Advice on purchasing first video game system for kids?

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#1 Posted by meltonmania5 (21 posts) -

Hello! Our daughter's 7th birthday is coming up in July and she would like a video game system. We also have a son who will turn 6 in December so this will be a joint birthday gift since he wants one, too. What game system is considered the best for children this age that will grow with them? My husband and I know nothing about video games - he still plays his old Intellivision. I have looked at the Nintendo Wii U but can you only use 1 gamepad or can you buy a 2nd one? I can see lots of fighting in our future if you can only use 1. I would very much appreciate advice from the experts on what to buy and any additional accessories I would need so they can both play. Thank you!

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#2 Edited by RSM-HQ (7326 posts) -

The PlayStation 4 has a game called Little Big Planet 3, might be worth looking into. Supports four players. And very kid friendly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSyjU3HeRt0

On PlayStation 4 Tearaway is soon to release, from the makers of Little Big Planet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQEgIPDaEvc

And next year Ratchet and Clank. Which is inspired by Pixar movies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2cHEzO3bq4

Only accessory you'll need to buy as well is more Dualshock4's.

On any given console will also have Lego games_ very good for kids.

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#3 Edited by xantufrog (9801 posts) -

Wii U only allows 1 game-pad, although many games can be played "asymmetrically", where one player has one role with the gamepad and another player plays a different role with a different type of interface (wiimote etc). To be honest, I think the 1-gamepad thing was a blunder for the reason you highlighted (although it arguably makes for more creative gameplay, in terms of different players have different roles). Many other games, like Mario Kart, support multiplayer with the same type of controller (e.g. wiimotes in wii wheels), so it's probably not a problem as often as one might thing, but for titles that make special use of the gamepad there's going to be this asymmetry in how your kids play. You can also buy "normal" controllers for the Wii U.

Given their age range, I think the Wii U is indeed your best choice. Sony and MS have created more traditional consoles, and they have more commercial "steam" so they are getting more games from developers. However, much of those libraries have games geared towards older audiences. They DO have nice, good-clean-fun games for families and children (like those RSM-Q highlighted above). But you'll have to sift through the violence and such to find them. Nintendo's product line is almost entirely (but not 100%) family friendly.

If you get a Wii U, I would maybe pick up Mario Kart and/or Super Mario 3D World, and I would make sure to get 2 Wiimotes (the wand-shaped controller) (note: if you find a console-game bundle it might include one, so check that out first so you don't waste money), and if you get Mario Kart I would pick up two Wii wheels as well (plastic steering wheels your wii motes plug into - they are entirely optional but it makes it way more fun and somewhat more "realistic") (again, one or more may be included in a bundle, so be sure to check).

There are lots of other things you *could* buy - "nunchucks" are an accessory to the wiimote (used for many things, not just fighting), but I wouldn't pour money into too many accessories until you know you need them.

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#4 Posted by ojmstr (1946 posts) -

@meltonmania5: I have a 5 year old daughter, soon to be 6 and she absolutely love to game on the PS4 with games like Little Big Planet 3, Rayman Legends, some Lego Games and her favorite "Just Dance" with the Playstation Camera, i can tell she is having a blast playing those games especially "Just Dance" :)

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#5 Posted by raugutcon (5456 posts) -

I´m going to get a lot of heat fro what I´m about to say: if it were me the last console I would purchase for my children would be a WiiU

- The console I would purchase is the regular, ordinary, everyday Wii.

- Right now you can purchase one for pennies, it has tons of Wii games that can be had for a few dollars, it´s backwards compatible with all previous Nintendo games and the vast majority of those games can be played by more than two persons.

- My children are 13 ( boy ) and 11 ( girl ) and for the last 3 years they and I have had a lot of fun playing together in the Wii, also my kids play with my SIL kids ( 3 ) 2 or 3 times a week ( the younger 2 are pretty much of the same age of mine ).

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#6 Posted by meltonmania5 (21 posts) -

@xantufrog:

So the bundle only comes with the game pad. Would you suggest getting 2 of the stick-like remote controllers? Would they both need/want one when playing certain games? Or should we be fine with just one of those and the game pad? Or would you get the bigger pro remote that looks more like controllers from when I was young rather than the stick remote? Thanks for the help everyone!

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#7 Edited by xantufrog (9801 posts) -

@meltonmania5 said:

@xantufrog:

So the bundle only comes with the game pad.

Would you suggest getting 2 of the stick-like remote controllers?

I think 2 is a good idea since it's a "share" console

@meltonmania5 said:

@xantufrog:

Would they both need/want one when playing certain games? Or should we be fine with just one of those and the game pad?

It depends. Most games are built around the game-pad. The stick controllers are either an alternative to the gamepad, or used for player 2 as part of an "asymmetric" 2-player gaming experience. So buying at least 1 is probably a must for 2-player, but whether you need the second is more optional. I suggested 2 because 1) if the game allows both kids to use a wii-mote, then both your kids can play with the same type controller and aren't fighting over who gets "the cool one" (whichever they decide the cool one is), 2) on some games the gamepad might be overkill for or less comfortable that simply using the wiimote

@meltonmania5 said:

@xantufrog:

Or would you get the bigger pro remote that looks more like controllers from when I was young rather than the stick remote?

The pro controller is just your "good old fashioned" video game controller. It also works as an alternative to the gamepad, like the wiimotes. It's totally optional - just a matter of preference (some people hate the newfangled controller types).

I don't want to steer you towards dumping a bunch of money up front for stuff you don't need - you could start with just one wii-mote for the second player, and hold off on buying the second wiimote or a pro controller for when it looks like you actually need it (e.g. if you get a game that looks better played with wiimotes or if you find the kids don't like playing together with different types of controllers).

What bundle are you thinking of buying?

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#8 Posted by meltonmania5 (21 posts) -

@xantufrog:

Thank you!!!

We are looking at the bundle that is 32GB with Super Mario 3D and Nintendo Land. Best Buy has that one or one with Splatoon and Nintendo Land for $274 and free shipping. Cheaper than Amazon, although maybe not with tax. I'll have to check on that. I don't know anything about Splatoon and used to love Mario Brothers growing up so I figu we would go with that one.