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December 3, 2008 4:46 PM   Subscribe

Which games console is best: Wii or PS3?

I am either going to get a Wii (for many, many obvious reasons) *or* a PS3. I only consider the PS3 so my kids (and I, probably) can play Little Big Planet (which is by all accounts probably the most original and creative game ever released).

I cannot get both. Persuade me.

Backstory: I have two girls (8 and 12), who both like video games, although we have have never owned a console of any sort (They use our PC: Spore is a recent favourite, as are Zoo Tycoon 2 and Sims 2 Pets). We're very strict about how much time they spend on gaming and on what titles they play. It's only in the last year that I would even consider this sort of a purchase (proper titles being released for kids).
posted by chuckdarwin to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (26 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: They are very, very different consoles made by companies with very, very different ideas in mind. I have an Xbox 360 and a Wii, and while I love a few select games on the Wii I play more games more regularly on the 360 in the six months that I've had it than I do on the Wii, which I've had for a year and a half. The 360 and PS3 are close enough in their goal that they are comparable in this assessment.

That being said, with two girls who are 8 and 12, I would recommend the Wii. Little Big Planet is a fantastic game, but it is the sort of game that one cannot just pick up and play, not if you actually want to get into the level creator and make any sort of playable level. That takes lots and lots of time. There are loads of titles on the Wii (like you said) that are perfect for your kids. You, maybe, not so much.

It sounds like you want reasons why the kids would like the PS3, but you want it for yourself. I hate to say it, but this is one of those times where you have to put the kids before yourself. Get a Wii, and they'll be really happy with you, I'm sure.
posted by InsanePenguin at 5:01 PM on December 3, 2008

Oh, also meant to say that no one can really tell you which is best. They are both very successful in what they set out to do. It's just that what each set out to do was really, really different than the other. In this case, with younger kids, the Wii is the hands-down winner. That's the market that Nintendo's been gunning for since the Wii launched in 2006. They nailed the market down and now even Microsoft is trying to get a piece of it, but falling pretty flat.
posted by InsanePenguin at 5:05 PM on December 3, 2008

Do you have an HDTV? Are you interested in getting a blu-ray player? In that case, the PS3 becomes a very viable option. But beyond Little Big Planet, I'm not really sure there's anything that's kid-worthy on the PS3.

So otherwise, I'd go with the Wii. I've got one, and while there's not a lot of fantastic third-party games for it (Boom Blox and Zach and Wiki are the only ones that come to mind, and I've only played the former), there's no one that makes better all-ages games than Nintendo.

And if you need to satisfy the twitch gamer in you? Mega Man IX on the NES-shaped Wiimote is all the twitch you'll ever need.
posted by thecaddy at 5:07 PM on December 3, 2008

Everything they said.

I have both and a 9 year old daughter. I got the Wii for her, and that's who plays it. Oh, and when she has sleepovers it's a huge hit with the other kids.

I got Little Big Planet today and plan on giving it a go after she finishes her homework. So, no real opinion on that yet.

I use the PS3 as my blu-ray player, and for ass-kicking in Fallout3. This is after she goes to bed.

Go for the Wii.
posted by PossumCupCake at 5:11 PM on December 3, 2008

Wii. But that's mostly because I never developed the ability to use a game controller with more than three buttons, which pretty much ruled out everything after the Sega Genesis. The Wii I can handle. With kids, I'd definitely go Wii.
posted by smalls at 5:11 PM on December 3, 2008

I have a PS3. First of all even though it is the most expensive console, it is also the console with the most value for what you are paying. Blu-ray, PS3 games, and you can use it as a home theatre PC and install Linux on it, etc.
I have LBP and it is an amazing game, but it is still only just one game and the kids will eventually get tired of it. For kids there are endless amounts of games on the Wii.
posted by GleepGlop at 5:20 PM on December 3, 2008

Honestly, I think the Wii will make your entire family much happier. However, a 360 might be just the in-between you're looking for. There are a lot more games for it, and if you get xbox live, you can create fake Miis, and you'll have a better variety of more adult games for you, and fun games for your girls. There are lots of titles available on Xbox Live as well. Lots of the big AAA titles are created for the Wii, but they're downsized, cram-it-into-the-specs versions, not really the experience you're looking for. The good Wii titles are the titles made for the Wii.

