Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

December 5, 2006 > Got game?

Got game?

by Mona Shah

You've been good this year, right? So maybe you are looking for a new gaming system and not sure which one is right for you? Here's my analysis of the latest round of new and improved consoles and games [T=teen, E=everyone, M=mature], providing a quick guide to what's hot and what's not in this techno-battle. That is...if you can get your hands on one of these fast-selling items!

Microsoft XBOX 360
Released: November 2005

-Feature-packed online gaming
-The 360 can be used as a media extender to stream music and movies from a central Media Center PC
-Recently updated its video output to match the PS3
 -Has the most games right now

-So far, very few kids' games
-Online multiplayer gaming costs $50 for 13 months

Coolest Feature
Xbox Live Arcade-Play free demos online or buy fun puzzle, arcade, and action games for between $4 and $15. It's a store that never closes.

Some popular games with ESRB* Rating:
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (T)
Project Gotham Raing 3 (E)
Burnout Revenge (E)

Sony Playstation 3
Released: November 2006

-Pure performance, great graphics
-It plays all your PS1 and PS2 games
-Bluetooth wireless controllers
-Set up as a PC alternative. The premium model has a memory card reader for not only Sony's own Memory Stick but also-a first for the company-Compact Flash and SD memory cards, making the PS3 a digital hub for photos; with a USB keyboard and mouse and the included web browser, it can serve as a basic PC.

-Basic model costs at least $500
-It'll be a while before many kids' games come out

Coolest Feature
-Blu-ray DVD playback
-A new high-tech disc format, Blu-ray holds six times more data than a regular DVD. Blu-ray DVD movies look incredibly sharp on high-definition TV.

Some popular games with ESRB* Rating:
Resistance: Fall of Man (M)
Madden NF '07 (E)
Need for Speed Carbon (E)

Nintendo Wii
Released: November 2006
About $250

-You don't have to be a serious "gamer".  You wave a controller to control on-screen action
-User friendly to appeal to all ages
-You can download (for a fee) some versions of previous Nintendo titles
-Wireless and exclusive controller that can be used as a handheld pointing device and can detect motion and rotation in three dimensions

-It has the least impressive graphics of the three new consoles
-No hard drive
-Unlike other systems, the Wii won't play DVD movies right out of the box.

Coolest Feature
You wiggle, point and wave the unique controller to swing bats or rackets in your favorite sport.

Some popular games with ESRB* Rating:
Rayman Raving Rabbids (E)
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (E)
Super Mario 64 (E)

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