Nintendo Wii Review – Nintendo Wii Video Games Console

The Nintendo Wii has been incredibly hyped since release. Almost two years later, it’s still pretty difficult to get the console, and there is still buzz all around about it, whether it be positive or negative.

This console started out with huge sales that it still holds today to a lesser extent, and the hype about the console made the countdown to the release unbearable (and made the time after release when you couldn’t get a hold of one even worse), and there’s still debate as to whether it’s fully lived up to all of this hype. In this console review, I’ll touch down on both sides and give you the serious scoop on what this console is all about, and I’m confident that by the end of it you will have a solid opinion on the Nintendo Wii.

Back when it was called the Revolution, the Wii was just beginning to build up hype. Rumours were spread, fans were anxious, and developers were curious. As time went on and we got more photographs of a more final console and peripherals, we all sat by in awe awaiting the release of the One Console to Rule Them All. Not only was the console aesthetically beautiful, but the peripherals were revolutionary, and the console, in size, was incredibly compact (small enough to fit into some large pockets for easy transportation). All of these incredibly helped boost the console in hype, and by the time the console was finally released there were Nintendo fanboys and video game strangers all lined up to get a chance to try out this new form of intuitive, interactive gaming.

A lot of them were subsequently disappointed (by “subsequently,” I don’t mean right after… Took a while) by the lack of good third party support. It was just astounding how Nintendo released console after console without a good amount of developers lined up and ready to create games for it. Of course, we saw so many titles… Mario, Zelda, and Metriod, to name a few. Sound familiar? All Nintendo.

Don’t get me wrong – They’re all great games. But, the lack of variety not only brings the inevitable lack of a wide genre of games, but it also made the console seem pretty useless after a while. I mean, Wii Sports was a great game to release along with the console, but after 2 weeks or so of sore arms, broken lamps, and battery usage… It just tends to get old.

As the console grew, as did it’s functionality. We got the news, the map, the weather, even the internet. And let’s not forget the voting channel. It held its own in the “game consoles do things other than gaming” department… Until the consumers realized that DVD compatibility was nonexistent. We could do so many things with our newfangled gaming console, except for watch movies. It was a large letdown – an all-around disappointment. But, we couldn’t forget the blessings that we received – Backwards-compatibility with Gamecube games, WiiWare giving us downloadable old-school games, and SD card support to save games and view pictures. But – Wait. None of this is new! Downloadable content? Not too revolutionary. Backwards-compatibility has been out ever since console sequels began, and an SD card to save games is just like a memory card or hard drive – Except that with the other consoles, their memory is more versatile.

The Nintendo Wii was also lacking in one major, major area that really gave a low- blow to hardcore gamers – Decent graphics. The Wii has graphics fairly reminiscent to the last-gen PlayStation 2, and that’s just unacceptable in today’s world of HD-Everything. One game looks spectacular on the other consoles and PC, and yet falls short of par on the Nintendo Wii.

That’s not to say that it’s incapable of decent graphics – Super Smash Brothers Brawl was aesthetically pleasing. But they had to put that on a dual-layer disc to fit all the data, and many of them (like my own) didn’t work because of dust build-up on the Wii’s disc laser, so you had to send in your Nintendo Wii for repair. It’s accomplishable, but at what cost?

One thing that it does have is a built-in wireless adapter. While the Sony PlayStation 3 does have this, the Xbox 360, sadly, does not, and it is a very nice convenience (especially with such a tiny console ? It’s nice to not have to lug anything extra around). Again, not revolutionary, but a positive.

One thing I cannot get over is the built-in storage… They supply us with 512MB of memory and expect us to be able to buy all their games from WiiWare? We need to spend even more money to get an SD card to hold all of that stuff, and it’s just tedious. It would be nice without the extra effort is all I’m saying… I mean, that amount of storage space is incredibly minuscule in today’s computing world, and I just find it horrendous.

All these horrible things aside, it does have very intuitive gameplay. It fully immerses you into the game, and makes you a part of it. Of course, it would be MORE immersive with better graphics, but what can you do?

The amount of lost potential on this console astounds me. They could have done so much here, especially with decent third party support, but they didn’t. I feel that a project like this would have been better left in the hands of Sony or Microsoft.

VERDICT:

The Nintendo Wii is great for families and parties, but it falls (incredibly) short for the hardcore gamer. It tucks its tail between its legs at the first sight of a decent first-person shooter, and the online play is… Well, there’s not much to talk about. It’s just like playing online with the DS… No chat, laggy, and not too great of a choice of games to play. Keep in mind, it IS free, so it’s not much of a penalty if you were planning on playing online just occasionally, but definitely not fit for the hardcore, every-day online gamer who wants to build a friends list and chat with buds. Basically, the console is good; not great. I’d wait for a dramatic price reduction.

Console Power & Functionality: 8/10
Console Game Variety, Game Quality & Game Prices: 6/10
Console Additional Features: 3/10
Console Aesthetics: 9/10
Console Price/Value: 6/10
Total Score: 64%

What’s the Best Game Console For You and Your Family?

