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New to gaming? Start with the PS2

tech-reviews Updated: May 11, 2010 18:05 IST

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Gaming is certainly growing in India. So one question that I get asked a lot is, “Should I buy an Xbox 360 or PS3?”. What’s surprising about this is that people who have never been into serious gaming completely overlook the PS2. Why would you want a PS2 when there’s the PS3, right?

It’s not that simple. If you’ve never gamed before, then you don’t know whether it’s something that’s going to hold your interest for too long. Do you then want to sink over Rs 20,000 into something that you might not use? How about a console like a PS2 that shows you what video games are all about at only the fraction of the price of a PS3?

Firstly, video games are an art form, so while today’s games look better and employ cutting-edge tech, the classic games, many of which are on the PS2, are just as much fun to play today as the day they released simply because of the ideas that went into making them. The PS2 has arguably the best games library of any home console. So if you’re a new PS2 owner, you’re never going to run out of good games. The second point in favour of the PS2 is reliability. I’m still using the PS2 that I bought in 2001, while I’ve had my Xbox 360 (purchased in 2006) replaced four times, and I’m on my second PS3 in three years.

Another important factor is compatibility. For those who don’t own an HDTV, Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles are an absolute no-no, because the games that are available for them are designed for high-definition displays. So if you’re still on a standard definition CRT TV, a PS2 makes more sense. Also, the PS2 console costs Rs 5,990. Add Rs 2,000 more to get yourself four great games, and you’re good to go. In contrast, the PS3 console costs Rs 19,990, with games starting at Rs 999. I certainly wouldn’t discourage you from opting for the Xbox 360 or PS3 instead, because they offer great gaming experiences too. But with these consoles, your expenses don’t stop at just the hardware. Games are expensive, and so are the accessories that you will inevitably buy. So if you’re just looking for a taste of what video games have to offer, the PS2 is the perfect entry-level console and home to some of the best games ever made.