It’s almost time for the yearly event that ultimately brings families together or tears them apart: the release of new video game systems.
For parents who have given up the “When I was a boy, we didn’t have video games” speech in hopes of deterring their children’s fondness of the devices, the following information could prove to be useful.
This year, the big three machines (PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Wii U) are all vying for your attention. Which is the better system? It pretty much comes down to what you already have and what improvements you’d like to make as each system has its positives and negatives.
The Wii U is the cheaper of the bunch and had a year head start in front of the competition. This month, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will be released on November 15 and 22 respectively.
IGN.com has a great comparison chart of the three with more information on each device that you’d ever want to know about, but for the general consumer, here is the breakdown of each:
Wii U Deluxe Set
Release Date: Last year
Features: 25GB optical disc, no DVR, 32GB internal storage, no cloud storage, no play as you download, backwards compatibility for Wii games, no cross game chat, GP & Pro rechargeable batteries built in, AA batteries for Wii remote, second screen included, Bluetooth 4.0, free copy of “Nintendo Land” video game.
Company Line: “This package comes with everything you need to start playing right out of the box including the ‘Nintendo Land’ video game, plus addition storage space and accessories.”
With news last month that Nintendo will stop production of the original Wii in Japan, it is likely the U.S. will see its demise soon as well. The good news is that owners of the Wii U will be able to play all of their old Wii games on the new system as well, something the other two systems here don’t offer.
Nintendo has also begun offering a “deluxe” black set for $50 less than last year’s models. The system boasts Bluetooth 4.0 technology and has rechargeable batteries built in. The new system doesn’t feature cloud storage or cross game chat, but that isn’t a deal breaker for most families.
Release Date: November 15
Features: Blu-ray/DVD, game DVR (subscription not required), 500 GB Hard Drive (user removable), cloud storage, play as you download, no backwards compatibility, cross game chat, PS4 Dual Shock (1), rechargeable batteries built in, second screen not included, voice commands, live streaming, Bluetooth 2.1
Company Line: “The PlayStation 4 system provides dynamic, connected gaming, powerful graphics and speed, intelligent personalization, deeply integrated social capabilities, and innovative second-screen features. Combining unparalleled content, immersive gaming experiences, all of your favorite digital entertainment apps, and PlayStation® exclusives, the PS4 system focuses on the gamers.”
One of the best features of the PS4 for families is that the game system doubles as a full entertainment station that also plays DVDs and Blu-ray discs, so if your player is on the fritz, this could be a way of killing two birds with one stone. It does offer cloud storage and also features built in rechargeable batteries, but the system does not include a second screen.
Release Date: November 22
Features: Blu-ray/DVD, game DVR (with subscription to Xbox Live Gold), 500 GB Hard Drive (non-removable), cloud storage, play as you download, no backwards compatibility, cross game chat, Xbox One wireless controller, AA rechargeable battery packs (sold separately), second screen not included, voice commands, live streaming, no Bluetooth
Company Line: “Welcome to a new generation of games and entertainment. Where games push the boundaries of realism. And television obeys your every command. Where listening to music while playing a game is a snap. And you can jump from TV to movies to music to a game in an instant. Where your experience is custom tailored to you. And the entertainment you love is all in one place. Welcome to the all-in-one, Xbox One.”
The Xbox One has a few impressive bells and whistles compared to the older Xbox 360, including an 8-core AMD system and 8GB of RAM vs. the former 512MB. The storage has increased to 500GB internal memory. Like the PS4, the Xbox One could also take over your DVD and Blu-ray viewer duties.
On the downside though, options like game DVR only come with a subscription to Xbox Live Gold. Other annoyances include no backward compatibility of older games, and that rechargeable battery packs and second screens are not included.