It is important for families to come together and spend quality time immersing themselves in activities that every member truly enjoys. By implementing a gaming console into your household environment, you can make all the difference when it comes time for every member of the family to want to come together and bring out his or her inner gamer by either joining forces with other family members, or competing against them for the highest score. Being able to find a happy medium pertaining to a game console is important and often more difficult than people initially realize. With such a wide spectrum of new and amusing game consoles on the market, ranging from the Xbox 360, to the Xbox Elite, to the Sony PS3, to the PSP, to the Nintendo Wii, families are not sure which gaming console and console accessories to invest in.

Sometimes reading reviews on consoles does not provide families with all the information and answers they need in order to decide where to focus their attention. Something along the lines of a Game Console Buying Guide can be useful and eye opening when in need of extra assistance. With Game Bundles on the market that can lead to more quality time to embrace family unity, it is sometimes a good option to use the internet as an effective online tool in thoroughly researching various gaming consoles and Game Bundles before making any imprudent decisions. Rather than going to an electronics store to sift through various game consoles, or asking your kids what they would find most appealing, the internet is the most effective option in allowing you to both save money and get more detailed information on different systems, what appeals most about them, what detracts most about them, and what will over all be the most practical and cost-effective investment to make.

Narrowing the lens from the sphere of gaming consoles onto the games themselves is another factor that a Game Console Buying Guide can be efficient in informing you about. A fantastic game console will yield few positive results if the games themselves do not appeal to every member of the family. Thoroughly looking into Nintendo DS & DSi Games, PC Games, Sony PS Games, Wii Games, and XBOX 360 Games is of incremental importance because the games themselves pose an intricate variant in which system will be most productive in your household. You want to be sure to invest in a gaming console that has a wide array of games as its counterparts in order to ensure your family will be able to embrace the system. Each member of the family should be able to draw upon the system and its games, and ultimately walk away from the system with a sense of amusement and accomplishment.

Gaming Systems truly do have the ability to cause family members to bond. Whether the whole family can sit down and battle it out for the top rank, or just two siblings feel the urge to team up and play, a game console can definitely strengthen bonds and push a household into the realm of contemporary gaming satisfaction. The world of gaming is constantly growing and progressing, so it is important to take the opportunity to jump on the bandwagon and get involved with something that is rapidly spreading throughout society as a modern craze. With gaming turning heads as one of the most enjoyable prevailing pastimes, it is no wonder that families all over the world are taking it upon themselves to purchase and immerse themselves in a variety of appealing games. With choices on the market geared toward young and old alike, a game console can make all the difference in any household.

Expert Witness: Games Console Forensics

Introduction:

In today’s average home there exist many potential sources of digital evidence, from the obvious home PCs and mobile phones to the less common ‘pen-drives’ and PDA’s. All have been subject to comprehensive scrutiny from people involved in the legal process and academics since their properties have been shown to have forensic value. So far comparatively little evidence of investigation into the forensic properties of modern gaming consoles exists, if we consider how they can be utilised in an increasingly ‘PC-like’ manner, this is an area capable of proffering considerable amounts of data with evidentiary value in criminal or civil court proceedings.

Computer forensics is a relatively new discipline combining elements of law and computer science to collect and analyse data from computer systems, networks, wireless communications and storage devices in a way that is admissible as evidence in a courtroom. Gaming consoles now provide the kind of data which can undergo forensic analysis because of the addition of memory (both internal and external) capable of ‘storing’ data beyond mere computer game information.

With the addition of storage capabilities beyond simple game data (i.e. hard drives capable of storing music, video, pictures etc.) gaming consoles are able to utilise ‘web’ functionality and therefore will likely generate both ‘persistent’ and ‘volatile data’ with forensic value. With an increasing amount of media functionality gaming consoles are becoming ‘entertainment hubs’ within the average household.

The machines most likely to provide usable forensic data are the Xbox360 and PS3 and due to their prevalence in homes (combined sales figures for the UK are around six million units) these are the machines where a pattern of use would be similar to more readily accepted sources of forensic data (i.e. home computers).

Microsoft Xbox 360:

This gaming console can support external memory cards for game data and media storage, however these are infrequently utilised because of small size (both physically and in terms of data capacity). The most commonly used memory for the Xbox360 comes in the form of a detachable hard-drive ranging in size from twenty gigabytes to two-hundred and fifty gigabytes (allowing vast amounts of saved music, videos, photos etc.) and is essential in allowing online functionality on the machine. On an unmodified machine this online functionality refers to ‘Xbox live’, the online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service operated by Microsoft. This service allows users to:

• Download content from Xbox live
• Log onto and update social networking and media services such as Facebook, Twitter, Zune and Last.fm
• Add people to ‘friends lists’ for gaming and/or communication
• Send (unsolicited) text/picture/voice messages to other users

Many of the functions performed on the console have a time and date attributed to when the function was performed (or at least when it was last accessed or altered); this could potentially provide corroboration of a defendant’s location at a specified time. The communication possible through use of the Xbox live messaging system can provide evidence of illegal activity as messages are automatically stored for up to 30 days before deletion from the system, however all messages sent via Xbox live are retained on Microsoft servers and recoverable on any console the user profile is signed into, therefore any mention of a crime in a text or audio message would potentially be retrievable by a skilled investigator.

