Oh, the plight of today's busy parent. Between work, keeping up with The Sopranos so you can seem interesting to your co-workers and trying to shape your abs, you barely have any time left to spend on the kids. Certainly not enough time to read up on the new technologies coming out that they're sure to gouge you for, especially since you didn't pay any attention to what they asked you to get them for Christmas and instead got them a windsock, which any kid should love, seriously.
Isn't there some better way? Can't someone just tell you which new video game system — Sony's PlayStation 3, Microsoft's Xbox 360 or Nintendo's Wii -- is the best one to buy for these tiny little stupid people who take up such a big chunk of your day that you could be spending watching 24 DVDs?
Well, don't fear, parents. CRACKED is here to let you know just which system is the best for your kid. Now you can go eat cheesecake or something with educated cosmopolitans who get into hilarious and sexy situations. You can thank us later.
The introductory price for the fully-loaded PS3 is $600, and back during the holidays people were shelling out thousands for this thing. It almost goes without saying that no child's happiness is worth that much, which may explain all the PS3s currently sitting on store shelves. Also, many of the features included in the system's price tag, like Blu-Ray disc capabilities, a filter that makes all PG-13 movies into an automatic hard R, bluetooth controller support, and an auto fellator, are not really meant for children anyway.
Microsoft's video game system actually comes in two different versions — a stripped-down $300 system and a higher-end $400 version. The difference between the two? The cheaper version of the Xbox 360 is equipped with a quarter slot that allows for 30 minutes of play for each 50 cents entered. The quarters travel through a series of tubes (sold separately) back to Microsoft's headquarters. So unless the only game you own is the critically-acclaimed, but not-very-child-friendly "A Half-Hour Chat with William F. Buckley," you'd be best to avoid.
Nintendo's console comes in at a lean $250, making it by far the most affordable system on the market. Despite early rumors that Nintendo was taking the easy road and developing a home version of the old Donkey Kong arcade game, it is fully apparent that that Japanese company has indeed developed an all-new, high-powered home console with functions previously never seen. However, to cut costs, it is made of cardboard and Elmer's glue.
Home to the Grand Theft Auto series, Sony's consoles have been derided as causing children to lash out violently against both random passersby and the Triads. No help are games like the Madden football series, which have caused countless children to crash into each other while trying to get from one end of a field to another in never-before-seen demonstrations of aggression. This new console promises even more violent influence, and is also rumored to be a smoker.
With games in its library like the Halo series and Battlefield 2, the Xbox has shown the importance of fighting for one's country or a cause. Beating up on prostitutes is a travesty, but shooting an invading alien or foreigner in the face is not only noble, it's necessary. A great teaching tool for families, the Xbox 360 will allow all young people to know how good it feels to jab someone who speaks a different language in the gut with an elaborately serrated knife and watch the blood ooze out of their abdominal cavity down to your fingernails.
We've all read the headlines about Nintendo and their so-called original characters: "Boy, 7, takes hallucinogenic mushrooms, horrifically kills turtles." "Girl in elaborate space suit, 13, murders 'space pirates' (Burger King employees) with freeze ray." "Brother and sister, age 9 and 12, eat area residents and absorb their abilities." "Local youngster wears faggy green hat and sword fights giant pig to obtain Triforce of power." Tragic.
Edge: XBOX 360
Say what you will about how Sony has aggressively marketed its PlayStation systems — the proof has been in the hours of fun that they've provided to kids everywhere, making the world safe for parents to quietly have sex behind the basement water heater. The PlayStation 3 is no exception to the rule, with a new feature called the Total Immersion Laser. It neutralizes all brain activity for the period of time the kid is in front of the console so you can be happy in the throes of coitus and your kid will be joyfully, unconsciously wasting his childhood away. It's win-win.
Microsoft has made some missteps in the development and rollout of both of its video game consoles. Playback of the DVD and HD-DVD video components of the Xbox consoles have been spotty and rumors have floated around about AC adapters that heat up to the point of melting. The newest rumor about the 360 could be its ultimate downfall. Experts have hypothesized that, if not kept out of the reach of children, the console could be lethal if swallowed. In an act of sheer hubris, Microsoft still refuses to put a warning label on the 360.
With more of a focus on gameplay and less emphasis on powerful hardware, Nintendo has taken a calculated risk with its new system. Of special interest since its introduction is the new Wii controller — a remote that can be used to control on-screen action with motion rather than operating a pad or analog stick. Parents' and teachers' groups are up in arms over this, and they make a good point: Is physical activity any way to prepare our children for their futures in thankless service work and monotonous desk jobs? Shame, Nintendo.
Edge: PLAYSTATION 3
Here's a quick tip if you're considering getting your young one an online subscription: Don't. Have you ever seen what gets said on these online games? No, I don't mean it's vulgar or morally bankrupt or anything like that. It's just stupid. It's like it's specifically designed to make you stupid. I mean, "ownzorz j00?" What is that?
You know what's especially stupid? Saying shit like "noob," "lol," and "haxxor" out loud. That garbage is stupid enough typed out on a screen. Xbox Live: Fill your ears with idiocy.
And who thought it was a good idea to sell old NES games back to you 20 years later? You know, most kids would know that you can download pretty much the entire NES catalog and an emulator for free fairly easily, that is, if the other kids in their online games hadn't filled their heads with moronic gibberish.
And so, upon thorough investigation into which video game system reigns supreme, we've come to the conclusion that…they all suck. Hmm. Well, that didn't help much at all, did it?
Hey, why not just go buy a used Dreamcast or something at a game shop for like, 25 bucks and tell your kid it's whatever system the little shit wants? Just paint it black or something. Kids are stupid, they'll believe it. That way you'll have at least like, 300 bucks to waste on internet gambling and clothes you'll never wear.
And that's what's really important when it comes to family, right?