Wii vs PS3 -
Choosing the Killer Video Games Console

The Wii vs PS3 are both awesome video game consoles and in this article I'll look at the most important features of each one.

Some of these key features are very different from each other so I'll definitely be highlighting what these are. Remember that the Wii and PS3 are aimed at totally different people, so we may not be able to say that one console is better than the other.

Because the Wii vs PS3 have been designed for very different people, I won't declare which console is the winner. After reading this article though, you'll definitely know which one is the killer console for YOU!

wii console and wii mote

I'm going to compare the following features between the Wii vs PS3...

wii vs ps3


Let's go...

Wii vs PS3 – What Type of Gamer Are You? (return to list of topics)

The Wii vs PS3 have been designed to give completely different entertainment experiences.

The Wii console and the Wii's games have been specifically designed for people who have never played video games seriously before. This includes adults, female gamers, and younger children.

The Wii is a machine that thrives on quirky, simple games that bring people together. The main Wii remote controller (called a "Wii mote") is the key to these games. This controller is a real gem that immerses you in the Wii's games.

In a sword fighting game, the remote controller works like a real sword. You'll be hacking and slashing with the Wii remote to perform actions on the screen. You can read more about the Wii mote on its own dedicated page (I'll open this page in a new window so you don't lose your place here)..

In contrast, Sony's Playstation 3 (or PS3) has been created with more hard-core, experienced gamers in mind. The PS3 is a powerful machine designed to play complex games, using the latest High Definition graphics. While the Wii has a really simple pick-up-and-play remote controller aimed at newcomers, the PS3 has a complex controller with 2 joysticks, 4 buttons, 4 triggers, and a direction pad.

When comparing the Wii vs PS3, one of the most important questions to ask yourself is "what type of gamer am I...?"

If you're an occasional gamer (or haven't played video games before) and you're looking to get your friends (and family) together for a really great laugh, then the Nintendo Wii's a real winner. The games are fun, and all the features of the console are really easy to use.

The Wii also has a wide range of games, and with the Wii there's literally something for all ages and interests.

If you're a more serious gamer or you're looking to get more seriously into video games, then the PS3 might just be your console. The games are complex with engaging story lines. A lot of the PS3's games have a fairly steep learning curve for new gamers, but will keep serious and aspiring gamers challenged as their gaming skills develop.

Wii vs PS3 – What Are the Popular Games? (return to list of topics)

The coolest feature of the Wii games is that you are the star of the show. By using the Wii mote controller to perform real world actions, you feel like you're living inside the game.

The most popular games on the Wii are games that encourage family members and friends to play against each other.

Mario Kart is one of the smash hit games on the Wii. Players choose their favourite Mario characters and race against each other. Players control their cars turn by turning their remote controllers like real steering wheels, while avoiding other characters from knocking them off the track. There's even a huge range of racing tracks to choose from to keep the game fresh and exciting.

Mario Kart Wii
Mario Kart is one of the most popular games on the Wii

A lot of the most popular games on the Wii star Nintendo's famous characters like the Mario Brothers, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Donkey Kong. These smash hit games have topped the charts around the world and are only available on the Wii. You'll need to keep this in mind if you're a fan of the Mario Brothers or other Nintendo games, because you won't be able to play these on a PS3.

An important feature of the Wii, is that most of the truly classic games on the Wii console encourage players to have fun rather than winning at all costs.

Even though Nintendo has a big library of games that you can only play on the Wii, there's also a huge range of games that are available for both the PS3 and the Wii. So buying a Nintendo Wii doesn't mean you won't be able to play the same great games that are available on the PS3.

The PS3 is aimed at serious gamers. The games on the PS3 are generally more complex than the Wii and you'll need to use all the buttons on the PS3 remote controller to perform actions in the game. This means that you'll need to be comfortable using a lot of buttons at the same time.

Remember, with the Wii's games you simply move the Wii mote controllers around (although there are a few buttons to push too).

Wii vs PS3 – Can I Play My Old Games on the Wii and PS3? (return to list of topics)

The Wii has a feature that lets you play your old Nintendo Gamecube game discs on the Wii, and it's called the Wii Virtual Console. Nintendo Gamecube is the video games console that Nintendo made before the Wii.

Nintendo stopped making the Gamecube a few years ago. Because so many people owned this console and have bought a lot of games for it, though, Nintendo have created a feature that lets you play these old games on the Wii.

Nintendo have also made their old classic games available to buy as downloads from the Wii online store. These are games from every Nintendo console going back to the 16 bit era of the early 90's. You can access the store directly from your Wii console, buy the games you fancy, and download them instantly to your Wii.

Unfortunately on the PS3, you won't be able to play your old PS1 or PS2 discs.

Sony does, however, have their own Playstation online store (similar to the Wii online store), and they're starting to re-make old PS1 games to buy and download onto the PS3 console.

Wii vs PS3 – Graphics (return to list of topics)

The Wii has been designed to play games with good graphics and incredibly addictive gameplay. When it comes to comparing the graphics of the Wii vs PS3 though, the PS3 console has amazing graphics because they're in High Definition. The Wii doesn't have High Definition graphics.

High Definition, or HD as it's known, is a new technology that makes pictures look lifelike (if you own a High Definition TV). The PS3's games have all been created in HD, but the Wii's games don’t have HD graphics and there's a good reason for this...

The Wii is one of the most affordable video games consoles on the market. One of the reasons it's so affordable, is that Nintendo doesn't include expensive graphics hardware in the Wii. The aim of the Wii is to give gamers fun and hugely entertaining games at an affordable price.

