Author Topic: Which Console should I get for my 3 year old?  (Read 2782 times)

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Offline Kwisatz Haderach

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Which Console should I get for my 3 year old?
« on: April 16, 2015, 08:07:24 AM »
For a while I have been thinking that I should invest in a console so that my son (who is currently 3) can have video gaming experience before he starts school and meets kids who are into video games because their dads are videogamers.  (Notice that I refuse to call people who play video games "gamers", since that is a term I believe should be reserved for tabletop gamers).

Since my son is already way into Lego, I though that this upcoming title would be a good excuse to take the plunge.  The question is, which platform should I go with?  What are the main differences between the various platforms?

Offline starnado

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Re: Which Console should I get for my 3 year old?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2015, 08:25:43 AM »
The Wii U.

Don't believe the naysayers.

My little girl has been using it since she was 2. The touchscreen interface and the general shape of the gamepad/controller are so easy to use. She can fire up netflix no problem and knows how to play one or two games. The Nintendo games tend to be more family oriented anyway. Nintendoland, Wii Party U and the Marioparty series of games are fantastic fun for the whole family.

It turns your TV into a smart TV with a fantastic intuitive remote. In fact, the Wii U gamepad can function as a remote for two appliances anyway. I use it to control my TV and cable box.
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Offline Kwisatz Haderach

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Re: Which Console should I get for my 3 year old?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2015, 08:46:26 AM »
The Wii U.

Don't believe the naysayers.

My little girl has been using it since she was 2. The touchscreen interface and the general shape of the gamepad/controller are so easy to use. She can fire up netflix no problem and knows how to play one or two games. The Nintendo games tend to be more family oriented anyway. Nintendoland, Wii Party U and the Marioparty series of games are fantastic fun for the whole family.

It turns your TV into a smart TV with a fantastic intuitive remote. In fact, the Wii U gamepad can function as a remote for two appliances anyway. I use it to control my TV and cable box.

We already have a smart TV with netflicks and so forth that my son knows how to use, so that is not a good selling point for us.  Doe the Wii U have the sorts of games that he will want to play as he grows up?  Or is that not an issue because they come oput with new consoles so often?

Offline starnado

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Re: Which Console should I get for my 3 year old?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2015, 08:58:16 AM »
From my perspective, the games are fantastic but TBH there is a limited range compared to the PS3 or 4 or the Xboxes. However, what games there are tend to be more appropriate for younger users. If you like Mario and Zelda (I do, my kids do) then you are fine.

If you want to play tons of FPS's then you are not in luck.

But if you want:
- minigames
-a fun and accessible experience
- pick up and play
- less gore
- Skylanders, Lego, Disney Infinity, Mariokart, Marioparty, Zelda
- easy to use controllers

then it is for you.
I also cannot overstate the value of the touchscreen gamepad controller. We can watch TV while my son plays Mariokart on the gamepad screen and then my littlest one can take the gamepad and watch Netflix while my son does his homework and the TV can still be on for my other daughter, for example.

I may buy my older kids a ps3 or 4 one day but my eldest is 9 and she is still really into the Wii U.
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Offline Andrew Clunn

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Re: Which Console should I get for my 3 year old?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2015, 09:15:38 AM »
Get him a cheap mini-PC, put steam os on it, and get a USB controller (but really a couple because you want to play too).  There are plenty of cheap games on steam (you can even get them on the humble bundles for really cheaply).  You can set up parental controls, and the games won't expire, so when it's time to "upgrade" in like 5 years all the older games will still be there.  Hell, it's really easy to install emulators on a steam os machine too, so you could play retro games together.  When my daughter turns 4, this is totally my plan.

EDIT -

If you want family friendly steam game recommendations or need help selecting a machine or installing steam os, then just ask.
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Offline starnado

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Re: Which Console should I get for my 3 year old?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2015, 09:42:21 AM »
Get him a cheap mini-PC, put steam os on it, and get a USB controller (but really a couple because you want to play too).  There are plenty of cheap games on steam (you can even get them on the humble bundles for really cheaply).  You can set up parental controls, and the games won't expire, so when it's time to "upgrade" in like 5 years all the older games will still be there.  Hell, it's really easy to install emulators on a steam os machine too, so you could play retro games together.  When my daughter turns 4, this is totally my plan.

EDIT -

If you want family friendly steam game recommendations or need help selecting a machine or installing steam os, then just ask.

