Finding the perfect video game console for your needs

December 21, 2010 7:20:53 PM PST
Long gone are the days when playing a video game meant having to push buttons and use a joystick. The newly released Xbox game, Kinect, is totally hands-free and the two other popular games are close to it.

Motion-based video games are hot. They detect your movements, letting you be part of the action. Ethan and Jack are using a Wii gaming console. Wii was the first to get into motion-based gaming, and Consumer Reports just checked out the updated, enhanced controller option.

"Nintendo has created the Wii Motion Plus, which is an accessory that attaches to the Wii remote, which basically helps the Nintendo Wii detect the motion of the Wii remote controller," Matt Ferretti from Consumer Reports said.

But you still need a remote to play Wii's games and a platform for activities like yoga. Unfortunately, Consumer Reports says, Wii's graphics aren't great, mut it costs about $100 less than the Sony PlayStation's Move and the Kinect from Xbox 360. So the Wii is a good choice for entry-level gamers.

The Move and Kinect will run you about $300, but Consumer Reports says they have more to offer. Testers note that the PlayStation Move has great graphics, you only need controllers and no platform necessary.

The PlayStation system comes with a Blu-ray player, an Internet browser and the ability to play some games in 3D. The new Kinect is unique because you don't need to hold anything while you're playing

"You stand in front of a camera and it basically picks up everything your body does," Ferretti said.

So whatever moves you make, your avatar will do the same thing on the screen. That's why you don't need a controller. What you will need, though, is a lot of space - ideally six feet from the TV set, and plenty of elbow room for two players. But if you've got the room, Consumer Reports says the Kinect is worth the money.

All three motion-based gaming systems come bundled with at least one game. Additional games will run you about $50.

Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.

(All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2010. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)


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