The functionality of the Xbox360 can be extended by modifying the internals to allow the playing of illegally downloaded software (piracy) or an operating system such as Linux could be installed and allow an Xbox360 to have almost all the functions of a PC (and associated data records of activity)

• Full access to the Internet (beyond mere Xbox live)
• E-mail
• Chat logs
• Pirated games

One important detail to note is that, at least from the outside, a modified console and an unmodified console can look exactly the same. While it is true that some members of the ‘modding’ community opt to apply various case modifications to their consoles, many do not, and therefore the console could be mistaken for a standard device.

Sony Playstation 3:

The PS3 is similar to the Xbox360 in terms of potential forensic viability. Large amounts of digital media can be stored on its hard drive, and the PlayStation Network (similar to Xbox live) allows users to send messages much in the same way as with the Xbox360.

There are two key differences between these consoles, firstly, the PS3 has full internet browsing capability ‘straight out of the box’, even an unmodified PS3 would contain more usable data in terms of Internet search history, downloads etc. on both the hard drive and the system ‘data cache’. Secondly, it was possible to install third party operating systems on the PS3 without any modification to the system to enable it; this is currently in dispute in the US courts as this feature was removed by Sony to help prevent software piracy on the machine. Regardless, installing a second operating system (for whatever purpose) is still possible, now requiring some hard drive modification to enable this function, allowing the PS3 almost all the functionality of a PC.

Motion Control – Move & Kinect:

In the final months of 2010 new functionality was added to the PS3 (Move) and the Xbox360 (Kinect), ‘Motion Control’. Using cameras and motion tracking software the console is able to interpret user body movement and replicate it ‘in game’. From an evidential point of view, this provides another type of data to be collected from a gaming console, practically this expands the scope of what data stored on these machines can be used for. The cameras are actually used to record the user of the motion control software at certain points of game activity this can be stored, this could be abused and used to send videos of underage children or obscene videos via Xbox live. The videos could also be used to capture suspects involved in criminal activity, with the videos having a date and time attached, analysis could determine a location, thereby corroborating or disproving the validity of a defendants claim as to their location at the time of an offence.

Nintendo Wii:

The Nintendo Wii currently boasts higher sales numbers than the Xbox360 and PS3 combined. It is seen as a gaming console for ‘non-gamers’ and has lower technical specifications than both of its competitors, as such it is less of target for modification, although data with forensic properties can still be extracted from it. The Nintendo Wii can utilize a first-party Opera-based web browser; bookmarks are retained, and may be worth noting. The Wii also retains a basic, daily log of system usage, and also keeps a contact list of added friends, as well as the messages those friends have sent. Also worth noting is that images may be sent over the player messaging system, which are then saved to the system flash storage or to an external SD (memory) card. As is true of most modern consoles, various distributions of Linux have been ported to the system (Wii Linux), meaning that it could be utilized in the same way as any desktop PC and should be treated as such.

Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP):

A portable game device can be defined as a gaming system that is small enough to be carried outside of the home and runs on batteries. While not as powerful as a console, portable game devices have made significant advances in power since their early days, and may now incorporate functions similar to PDAs. The PlayStation Portable may be used to access the Internet, store images and movies, and can be modified to run 3rd party operating systems, therefore forensic data is recoverable from the memory and ‘data cache’.

Nintendo DS / DSi / 3DS:

All Nintendo DS units can establish ad-hoc wireless connections to other units to utilize a player to player chat program called Pictochat. Pictochat has been used in the past by predators to lure children to them. The DSi incorporates an SD card reader, which may be used to hide illicit materials. The DSi also incorporates a 0.3 megapixel camera which can store images on its internal flash RAM or SD card.

Games Console Forensics in the Real World:

For illustration purposes here are a few real world instances of crimes involving gaming consoles, hopefully illustrating the need to investigate gaming consoles just as thoroughly as more traditional computer forensic targets.

An example of gaming consoles being used in the same manner as a PC and providing usable forensic data would be an incident that occurred in August 2010 in the USA whereby an Xbox live user based in Florida was discovered to have been soliciting naked pictures of a 10 year old boy also using the Xbox live messaging service. Officers recovered the defendants Xbox 360, two computers and a flash drive and discovered sixteen child-pornography images of various boys.

Folsom Police Detective Andrew Bates stated that “parents should realize gaming systems like Xbox and PlayStation, when connected to the internet, can be used as other technology, such as a computer or telephone; users can speak to one another, text, or send photos, thus making these systems another potential threat.”

Useful data recoverable from Xbox live was found in a case where a man surrendered himself to police after threatening a witness against him in an on-going criminal investigation, he was charged with tampering with a witness, intimidating a witness and two counts of second-degree harassment.