With a couple of girls, though, and your discernment over what's appropriate for children to play, all signs are screaming Wiiiiiiii.
posted by pazazygeek at 5:25 PM on December 3, 2008

I would not say that little big planet is the most creative game on the planet. HEck nintendo had a patent on making your own mario game way back in 1994 and many pc programs allow you to make your own games and levels with no programming.

Example "Multimedia Fusion".

For the kids the wii is the best. I have a wii and ps3 and I use the wii much more. LBP got boring for me after a while (yes it allows you to make new levels but since its only new levels that gets boring).

Also on the 360 they still dont have the family friendly games that the wii has. The wii has their own version of xbox arcade. I bet your girls would love animal planet .
posted by majortom1981 at 5:32 PM on December 3, 2008

Wii. And then get World of Goo from the Wii Ware store and sneakily teach your girls about physics. You can also download bunches of classic Nintendo games that your girls might find fun. The Wii also is just really good for group fun, and if your girls are not already, they will probably soon be having loads of other kids over for sleepover parties - I think that there is probably nothing cuter than a horde of 12 year olds vying for Wii Tennis Champion.
posted by Medieval Maven at 5:41 PM on December 3, 2008

Wii by a mile. The girls will LOOOOVE it, and there are tons of games aimed directly at them and their friends that are hugely widespread. There's really no contest, except that I can tell you really want a PS3 for Little Big Planet. You may have to bite the bullet for your girls' sake on this one.
posted by Aquaman at 5:41 PM on December 3, 2008

The kids at Thanksgiving _loved_ the Wii, while the XBox sat unused.

Get 4 controllers (if you can) and you get a lot of group playing going on when friends are over.

I was out of breath from playing the Olympics game with them!
posted by bottlebrushtree at 5:59 PM on December 3, 2008

Yeah, the Wii is fantastically kid-friendly, and still offers great hard-core gaming experiences. The visual experience is clearly not up to the level of PS3/360, but graphics do not make a great game. I lust after LBP too, but I have played several games on the Wii that just make me smile and really feel the joy of gaming again.

Do what I am doing -- wait another year to get the PS3 or 360, once the price has been cut again and the budget "bestsellers" game lines have come out.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:01 PM on December 3, 2008

Nthing the Wii, especially because it's great for kids, families and groups. The PS3 is geared toward hard-core console gamers. LBP is a great game, no doubt - but one game is not really worth $400 IMHO.
posted by gnutron at 6:07 PM on December 3, 2008

We own a PS3 and a Wii, and haven't turned on the Wii at all in about a year while the PS3 has been the best thing ever since the day we got it. However, it seems to me that the Wii is by all means the better console for young kids for the reasons listed above.

Boyfriend just bought Little Big Planet for me (haven't played it yet), but I hear it's a bit of a let-down.
posted by halogen at 6:34 PM on December 3, 2008

Wii. Got one for my daughter (ahem) a few months ago and she adores it. She has a DS with a Pokemon Pearl game and she uploads her Pokemon to Pokemon Ranch and plays with them. She is great at boxing and tennis and just kicks my ass at bowling.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:52 PM on December 3, 2008

Nthing the wii, even though I like my PS3 just fine.
posted by rokusan at 9:44 PM on December 3, 2008

The reason the Wii is a great family console is it gets more people involved in multiplayer games. For intense single-player games it can't compete with the 360 or PS3, but it can't be beaten for entertaining a whole room of casual gamers.
posted by malevolent at 12:42 AM on December 4, 2008

The PS3 and 360 are competing for the late teen and adult male gamer market.

The wii is aimed at everybody else.

I play my 360 more than my wii, but that's partly as I get cross-platform games for the 360 with its better graphics. Although 90% of what's coming out for the wii at the moment is utter crap, that 10% still rivals the best games on other platforms in quantity due to the vast flood.

It's the little games that seem to be addictive. For example, at a recent party, three games utterly dominated the playtime. Cow tossing in rayman raving rabbids, which appeals to all. Wii sports Tennis, which is very pick-up-and-playable (even my Mum plays that!) - and cow-racing from the wii play you get free with the extra controller was literally played for hours and hours by the girls.

