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Friday, February 6: Which Console Should You Get?

Adam Sessler

I'll bet you want one of those new-fangled video-game consoles that all the spiky-haired weirdos on television are yammering on about. While not complete, here's a breakdown of the various consoles' strong points.


The Xbox is more an investment in the future. Yes, there are some strong games, especially Halo, but there's little else to distinguish it from other consoles and their equally strong titles. If you want online gaming, this is your best bet.

Some exclusive games help give definition to the system. Primarily, they are the Sega titles, such as Shenmue II, Panzer Dragoon, Gun Valkyrie, and Jet Set Radio Future. Microsoft wants to appeal to the hard-core Sega devotee, so if you were committed to your Dreamcast, it's worth considering (


When you buy the Nintendo GameCube, you buy Nintendo games. That's its undeniable strength. This is the only place you can get Mario, Zelda, Perfect Dark, Star Fox, Donkey Kong, and Conker's. So if those are your favorite games, this is an easy choice.

There are a couple of misconceptions about the GameCube. The big one is the "kiddie console" problem. Kids may like Nintendo games, but that doesn't mean Nintendo games are just for kids. When did bright colors and bloodless gameplay become so unappealing to people? The gameplay in Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie is near perfect, and anyone can enjoy it.

That said, Nintendo realized that the N64 lacked the same number of darker games that the PlayStation had, and Eternal Darkness and two exclusive Resident Evil games should be out by the time you read this.

The other misconception is that there will be a shortage of titles. Nintendo has won back the third-party publishers it lost with the N64. The DVD-format is cheaper to produce than the cartridge. Plus, there's good reason to assume that large multiplatform franchises will appear. In addition, developers like the ease of making games for the GameCube (Factor 5 says it took only nine months for Rogue Leader), and this should allow for a far larger library (

PlayStation 2

You can have confidence in the number and variety of games for the Sony system. Plus, if you want a console with an established library of games, PS2 is the way to go. Some titles now take advantage of the system's power and benefit from longer development cycles.

Yes, the PS2 has been out longer, but it has not been rendered obsolete by the GameCube and Xbox. One look at MGS2 or Ico should lay those anxieties to rest. And, yes, it most likely will be the first console to see a next-gen upgrade, but there's a whole lotta good gaming to be had until then.

If the PlayStation was your primary gaming console and you liked the games, those trends will continue. Don't expect to see the Final Fantasy games and other titles from Square on any other system because Sony bought a significant share in the company. In addition, Sony has managed to produce some impressive first- and second-party titles, such as Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec, Ico, and Twisted Metal Black, making Sony games something you can't get for any other system and a reason to consider purchasing the console (

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