Current Generation TV Top Gaming Console Round-Up

By Mike on 2:11 pm

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A lot of people out there are unsure about which gaming system they should purchase. Let's examine the practical pros and cons all four major gaming rigs so you can make an unbiased decision of which one to buy.

Gaming PC

-Games will typically have superior graphics and sound to console counterparts and games can be played at much higher resolutions than 720p, which is what most console games are limited to.
-Keyboard and Mouse offers superior gameplay, especially in First Person Shooters
-System can be tailored to specific needs and budgets and can have more advanced features than consoles, such as Wireless N networking and built in DVRs.
-System can be used for a large variety of things other than gaming and watching multimedia, such as enhanced web browsing, office work, AV content creation and editing, etc.
-System can be easily upgraded as needed to remain cutting edge.
-Huge variety of both free and pay downloadable content. Games can be user modded. Large variety of full retail games can be downloaded through services such as Steam.
-More connectivity options for audio, video, and networking
-More online play options including both free and pay services
-Can also be adopted as a mobile platform through laptops and LAN Boxes.

-The most expensive gaming option. To stay top of the line, you will need to replace major components such as the GPU and CPU annually to biennially, in contrast to consoles that have a stable 5 to 10 year life span. Cost of these upgrades can range from a couple hundred bucks to thousands of dollars.
-Fewer exclusive game titles, fewer high quality games. PC is plagued with a high amount of shovelware.
-Strict Digital Rights Management schemes limit how games can be used and who can play them. DRM is known to cause problems with some systems and cannot be removed even if game is.
-PC games are known to have a lot more bugs and glitches than console games.
-Games are typically not available for rental.
-All games require mandatory hard drive installs yet most still require the disc to be in the drive during gameplay.
-Windows Vista is not an ideal gaming platform. Too many performance tradeoffs due to its "jack of all trades" nature, thus requiring significantly more computing power.
-Hardware reliability can be hit and miss. Needs a lot of maintenance compared to stand alone consoles.

Microsoft Xbox 360

-Large game library including a huge variety of high quality exclusive titles
-XBL is widely considered to be one of the best online gaming experiences around
-Huge amount of downloadable games and DLC through XBL
-Games can be installed to the hard drive for disc-free play
-Full 1080p HD output through HDMI with excellent graphics and game performance
-Cheapest console of the current generation at $199 for the base Arcade model
-Three year warranty
-Netflix video streaming service for Americans
-Backwards compatible with Xbox games
-Easy media streaming through Windows Media Player and Vista Media Center

-High hardware failure rates including Red Ring of Death, disc scratching, and HDMI chipset failures. Noisy. Mostly a problem with older systems.
-Lacks built in wifi and gigabit LAN
-Lacks optical HD video disc playback
-Online service requires mandatory monthly fee
-Below average media playback capabilities
-Region locked
-Optional hard drive upgrades and wireless adaptor hugely over priced

Sony Playstation 3

-Most technically advanced and futureproof system. Reliable & quiet hardware.
-Built in Blu-ray playback and excellent media capabilities. Widely considered to be one of the best BD-Live players on the market.
-Full 1080p HD with HDMI connector
-Built in Wifi and Gigabit LAN
-Free online play with advanced social networking features.
-Larger number of high rated exclusive tiles than other systems
-Not region locked meaning games from Japan and Europe will work in North American systems, and vice versa. Gives access to region specific titles such as popular JRPGs.
-Internal hard drive easily upgradeable with any off the shelf 2.5'' SATA drive.
-Motion control system
-Connectivity with Playstation Portable

-Most expensive current generation system after PC; starting at $399
-New models lack backwards compatibility with PS2 games and lack flash reader
-Controller batteries can't be swapped and can't be charged with some USB chargers
-Playstation Store neglected; a limited amount of downloadable titles and DLC. A lot of shovelware is on the store.
-Fewer exclusive titles than other systems
-Few games that are family friendly or appeal to casual gamers
-Motion controls aren't widely adopted

Nintendo Wii

-Advanced motion control system allows players to become physically active participants in the game.
-Huge library of family friendly titles and hit Nintendo classic series. Easily accessible to casual and non-gamers.
-Relatively low cost at $270
-Virtual Console allows download and play of retro titles from NES, SNES, N64 Genesis, & PC Engine, and NeoGeo systems. WiiWare exclusive downloadable games
-Backwards compatible with Gamecube games
-Built in Wifi
-Connectivity with Nintendo DS
-Reliable hardware
-Free online play

-Largest amount of shovelware titles compared to other systems and the lowest number of high rated exclusives. Lacks more "hardcore" titles.
-Does not output games in high definition, no HDMI connectivity
-Lack of hard drive and has limited storage space for downloadable games
-Online gaming system clunky and limited. Uses long "friend codes" rather than the simple Facebook style friend requests used with other systems
-Limited media playback capability. Cannot even play DVDs.
-Relatively poor value when comparing features per dollar

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