Buying a Game Console

Choosing from one of the many game consoles on the market can be a challenge, especially for a first time buyer. This guide to buying a game console provides tips and insights to help make the process easier.

Game Consoles 101: How to buy a game console

From Nintendo to Microsoft, there is a console out there for every type of gamer in your family. Teens and adults may enjoy the action or sports games found on the Xbox or PlayStation, while kids and grandparents will love the family-friendly exercise games of the Wii. Each game console also offers a different style of motion-controlled game play. But if you’re interested in moving around, the size and layout of the room is an important factor to consider. Some of your family’s favourite characters only exist on certain consoles; for example, if it’s Mario you’re after, you’ll need to shop for a Nintendo.

Types of Game Consoles


Nintendo Wii

Pioneering the movement-based controller with its iconic Wii Mote, the Nintendo Wii is a great option for the more casual gamers in your family. The range of familiar characters that you won’t find anywhere else, such as Kirby, Mario, Link and Samus, keep generation after generation of fans coming back to Nintendo’s consoles. Its active games can add a fun twist to everything from yoga to aerobics, making it a console that the whole family can enjoy in different ways. 

Nintendo Wii U

The Wii’s bigger brother, this is the latest and greatest of Nintendo consoles. A touch-screen controller lets you enjoy two screens at once, and the HD support means your family can enjoy crystal clear graphics. The style of games is similar to the Wii, with a focus on family-friendly titles and familiar characters. 

Microsoft Xbox 360

Home to the iconic Halo and Gears of War series, the Xbox 360 has been a workhorse of gaming for the past 8 years. Great for the hard-core gamer, the action and sports games are an ideal fit for any teenagers or adults in the household who like investing themselves in serious “AAA” titles. The Xbox lets you control the action with your own body, and the Xbox Live network connects your family with gamers across the world for a monthly fee.

Microsoft Xbox One

The next generation of gaming, this console uses novel game streaming and data sharing technology to craft the biggest, most beautiful gaming worlds yet. Moving from physical games to digital, this is great for families who don’t want dozens of game boxes cluttering up their living rooms. An upgraded version of the Kinect turns your entire body into a precision controller. To get the most out of this console, your home will need a fast, reliable internet connection.

Sony PlayStation 3

The PlayStation family of game consoles has been providing some of the best entertainment experiences on the market for generations. With its popular God of War, Metal Gear Solid and Killzone franchises, the PlayStation 3 is great for serious gamers who want engaging, action-packed titles. The PlayStation Network is free for when your family wants to play online. The motion-controlled PlayStation Move controllers will have your family swinging, jumping, and dancing along with an array of fun active games.

Sony PlayStation 4

Sleek, streamlined, and cutting-edge, the latest generation of PlayStation consoles offers unbelievable graphics as well as living, breathing worlds. Upgrading and optimizing everything that made the PlayStation 3 so popular, the PlayStation 4 will continue the tradition of catering to “hard-core” gamers who want to get the most out of their games. While it does not come with built-in motion control, the PlayStation 4 is less expensive than the rival Xbox One.

Game Console Tips & Tricks:

  • Always give yourself enough room to take full advantage of your console’s motion-sensing controllers
  • Be sure to read all accompanying information for your console before playing
  • Hop on to your console’s network to play online, stream videos, and even pick up free games and demos
  • You can adjust your console’s parental settings to control which games your child plays, as well as for how long

Game Console Features

Controllers +

Most console systems can work with up to four controllers, which let you interact with the console and its games. Each game console manufacturer produces its own controllers, but there is also a range of third-party controllers available that may be a more economical option for your family. Many types of games even have their own special controllers, from rifles used for hunting games, to guitars and even entire drum sets.

Hard Drive +

Modular and easy to upgrade, the console’s hard drive is where you’ll store your games and data. Movies, music and more can be also be stored here, so you may want a hard drive big enough to accommodate your family’s entire collection.

Video/Audio Output +

These ports allow you to plug your console into a screen or television. Most consoles offer an option of high-definition or standard-definition outputs, so be sure that you have the appropriate cables to suit your system and TV.

Wireless Card +

Most modern consoles come with built-in wireless capability, so your family can go online from the comfort of the living room sofa. Wireless cards function just like the ones in your computer and can connect to any local network available.

Game Console Maintenance Tips:

  • Keep your game console somewhere safe and away from foot-traffic
  • Place your game console on a hard, smooth surface and dust regularly to avoid over-heating
  • Never move your game console while it’s powered on
  • Ensure that small children are supervised while playing
  • Do not leave your game console continuously powered on for more than six hours 

Did you know?

Many consoles have “backwards compatibility” which lets you play older and often less expensive games from the same company’s library. Check your console to see if you have access to their gaming history.
Did you know?
“Exclusive” titles are games that only appear on certain consoles. Make sure you get the right console for the titles that your family wants.
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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