Tech Time: Game Consoles

Last week, we explored all the basics of video gaming, so now it’s time to “get in the game” and acquire a game console. A game console is the actual machine used exclusively for game play. When buying a new game console, the box will include the core unit (like a PC tower with the CPU, RAM and audiovisual coprocessor) and a controller (to input information and interact with the screen). Optionally, the console may also come with a game and a memory card.

Based on my informal research, four consoles are most popular in Jamaica.

Sony PlayStation 2 aka PS2
Though no longer in production, you can get a PS2 in stores for about US$50.00. There are lots of optional game accessories, 100’s of game titles available and the PS2 plays CD/DVD’s and had a built in broadband modem for online connectivity.

Sony PlayStation 3 aka PS3
For roughly US$400.00, the PS3 has a built-in hard drive (up to 80 GB) and a Blu-ray disc player with true HDMI output. The PS3 operates by wireless controllers using Bluetooth technology, has an interchangeable hard drive (2.5 sata drive), USB and has removable card support for multiple formats. The console has built-in Wi-Fi and broadband to support online gaming and shopping, but the interface is not nearly as good as the Xbox Live.

Microsoft Xbox 360
Like to PS3 the Xbox 360 has a superior selection of games and some impressive console exclusive games has well all in hi-def. It has an internal hard drive to save game and can play CD/DVD’s using Dolby surround sound, but has no Blu-ray compatibility. Truly impressive however is Xbox Live. Using the Xbox built in Wi-Fi or broadband modem, you can access an excellent, easy to use online services centre for gaming and commerce. Download whole games, movies and TV shows right to the console. Online game however requires an annual paid subscription. Purchase of the console itself will set you back about US$300.00

Nintendo Wii
Like a game console for non-gamers, the Wii is for everyone at US$250.00. It has no internal hard drive and only has SD card support, it has no high end graphics and it can’t play CD/DVD’s. But it does have a revolutionary game controller that uses a combination of infrared technology and accelerators to determine the position and movement of the controller in 3D space. This means that the game is controller with physical gestures in combination with traditional button pressing. The Wii comes with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and broadband modem connectivity, but it “eats” batteries and the nunchuck controller is sold separately. On the plus side, it does have free online services and game play.

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Next on Tech Time ... Portable game consoles aka handhelds

Tech Time: Handheld Game Consoles

Tech Time: Personal Gaming