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Choosing the best console

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Preface
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What is a video game console? Wikitionary, the free online dictionary sponsored by Wikipedia states that a video game console is "A dedicated electronic device that is designed to play video games, especially in accompaniment with a television". I'm sure you want a less technical definition. A video game console is an entertaining device used by people to have fun. This article will help you with purchasing the best console for you and/or your family. This article is organized as follows:

I. The Choices
  a. 6th Generation
  b. 7th Generation
II. The Raw Statistics
  a. Game Totals
  b. Past Games
  c. Ratings and Percentages
III. Summary
IV. Sources


I. The Choices
Alright. So you want to grab a console for yourself, your family, or both. That is where the big choice comes in. Is it mainly going to be used by someone over the age of 17, or under? If you are looking for a console for someone over the age of 17, you may want to find a console with the least amount of children games. For instance, a 17 year old probably wouldn't enjoy a Wall-E game, but a 9 year old might. The exact works opposite too. A 9 year old should not be playing Grand Theft Auto 4, but with a 17 year old it's not a big deal.
Another thing to think of is whether you are looking to spend $200+ on, or something you want to spend $45-$100 on. That isn't counting in the games of course, since games for an older console are cheaper than a newer console.

I.a. 6th Generation
First we will cover what choices you have if you want a cheaper, but not so current console. I figure, pros and cons are good for this situation.
Pros
+ Cheaper console ($45-$100)
+ Cheaper games (As low as $3)
+ Cheaper accessories
Cons
- Older games
- No new games (Playstation 2 has some new games once in a while)
- Hard to find brand new consoles
- Not supported, except Playstation 2
The three main choices you have for 6th generation systems are Playstation 2, Xbox, and GameCube. There is also the Dreamcast, but that system slowly failed and doesn't have a lot of games, so we won't cover that in this article. For more info on these consoles, please skip to section II. The Raw Statistics.

I.b. 7th Generation
Now, these are the current generation consoles. You can walk into a store, pickup a brand new in box console, and some brand new, newly released games... But it will cost you some coin. Here are the pros and cons
Pros
+ New games
+ Easily buy the system
+ New accessories and add-ons
+ Full support
Cons
- Expensive console ($200-$400)
- Expensive games (New $60-$160)
- Expensive accessories (Ex. Dual Shock 3 is $40)
You have a choice between Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii for this generation. Those are the only consoles released for the 7th generation, unlike the 6th with a failed console.


[u]II. The Raw Statistics[/u]
Alright all you math geeks, time to get down to the numbers. This is just pure factual information in this section. No need for a calculator though, I already did it all for you.

II.a. Game Totals
These are the total games for 7th generation consoles, 6th generation games will be covered in II.ii. Past Games. Here are the facts.
As of Monday, February 22nd, 2010... (These are based off of current ESRB.com totals)
The Sony Playstation 3 currently has 761 games
The Microsoft Xbox 360 currently has 983 games
The Nintendo Wii currently has 1,448 games

II.b. Past Games
All three 7th generation systems have the ability to play games from at least one of their previous systems.
As of Monday, February 22nd, 2010... (These are based off of current ESRB.com totals)
The Sony Playstation 2 currently has 1,947 games
The Microsoft Xbox has 1,006 games
The Nintendo GameCube has 625 games

Here are the numbers added together...
As of Monday, June 29, 2009... (These are based off of current ESRB.com totals)
Playstation 1 + Playstation 2 = 3,305 + Playstation 3 = 3,982
Xbox + Xbox 360 = 1,906
GameCube + Wii = 2,044
Of course, the above totals aren't counting the Wii's ability to play some older N64, NES, and SNES games via download. They do however count all downloadable Xbox Live games and Playstation Network games.

II.c. Ratings and Percentages
This section will be devoted to the percentages of ratings per console (Everyone, Everyone 10+, Teen, Mature). All numbers are rounded to the hundredths place. These were calculated June 29th, 2009. The data is slightly outdated.

