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

Nintendo Wii


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.

It Has the 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 have both come up with competitors, the Kinect and the Playstation Move, which will add gesture-gaming for a price.

The technology for these two new gesture-based systems is quite good, especially in the case of the Kinect, but what they both lack is the Wii's vast library of gesture-based games. Right now there are only a handful of games out for Kinect and Move, but 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 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 has right now.

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. Almost everyone I have ever met who has tried a Wii has said to me, “I really want one.” 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 want the Wii. So if you want a non-gaming friend to come over and play a game, just say, “I have a Wii.” Sure, that hot girl you know might turn out to be a big fan of Halo 3 (and yes, those Halo 3-playing girls are awesome), and your favorite uncle might enjoy a 60-hour role-playing game, but the odds are better that they’ll try playing tennis with you and refuse to stop for two hours.

It’s Nintendo

Some people don’t call the Wii by its name, they just call it what they called the Game Cube: “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.

The Games Are Less Expensive

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.

Checking Amazon.com, you’ll see that new Wii games like House of the Dead: Overkill and Deadly Creatures sell for $50, while recent PS3 and Xbox 360 games like Prince of Persia and Fear 2: Project Origin sell for $60. No, $10 isn’t a big difference if you keep your game purchases down to two a year, but where’s the fun in that?

It's Family Friendly

Sure, 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 fare. There are plenty of non-violent games on the other platforms, but the Wii is the only console that garners the complaint from gamers that there aren’t enough brutal, sadistic title. Of course, there are some, and 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.