There are documented instances of unsolicited indecent images being sent via Xbox live and PlayStation Network, here a couple were sent a message from an unknown user account, upon opening it discovered it contained an indecent image of a young boy and immediately contacted the police. An investigation would be able to determine the time and date this image was received and whether or not it was solicited by the user receiving the image by retrieving previous communications.

N another incident a PS3 user persuaded an 11 year old girl to email him nude pictures of herself (which he subsequently forwarded on to contacts in other US states). No other devices were used to commit these offences and would potentially go undiscovered in an ordinary investigation.

On another occasion a man is accused of grooming several young girls over Xbox live; this was uncovered by the discovery of a mobile phone and recovery of Xbox360 data.

The History of Video Game Consoles – A Blast From the Past

Whenever I start playing a few games on my Xbox 360, I couldn’t help but wonder how it all came to be. My parents always tell me that video games weren’t exactly popular back in the days and that it was considered an idea of the future. With this in mind, I began to recall my early childhood memories when it comes to video games. And since I didn’t have anything good to do today, I decided to do some research about the complete history of video game consoles. To my surprise, I realized that the very first console I had back when I was a kid wasn’t exactly the “first game console”. I had this notion that my old console was the very first produced, so I guess it was indeed worth the time researching about video game consoles.

In any case, let’s start our blast from the past as I take you back from the humble beginnings of our beloved video game consoles.

The idea of playing games in front of the television was considered absurd and a thing of the future. All except for one Ralph Baer who conceived one absurd idea; the ability to interact with your television, which includes playing games on it. This was in 1951 while building television sets for Loral in Bronx, New York. In 1966, he successfully developed a game called “Chase” where two dots chased each other around the screen. He showed the idea to his new boss, R&D owner Herbert Campman, he was given some funding and his project was taken by the company as an official one. A few years later, Ralph Baer successfully made the “Brown Box”, which is considered as the great grandfather of all video game consoles

A few years later, Magnavox decided to invest on video games and made the very first video game console called the Magnavox Oddysey. It was indeed an innovation as it was the first video game that can be connected to a television set. It was also the first when it comes to console peripherals as you can buy a light gun that you can connect to the console when playing shooting games.

In 1975, Atari came up with its own game console along with Pong, a game that would remain a popular concept until now. The console doesn’t have any controllers though; in fact, the console looks like a controller itself, so you could probably say that’s the grandfather of all handheld television games. Then, the Atari 2600 came. Released in 1977, it would become so popular that it was the only console asides from Magnavox to survive the first game console crash of 1977. Both companies continued to make games for their respective game consoles until the second game console crash of 1983. Atari and Magnavox suffered from having too many badly developed games, which explains why Nintendo became a very popular gaming brand in this era. It was in this year where the Nintendo Entertainment System was developed and released.

In Japan, it was called “Famicom” while in North America, it was either called “NES” or just plain “Nintendo”. This was my very first video game console and as far as I can remember, I played tons of games with this console. Super Mario Brothers, Legend of Zelda, Contra, Megaman, and a bunch of other games filled my cabinet instead of Barbie dolls and other girly stuff. Nintendo’s success continued until Sega rose up to challenge their game console with the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis console. Released in Japan in 1988, the Sega console gained popularity with the titular video game character and Sega mascot Sonic the Hedgehog. In fact, the only reason why I begged my parents to get me a Sega Mega Drive was because I wanted to play Sonic the Hedgehog!

Nintendo sensed that Sega was indeed getting popular, so two years after the release of the Sega Mega Drive, Nintendo released the Super Nintendo Enterntainment System or SNES. The SNES was also popular amongst kids at that time. In fact, most of my friends get confused as to what console they’d want to buy for Christmas!

Then in 1995, the era of 16 bit and 32 bit games were now overshadowed by the Sony Playstation. The video game console sported better graphics, better hardware and software support, a new set of handy controllers and the Memory Card, a device that lets gamers store their saved games. It was revolutionary indeed, since it no longer uses cartridges, but disc drives instead. Sega and Nintendo both answered with the Sega Saturn and the Nintendo 64, but when it comes to the Fifth generation of video game consoles, the Sony Playstation is the king.

Years passed and by 1999, the PC’s were now engineered towards gaming as well. Sega released the Sega Dreamcast in 1999, but was poorly received and finally discontinued in 2001 because they tried implementing a type of disc drive called the GD-Rom. It was a move to prevent software piracy, but instead it led to poor sales. Nintendo Gamecube suffered the same fate when it released the Gamecube; the console only plays 8 mm disc drives and was discontinued in 2007. Sony, on the other hand, experienced a huge success with the Playstation 2 while Microsoft released the Xbox in 2001.

The Top Game Consoles – A Complete Package of Fun and Excitement!

Today`s hectic work schedules don`t let people to move out and do something for fun to divert their minds from their works. Hence it`s no surprising to find many people relying on the top gaming consoles for their daily dose of entertainment and fun.

The top game consoles are on the top priority list of many people these days. With each passing day the electronic entertainment is getting bigger, louder, and crazier. Video game consoles concept came during the mid seventies. And the mass popularity of video game consoles in a short period paved the way for the top game consoles for generation next.

