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To Wii or not to Wii?

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To Wii or not to Wii?

Postby Maeve » Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:57 pm

I'm looking for a few good holiday helpers here among the gamers. My son just entered middle school and he wants us to get a Wii this Christmas. He has one (2007?) at his dad's and his theory is that we can play games he already owns. That's okay with me, I've Wii'd and it's fun enough. But even with limited technical knowledge, Wii seems dated to me – I dunno, kind of hokey I guess. Primitive, even.

I'm wondering if in a year or so when he's 13 and way more sophisticated than I will ever be, he'll be bored with Wii. Might it be better to get an Xbox or PS3, something he doesn't already have? It's not that I want my little dude to man-up and leave childish things behind (that will happen all too soon anyway) but I'd rather not buy a duplicate console doomed to (too) rapid obsolescence.

Here's the bit that may make gamers look away in disgust (sorry about that): We have no cable – and I never, ever want to have it again. There's a thingy that sticks to my netbook to fuel the internet. We do have a flat screen tv (and an old 2003 tv too huge for me to haul downstairs that we still use for DVDs – does that count?).

We could get a used Wii cheaply somewhere I suppose and wait for PS4 or whatever, too. I understand that once my son turns teenager he'll have definite opinions about the newest consoles, and then I'll learn more than I'll likely want to know, bless his heart. I'll learn parental controls, too.

So ... Wii or no Wii? If anybody has patience enough to explain in shorter paragraphs than I'm using here and in really, really simple terms what the Wii, PS3 and Xbox pros/cons are and how we might most cheaply and efficiently run one or the others that won't be too sexy/advanced/violent for a middle schooler, I thank you. My humble attempts to research this have met a whoa-way-too-opinionated techno brick wall.

All I really would like to know is what the coolest age-appropriate alternative is. Maybe my son already knows – Wii -- and this is a dumb question (I'm getting quite used to that). He'll be able to figure out how to get it up and running if we have the right internet connections. He's great at math, reads a lot, and likes to be active but isn't a natural athlete -- if that helps any with recommendations. I've never bought him this sort of thing before, but it is the only “toy” he wants this Christmas. After he walks uphill home from school two miles in the snow I'll let him play it. He loves video games, and I am no vidiot.

Thank you from the bottom of my Ms. Pac-Man heart.

Maeve
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Re: To Wii or not to Wii?

Postby jman111 » Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:11 pm

As a person who logged the majority of his life's gaming on an Atari 2600 and an Intellivision console (read: not versed in the nuances of the new-fangled stuff), I'd lean towards getting him what he asked for. At least the Wii gets 'em "active"- although lately I have seen the ads for the alternatives.
Any of the available systems will be soon doomed to obsolescence, anyway. Next year he'll want the PS4 or XBOX 720 or whatever comes along. Just my 2 cents.
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Re: To Wii or not to Wii?

Postby Aaron R. Conklin » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:00 am

Actually, the current systems aren't even close to obsolesence--the rush to motion gaming that you're seeing from Sony and Microsoft is a convenient substitute for developing an actual new console, and both companies are banking on waiting another 2-3 years before rolling out their next editions.

In a brief nutshell, if all he's looking to do is play games, the Wii will suit him just fine. Nintendo has never really embraced online functionality, so it's not a big deal if you don't want to deal with a sophisticated wireless network. The Xbox 360 and PS3 have traditionally been geared toward hardcore gamers who like to game online and download tons of new digital content. PlayStation Move and Kinect are a lurch to try to grab the casual crowd.

Hope that helps a little.
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Re: To Wii or not to Wii?

Postby ilikebeans » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:48 am

Our Wii was a big hit during Thanksgiving, for what it's worth. Almost all the fun games involve a decent amount of physical exertion, especially with the balance board.
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Re: To Wii or not to Wii?

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:59 am

I had a chance to play the XBox Kinect at a friends house. It was awesome. You would have to shell out for the xbox and the kinect unit. I don't know if they sell them as a discounted pair or not. The system does lack any buttons, so I don't know how it would handle shoot em up type games. There might be ways.

Otherwise, I don't think the WII is really outdated yet, and I still think that one is fun.
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Re: To Wii or not to Wii?

Postby fisticuffs » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:16 am

From a technical standpoint the Wii will be the first one to go followed by the Xbox. The PS3 has horse power to spare. Plus you get one of the best Blu Ray Players money can buy. Infinitely update-able. At 12 he will probably still prefer his Wii but at 13, 14 he's going to want this or the Xbox. The Xbox has a lot going for it with online content, not that the PS3 doesn't have any but it doesn't match what the Xbox has become. I'd buy him a PS3.
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Re: To Wii or not to Wii?