Your girls will utterly love the wii, and you for buying it, I guarantee it. There's even a few games that you'll enjoy too, like Mario Galaxy, Legend of Zelda and Rock Band. LostWinds and World of Goo are also must-owns.
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:55 AM on December 4, 2008

Response by poster: Cheers, everyone.
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:51 AM on December 4, 2008

>>The girls will LOOOOVE it, and there are tons of games aimed directly at them and their friends that are hugely widespread.

Such as? Daddy who has already bought the Wii wants to know...

(oh, okay, I could just get my own question)...
posted by sagwalla at 3:56 AM on December 4, 2008

How about a compromise: a used PS3 for you and a used DS for them? Plenty of "take care of the puppy/horse/baby" games for the DS.
posted by jbickers at 5:06 AM on December 4, 2008

Games your girls will probably love:

Wii Sports, Mario Kart Wii, Warioware, Rayman Raving Rabbids (1 and 2), any of the LEGO games, Kororinpa (Marble Madness) and Elebits/Eleedees

Games you'll probably love:

Most of the above plus Super Mario Galaxy, Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition, Mercury Meltdown Revolution, World of Goo and Super Smash Bros. Brawl

All the ones I suggested for the girls can support two or more people playing at the same time.

When you buy the console, pick up some additional controllers and nunchucks. Make sure that one of the additional controllers comes with Wii Play. It's about £4 more (here in the UK) but you get a set of mini games which is fun and teaches you how to use them.

Oh and buy rechargeable batteries!
posted by mr_silver at 6:41 AM on December 4, 2008

Make a list of games you want to play on each system. Get the system with more games. I ended up with a PS3, but I'm a 25 year old guy. 8 and 12 year old girls may need a different console.
posted by valadil at 6:52 AM on December 4, 2008

How about a compromise: a used PS3 for you and a used DS for them?

Don't do that unless your kids arrive at this idea independently and actually want a DS. The whole point of a Wii is that it's way more than just a "Nintendo" thing. It is SO cool. That it makes noises and looks vaguely like a Nintendo is only good because it reminds me of happy times spent playing Super Mario as a kid. In all other senses, it's its own product and cannot be substituted. In other words, OP, if you're gonna get a PS3, just let the kids use that. But you should totally get the Wii because it's very, very fun and, even though this might seem like a marketing gimmick right now, super-intuitive.

I spent years playing games leaned the the right and bouncing up and down as I tried to get my character to run faster or jump higher or smash that boss just right, my mom the background laughing that the TV couldn't see me. That it now works that way for real is the best thing ever. Your kids with LOVE the Wii, relatives and friends may come over specifically to play with it, and anyone who ever lost a game because their enthusiasm ripped the controller's cable out of their old-school console will become a grinning fool for the Wii, just like me.
posted by teremala at 12:48 PM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

A bit late to the party, I know, but I own both a Wii and a PS3 so I thought I'd throw my 2c in.

If this console is going to be for your kids and not for you, then I nth the Wii. It's got lots of games kids are gonna love. Wario: Shake It, Super Mario Galaxy, Boom Blox, Dr Mario on WiiWare, Lost Winds and Rayman: Raving Rabbids to name but a few. The PS3 has some games kids would be able into get into, such as Little Big Planet and the SingStar series, but not as much as the Wii, so it's a clear choice.

If it's for both you and the kids, I'd still say the Wii, because again the kids will love it and there's some great games on there that you'll be able to enjoy too. Games like Zelda: Twilight Princess, Sin & Punishment, Metroid Prime 3 and the soon to be released The Conduit and Mad World are all games adults would enjoy.

The PS3 is definitely the more 'adult' oriented console, and it's actually where I've spent the majority of my gaming time over the last few months. Between games like Resistance, Resistance 2, Assassins Creed and so on, I've had very little time to finish my Wii games, and I still consider myself a Nintendo fan-boy!

Hope this helps.
posted by Effigy2000 at 2:50 PM on December 4, 2008

Response by poster: Just to let you know; I bought a wii, a spare wiimote and a wii fit board.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:48 PM on December 17, 2008

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