The top game consoles let the user play exciting, interactive and innovative multimedia games from his Personal Computer. These top gaming consoles are powered by astounding multimedia features and sophisticated high powered audio like that of television to offer enjoyable gaming experience to the users.

A controller which is directly connected to the game console mostly manipulates and controls the top game console. The controller uses a number of buttons such as analog joysticks to input info and interact with on screen objects such as the game media, memory card, power supply and other core units of these top game consoles.

With the advent of modern technology, now lighter and compact gaming consoles are available which can be carried anywhere easily. These days many top game consoles are available which are compatible with different file formats and videos. Now even wireless controllers are available which lets the player operate several functions easily.

You can now run high definition DVDs, listen to music, slideshow your digital photographs, connect to the Internet with a built-in browser and perform many other multimedia tasks through the top gaming consoles. Also the huge storage spaces of these top game consoles facilitate the gamers to store loads of games without any trouble. Once can even download exciting game to these top game consoles from online stores and WiFi hotspots.

Now some of the leading brand names are joining hands with game manufacturers. Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii are the world’s three leading manufacturer companies which produce top console games. The complex games in these gaming consoles make the whole gaming experience highly thrilling and enjoyable. Let`s have a look at the latest incarnations of the three stand-alone gaming consoles.

Microsoft XBox 360:

It is one of the first top game consoles launched in the market and hence has a loyal fan following. Although not as inexpensive as the Wii, Xbox offers a larger selection of games to choose form compared to the other two models. This top game console`s high definition feature empowers Power PC-based CPU with 3 symmetrical cores and graphic processor of embedded DRAM which is of 10MB.

Embedded with a built-in digital camera, Xbox offers users to click stunning pictures. You can watch DVD, listen to music on your favorite MP3 player and can be online. Apart from this, the Xbox Live Arcade offers more classic arcade console games to choose from.

Sony PlayStation 3:

This is the most expensive of the three top game consoles. Its built-in Blu-ray Disc Player produces great quality graphics and unlike Xbox, you no longer have to add a separate High definition DVD player to watch all HD DVD movies. You can enjoy all high definition content on the PlayStation 3.

Nintendo Wii:

With a price of around $250, this is cheapest of all the top game consoles. Although certain high-end features are not available, it has all basic features of a gaming console. The controller for the Wii looks more like that of a TV remote control and actually it allows better movement to the gamers while playing their favorite games.

Xbox 360 Review – Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Video Games Console

The Xbox 360 (sometimes shortened to X360) has been praised all around, and not without fault; put simply, it’s a great machine.

The Xbox 360 has great graphical capability, processing power, and quite the fan base. Being owned and manufactured by Microsoft, it may be the best funded next-gen system, in the PR department (advertisements and the like).

When the Xbox (original) was first released, many consumers were skeptical, seeing as it was made by a computer company, and people just tended to separate computers from video game consoles on a large scale. Since then, the trust in Microsoft to create a genuinely great console has undoubtedly expanded.

The Xbox 360 has made people take a second look at what a good gaming experience is. With the blade user interface (soon to be replaced with a more user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing and functional dashboard), there is so much that you can do, and also so much that Microsoft’s Xbox team can do, in adding to it and expanding on what they have. But this is just the tip of the iceberg… Look further into the system and you’ll find some things that were never even considered to be included in a gaming console before – Things other than games.

With the Xbox Live Marketplace, you can download movies (rental or purchase), TV shows, themes for your dashboard, icons for your gamercard, and even games (this is including original Xbox games that you can fully download to your console and “Xbox Live Arcade” games which are cheap little games that can keep you occupied for some time, and they’re also integrated into the whole user experience, with achievements and the like). This really adds onto the entire entertainment experience, making your gaming console for more than just gaming. Plus, you can buy a pretty large hard drive for your console to store all that extra media. Oh, and the demos… You know how you walk into your local game store, hop onto a console, and play a demo of a game? Well, you can download all those demos for free in the Xbox Live Marketplace, as well. This is one of my favourite features, seeing as it really opens you up to new games, and some of the demos can be played over and over again for a free, fun gaming experience.

The Xbox 360 is mostly praised for it’s wide selection of games. I can’t find a way to confirm this, but to me, it does seem true. The selection is very wide, and a lot of the games are “Only On Xbox 360” games, which plays a large role in the sales of the console itself.

With the Xbox 360, you’ll find games of all genres in good numbers, to please gamers of casual status to gamers of hardcore status (self-endowed, most likely). When it comes to game availability and genre coverage, this seems to be the champion, retaining consistent third-party support.

The console itself is competently stylish. It’s easy on the eyes, but not anything to gawk at.

The layout of the buttons and inputs on the front of the console is very efficient and ergonomic, which is very important, and while I wouldn’t shake a finger at how the back of the console is designed, it’s nothing special (not a knock at the console, though; there’s not much room for intuitive design here, nor does it really effect the console at all).

