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Kids Turn Toys

So many system - so little time Video Game Systems:
So many systems, what do you pick...

Every year it seems a new video game system is released just in time for the holidays. No coincidence I am sure. But what system is best for you?

Before we take a look at the latest video game systems, here's a brief history of the video game system revolution.

While gaming systems existed prior to 1985 the real video game system explosion took off when Nintendo Entertainment System NES was first introduced to American in 1985 with a good selection of games available for the system. The only real competition at the time came in 1986 from the Sega Master System with a limited number of games available but in reality a system with many more features.

  • In 1989 Nintendo Entertainment System NES introduced Game Boy, a portable hand held gaming system. NEC TurboGrafx-16 a game console was introduced from Sega Genesis and in 1990 they countered with Sega Game Gear to compete with Game Boy.

  • 1991 saw the upgraded version of Super NES but it wasn't until 1994 when Sega upgraded their TurboGrafx system to 32 bit.

  • 1995 saw a lot of activity in video gaming. Sega Saturn was introduced as was Sony Playstation a system using CDS rather then cartridges. Nintendo also introduced Nintendo Virtualboy this year and the following year, 1996 introducing Nintendo N64

  • In 1998 Nintendo introduced Game Boy Color and Pokemon while Visteon's Rear Seat Entertainment System for Nintendo was released in June of 1999.

  • Sega Dreamcast and Sony Playstation2 were released in the Fall of 2000 in North America.

  • In 2001 a lot of excitement in the gaming world was generated with the release of Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo Plantation Advance and Microsoft's entry in the game system world with Xbox.

  • 2003 saw the release of Nintendo's Game Boy Advance SP. In 2004 a smaller version of Sony's Playstation 2 was released along with Nintendo releasing it's DS version.

  • The big news in 2005 was the release of Microsofts Xbox 360, Sony Playstation Portable (PSP) and Nintendo's PP Micro.

  • Another big year in game systems is turning out to be 2006 with the release of Nintendo's DS Lite and the anticipated Nintendo Wii in November. Also being released in November of 2006 is Sony's Playstation 3. Mattel is also entering the market with Hyperscan.

  • 2007-2010 sees the introduction of motion control game play with introduction of Wii and Wii MotionPlus, PlayStation Move and Xbox Kinect.

  • 2011 saw the arrival of PlayStation Vita portable with touch screen and touch pad, and WiFi. Nintendo 3DS also arrived in 2011 featuring 3D graphics glasses-free.

  • Coming soon is the Nintendo Wii U console featuring touch screen built-in controller to allow some play without a TV.

    Current Popular Video Game Systems

    System Name
    Web Site
    Sony Playstation 2 Playstation 2 $99.99
    Sony Playstation Portable (PSP) Go PSP $199.99
    Sony Playstation Portable (PSP) 3000 PSP $129.99
    Sony Playstation 3 Playstation 3 $239.00 120GB
    $249.00 160GB
    $449.99 320GB
    Sony PS Vita 3G Playstation Vita $299.99
    Sony PS Vita WiFi Playstation Vita $249.99
    Microsoft Xbox 360 Xbox 360 $199.99 4GB
    $299.99 4GB with Kinect
    $249.99 250GB
    $399.99 250GB with Kinect
    Bundles available
    Kinect for Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect $149.99
    Bundles Available
    Nintendo DS Lite, DSi, DSi XL Nintendo DS $99.99 DS Lite
    $149.99 DSi
    $169.99 DSi XL
    Nintendo 3DS Nintendo 3DS $169.99
    Nintendo Wii Nintendo Wii $149.99
    Nintendo Wii U Nintendo Wii U  

    *Price on system may vary. Price listed is suggested manufactured retail price in US dollars at time of posting - November 2011.

    Which System is Right for You?

    • Cost. Shop around both online and offline to compare prices. Older systems will be less expensive. Buying a game system just released is almost always more expensive.

    • Game availability. What games are available where you live. Can you buy or rent games for the system you want? Buying an Xbox when only Playstation games are available where you live seems pointless and vice versa.

    • Longevity. Think long and hard before you decide which system you want. Check out news releases to see if the company you want to buy from is upgrading. If they are, think about waiting until the next version is available - or, be happy with the system you choose. Once you do make your decision don't try and convince Mom or Dad for a different system next year - they probably won't fall for it.

    • Wants vs Needs. Do you really need the newest, latest and flashiest gaming system? What you want and what you need are two different things. Think about what would make you happy to own and use, if you can't afford the latest system would an older system satisfy you? If games are available to rent for one system but not the other - but you really want the other - is it worth your while? Would you be willing to save up your own earnings to buy games for a new system? All these are questions to think about before you approach Mom and/or Dad. It's also important to consider where you want to use your system. If you are only going to use at home - consider a console version, however, if you want something to take around with you, consider one of the portable systems.

    Learn more about Console Game and Computer Use tips and safety.

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