According to the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia’s most recent report (PDF), the average age of Aussie gamers has risen from 28 to a mature 30, with plenty of fans on the other side of the hill. In other words, there’s a good chance your dad is fiddling with a joystick in his spare time (and loving it!).
If the family PlayStation is beginning to collect dust in a corner, it might be time to upgrade to a new console. Naturally, Father’s Day is the perfect excuse. Prices are the lowest they’ve ever been; especially when you factor in the bundled games on offer. Here are the three main consoles on the market:
1. Nintendo Wii (RRP: $399)
The Nintendo Wii is the ideal console for dads with small children. With its simplistic motion-sensing controllers and kid-friendly games library, the Nintendo Wii is a gift that the whole family can enjoy. Best of all, it comes free with Wii Sports, which is still one of the best games on the system.
2. Microsoft Xbox 360 (RRP: $299/$399/$549)
If your dad is a hardcore gamer, look no further than the Xbox 360. In addition to having the largest games library, the Xbox 360 arguably has the most active online gaming community — which means your dad will always have somebody to play against. The Xbox 360 is available in three different ‘flavours’ ranging from the $299 Arcade version to the 80GB Xbox 360 Elite model.
3. Sony PlayStation 3 (RRP: $699)
The PlayStation 3 is the ideal choice for videophile dads with a penchant for video games. Billed as an ‘entertainment system’, the PlayStation 3 is a fully fledged Blu-ray player with a built-in HDMI port. It will make the ideal centrepiece for your dad’s home theatre system.
If your dad already owns one or more of these consoles, then the next best thing is a game peripheral. Here are a few of our top choices:
Xbox 360 Wireless Steering Wheel (RRP: $149.95)
The Xbox 360 Wireless Steering Wheel will make a great Father’s Day gift for racing fanatics. The wheel comes bundled with Forza Motorsport 2 and Project Gotham Racing 4 and is compatible with most Xbox 360 racing games.
Scene It?: The Movie Trivia Game (RRP: $149.95)
Scene It?: The Movie Trivia Game is a quiz show video game for the Xbox 360 that supports up to four players. The game comes with four wireless buzzer controllers, which are used to score points during each match. Scene It?: The Movie Trivia Game covers all eras of cinema — so if your dad’s getting a bit long in the tooth, he’ll still have a fighting chance!
Guitar Hero World Tour (RRP: $329.95)
When it comes to great game gifts, it’s hard to go wrong with Guitar Hero World Tour. The game comes with electric guitar, drum kit and microphone peripherals; this means the whole family can jam together. (It’s also available on all formats, including the PlayStation 2). If your dad is a child of the '80s, then make sure you snap up Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s (PS2 only). This expansion pack features big-haired anthems like 'Heat of the Moment' by Asia, 'Nothin' But a Good Time' by Poison, and 'I Wanna Rock' by Twisted Sister (unfortunately, tragic ‘dad-dancing’ isn’t optional).
Wii Sports Resort (RRP: $99.95)
Wii Sports Resort is a fun evolution of the Wii Sports game that is bundled with the Nintendo Wii. It uses an all-new controlling peripheral that Nintendo has dubbed the MotionPlus. There are plenty of great new events for the family to get stuck into, including Archery and Swordplay.