So many game consoles: Which to buy?

Nintendo Wii

Have kids? Get a Wii.

On a budget? Get a Wii.

Not a super-hard-core gamer? Get a Wii.

Super-hard-core gamer? Get a Wii.

Loathe the prospect of telling your friends you're playing with your Wii? Get a Wii and some better friends.

The unfortunately named Wii has a lot of things going for it, starting with a very forgiving US$250 price tag. The odds of actually snagging a Wii on launch day are also encouraging: Nintendo should have a cool 1 million units in retail on November 19. There will surely be lines to purchase one, but chances are good that the folks waiting in those lines will see their patience rewarded. Compared with the trail of tears that will be the PS3 queues, that's pretty appealing.

Wii graphics

You're not going to want the Wii if you're judging games by the current default metric, graphics quality. Wii graphics look like (very) modestly upgraded Nintendo GameCube visuals, and they aren't likely to dazzle.

The big reason to consider a Wii is accessibility (it almost feels more like a toy than a video game console) and game innovation, much of it driven by the innovative controller. The very unthreatening controller informally known as the Wiimote looks like a TV remote control but has significantly more functionality, chiefly in its motion-sensor abilities.

Playing a Wii game will be a much more active, visceral affair, with players swinging the controller to play tennis in Wii Sports, slashing it to sword-fight in the new Legend of Zelda game, or gently guiding it to excise tumors in Trauma Center. The Wii simply offers experiences that no other console can promise.

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Robert Coffey

PC World (US online)

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