Postby c02 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:13 pm

I'm on the Xbox side. The big dig against the Wii is it's been around long enough and still no HD. They aren't advancing the brand but I'm guessing now that Xbox and PS have made the move into motion, they have no choice or die on the vine. I'm one of those 'kids' who grew up with Atari, Intellivision and every flavor of Nintendo sans the game-cube and virtual boy. Hell, I'm still sad I sold my Fully loaded Turbo Grafx16 console. We currently have a 360, old school xbox, Wii and an SNES console somewhere in the basement that was actually still being used until about two years ago.

I'm not a big PS guy. I have nothing against it I just haven't had any reason to move away from what I like. The Blu-Ray player is a non-issue for me on two levels. One, we have a great Blu-Ray player as it is. Two, with more and more push to HD streaming content the casual home viewer is fine with HD over Blu-Ray. The console wars of old have slowed; possibly due in part to the ability to update a console now that the vast majority of people are 'connected.' It could also be a function of the consoles version of Moore's Law.

Un-benounced to the offspring, our new bundle of joy is nestled under our bed in the form of a new Xbox with Kinnect. Everything I've heard and read about it has been positive. The only issues I've heard so far concern a slight lag which will likely be a software update, and distance. There is an 8' minimum distance for it to effectively work so a small space may be somewhat problematic. It will take some time for the developers to jump on and take full advantage both technically and creatively of the Kinnect. The titles are few for the Kinnect itself but I can see FPS games being used with the Kinnect so 'soliders' can get prone, sprint, look side to side, etc... In the meantime there are a few titles regurgitating what has worked well for the Wii to hold people over initially. While the Kinnect library grows one can still play the stand-bys and the new stand-bys.
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Re: To Wii or not to Wii?

Postby jjoyce » Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:27 pm

Many reasons we love our Wii, but part of it is due specifically to its being a little dated, maybe a little less cool and more accessible. Grandparents play the thing when they're over, and I'm sure that wouldn't be the case with something more technical.

I'm not a big gamer and never grew up with a console, so the spot it occupies in our schedule is minimal, which makes sense for what we paid for it (new two years ago). Also, while it might not be HD, it looks pretty good on our 1080i flat screen.

Finally, the only use we get out of wireless connection on the Wii is with Netflix, which I use all the time now. The availability of new movies is only going to get better on that.
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Re: To Wii or not to Wii?

Postby fisticuffs » Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:34 pm

I think Grandma could probably handle Kinnect or Move as well but yes that is the whole idea behind the Wii. To get people playing who otherwise wouldn't. But we aren't talking about grandma. We're talking about a soon to be teenage boy. I still say get him some variety or you'll be asking this question again next year. I did grow up with a Nintendo/Sega. I really enjoy video games. I'm still no where close to as proficient or demanding as the kids these days. Our Wii is dusty. it gets used when my 5 year old nephew comes to town or a new Mario game comes out. The Wii Fit? Let's just say IF my wife were to ever step on it again it wouldn't have very nice things to say to her.
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Re: To Wii or not to Wii?

Postby Kenneth Burns » Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:02 pm

Playing Tiger Woods on the Wii with the MotionPlus accessory is immersive, hypnotic, irresistible.
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Re: To Wii or not to Wii?

Postby c02 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:43 pm

Kenneth Burns wrote:Playing Tiger Woods on the Wii with the MotionPlus accessory is immersive, hypnotic, irresistible.


Said mistress number 11.
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Re: To Wii or not to Wii?

Postby Maeve » Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:26 pm

We Wii'd. Jman had me at “get him what he asked for.” Aaron R. Conklin helped, a lot. Mr. Beans, too. Steb pointed out that it's “still fun,” and Mssrs. Fisti and c02 were kind enough to address my question with the techno-savvy asked for. 8' minimal distance for the Kinnect isn't going to happen unless we pitch furniture out the window, though. Close quarters. Also it maybe seems like future TVs my son will dream of down the road may just download new games, without consoles. Would that not be great?

I like what my son does when he's bored – writes and draws cartoon books. [“Graphic novels” sounds – ahem – inappropriate (and untrue) at his age.] He can get bored between now and turning teen – he will anyhow, no matter what we buy for him.

Neighborhood plug: I got the Wii at Video Game Xchange on Atwood in what I'll always know as the Space Formerly Occupied by Tommy Tucker. Nice guy staffed the shop, the Wii was $10 less than on Amazon, and I got a 10% discount for paying cash. My son was thrilled to get the Wii and as jjoyce said, it's cross-generational. He's happy with his Christmas present – we all are. And I'm thankful to all of you for your help.

Happy new year.
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Re: To Wii or not to Wii?

Postby c02 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:51 pm

Glad to hear he is happy!
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