Video Game Consoles

Reviews of the hottest game consoles

Wii U Gamepad

Wii U GamePad. Image by Tokyoship, Wikimedia Commons

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Wii U | Xbox ONE | PlayStation 4

Wii U

Release Date: November 18, 2012
Price: $299.99

With the Wii U, Nintendo hopes to woo the gamers who abandoned the more casual Wii in favor of XBOX or Playstation. With high definition graphics and a fully independent and interactive touch screen controller, it appears that Wii might stand a chance.

With the GamePad, players can play their favorite Wii U game either on the TV or on the GamePad itself. Additionally, the Wii U's TVii, Miiverse, Wii U Chat, and Internet Browser combine to allow players to watch TV, movies, sports, video chat, or tie into social media.

The Wii U is also backward compatible, meaning it will play all of your old Wii games. The only drawback to playing older games is the difference in controllers—the traditional Wii games are played with the old controllers and will not display in HD.

Wii Controllers Encourage Players to Get Up and Move!

The wireless Wii U GamePad weighs 1.1 lbs and boasts a 6.2 in touchscreen with camera, motion control sensor, rumble features, stylus, microphone, speakers, and supports Near Field Communication (NFC). The traditional remote is Wii U compatible, and there is an add on controller, the Wii U Pro, which is best for more serious gamers. But the Wii U still shines in the "get up and play" category, with its motion-sensing controllers, balance board, and for-your-health inspired games and software like the WiiSports Club.

The Wii nunchuk, Wii Remote Plus, Wii Zapper, and Wii Wheel all enhance the gamer's experience, which continues to be fully interactive, and now boasts crisper graphics, online play, and multisensory experience.

Overall, the Wii U is an absolute blast! It is a wonderful system that will bring delight to solo players and groups alike.

Wii U | Xbox ONE | PlayStation 4

Wii U Gamepad
Comparison of game consoles. Image by Justin14, Wikimedia Commons.

Xbox ONE

Release date: November 22, 2013
Price: $499.00

Gull 1080p graphics, a responsive and comfortable wireless controller, and a wide array of immersive games prove that the Xbox ONE is a gaming system to reckon with. A truly all-in-ONE entertainment system, with TV, movies, music, video chat and share, online play and navigation, and SmartGlass technology that lets you add a second screen, and gamers have a system that is worth the price and immensely enjoyable.

While the Wii U encourages users to get up and move their bodies, the Xbox ONE is designed to read your body movements. The Kinect motion controller is both powerful and sensitive and can identify individual players and respond to their voice and motion commands.

Xbox ONE's other strength is its numbers; for a fee, players can connect to a community numbering almost 50 million through Xbox Live Gold for the ultimate in group play.

Can't Go Back

The Xbox ONE is a powerful system—eight times more powerful than its 360 predecessor, but it does have a flaw. If you upgrade, you'll have to start from scratch because the hundreds of dollars' worth of games you bought for the Xbox 360 simply won't work on the ONE.

If you are a gamer interested in realistic graphics with rich game play, than an investment in the Xbox ONE is a sure bet.

Wii U | Xbox ONE | PlayStation 4

PS4 controller
PlayStation 4 controller. Image by tofuprod, Wikimedia Commons.

PlayStation 4

Release date: November 15, 2013
Price: $399.00

Quite similar to its closest competitor, Xbox ONE, the Sony PlayStation 4 (PS4) is technically the most powerful game console on the market. While it certainly succeeds as a solid, multi-platform gaming system, it lacks some of the bells and whistles of the ONE and the U. Kinect comes with the Xbox ONE, but PlayStation gamers need to buy the PlayStation Eye separately. PS4 players also have on-demand movie and TV viewing, video chat and share, and second-screen capability in the add-on Vita handheld console. Like its predecessor, the PS4 will play your Blu-ray movies. And, like the Xbox ONE, the PS4 won't play games from the earlier generation consoles.

The PS4 encourages gamers to be social. As soon as you log on, the players you've identified as friends appear with their online status and you can join their games or start one of your own.

With a cost $100 less than the Xbox ONE, the PS4 is a perfect choice for the serious gamer who wants a solid and powerful console one can personalize according to interest and need.


by Mark Hughes and Catherine McNiff
Toys and Games

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Steamboat, in Yellowstone National Park, is the largest active geyser in the world, sending water more than 300 ft. into the air for 3 to 20 minutes.

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