Next-Generation Questions

I’m at a crossroads here. I’m what many of my friends call a “last-gen guy”. They all got these glitzy, fancy smansy PCs or these expensive next-generation consoles that would make Bill Gates cry. While they waste their life playing those, I’m stuck with my Xbox, Gamecube, and three year old PC that can run The Sims 2 and Civilization IV at a snail’s pace. So, I recently decided that I should upgrade. I have four choices here, all worthy of a purchase.

Upgrade my PC into a monster
Buy an Xbox 360
Buy a PS3
Buy a Wii

So, what should I do? All have their pros and cons, and I can’t exactly choose one to buy. I only have several hundred dollars to burn, and I’m not sure what to get. What should I get?

What kind of games do you like? Sims and Civ type games tend to be more abundant (and better to play) on the PC.

This question is impossible to answer without knowing more about which games you like the most. If you’re pretty much a strategy/RTS guy, nothing comes close to the pC. If you want to play MMORPGs, ditto. MMORPGs are slowly migrating to consoles, but the ones currently available suck, IMO. Also, unless you already own an HDTV or have plans to buy one in the near future that aren’t part of that several hundred dollars thing, you may want to steer clear of the 360 or the PS3. The 360 is pretty much what forced me to buy an HDTV because trying to use one on an SDTV is nothing but pain and anguish. You can always get a VGA adapter to use it on your computer monitor, but then that just isn’t as comfortable as couch/living-room/tv usage in most situations.

In short, it depends on what kinds of games you like.

A gross simplification, but:

360 – shooters, racing games, sports games; Gears of War, Bioshock, Alan Wake, Mass Effect, Halo

Wii – pick-up-and-play, party games (it’s much stronger with multiple players than solo); Zelda, Metroid, Smash Brothers, Super Monkey Ball, Mario Galaxy

PS3 – sports games, JRPGs; Metal Gear, Devil May Cry, God of War, Heavenly Sword, Motorstorm

You may also want to consider the DS; probably the best way is to borrow one from a friend – if they’re willing.

You can’t find a PS3 now, and probavbly not any time soon, so you can cross that one off your list. There aren’t enough (one? Maybe two) worthwhile games for it to make it worth the price right now, anyway. After that, it’s largely a matter of what sort of games you want to play. The Wii seems to be at least reasonably available, and there are a number of launch games that people seem to like. The Xbox 360 is definitely available, and there’s a pretty mature library of games at this point. A PC upgrade is never a bad thing. So you wouldn’t go far wrong with any of those options.

With a three year old computer you might not get far with only a couple hundred bucks, especially if you want a sexy LCD to replace the CRT clunker on your desk. I know that technology had far surpassed my old athlon 1800+ geforce 4 TI AGP mobo to the point where only my DVD drive and keyboard were salvageable.

That said, my strat/fps/sim leanings (and the fact my gf likes to watch more TV than I could spend with a console) led me to drop down the dough for a brand new PC anyway.

Don’t forget the extended warranty if you buy a 360.

You kinda answered your own question. ~$300 isn’t enough to do anything but buy a wii with one game, no extra controllers. Maybe a 360 core that you can add on a HD later, which are pretty much required really.

If your PC has a fast enough processor then just a new video card would be enough, and you are definitely in range for a nice one there with $300.

Do you have an HD tv or a monitor that will let you take advantage of a PS3 or 360? If not get a Wii. If you do have a tv or monitor that will let you enjoy the games in high def, IMO the 360’s current lineup is solid and 2007 looks great.

The 360 is only a year old. It has a lot of good games, but you might conceivably catch up in a brief amount of time, depending how hardcore you are. The Wii and PS3 are both new and hard to find. You should get a PC as it will open up the highest amount of great games for you to play right now.

Put me in the “you don’t have enough money for a proper PC upgrade, so get a 360 if you have an HDTV or a computer monitor you can stick in your livingroom, otherwise get a Wii” camp. Next year looks like a seriously fantastic year for the 360, there’s a lot to look forward to there – might be the best upcoming lineup of any system.

Actually, you might be able to pull off a pretty sweet PC upgrade for $500 or so… but it would be some pretty serious picking and choosing of components.

But like the first two guys said, the most important question is, what do you like to play? Personally the Nintendo-type games don’t hold much appeal for me, so it’s PC and 360 all the way.

You could get a DS or a PSP and some games.

For ~$300, I would skip the PC upgrade.

The Wii is affordable. If you like the games, (and/or old gamecube games), get that.

The XBox costs more. The $300 version is not a good deal, and the games themselves are expensive. If you are really limited to $300, I’m dubious. But if you love the games and could spring for the $400 version plus live plus possibly Wifi plus games ($500+), it might be the right choice.

The PS3 has few games and is impossible to find anyhow.

Alternative: Save your money until you have more.

I’m not sure where the $300 figure popped out of. To me, a “few hundred” is about 300, “several hundred” is more in the area of $500-600. If we’re really talking about 300$, the options are very limited.

For $500-$600, if you liked the XBox, I would go for a 360.

I thought this was gonna be a Star Trek question.

The kind of games I like is:

Flight Simulators

Well, I kind of like them all…

FOr my PC, I had played a demo of both Flight Simulator X and Company of Heroes, but both run chuggy. What specs should i get for these games, and should I wait for the DX10 Graphic Cards? And will all this be under one thousand dollars?

I upgrade my previouys computer once in a while, my “gaming computer”. It is a very underpowered though. ATI Radeon 9200, 500 mb ROM, etc. I still have Windows ME for crying out loud! Should i just use all of my money on a PC instead of buying a Next-Gen console?

I’m with this guy. At least a souped-up PC is guaranteed to be “backwards compatible” with the existing lineup of PC games, and will help your non-gaming PC tasks down the line. Can’t say anything similar for the consoles, though I’m sure the libraries will get cheaper and better in a couple of years.

You should think about what the game situation over the next few years is on each platform and if that fits what you want. IMO, the PC isn’t exactly d0med but a lot of developers are relegating it to a sideshow. The 360 has a lot of support from American/Canadian developers and the PS3 will be well-covered by Japan.

The PS3 opens up a library of plenty of amazing PS2 games.

Based on the games you prefer, I’d suggest a new PC. You won’t be able to adequately upgrade any PC that’s running Windows Me. You should buy a pre-built system, because, no offense, if you’ve lived with Windows Me, and call RAM - ROM, you probably aren’t that comfortable building a system. Which is fine, not everyone is a gearhead.

I’d say, look for a deal on a Dell Dimension, and add in a decent video card.