My nine year old son is a video game aficionado. As a child of this modern age, he was given an old style xbox at the age of three, graduated to an xbox 360 at the ripe old age of seven, and six months ago added a Nintendo Wii to his repertoire. As his mother, I have in turn limited his playing time, bought games for him, and did my own hands on research to make sure the games he had were better than others. I have also run the gamut of guilt over how often he spent hours in front of the games, and grateful that anything could hold his attention long enough for me to have house cleaning or cooking time. Both the Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii are well used, well loved systems in our house. However, there are distinct differences and advantages to each system. As a mother, I wish we had the money earlier to purchase the Wii, but at the time we first made our choice, the Xbox 360 had the advantage because the games from the previous xbox were playable on the new console.
My son is on the high spectrum for autism. The communication and social disorder makes it difficult for him to find and keep friends. To both systems, I give kudos in that he has something to connect to his peers while doing. Games such as Karaoke Revolution for the Xbox 360 turned my living room into a child haven with voices of varying ability belting out “We are family” with great enthusiasm. Nintendo Wii has Rock Band, but we have not yet been able to afford the game to test it out. Nintendo Wii, however, keeps him more active and moving while playing than the Xbox 360.
Xbox 360 review, in depth.
This console was our first choice, specifically because his old xbox games would be able to transfer and play on the new. Of course this is not the case with every old xbox game, just most of them. This was a big pro in our decision, for monetary reasons. My main complaint about the system is that most of the games are more adult oriented. The games for children are usually movie character originated and are not often educational. It has made finding games for him difficult, as the mature content games are not things I wish to expose him to. Even some of the racing games were beyond his level due to a ‘morals thrown out the window’ factor. The graphics and music of the games, however, are often well done. Some games he seems to like just for the music alone. With the old xbox, we often had issues with the wires and the controllers, the Xbox 360 we like the wireless nature of the controller.
Nintendo Wii review, in depth.
This console has many more child friendly options and games, and has the decided factor of encouraging children to be active and moving. My boy has a stocky build and has the ‘autism’ short food list type of diet. This means that his diet is not as balanced and healthy as I would wish and it will be slow going to improve that. The Wii encourages him to move without making it seem like a chore. So far, the main con I have noticed is that some games are repetitive motions of just one arm. (tennis, table tennis, bowling) I have some concern of him overdoing it with just one arm and the other not getting enough movement attention.
Comparing the two game consoles is entirely on what you seek for entertainment. The Wii graphics are not as detailed as the Xbox 360, but it gets you up and moving rather than just working out your thumbs. I find both a useful tool to reach my son in different ways, but prefer the Wii for it’s activity bonus. I myself also use the Wii more often than the Xbox 360. My son is old enough to attend school, but his two year and nine month old sisters stay with me. I find it difficult to get to a gym, so the Wii fit is what inspired the purchase of the Wii in the first place.
My advice is to look at the games first to see which console has more games that you wish to play. It’s one of those purchases that will last you a few years, so consider that as well. Xbox 360 seems geared to a mature audience while the Nintendo Wii has a well-rounded style. For my family, we will be utilizing both still for a long time to come.