The games all support 1080p, which is fantastic. So, if you’ve got a spectacular TV, you won’t be disappointed with the way your games look while you play them… Believe me, you’ll actually be pretty consumed. Even with a standard TV, the games still look amazing, and you’ll appreciate little details that some game developers pay mind to.

When it comes to price, the Xbox 360 goes across the scale. (Please note – The following figures are based on the time of writing. There is a good chance that they will change in the near future.) You can find refurbished or used consoles as low as $150, a new console with no hard drive for $200, a console with a 60GB hard drive for $300, or the Xbox 360 Elite (black finish with a 120GB hard drive) for $400. It really all depends on how much you want to spend… Or even what you feel is necessary. If you like the convenience of the 120GB hard drive, but prefer the white finish on the console (as I do), then you can just go for one of the choices other than Elite and purchase the hard drive separately.

The peripherals for this console are great, giving you options such as a steering wheel, wired/wireless controllers (also compatible as PC gamepads, with adapter for wireless, which is very cool if you’re a PC gamer as well as a console gamer), wired/wireless headsets, and so on. You’ll find the way you like to play. Since I’ve gotten my 360, I personally dislike playing with a wired controller on it. The wireless controller gives you so much freedom and ease of use… It’s very nice. Although, there is the fact that you have to change batteries (although the rechargeable battery pack for the controller will fix this right on up, for a price).

The gameplay is generally very smooth. I’ve only ran into the game freezing a few times, and clearing the cache of the console fixed that up each time, so it’s really not much of an issue.

Of course, there are instances where you’ll be playing a game, move to a new area, and it will take a few seconds for the textures to load, which can really be a pain and seem to slow things down, but it’s a small price to pay.

VERDICT:

All-in-all, the Xbox 360 is a fantastic choice for most gamers… Of course, it appeals more to hardcore gamers, but there are selections for those who choose not to participate in games that require constant attention and very quick jabs of the thumbs on the analog sticks.

* Console Power & Functionality: 9/10

* Console Game Variety, Game Quality & Game Prices: 9/10

* Console Additional Features: 8/10

* Console Aesthetics: 7/10

* Console Price/Value: 9/10

* Total Score: 84%

Video Game Consoles – What to Look For When Buying

One of the most popular forms of entertainment these days is using video game systems or consoles. People spend a lot of money on video game consoles and on the different games that are available for them. A gaming system can provide a lot of relaxation and fun for a whole family.

Why would people purchase a game system instead of a computer? Most games available for gaming consoles also have versions for the desktop computer. So what are the advantages of the consoles?

There are several reasons why people purchase these game systems instead of a desktop computer.

• It is usually much cheaper.

• No compatibility issues with games.

• No need to set up or install the game before you can play.

• Shorter waits for the game to load.

• Easy to connect to TV and stereo.

• All games for a particular game system will run.

• Multiplayer capability that may not be available with a home computer.

So what exactly is a gaming system or console?

A simple explanation is that it is a highly specialized computer. It contains a processor and memory and power supply just like a desktop computer. It may also contain a storage device such as a hard drive. It runs a software kernel that provides the internal interface between the different hardware components and the video game. The console also has various external interfaces. The interfaces usually include connectors for audio and video output, and one or more user control interface. A console may supply video to a computer monitor or TV, sound to your computer speaker or stereo system. There is also an optical drive (CD or DVD) or game cartridge receptacle to allow playing different games.

The user control interface is what makes the gaming consoles sparkle. It gives the game player a unique experience that is totally superior to watching a TV. Instead of passive entertainment, the console provides an interactive form of game play. Joysticks or specialized game controllers are plugged into the user control interface to provide this unique interactivity.

If you have a home entertainment system, you may be interested to know that you can connect the outputs from most gaming consoles to a wide screen TV and digital surround speakers. Some say this provides for more satisfying and realistic game play.

There is a wide selection of games for most game consoles. Game developers are continuously developing new games for the different consoles. Certain games are available in a version for the desktop computer, or are available for multiple gaming consoles. You can’t run a game that’s designed for one console on another, however. You’d have to buy the version for the other console if you wanted to run it there.

Which console should you buy? There are several available. You should choose a game console that has great graphics and sound quality and a wide selection of available games. Some of the consoles on the market today are the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, and Wii. The Wii Remote Controller, used with the Wii, measures movement of the player and allows users to experience games like baseball and golf in a realistic way while staying indoors!

If you are considering buying a gaming system, it’s best to first consider what kind of games you want to play, then do some research on which systems can run those types of games. That way you will surely be able to enjoy many hours of relaxation and fun with your gaming system.

Game Console – Highly Entertaining Widgets

The gaming concept has undergone drastic changes. The video games have become more demanding among the avid players. These game consoles have come up as an innovative multimedia device which is backed with features and functions. This electronic multimedia computer device enables the users to play games in a more exciting way. It is very interactive and highly entertaining modern widget with a remarkable entry in gaming world.

