Monday, December 15, 2008

Choosing the right video game console - Monday, Dec. 15, 2008

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Monday, Dec. 15, 2008

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Choosing the right video game console

QI'm in the market for a video game console. I've owned several gaming systems in the past. But I know little about the current consoles. Can you give me some advice?
—Mark in Duluth, MN, listening on KLDJ 101.7 FM

AChoosing the right video game console isn't simple. The current generation includes the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii. Each has many compelling features. So, which one is right for you?

Consider what kind of gamer you are. Hardcore gamers will be interested in speed and powerful graphics. More casual players will prefer fun controls and shorter games. Enthusiasts will want a high-end system. But hardware won't matter much to casual players.

However, in the end, games sell the consoles. Some high-profile titles are exclusive to a single system. And those that aren't may play differently between separate consoles. Figure out what you like to play. Then choose the console that's the best fit for you.


The Nintendo Wii is by far the best-selling console today. It's innovative controls and focus on casual gaming has attracted millions. Also, of the three, it's the most family-friendly.

The Wii's great appeal is in its unique motion-sensing controller. It looks like a remote control, and features a gyroscopic motion sensor.

Say you're playing a tennis game. You would swing the remote as if it were a tennis racket. It can be wielded like a sword or used like a fishing rod. This makes for a unique game play experience.

The Wii Remote can also be used with the Nunchuk. That's a small add-on controller with additional buttons and a joystick. Used together, they couple motion-sensing and traditional controls. The Nunchuk also has some motion-sensing abilities. They can be used with one in each hand, like boxing gloves, for example.

The Wii falls short in the graphics department. It's the only console that doesn't play in high definition. Both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 can output video in 1080p. The Wii's graphics are by no means bad. But don't expect cutting-edge visuals.

The Wii only comes in one model, which sells for $250. It runs on a PowerPC processor and has 512MB of internal flash memory. It is also backward compatible with all Nintendo GameCube games.

It comes with an SD memory card slot. So you can add more storage space. It comes with all the necessary cables. This includes an infrared sensor bar. You place this bar above or below your TV. The remote uses the bar to calibrate its position in space.

That wraps up the Wii. But there are two more. Click here for them.

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Cool Site of the Day: Most of us spend heavily this time of the year. If you find you're stretched, try this site. It can help you budget.

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Tip on the site: You could save on a computer by buying one used. But is that a good idea? Price isn't the only thing to be concerned about.

Tomorrow's Tip, in your e-mail: Mid-priced point-and-shoots

Kim :)

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