5 Reasons to Buy a Wii Instead of an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3

Nintendo Wii

Nintendo

For gamers, one of the hardest decisions is which console to buy: each offers games and features you won’t get from the others. If you’ve got a thousand dollars or so to fritter away, we say get them all. Otherwise, here are the top five reasons the Wii might be the console for you.

Largest gesture-controlled game library

For years, the biggest selling point of the Wii was its gesture-based controls, which allowed you to play a sword game by waving your remote like a sword or throw a football by mimicking an overhand throwing motion. This wonderfully intuitive system was so well received that Microsoft and Sony came up with competitors, the Kinect and the PlayStation Move, which added gesture-gaming to their systems for a price.

The technology for these two new gesture-based systems is good, especially in the case of the Kinect, but what they both lack is the Wii's vast library of gesture-based games. There are a vast number for the Wii, including such impressive offerings as:

  • "Disney Epic Mickey"
  • "De Blob"
  • "Wii Sports Resort"
  • "Deadly Creatures"
  • "Punch-Out!!"
  • "Trauma Team"
  • "Red Steel 2"
  • "Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands"
  • "Wii Fit Plus"
  • "Endless Ocean: Blue World"
  • "GoldenEye 007"
  • "No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle"
  • "Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces"
  • "Dead Space Extraction"
  • "Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess"

And there are more. It's taken years to create this many games for the Wii, and it will take years more before the Kinect and Move have anything close to what the Wii.

Everyone loves it

If you want to play video games with your friends, and your friends aren’t all hardcore gamers, the Wii is certainly your best bet. Sure, serious gamers playing "Bioshock" or "Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots" will desire a 360 or PS3, but grandmas, teenage girls, aging executives, and college kids all like the Wii.

So if you want a non-gaming friend to come over and play a game, just say, “I have a Wii.”

It’s Nintendo

Some people don’t call the Wii by its name; they just call it what they called the GameCube: “The Nintendo.” Microsoft and Sony are giant technology corporations with game divisions, but Nintendo is synonymous with video games, with decades spent creating colorful, imaginative, family-friendly titles. If you want the next "Legend of Zelda" game, the next Mario game, the next "Pikmin" or "Donkey Kong" or "Metroid Prime" game, you’ll have to buy a Wii.

Games are cheaper

The Wii, at $250, is not the cheapest of the big three. That honor goes to Microsoft’s budget version of their Xbox 360, a no-hard-drive no-wireless-controller version of the console that sells for $200.

That makes the 360 the cheapest console, as long as you’re not planning to buy more than five games and don’t plan to play any of them online. Online play for most 360 games requires an Xbox Live Gold subscription at $50 a year. And 360 games, like their counterparts for the PlayStation 3 console (which costs a minimum of $400), cost more.

The difference in cost between games may be $10 and seem like that isn’t a big difference if you keep your game purchases down to two a year, but that is money saved that can be put toward yet another more affordable Wii game.

It's family friendly

All the consoles have games suitable for children, but the Wii has the most of them. The wealth of family-friendly games, many made by Nintendo, encourages parents to buy Wiis, which encourages publishers to make more child-oriented games. Of course, there are some games for the Wii with more adult content, so parents might want to use the Wii’s parental controls to keep kids from playing "MadWorld" and "Manhunt 2," but you will never run out of games to buy the youngsters.