A game console is a form of interactive and innovative multimedia device which is used for entertainment. It lets users to play video games from their personal computer. It has many exciting functions that are especially designed keeping avid players in the mind. This console has some special images and sounds features which can be displayed on a audio video system like television. The game console is mostly controlled and manipulated by using a controller. The controller is directly connected to console.

These multimedia games are mostly available in a disc. The users have to insert the disc into the console, to play their favourite games. The latest console offers users to play and download games directly to the console through the Internet. On other hand, earlier the consoles used to come with a fixed number of built-in games. The users require some devices like memory card, game media and a console core unit to input information and to manipulate objects on screen. Some of the best game consoles in the market are Nintendo Wii, Sony PS 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360. These devices are available in both portable and stand-alone version.

Nintendo Wii

The Wii is the cheapest of all the latest games consoles. This game console comes from the home of Nintento and it is the fifth home video home game console which comes in the row. It is a direct successor to the Nintendo Game Cube. This console is targeted towards Xbox 360 from Microsoft and PlayStation 3 from Sony. The attractive features of the game console are Wii Remote and wireless controller. It can be used as a handheld pointing device, as it detects acceleration in three dimensions. Another sunning feature is the WiiConnect24, it has the ability to receive messages and updates through the Internet in standby mode. In comparison to the XBox 360 and PlayStation , 3 the controller for the Wii looks more like a TV remote control rather than a games console.

Microsoft Xbox 360

The Xbox360 from the house of Microsoft is the latest gaming console. It is packed with loads of exciting features and functions. It is a perfect entertainment device that offers great online and offline gaming features. All the games in the Xbox 360 are built on high resolution and the Xbox 360 emulator helps the users to play all the favourite games.

The Xbox has a user friendly dashboard interface which enables the users to easily navigate through the options using the user-friendly remote control. It is adorned with digital multimedia capabilities which help the users to play all their favourite movies and listen to the most popular tracks.

Sony PlayStation 3

The Sony PS 3 offers amazing and hi-end gaming experience. It is third gaming console launched by Sony Entertainment. This console is powered by real-time 3D computer graphics which are enhanced by the processor. This console is available in 20 GB and 60 GB and carries features like multiple flash card readers. One can enjoy hi-tech entertainment features and high definition multimedia interface.

One can store essential files such a music, video and images in the 60GB removable hard disk. With the built-in Blu-ray disc player, the users can enjoy hi-end entertainment like games and movies.

Please Help – My Game Console Shot Me In The Foot

Video Games Are Winners

Gaming consoles have really increased in popularity in the past few years and the two gaming consoles that really dominate are the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. The PlayStation 3 is the very high-end of the gaming spectrum and is the console that everyone wants to have. There are many things that are good about having a PlayStation 3. After all, you can watch Blue Ray movies, DVD movies and play PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2 games. There is also more storage capacity which allows you to store music, movies and other entertainment files. With internet connectivity, both wireless and Ethernet connections, you can play games online with other game players from your lounge room and go shopping or browsing online.

There is an issue of some concern with the repair of these entertainment boxes – data security. A lot of sensitive data is now being stored on game consoles and we will look at this issue later. Every gaming console has its problems and the PlayStation 3 is no different. Just as the Xbox 360 has its R.R.O.D. problems, the PlayStation 3 has its own yellow light of death, or Y.L.O.D. When these faults occur the console no longer works and you have to either pay for repairs or get a new console. Despite the problems with video game consoles they are here to stay, people love them. It’s an industry that continues to grow, that is why video game creators are reaping the rewards with huge revenues from game software and console sales. The manufacturers and non manufacturers are reaping billions from the repair and maintenance of this entertainment technology. Recent surveys showed just how popular video games are. For example, 73% of people in the UK play video games and the British video game industry valued at around $50 billion and the worldwide the figures are staggering.

“Ouch, It’s Hot In There!”

Often games can freeze or the disc drive can have a problem. Heat is an issue with these game boxes. The components generate heat, which results in raising the temperature to above working limits. Because of the compact design of most gaming consoles, cooling the components has always been difficult. Major problems always come about when you have to send the console back for repair. It is not difficult to arrange a repair; however it can cost a lot of money. There is a limited warranty for the PS3 and at the end of the warranty period you will be paying if you have a failure. All repairs are costly and vary depending what country you are in.

Some Tips On How To Repair Video Game Consoles

There is growing support for home repairs to your console. This is a backlash caused by the cost and the delays in outsourcing repairs to manufacturers or specialist console repair agents. I am an advocate for repairing at home but, it’s easy for me I’m a technician with many years of experience. Repairing a console yourself is a good way to go but you must remember a couple of points before you attempt to fix a console at home. Here are my tips for home console repairs to make sure you do more good than harm.

1) You need a company or console support service that can give you a guide and should at least have videos on all aspects of the repairs.

2) Look for a support service that can at least give you access to a forum I prefer to find companies that also offer e-mail and phone support.

3) Before attempting skills like soldering, practice on an old dead computer mother board or something similar first.

4) Before you start even pulling out screws watch the videos and then follow them one step at a time.

