The New Gaming Systems: Pros and Cons

| March 19, 2013 | 19 Comments

Dad and son playing a video gameIf you’re looking to invest in a new gaming system or handheld device for your kids or for the family, you might be interested in some of the newer offerings from Nintendo and Playstation. Both have recently come out with new and improved gaming gadgets designed to tempt kids and adults who are interested in video games. Deciding which one to get can be a tough choice, but if you know what you’re looking for and what the strengths and weaknesses of each system are, it will be much easier to make a decision. Here’s a look at the gaming landscape to help you make up your mind.

  • Wii U. If you’re looking for a home console, this is the newest one on the market. The Wii U was just released in November of 2012. The big innovation here is the Wii U’s GamePad controller, which is different from other existing console controllers due to its tablet-like appearance and function. The GamePad is a touchscreen device that also gives players a view of the game that they can’t get from looking just at the TV screen. For instance, you may be able to see approaching enemies on the tablet that are not yet in view on the screen. This could be a big help in game play… or it could be a giant distraction. Another function, that is probably more clearly a pro, is that the GamePad allows two players to play in the same room – one with the console with a regular Wii remote, and one on the GamePad, as if it were a standalone handheld game. That means no more annoying splitscreen. The basic Wii U costs $300, and Wii also sells a $350 version that comes with more memory as well as a charging cradle and stand for the GamePad.
  • 3DS XL. Released in August of 2012, Nintendo’s 3DS XL is a revision to the 3DS that was launched about a year and a half earlier. For those familiar with the 3DS, the main difference that you’ll notice in the XL is that it’s bigger, hence the XL. More accurately, the screen is bigger – there isn’t really too much difference in the size of the devices, but Nintendo says that the screen is 90% larger. There are a few other minor changes, such as the headphone jack and the SD card slot being moved to different places. The drawback of the XL seems to be the speakers, which are lower quality than usual for a Nintendo product. Users who are concerned with the sound of the game would be well-advised to use headphones. The 3DS XL sells for $200, making it fairly reasonably priced compared to its competition.
  • Playstation Vita. Playstation’s newest handheld device, the Playstation Vita, was released in the U.S in February of 2012. This is a very technologically advanced gaming system, and for any media apps you’ll need a Vita Memory Card. The memory cards start at about $20 for only 4GB of storage, and they only go up from there; a 32GB card costs $100. Vita users have access to the Playstation network, and the device comes pre-installed with a variety of social network apps and a Netflix portal. It also has a decent quality camera that can allow the user to take screenshots of a game, among other things. It’s a fun and fantastic device, as long as you’re aware of the hidden costs.

If none of these sound like what you’re looking for in a game system, you could consider sitting tight for another year. Rumor has it that Microsoft will be putting out a new XBOX system by the fall of 2013, and Sony may be releasing a PS4 in time for next Christmas.

Do you have gaming systems in your home? What’s your favorite?

Comments (19)

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  1. Carla Bonesteel says:

    Oh boy…We are holding out for the PS4!!! Sony rules!

  2. Jessica Lodge says:

    I miss the old atari!! I hate how quickly everything is upgraded!! Especially with teenage and pre-teen boys living in the house who always want the newest system. Ugh!

  3. Neal says:

    The library of games for the Wii U is still pretty sparse compared to the 3DS. i wish there was a better selection

  4. Chelsea r says:

    We have a PS3 and are planing to get the PS4.

  5. Renata S says:

    My husband enjoy most the Wii than the kiddos. Now he wants the Wii U, but I’m afraid he wouldn’t stop playing at dinner time anymore… πŸ™‚

  6. Sherry J says:

    We have a PS3 and are planning to get the PS4.

  7. Ari says:

    My family will probably hold out on getting Wii U for a while. The Gamepad sounds convenient and definitely an improvement with the ability to have two players playing now. Thanks for the explanations on these gaming systems, they’re very concise and easy to understand!

  8. Michelle E says:

    cool to know about the latest and greatest

  9. Crystal Warren says:

    I have the Wii U and I absolutely love the touchscreen ..when I’m watching movies through Amazon Prime I can look down and get more info about the show or the actors without stopping movie..I’ve already settled a couple of “where do I know that actor/actress from” questions with that feature alone. Kids love the games too and love that they can play with the handheld controller when mom’s tired of the games and wants to watch tv!

  10. Paula V says:

    Oh my…it’s’ like you are talking a foreign language. I do know what a Wii is but I have never used any of these games. When I was a wee one about 25 yrs ago I played on my brother’s nintendo 64. ha!

  11. Dandi D says:

    We’ve never had any sort of gaming system–sounds like fun though.

  12. Christina Kelbel says:

    This is a great post, thanks for the info.

  13. Jessica Houston says:

    I really want a Wii U soooooooooooooooooooooo bad!

  14. Renee Travis says:

    We do not have a gaming system. It is just my husband and I, all the kids are out of the house, but I would like to get the Wii, so I could do some of the games for exercise! Thank πŸ™‚

  15. Brooke Adametz says:

    Thanks, very informative! We’ve been considering a hand held system for our son for a while, and I don’t really know much about video games, so I had no idea where to start! I think for his age the 3DS would be a good place to start!

  16. Maddie K says:

    I have a Wii and I love it. I’m not so sure about the Wii U though. It just doesn’t seem like something I personally would want to get just to upgrade. I’m thinking about the PS4 though. That would be a real upgrade if it is in fact something new and fresh.

  17. Donna George says:

    It is SO expensive. When you buy a new system, you then have to get peripherals, games, etc.

  18. Mel Caluag says:

    The announcement for PS4 has me really excited. I’m already saving money because it will surely be expensive.

  19. Megan Russell says:

    I have a Wii. Would love to have the Xbox 360.

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