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Best console/software for young kids??

Old 12-03-01, 06:10 PM
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Best console/software for young kids??

Help me chose a console and recommend software for use mostly by my kids (8 yaer old girl and 6 year old boy).

1) They have gameboys, and have trouble with the more complex games. The boy likes racing games the most.

2) I would like the ability to move the console from tv to tv with relative ease.

3) I will use it but I'm not a dedicated gamer.

Which console and what software should I start with?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 12-03-01, 06:43 PM
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How much do you want to spend? Do you want the latest and greatest or are you willing to get an older system that's cheaper?

Latest and Greatest: Game Cube. Very "kid" friendly, costs $200. Not a ton of games, but by next summer that shouldn't be a problem.

Older System: N64. Extremely "kid" friendly, very cheap, lots of good kids games. Discontinued so you couldn't buy just new games (although you still can buy lots of new games, don't expect to in the future). Very cheap games too.

You could also look into the Dreamcast, which is also no longer being made (OK I think it is in Japan, but trust me, Sega is out of the hardware biz). You can get it for like $50 and it has a lot of good games, but not quite as kids friendly as an N64.

Playstation is another discontinued system to look into, although I don't think it's very kid friendly.

There is also a new handheld from Nintendo called Gameboy Advance, it's $90 and plays all previous Gameboy games. The Gameboy Color is being blown out for like $30 but it won't play Gameboy Advanced games.
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Old 12-03-01, 06:55 PM
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My son is seven and he uses the Playstation the most. It is hands down the best system for kids.

My son plays all of these on the playstation.

Arthur Ready to Race
Bob the Builder
Blue's Clues Big Musical
Several Rugrat's games
Rocket Power
Spongebob
Tonka Space Station
Lego Island II
Lego Rock Raiders
Disney Animated Studio

There are even Barbie games for girls.

The best part is most of the games are very cheap. I paid about $10-$20 for most of those games. The N64 though considered a kids system, really has very few games for 6-8 year olds.

Get them a Playstation.

Last edited by darkside; 12-03-01 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 12-03-01, 07:10 PM
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Is this a Xmas present? If not, I say wait a little while after Xmas and see if the PS2 price drops then go with that instead of a PS1.

The thing is, if you go with a PS, you could basically go with a PS2 and get more out of it in the future. Yeah it's a little more, but why not enjoy all the latest games yourself while the little ones can play the older PS1 games.
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Old 12-03-01, 07:14 PM
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I would recommend the PSOne. It's got a truck-load of games. You're bound to find plenty of titles that are appropriate that the kids will enjoy. The PSOne is the Playstation (not Playstation 2) built for portability. Therefore, transferring from one TV to another is not going to be a problem. Not that the original Playstation weighed like a Volvo but at least with the PSone you've also got the option to purchase a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen which makes it playable just about anywhere.

Oh, and while I'm talking about portability, you can just cross-off the XBOX from your list.
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Old 12-03-01, 07:48 PM
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I'd probably grab game cube if I was them. I'd also pick up a Dreamcast at $50, still making this combo less expensive than X-Box or PS2. Something else to consider, is how easily available games are -- if they have a Gamecube and all their friends have PS2, they won't be able to trade games, bring their games to a friend's house to play, etc, which means that he'll have less games overall to play. Everyone wants what everyone else has, like 2600 over Intellivision, though Intellivision was better (NES over SMS, SNES over Genesis, Playstation over Saturn and N64). Might also want to look at the feasibility of piracy, and if you're going to do it -- not encouraging it, but it is a way to quickly build a large library of games.

Game Cube pros and cons: Good system for kids, has the Mario franchise and Zelda franchise and a few other names that all kids recognise. Racing games for Nintendo tend to be more arcady (Mario Kart) than realistic (Gran Turismo), which I think makes them more accessable. Nintendo is usually kid-friendly and safe, I also see more young kids playing this at the local stores than anyone else, or any other system for that matter. However, Gamecube does not play CDs or DVDs, and games will be hard to pirate (not advocating piracy, but it is a fact). No backward compatibility. Not a great launch, but not a bad one either. Will be interesting to see how it ages and compares with the Xbox and PS2. Won't be as "cool" when the kids get older, but considering their age, the machine will probably be outdated before they outgrow it. This machine is also cheap at $199.

X-Box pros and cons: Heavy duty hardware, lots of nifty settings (like saving CD Audio files on the hard drive to make your own game soundtrack), some very good lauch games. Again, you're riding an unknown horse here, much like the Gamecube. However, Microsoft is marketing to the people with disposable income, teens and young adults. The controller will be too big for a 6-year old's hands, and the games will require, for the most part, a level of dexterity they likely don't possess yet. I think this is really a big boy's system, and will be too much for small kids. On the upside, this system plays DVDs and CDs, and might just become the most hacked system in the history of gaming. Racing games tend to be more realistic, like Gotham Street Racing. Cost is high at $299 and requires purchase of other items, pushing the total closer to $400 or $500.

PS2 pros and cons: Biggest thing, massive library. Huge backstock of games, both PS1 and PS2. The chances that your kids will know friends that have a PS1 are very high, and PS1 games are very cheap right now. Plays DVDs and CDs. Graphics are on par with XBox and Gamecube, but PS2 currently has the best library. However, most PS games are marketed to a maturer audience, so might want to be careful if you can't monitor every game that enters your house. Racing games tend to be very realistic, like Gran Turismo 3. This system may be expensive to upgrade, as unlike the XBox, it does not include a hard drive or ethernet card, these will be sold seperately later. Hacking this box is difficult, it requires actually opening the unit and soldering a chip inside, though there is rumor of a USB plug-in that accomplishes the same thing. Any PS1 or PS2 CD-ROM can be easily copied and played, but PS2 DVDs cannot be, unless you have a very expensive DVD-R. Cost is mid-pack at $299 with no bundles, or $329 for PS2 w/Gran Turismo 3.

Dreamcast pros and cons: Biggest con is the fact that it's discontinued, so games will start becoming more difficult to get. It also never achieved huge market penetration, so don't expect any of their friends to have DCs. However, this box only costs $50, so it's a steal. It is also currently the most hacked box out there. You can't just copy the games, but there are plenty of places to download them and burn them. No chipping or external devices needed to play copies. Also has a vast array of alternate "operating systems" available and can play with the right software, games from the NES, SNES, Genesis, Game Boy, SMS, N64, and a few others. Can also run the Linux operating system. Has a modem, but ethernet cards can be found on ebay for the low, low price of $150.

N64 pros and cons: Two biggest strikes are that it is being phased out, and the games come on cartridges. This means you will not be playing any copied games, and the games will always be somewhat expensive, though you can catch them on clearance now as people make room for the new systems. Cheap and kid friendly, lots of games, has a lot going for it, including price.... but don't expect any new games after the next few years. No real racer for this system, everything is very arcady, like San Fransisco Rush and Mario Kart.

PS1 pros and cons: Cheap system, cheap games, lots of people have them. However, it too is at the end of it's life and it's questionable to buy one now. Also requires opening up and soldering a chip inside if you want to play copied games -- though if you find an older unit with a parallel port, you can buy an add-on cartridge to do this. One of the best controllers, best libraries around. Too bad it's going away.
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