Like many people, I have owned and played video games since I was a young girl. Of course, back then the options were only slightly more advanced than « pong » or « space invaders. » If those titles didn’t capture your attention, there was always playing outside (at least that’s what my parents always told me). Nowadays, it seems that everywhere you turn, a new more advanced system is on the market. We’ve got choices out there, my friend.
But where do we begin? Yeah, I’ve read all the so-called reviews that often times are more like ads or paid commentaries than unbiased opinions. It just gets so confusing because these new hardware all appear to offer so much more than a console to hook up your video games to and play on your TV set. You want to watch DVDs – they got you covered. How about Blu-Ray discs? Ditto!!! And of course, what real video game aficionado could do without « live » game-playing over the internet?
For my money (and it is my money), the best place to start when deciding which system is the best for you and your family is with the software or game titles. All the fancy options and accessories aren’t going to mean a thing if the selection of games is limited. Some companies seem to offer more mature plots that house age inappropriate imagery while others try to produce titles best suited for different age groups/niches.
For example, while many titles are available in different formats or for different systems (like sports games or those produced to mirror the newest blockbuster movie), each manufacturer seems to produce certain titles that are more popular with each respective age group. That isn’t an issue if you or your kids prefer the same type of games but it can also be a very costly nightmare when your family (like mine) has « children of all ages and interests ».
Do not make the same mistake my husband and I made and purchase a system based on a « got-to-have » new game. Sure it was the center of attention for a while, but soon after it sat useless while we heard all about the next hottest title out there (that coincidentally was only available for a different system). Unless you’ve got unlimited resources and can afford to get a new game system every time one comes on the market, you’re probably locked in and maybe regretting your initial choice. Here’s what we now do (yeh, I have a youngster at home with 2 now off to college).
We check out everything that our friends and our child’s friends have and then look at titles available on line and in stores for that system. We also encourage renting games to test them out once you’ve narrowed your search. Our friends don’t mind us coming over with a brand new title to try out since it lets them sample it as well. Win-win!!! We can better gauge how the game plays and whether or not it will collect dust on the shelf or be a source of entertainment for all. Oh yeah, almost forgot. It’s okay to get into the whole video game experience also. Some of the games out there today remind me so much of those I got to play a few years back (after that whole 8-bit technology dried up).