So you want to buy a new (old) video game system but can't make up your mind. Your tech head buddy says Xbox, your brother says PlayStation 2, and the grocery clerk says GameCube. How to decide? Well that's what we're here for!
The Contenders:There are three big home video game systems from the last generation: the Sony PlayStation 2, the Microsoft Xbox, and the Nintendo GameCube. They have different strengths and weakness, but I want to stress this up front; they are all quality video game systems. Yes, like cars and shoes, people love to argue about brands, but they really all are quite good.
Sony PlayStation 2
Sony's PlayStation 2 is the big boy on the block. With the most units sold, the most games available, as well as the fact that it can play both DVDs and PlayStation 1 games, the PS 2 is the most popular system out there. It is also the oldest, and therefore has inferior graphics and sound to both the Xbox and GameCube. It also only supports 2 players, whereas the other two systems support 4.
The Xbox offers the best graphics, surround sound, built in hard drive, built in network support, and DVD playback. The Xbox supports 4 players, and it is easily linked to up to four more boxes for 16 player games, it can be taken online as well. Unfortunately the Xbox has the least games out there, and many complained about the size of its original controller. There is a smaller one avaible.
The GameCube offers cutting edge graphics and sound, and four player support. Exclusive games like Mario Sunshine, Metroid Prime, and Star Fox Adventures make this a very popular system, especially with younger gamers. The GameCube is the least expensive system. Unfortunately, it is also the only system that does not play DVD movies. Many people also, mistakenly, think of it a kiddie system.
The Games Speak for ThemselvesUnless you already have another criteria, one of the best ways to decide which system is best for you is to look at the available games. Ask yourself, "which of these games would I actually enjoy playing." One thing to remember is that a number of the 'big' titles, like sports games or games based on movies, will be available on all three systems.
The Bottom LineAs I said in the beginning, all three of the systems are quality systems. In the end I recommend playing each system as well. Most large electronics stores will have demo games set up to try. So even if you think you know which one you want, get in there and give each system a 'test play' before you drop your hard earned cash.