OT - Best game system for kids

Submitted by username on July 19th, 2017 at 12:21 PM

I did a quick search and it looked like the last time this was discussed was a few years ago, but apologies if this is a repeat of a recent topic.

I am planning to get my 8-year old son his first game system and wanted to see if there was a consensus on the board as to which of the current options is best.  The last system I owned was ColecoVision in the 80's, so I have no relevant first-hand experience on the topic.

In addition to games played while sitting, he says he also likes playing the games where you're more active (Wii, Kinnect, I believe). 

I understand there is an online component to gaming, but at his current age, we're going to try to keep that under wraps for a while and keep all interaction inside our home. 

My hope is this is a system that will last him a few years.

Any new systems on the horizon that are worth waiting for?

Thanks for the help.




July 19th, 2017 at 4:26 PM ^

I grew up in the 60s and was gone from breakfast to streetlights, many nights my dad had to track me down. It's just not safe today to let your kids run around their own neighborhood. Sad times.


July 19th, 2017 at 7:15 PM ^

Exactly. The gap between the dangers people perceive today and the actual level of danger is so vast, it never ceases to amaze me. OK, it's probably more dangerous today than in 1820, but only because everyone lived 40 miles apart. But comparing today to the 40s, 50s, 60s, or 70s? Forget about it, it's way safer today... 


July 20th, 2017 at 5:41 PM ^

Wait are you saying there is a greater danger of kids being kidnapped today than the 1800s? Kids were disposable in the 19th century. You would have 10 because you knew 4 wouldn't make it to adulthood.

We are safer than we ever have been. And people are simultaneously more afraid than ever. It's a bullshit paradox.


July 20th, 2017 at 2:26 PM ^

Safety isn't just about crime. I am very protective of my 7 and 4 year old daughters. I worry more about what they'll get exposed to because of access to technology (or their peers' access) than I do an actual physical crime being committed against them. Their brains aren't prepared to process all the ideas and images that are waiting to leap into their eyes and ears. You can think I'm an idiot if you want, but I'd rather err on the side of caution.


July 20th, 2017 at 9:31 AM ^

If you want to fund it.

Atari is going with a crowd funding effort.  I guess investors don't believe enough in Atari to invest.

I'm also guessing the public won't believe in Atari enough to hand over their cash either.

uncle leo

July 19th, 2017 at 12:26 PM ^

I think the easy snap answer is because of your kid's age, the Switch.

If you are looking to play a lot and get a ton of value yourself, PS4 has the best stuff out there right now and it's not really close. PS4/PC. The XBOX is a doorstop.

No matter what system you get now, you'll definitely get good time out of them.

uncle leo

July 19th, 2017 at 12:30 PM ^

But Nintendo is very erratic about system development. They do not value hardware at all.

Switch will be around for a bit, and can do very well as long as Nintendo continues to support it.

UM Fan from Sydney

July 19th, 2017 at 12:56 PM ^

They value hardware, just in other ways. They care about having something different and innovative compared to Sony and Microsoft, who simply try to build the best super console with lots of computing power and more than gaming functionality. They are multimedia platforms now, which is what Nintendo does not care about being. That's fine and all, but they will never be able to be as big as Xbox and PS. They clearly don't care about that and will accept being in third place. Again, there is nothing wrong with that. They're still making money. I wish they would just fold as far as consoles go and become a third party game developer instead.

uncle leo

July 19th, 2017 at 1:26 PM ^

Big problem. They aren't willing to try and match those companies. I have often thought about how awesome it would be to play Mario or whatever other exclusive Nintendo has on great hardware. And that is why they are lagging way behind MS/Sony.

The majority of today's gamers want power. That's just the fact. They want the highest level graphics and the best looking stuff. We are pushing more and more towards 4k and beyond. Gimmicky hardware does not have much of a home in 2017.

uncle leo

July 19th, 2017 at 1:49 PM ^

Outside of the overall discussion with the big 3 companies. Sure, everyone likes free and mobile stuff on their phone, that's a given.

Nintendo is trying to cater to that in a way, but their general gameplan of implementation is crap. That's why the NES Classic failed so massively. They had NO IDEA how big of a demand that system would be, and could not come close to matching the overall want. 

Personally, my overall thought about Nintendo is that they got really fat and sassy during the early years of console gaming, and assumed their name would continue to generate popularity. The other systems provided an eye-popping experience, and they haven't let up.


July 19th, 2017 at 2:25 PM ^

I don't know if they got all fat and sassy, well they did but I dont think that was the problem. They made back to back terrible choices that they took a beating on and they decided not to try and compete anymore. They stuck with cartridge for N64 when sony went with cd's, then they used those stupid mini disks on the gamecube which was a more powerful system than the ps2, but those gimmicky mini disks could not hold as much data as regular cd's and it killed them again. The wii selling so much sucked because now they think gimmicks are the way to go..if they would just put out a normal competative console I think they would stomp Sony and Microsoft. 

uncle leo

July 19th, 2017 at 2:39 PM ^

I think plenty of people just want to play their exclusives on high-end systems. 

