No longer a workout for just your thumbs, gaming consoles are taking the experience to the next level. In other words, it’s time to get off the couch and break a bit of a sweat.
You can blame Nintendo. Back in 2006, they launched the Wii. This innovative gaming console didn’t just get gamers moving, it got the gaming industry moving. Ever since, knock-offs and competitors have been coming out of the woodwork. Earlier this week, Amazon even jumped in, to launch a Motion Gaming 101 section of its online store.
Hate to tell you, but the sloth of video games is so old school. It’s time to get off your worthless butt and get into the game with one of the devices below.
This is the one that opened the floodgates. The console offers movement in every compatible game, via the Wii Remote (also known as a Wiimote). Some games also call for the Wii Nunchuk Controller and/or the Wii Fit balance board. The console only comes with one remote, one Nunchuk and a demo disc. If you want to justify this purchase, network it via Ethernet or Wi-Fi and pop in the Netflix disc for streaming TV and movies (subscription fees apply). It did spawn a generation of active gamers. However, some don’t appreciate the cartoony graphics; even fewer appreciate the lack of HD.
What You’ll Need: The console. An extra controller wouldn’t hurt either, since this only comes with one.
MSRP: $199.99 (just the Wii)
All About Nintendo’s Wii
Sony PlayStation Move
Unleashed last week, this is the latest entry into the motion gaming market. Existing PS3 users can buy the Move, but will also need the $40 PlayStation Eye camera to take advantage of Move-enhanced games. Move the Move and the camera catches the action and transfers it to the screen. It can be purchased alone for $49.99 (MSRP), or as part of a $100 package, which includes one Move controller, the PlayStation Eye camera, a Move demo disc, and the Sports Champions Blu-ray game. Games you will be able to Move to (before the end of 2010) include Tiger Woods PGA Tour, NBA 2K11, Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition, LittleBigPlanet 2, and Killzone 3.
What You’ll Need: The PS3 as well as the PlayStation Eye camera.
MSRP: $49.99 (just the Move)
More on PlayStation’s Move
Xbox will be a little late to the dance, with its Kinect controller. However, this “controller” distinguishes itself not through a late release date, but because it eliminates the controller entirely. So instead of having something that could go hurling towards your big, beautiful HDTV, you only have your flailing arms and feet to worry about. Instead, Kinect is a small webcam-like device that sits atop your TV. Similar to the PlayStation Eye, the Kinect captures your movements and transfers them to the game—it just doesn’t need to weigh you down with a controller to make gaming magic. To start, Kinect will ship with “Kinect Adventures,” a gaming disc that will take players through a range of motions via 20 different options.
What You’ll Need: Patience. This thing won’t be out until November 4, 2010. It wouldn’t hurt to have the Xbox 360 right now, though.
MSRP: $149.99 (just the Kinect package)
Connect with the Xbox Kinect
VTech V.Smile Motion Active Learning System
Not quite ready to have your toddler master Resident Evil? VTech has a few different games that allow your little one to get jiggy. Designed for ages 3 to 7, the unit disguises things like math, reading, spelling and science inside games with Handy Manny, Disney Fairies, Scooby Doo, and pretty much every other character that’s marketable to kids. However, instead of just a lesson, it throws in a bit of gym class, via the wireless, motion-activated play. Plug the device into the TV, throw in a game or two and watch the kids wiggle. Once they turn in, you can use the device to go online and track how well your kids do with age-appropriate activities.
What You’ll Need: The console, the games and an arsenal of batteries. This system requires four AA batteries to play.
Learn About VTech’s Learning System
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Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.