Research, then THE CHOICE IS YOURS


Jul 7, 2001


The Bottom Line There are many of them out there. Check out the games. Find a TV to connect it to, research what each one offers, and then make a well-informed, educated decision.

Well, you're considering buying a video game system. You drive to the store, probably thinking the decision will be easy. You get out the parking lot, into your local video game store, and find yourself bombarded with tons of choices. Nobody can make a responsible decision without the proper knowledge, meaning you should do some research. But, how do you research what's out there?

1. Ask, ask, ask. If you talk to the right people, you can be informed of what's out there.
2. Investigate the options. I'll only list some of the newest systems (you can't count out the older ones, unless you want the newest).
A: PlayStation 2. 128 bits of power, built-in CD/DVD ROM player, PlayStation 1 game compatibility, and some Internet capabilities come standard.
B: Nintendo GameCube. The newest Nintendo system about to be released feature many of the classic characters, including Mario, Pokemon, Zelda, and Star Fox.
C: Microsoft X-Box. The computer giant has arrived in the war of video game consoles.
3. Try things out. If the store has a demo, even of a game you don't like, at least feel the grip of the controller. Most of the time, you might not be able to get a refund.

Well, I hope you have now done your research. Try demos of systems and games. Before you take your wallet or purse out, you should have answered these (and other possible) questions:

1. How much does the system cost?
Unless you're rich like Bill Gates, the almighty dollar will affect your choice. For many people, it's the single most important issue.

2. What multiplayer capabilities are there?
These days, having 4 people play at the same time is standard. If you don't plan on playing alone all the time, this issue is important. Many of the most popular games, such as sports games, Perfect Dark, and the Quake series come with multiplayer.

3. How much do the games cost?
It might not matter if you're only buying one game, but gamers understand the cost of a game.

4. How does the controller feel?
I don't care how "stunning" a game looks, it better play good. The controller is the medium which you play a game. Pressing, tapping, rotating (sometimes, you have to turn), or holding a certain button, or combination of buttons, at a certain time is how you play a game.
4A. Is the controller "responsive?" In other words, how sensitive is the controller? Insensitive controller won't play certain games well.
4B. Is the controller heavy?

5. What games will you play?
Video game systems are known for their games. Nintendo is known for Pokemon, Star Fox, and Mario, to name a few. Sega is known for Sonic. Sony is known for their sports. Investigate what games are on each system, before making your choice(s).

6. Should you buy the system sooner, or later?
That depends on a few factors, such as price fluctuations (systems tend to get cheaper as they get older), available games, and personal preferences. Every individual's decision can potentially be different.

7. Is the system going to last for a long time?
That depends on you. How you take care of it, your usage, and the future all have a hand in that answer. Old systems are not necessarily obsolete, as places such as Funcoland (at least Chicago area) sells used games from older systems.

8. What extra features come on the system?
I'd like to rephrase that question: why are you buying a video game? Some extra features available in some places include a DVD player, Internet compatibility, rumble paks, and memory cards. I'll let you RESEARCH what "accessories" are where.

9. How often will you play?
Your lifestyle should tell you.

10. Where will you play?
Your lifestyle will tell you.

After you answered these questions, and any others you might have had, you are officially ready to make an informed, responsible, educated decision. THE CHOICE IS YOURS!


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