5) Be organised have small trays or sealed bags to put screws in as you take them out same goes for any other parts.

6) Work in an uncluttered area have a clean dry desk and be sitting comfortably so that you can dismantle in an organised way.

What Is Hiding Inside Your Console?

The technology in gaming consoles is very high but there are no secrets to how they work and fixing them your self is just a matter of following instructions. If you get stuck, with a good support system in place, it’s no problem. Even if you are not technical but want to do your own repairs, there is nothing holding you back. The satisfaction rewards are tremendous among other benefits to repairing your PS3 console.

Today there is a lot more than just game information stored in your game console. If you’ve ever been online playing or shopping there will be

1) Credit card information

2) Personal details that include where and what you’ve shopped for

3) Your saved games.

4) Conversations you’ve had online.

Data Security Who Has It?

Repair companies overall have little or no secure systems for ensuring that your personal stuff has protection from theft by employees or anyone else for that matter. The manufacturers that repair the systems have very little security in place; they will often have disclaimers that relieve them of any responsibility for security of your data. Most have no screening process for detecting undesirable employees. If you intend to send your console to a repair service it is well worth investing in a repair manual to find out how to back up your data and remove the stuff that you don’t want the repair agent to have access to before sending it in.

Companies that repair game consoles should become more responsible with security of sensitive personal information stored on games entertainment boxes. There is just not enough accountability for the repairers. You should consider buying a guide to at least learn how to protect yourself against data theft. Get a guide to back up and secure your data for your make and model of console.

My advice as a Technician is do not leave personal data on your console. If you send your PlayStation for repair with your data stored in it your PlayStation 3 console might shoot you in the foot!

Wes Clark Electronics Expert

I’ve been an electronics expert for more than 35 years. I got tired of fixing stuff for other people a few years ago. I decided at that point to give up the daily grind in the business that I had established many years before. I wanted to do something that had more challenge. I took up teaching people about use and maintenance of all kinds of electronic gadgets.

Taking Care of Your Gaming Console – Things to Watch Out For

A gaming console is an important element for enjoying a game on your Wii or Xbox. However, since it is generally used most of the time, a gaming console can be damaged quite easily. If you give importance or value to your console – which may come at a really steep price, by the way – you will want to read on and find out about which elements or dangers can make your gaming console highly exposed to damage.

DUST

Like computers and laptops, consoles are equipped with fans. The main purpose of these fans is to help keep your console cool by “fanning” its internal working system. There may be times, however, when the fan may cause harm or danger to your game console. This is because the fan can gather dust and other harmful particles. If this happens, the game console may overheat or choke, until it eventually dies out.

Another factor that may cause overheating is the use of game console covers when the console is turned on. If you have a game console cover, use it only when the console is not turned on.

To prevent dust and other forms of pollution from accumulating on your console, make sure that you wipe the tray regularly. Most gaming consoles have manuals that indicate instructions about how they can be properly cleaned. Never attempt to open the console on your own, as this might mean more problems.

HEAT

Overheating is a very common term, especially when you talk about cars. However, overheating is also highly possible when it comes to game consoles. One of the best examples for this is the original Xbox 360, which automatically stops working once it overheats. The best thing to do to avoid overheating is to make sure that your game console has good ventilation. Make sure that air can circulate around your console. Placing your game console in shaded and cool areas will help a lot. Avoid putting your console in areas where there is carpeting. Likewise, things should not be placed on the console top.

Like most machines and gadgets, when the console is not in use, turn it off so that it can cool down.

POWER SURGES

Power surges are irritating. They come in the most unexpected times and they can cause a lot of damage to your game console. Sometimes, these power surges can totally destroy your console.
The best way to avoid damage from power surges is to use a surge protector. Plug your console into your surge protector.

Aside from power surges, lightning storms can also damage your game console, and in a pretty much the same level as power surges. To avoid damage, make sure that you unplug your game console during a storm, especially when lightning strikes. Do the same also when there are power surges or power interruption.

DANGERS CAUSED BY HUMANS

One of the most common reasons for game console damage is human mistakes. Your game console is a prized possession, so you must treat it like one:

-Avoid using your console for absurd purposes like reheating a pizza (on the console top).
-Never place your console in the same area where you put your drinks.
-Do not let any unguarded child (or toddler) tinker with your game console.
-If you’re not in a good mood, make sure that your game console is as far from you as possible, so that you won’t get the chance to hit it with a baseball bat or throw your controller at it. You might say that this is a far-fetched idea; however, this can be true, especially for people who easily get into tantrums, or those who are easily angered.

There are also gaming consoles with user manuals that carry information on how to properly care for these important gaming items. Make sure that you read through and understand everything that is written there, so that you won’t have problems keeping them in mind.

The best way to keep your gaming console safe and free from damage is to care for it like your own baby or your own kid brother or sister. Another way is to keep in mind that without the game console, your Xbox, Wii, or your PS3 will be extremely useless.

If you keep these tips in mind, you and your console will have a wonderful relationship that will last for years. In addition, you will be assured many years of fun and exciting gameplay!