I would love to play Mario, Mario Kart, whatever unique Nintendo games on something like a GTX 1070 (my card). It would be freaking awesome.

Nintendo continues to hamstring themselves with hardware. Gimmicks only get you so far.

The Maizer

July 19th, 2017 at 3:10 PM ^

I'm just not convinced that Nintendo belongs lumped in with Sony and Microsoft for console gaming anymore. This is obviously to a different degree of difference, but you wouldn't say "I would love to play Angry Birds and Candy Crush on something like a GTX 1070!" I think there are millions of people who agree with you; and I'd be one of them if I didn't prefer my "powerful" gaming on a PC instead of a console, but to me Nintendo has a different target/intention.


July 19th, 2017 at 4:00 PM ^

The wii didn't become a phenomenal hit because it was a gimmick. It was a legit alternative system. Same with the Switch, from early indications.

Nintendo hasn't been able to compete on hardware since the PS2 came out, and to their credit they aren't really trying. Video gaming is a huge market, but being narrowly the third-best hardware on the market is in no way superior to being a much more distant third (fourth, if you count the PC). They try to provide something genuinely different instead, buttressed by terrific first-party titles and the leading position in the key "bunch of people in a room with pizza taking turns multiplayer" position.

I do raise my eyebrows when their launch title debuts with frame rate issues, but in general I don't think its a big deal. Some of the new stuff in particular, like 4K, is overrated in the console space (less so PC--you sit much closer closer the screen).

uncle leo

July 19th, 2017 at 7:41 PM ^

With a bullet point is because the Wii IS a gimmick. It was something completely new that the market had not seen prior. Now that it has come and gone, it is much harder to sell another new gimmick to the general public. 

Hardware is, and always will be the biggest selling point for a large market of gamers that play modern-day consoles. Nintendo always has to play catch-up because they can't match specification power. 



July 19th, 2017 at 9:50 PM ^

I think the wii was so successful because it reached a different group of people. We got one for our kids when they were younger because it was more cartoonish and easy to play. My parents bought one before we did and they would have their friends bowl and play frisby golf. They never bought a system before then.

UM Fan from Sydney

July 19th, 2017 at 1:50 PM ^

I agree with everything you said. Nintendo has always tried to be different than the competition. They have also had gimmicky stuff since the 80s (see the Power Glove, Power Pad, and Edge joystick), so that is nothing new for them. When other companies went to discs, Nintendo stuck with cartridges. Then when they finally made the choice to go to discs, they were small. Now, it worked out in the end, as the N64 and Gamecube were and still are hugely popular (at least with people my age (35) and older, but they love doing their own thing.

I am what you described, though. I like pretty graphics, normal controllers (weird, though, because I still consider the Gamecube the best controller, but after that, it's Xbox One), and a better game selection. I can't get Battlefield, Halo, and several other games on Nintendo. As I stated below, though, I do want a Switch. I was all about Nintendo until I got my hands on an Xbox 360. I've been Xbox all the way ever since.



July 19th, 2017 at 2:03 PM ^

Come on now the Gamecube was never hugely popular. That system was such a flop that everyone and their mother were trying to sell the system after purchase. By the time they released the Gamecube Nintendo already had a huge following and they still couldn't hold off the unknown Xbox.

I think Gamecube was the start of Nintendo focusing more on stuff for kids as adults looking for serious games had multiple better options. From my memory (Im 31) essentially everyone I knew with a Gamecube were younger cousins or friends younger brothers. When GC came out we kind of rolled our eyes at it like when Sega tried to get back into the market with Dreamcast.

The Oxford Wolverine

July 19th, 2017 at 4:07 PM ^

I was never a fan of the Cube; I was more of a Playstation guy myself.  However, nothing frustrated me more as a child then when I would go to a friend's house to play Super Smash Bros. on his 64.  It would take me a while to master the controller, and then once I started to win, we would switch over to the Cube's version, with a totally new controller. Madness.  


July 19th, 2017 at 2:54 PM ^

I've worked for 2 out of 3 major console companies and without a doubt Nintendo is the way to go. They are really focused on serving minors well. You can trust that the titles coming from them are family friendly.


July 19th, 2017 at 8:52 PM ^

I own a Switch, and love it. There isn't a very big selection for games right now but there are quite a few and more will be coming out soon. Arms, Splatoon, Legend of Zelda, and a few more are out now but plenty more games will be getting released soon here. I definitely recommend the Switch for kids.


July 19th, 2017 at 12:26 PM ^

None of them... get your kids outside in the fresh air and away from the TV and their computers/phones.

Now get off my lawn...

Image result for outside image



July 19th, 2017 at 12:33 PM ^

But I also have to be realistic.  We live in Chicago (a lot of crappy weather) and in the city on a fairly busy street (outdoor play requires us to at least keep an eye on him).  My kid has a lot of playdates with his friends and they are increasingly becoming video game centric.  If we want our house to be a place where kids want to hang out, I think this is a necessary evil.