. You might not even be able to find it all.

Most of all, enjoy.

P.S. The obligatory game suggestion: Boom Blox. The first game that really just feels like the Wii was made for it. My parents call me at least once a week to thank me again for purchasing it for them.

LouZiffer wrote:

Ugh. So that's what the "system coolers" out there are for. Good tip. Heat buildup is a bad thing with any electronic device. I'll keep an eye on that.

I turned off WiiConnect because it draws energy with the power off, but I never noticed a lot of heat when I had it turned on. The only thing I miss about it is not being able to turn on the Wii and get local weather and the news.

I've been running mine wired for a long time... Back when I did use WiiConnect24, there was no reduction in heat between wired and wireless. That shouldn't even make a difference in technical terms anyway. I have heard that some people say their Wii isn't hot at all. I have a launch Wii, so it may be that there have been some hardware improvements introduced that corrected that problem. Overall, though, it still draws power with WiiConnect24 on, and I'd rather it didn't.

As far as the heat goes, put it on the included stand somewhere that it can keep cool, or just not on carpet if you're going to have it lay flat.

I keep WC24 off. I save the energy and deal with drawbacks of having it off, ie, news isn't as quick to update and no messages from the mothership aka no glowing breathing blue fluorescent light in the morning.

wii online play is pretty bad. All my experiences with it has been unwieldly friends codes and lots of lag.

SexyBeast wrote:

wii online play is pretty bad. All my experiences with it has been unwieldly friends codes and lots of lag.

True, but when it comes to multiplayer with people in the same house it simply cannot be beat.

zeroKFE wrote:

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

This.

Alright. I've been working myself to death for far too long and need to post an update. Yep... a decision was made and acted upon. *puts on the flak vest*

I got a Wii.

After making the decision, I successfully had one in hand within a week. All I did was go to the Circuit City website and have them notify me when one of the five stores within 15 miles of home/work had it. I got the notification, purchased it online, and drove by the store to pick it up. (Why in the hell don't other retailers have this kind of setup?! I don't even like Circuit City that much, but they get plenty of business from me because of it.)

There were a myriad of factors in play. Here are a few of the main ones that convinced me:

- I have a PC that runs games great. PC-ish titles and online multiplayer have a home there. More violent titles can be played in the other room on the PC - not on the large-ish TV (our only one) in the living room which the kids can see from the upstairs walkway.
- Rock Band is "good enough" on the Wii. By the time I begin to master the track list between it and the expansion disc, Rock Band 2 will be out with its own awesome list. It'll also be fully compatible with the instruments I've got. I also have friends and extended family that come over to play!
- I have a family with three young kids (two that are old enough to play). The existing library of titles can't be beaten for that.

Plus, I found this in our yard...

IMAGE(http://www.hannenfamily.info/pics/louie/shroom.jpg)

We have Rock Band with all of the associated instruments now. It was surprising to note that our four year old is able to drone along with the vocals and get 90%+ every time on easy! She starts every song by shouting, "LET'S GET READY TO ROCK!!!" Her older sister (7) sings the actual words in glorious monotone and needs our help in saving her regularly. She does well with Black Hole Sun, though. (By the way - those are some interesting lyrics when sung by a 7yo girl.)

I also just received Boom Blox as a gift. I've read the glowing reviews from fellow Goodjers, but holy carp! Playing is believing when it comes to this title. If I ever abandoned the philosophy of "Don't buy a system for a single game." I'd have bought a Wii based on this one alone.

That mushroom is awesome. Is that real?

Mushroom is indeed awesome.

Glad you're having fun!