The Next Gen Consoles – The Good The Bad and The Fun!

I have recently acquired an Xbox 360 console, which made me realise that my gadget addiction is really quite bad as bar the PS3, I have owned at some point all of the current generation of consoles!

I am by no means a rich man so I have always sold on the console before getting the next one.  Below I list my personal opinions on each of the devices from the handhelds to the consoles.

I have always been a PC game fan, mainly as my parents never allowed me to get a games console as they wanted it to be educational as well as fun.  Maybe it was this ban that made me the addict I am today.  I have to admit upon analysing the fact that I have owned most of the latest generation of consoles that I must be easily bored, quickly losing interest with each console and moving on to the next.  I have however owned each of them for a fairly long time which I feel gives me a good grounding for commenting on the positives and negatives.

The first of the latest consoles I owned was the Sony PSP.  This was a fairly pricey machine, but it was upon seeing a friend play Virtua Tennis on it that I was hooked and had to have one.  Much eBay selling later I had enough cash to buy one.

The PSP is an amazing piece of kit, with video, games and music however there were a number of issues I had with the device.  Firstly the price, for a handheld console it was very pricey (at the time £180).  My second issue was that for a handheld console it was pretty big.  However, the device had an excellent screen, plush colours, film and games looked realy good and the games were as good, if not better than the actual PS2 console.  The reason however that I decided a year later to get rid of the machine was just that the machine didn’t have the games to make it a great device.  This may have since changed but at the time I felt that the games whilst stunning, were not much fun.

My next acquisition was the Nintendo DS, after selling my PSP this was  gaming device that was completely different.  The graphics are no where near as good as the PSP but the games I felt were just a lot more fun.  The device was also a lot cheaper at nearly half the price.  So on a comparison between these two devices you have to consider what you want from the machine;

If you want an MP3 player, video player and amazing graphics then obviously the PSP is for you, but just watch out for the price tag.  However if you want a device purely for games (and now training games) then the DS is definitely a cheaper and more fun option.

I then on the basis of how fun the DS was and from much recommendation from work mates purchased a Nintendo Wii.  This is an amazing piece of kit and in comparison at the time, a lot cheaper.  This has since changed but I will mention that later.  Nintendo in the latest generation of console went for innovative instead of the costly high powered option which currently appears to have been a wise decision.  Whlst not as powerful, I find the Wii has very good graphics and the games are amazing fun.  I would however state that I have found this machine only coming out when friends are over.  I am not entirely sure of my reasons but as a one player machine I just do not find it a great deal of fun and the controller is somewhat of a novelty when playing serious games.  As a party device tough this is by far the best machine I could recommend.  Family and friends who were never, or would never have considered themselves to be gamers really found the device fun, and any machine that can get my Dad wanting to play to all hours on Christmas day must be something special.  With four controllers it is a huge amount of fun, seeing friends and family frantically pointing and shaking their controllers is a site to behold.  As I said though as a one player machine I feel you would soon lose interest, as I did and therefore you will need to have friends over often or a partner to get the full use out of it.  The wii also has the great download system so you can download games from your childhood which are still amazingly fun today.

The final console I have owned is the Xbox360.  Now this machine never really appealed to me in the early days as I had a PC for gaming and the price tag was just too much for me to consider.  This however has changed, with the price dropping for the Arcade version to £129 it started to become a possibilty for me.  Whilst I cannot compare to the PS3 I can only say that the few friends I know who have played both state that the PS3 is far too over priced and isn’t a lot better.  The main incentive for me to buy this machine was the fact I was selling my pc, I was no longer able to play Fifa and so wanted a system to play PC equivalent graphics.  So with the price drop I quickly shifted some items on eBay and raised the cash for the console.  Now I have only owned this machine for a week but I can give the following opinion.  This is a gamers machine, not really a social machine for when friends come over but it does have a lot of positives.  Firstly this machine has HD graphics, you will need an HD TV to benefit from this but it needs to be seen to be believed.  Games such as Grand Theft Auto are absolutely amazing, to have seen every evolution of this series from the first jump from 2D to 3D to the latest incarnation is amazing.  This game is so rich in detail, from the graphics to the gameplay, it has to be seen to be believed.

There are however some negatives to the Xbox, firstly is the Microsoft online system Xbox Live, whilst I have heard many great things about the service my issue is why should I have to pay for an online service to be able to play my friends when Nintendo and PC games provide this for free?  So paying to play your mates seems a bit expensive to me.  Another downfall to this service is whilst it provides the ability to download demos and previews and also full games, the Arcade version of the console does not have a hard drive and so you do not have the space to save any downloads.  Therefore if you have the Arcade version you will be paying £40 a year just to be able to play other people online which is too much.

Anyway, from what I have seen so far from this machine I am very impressed and hope to continue to be impressed.

 

To summarise I would say each of the machines are for the following people:

PSP – People who travel a lot, want games, music and video and also have a big wallet.

DS – For people who travel a lot and just want something fun to play as they travel, with a slightly smaller wallet.

Wii – For people who regularly enjoy having friends over for laughs on a whole new control system.

Xbox360- For the serious gamer, who appreciates the level of detail and style this machine provides (watch out for the online cost though).

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