Sony Playstation 2 + Playstation 3
The total of games for Playstation 2 and Playstation 3 is 2,434. There is one Early Childhood game for Playstation 2. This is also the only pair where both consoles are still receiving and selling new games.
Percent of Everyone rated games: 938/2434 * 100 = 38.54%
Percent of Everyone 10+ rated games: 214/2434 * 100 = 8.79%
Percent of Teen rated games: 867/2434 * 100 = 35.62%
Percent of Mature rated games: 359/2434 * 100 = 14.75%

Microsoft Xbox + Xbox 360
The total of games for Xbox and Xbox 360 is 1,818.
Percent of Everyone rated games: 645/1818 * 100 = 35.48%
Percent of Everyone 10+ rated games: 157/1818 * 100 = 8.64%
Percent of Teen rated games: 605/1818 * 100 = 33.28%
Percent of Mature rated games: 320/1818 * 100 = 17.6%

Nintendo GameCube + Wii
The total of games for GameCube and Wii is 1,707. The GameCube has one Early Childhood game and the Wii has one also. These ratings do not take into account the downloadable N64, NES, and SNES games.
Percent of Everyone rated games: 1010/1707 * 100 = 59.17%
Percent of Everyone 10+ rated games: 229/1707 * 100 = 13.41%
Percent of Teen rated games: 368/1707 * 100 = 21.56%
Percent of Mature rated games: 73/1707 * 100 = 4.28%

III. Summary
Here is my opinion for judging the three sets of consoles.

Sony Playstation 2 + Playstation 3
The Playstation systems are best for older gamers, who are able to play the Teen and Mature rated games since those are the highest rated games of the system. Playstation 2 has a good online component, and the best of the three 6th generation consoles. Playstation 3 has a great FREE online component which allows you to track your friends and join their games. This console also has the 2nd best selection of E and E10+ games. The one thing is that PS3 is the most expensive console to purchase, at least that was the case. As of late, the PS3 and the Xbox 360 both cost $300.

Note: The only PS3 models that support backwards compatibility (PS1 and PS2 games) are CECHB01 (20GB model from launch date), CECHA01 (60GB model from launch date), and CECHE01 (80GB from August 2007 to August 2008 only partial compatibility). These 3 models are also the only PS3s to have 4 USB ports instead of 2. The only PS3 unit in production is the PS3 Slim and this does not have backwards compatibility what soever. So if you are looking for PS2 and PS1 game play, buy a used PS3 from eBay, Amazon, or GameStop.

Microsoft Xbox + Xbox 360
The Xbox systems are also best for older gamers, and are cheaper used then the PS3, though having a loss in game count. There is also the bad issue of Red Ring of Death, which is when the console overheats, and renders it completely useless. The 360 does have a great online component, but to actually play online games you have to pay a monthly fee.

Nintendo GameCube + Wii
These consoles are best for younger gamers since they have a great lack of Teen/Mature games compared to the other two. The GameCube is the only 6th generation console without online play, and the Wii is severely lacking in online games. Definitely the best for younger gamers.


IV. Sources
The only two sources used are http://www.esrb.com and the mind of a gamer(me), and windows calculator. If you find any issues please feel free to contact me and I will fix it.

I really hope you enjoyed my guide and found it useful. Have a great day.

- Beaster144
7
Comment
8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:satsumo
A nicely balanced, well reasoned answer to an question that so often falls into a mire of brand loyalty and personal investment.  Well done.
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Ryan_R
Good job. Perhaps you might consider evaluating the other features of the current consoles, such as BluRay, Media Centre compatibility, WiFi, Internet browser, etc) as some people (especially those who belong to this forum) may buy a particular console for its extra features (I know I did).

Regards
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Expert Comment

by:jagd
Tru. I`ve bought ps3 mostly due to "extra-features"...
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by:Joseph Undis
I'm working on a article based on features now. So just wait :P
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by:DavidLeal
I like your article... and here in my workplace and with my friends it was a very old discusion...

I have my own conclusion: whats the better console for you? the console have the games you like...
If, you are a Final Fantasy Fan, PS (2 or 3) its the console for you, If you are a Halo fan go for Xbox, or if you are a Mario fan, go for nintendo cosoles...

For me at this moment, I have the PS3 (sell my xbox 360) mainlly because almost all my friends have this console, and when I Buy it, become a fan of Blue Ray Movies, and have a Wii too, for sports and fitness games...  

I think until the next generation, almost all have PS3 or Xbox360, with the Wii for the playbility, if PS and/or Xbox get similar controlls like Wii, they can stole some of the market of the Wii... but only the time can tell that.
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by:Joseph Undis
I own a PS3, however I did previously own a Wii and a Xbox 360. I sold the Wii and Xbox because I just didn't get as much enjoyment out of them as I did PS3. Wii is a party system, and is not that much fun alone, and Xbox 360 is mainly a online platform, but I wasn't willing to fork out $50 a year for online service.

Final Fantasy is coming to Xbox as well sadly, so the PS3 is losing it's best franchise.

(The fact that comments default to private annoys me so much)
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Expert Comment

by:bphatcher
You might want to add a comment that the PS3 Slim has removed PS2 backwards compatibility support from the PS3.
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by:Chris Dean
A very well written post with detailed explanation. Thanks for sharing.
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