I like this plan. I have considered this too for the future. Great idea.
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Offline wastrel

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Re: Which Console should I get for my 3 year old?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2015, 10:28:08 PM »
(Notice that I refuse to call people who play video games "gamers", since that is a term I believe should be reserved for tabletop gamers).

At least you aren't snotty about it.

Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Which Console should I get for my 3 year old?
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2015, 11:36:59 PM »
They all have merit.  One big thing to consider though is the controller size.  For that reason alone, you may want to say with the last generation since there were a few child-sized third part controllers that should be more manageable for a young child.  Probably I'd go with the Xbox 360 though.  It's cheap and the Kinect has a few games that he will probably enjoy since the controls basically equate to "spaz out" which is something I'm told young kids like doing.  Also, if he's into Legos, definitely get the console version of Minecraft.  My youngest started playing it at age 4 and got really creative with it, really fast.  The console version is especially good for kids too since the means of crafting materials doesn't require you to remember a bunch of formulas. 

I don't have a Wii U, but I'd avoid a standard Wii.  There are plenty of games that are fine, but I found my kids had a hard time getting the finicky motion controls down quite right.  That being said, you can get the system at an extremely low cost.

Offline EvilNick

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Re: Which Console should I get for my 3 year old?
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2015, 02:44:24 PM »
If he's 3 years old, maybe a Nintendo 2DS that you can easily take away when he gets in trouble or misuses it.  But I think three years old is too young to have his own machine.  I didn't own my one until I bought my own NES when I was 12, and my son didn't get one until his mother's folks bought him a DSi when he was around 7 or 8.

But for a 3 year old?  Maybe don't even worry about it.  He can stick with Legos.
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Offline Kwisatz Haderach

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Re: Which Console should I get for my 3 year old?
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2015, 03:02:10 PM »
If he's 3 years old, maybe a Nintendo 2DS that you can easily take away when he gets in trouble or misuses it.  But I think three years old is too young to have his own machine.  I didn't own my one until I bought my own NES when I was 12, and my son didn't get one until his mother's folks bought him a DSi when he was around 7 or 8.

But for a 3 year old?  Maybe don't even worry about it.  He can stick with Legos.

Yeah, but really I want an excuse to get a console for me, but since I have been a PC snob my whole life, suddenly getting a console would seem weird unless I said it was for my son.  Which it would be, too -- he'd just grow into it.

Offline EvilNick

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Re: Which Console should I get for my 3 year old?
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2015, 03:10:16 PM »
If he's 3 years old, maybe a Nintendo 2DS that you can easily take away when he gets in trouble or misuses it.  But I think three years old is too young to have his own machine.  I didn't own my one until I bought my own NES when I was 12, and my son didn't get one until his mother's folks bought him a DSi when he was around 7 or 8.

But for a 3 year old?  Maybe don't even worry about it.  He can stick with Legos.

Yeah, but really I want an excuse to get a console for me, but since I have been a PC snob my whole life, suddenly getting a console would seem weird unless I said it was for my son.  Which it would be, too -- he'd just grow into it.

In that case, get a PS4 or Xbox One.  They're just over a year old and will have a good 7 years of longevity on them.  I am a developer on the Wii U, and to be perfectly honest, I don't think you should get one.  It has no longevity, and in my humble prediction, will be replaced by Nintendo's newly announced "NX" console late next year. 

The PS4 and XBO are nearly identical in hardware power, capabilities, streaming services, and the like.  Here are the only things you need to consider:

PS4--way higher sales, currently cannot use external harddrive, has lots of kid-friendly franchises (like Ratchet & Clank), has way more exclusive games coming to it.  $400.  Controllers have built-in rechargeable batteries.  Most comfortable controller Sony has ever made.

XBO--sluggish sales, currently cannot replace the internal harddrive, somewhat more "core-gamer" oriented, fewer exclusive games in the pipeline (to justify its purchase).  $350.  Kinect 2 is effectively dead and you can avoid it.  Controllers use AA batteries.

I would personally recommend the PS4 as I have both it and a Wii U, and play the PS4 way more frequently.  The harddrive space fills up pretty quickly, though, so you'll be wanting to upgrade that.
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Offline Sordid

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Re: Which Console should I get for my 3 year old?
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2015, 04:24:22 PM »
I say follow this guy's example and raise your son to be a well-rounded, consummate gamer by forcing him to play through video game history chronologically: https://medium.com/message/playing-with-my-son-e5226ff0a7c3

 

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