The PS3's games have stunning graphics. The expensive graphics cards and computer power of the PS3 are one of its key features. Remember I said that the PS3's games often have engaging story lines, well the lifelike HD graphics are a big part of the way the PS3's games tell their story.

In many of these games, the graphics are stunning to behold and you often have to look twice to make sure it's just a game. This is part of the package that really appeals to more serious gamers as it often adds to the complexity of the gaming experience.

Metal Gear Solid PS3
The stunning High Definition graphics of the PS3

These amazing graphics though do come at a price. The PS3 console is a lot more expensive than the Wii and so is the ongoing cost of buying PS3 games.

Because the Wii doesn't emphasise graphics as a key feature of the Wii experience, the Wii console is about 30% cheaper than the PS3. The Wii's games are also around 25% cheaper than games for the PS3.

Wii vs PS3 – Internet Access (return to list of topics)

Both the Wii vs PS3 have similar internet features. Both consoles let you play games online against people from around the world without paying any extra membership fees. You can also buy and download games and other content from their online stores.

Both consoles have wireless internet capability built in as standard so you won't need to plug in any cables if you have a wireless internet router.

The Wii Menu is the Wii's home page. Every time you turn on the Wii you will start at the Menu. Think of the Wii Menu as the gateway to all of the Wii's features. A few of the areas you can go to from the Menu are the Wii online store, the Mii Channel, the Weather Forecast Channel and the News Channel.

wii online

Connecting to the internet on the Wii console is really easy. The console automatically detects your wireless internet connection. All you have to do is enter the password or code that came with your wireless internet box and the Wii will connect automatically.

The Wii has a really funky internet feature called WiiConnect24. With WiiConnect24 the Wii console is always connected to the internet, even when you turn the console off. This means you can choose to download games and other software from the Wii online store and turn the console off – and it will still download.

One of the coolest features of the Wii is the personalised characters you can create, called Miis. You can create as many Miis as you like and give them all sorts of weird and wonderful looks. Once created, you can use your Miis as characters in a lot of different Wii games.

When your Wii console is turned off, your Miis use WiiConnect24 to travel the world visiting other people's Wii consoles. Look out for other people's Miis coming to visit your console while you're playing. If you like other people's Miis you can adopt them and use them as characters in your games.

The PS3 also uses wireless internet so you don't need to connect any wires to your wireless internet router. The PS3's unique online feature is a cool online virtual world called Playstation Home.

Playstation Home is just getting going, and it works like this...

You create an online character that represents you in Sony's online virtual world. The idea is that you interact with other PS3 users from around the world using your online character.

In this virtual world, you have a virtual house and decorate it in your own personal style. You'll interact with other people by visiting their virtual houses or inviting them round to your pad.

The PS3 also has its own online store. In the store you can download free game demos and purchase old Playstation 1 games to play on the PS3. Even though you can't play old Playstation 1 discs directly on your console, Sony are re-making some of these old games to buy and download from the Playstation Store.

ps3 online store

The free game demos are a nifty little idea. The game companies put short demos on the Playstation Store for you to download and play. The demo usually lets you play one level of the real game and is a great way of trying games out before splashing out on them. The Wii online store doesn't have game demos available yet.

When it comes to the internet, the Wii vs PS3 battle is a stalemate. The Wii Online Store has a great selection of cheap games that you can buy and download directly to your console. The Wii also lets you play games online against other people from around the world, and the Mii characters are loads of great fun.

Playstation Home is starting to come together nicely. This online world should prove to be unique and exciting once it's up and running fully. A few PS3 games have struggled online with gamers complaining that they don't run smoothly, but the vast majority of games have not given any problems online.

Wii vs PS3 as a Full Entertainment System (return to list of topics)

Sony Blu Ray HD DVDThe Wii is mainly a games machine and it can't play your favourite DVD movies or music CDs. You can listen to MP3 and AAC music files on the Wii but you'll need to load them onto a SD memory card.

The Wii can also be used to show off your photos and videos by loading them onto a SD memory card and plugging the SD card into the Wii.

One of the key features of the PS3 is the home entertainment package that's built into the PS3. The PS3 comes with a built in Blu Ray High Definition DVD player. This lets you watch new Blu Ray DVDs in lifelike High Definition. You can also use the PS3 to watch normal DVDs with a slightly better picture than you'll get on a normal DVD player.

The PS3 is the cheapest Blu Ray DVD player on the market. If you're thinking of buying a Blu Ray player then think about buying a PS3 and you'll get the entire video games system included for less than the price of a stand-alone Blu Ray player.

The PS3 also plays normal music CDs and you can copy your CDs directly onto the PS3 (the same as you do with iTunes). If you already have your music in iTunes you can copy the music files from your computer onto the PS3, or plug your MP3 player into the console and listen through your TV.

The PS3 online store even has a video download service. It's the same as renting a movie for the night but instead of going to the video store or waiting for it to arrive in the post, you simply download the movie directly onto your PS3.

If you want to play games, watch High Definition movies, listen to music and cruise the internet, then the PS3 is a high quality home entertainment system.

If you have a DVD player, CD player, MP3 player and iTunes already, then remember that the PS3's entertainment features come at an extra cost. The PS3 is about 40% more expensive than the Wii and these entertainment features are a big part of that cost.

Which brings us to the next question in our comparison of the Wii vs PS3...

Wii vs PS3 – What’s the Price? (return to list of topics)

If price is important in the battle between the Wii vs PS3, then the Wii console is much cheaper than the PS3. Don't forget that after you buy your console you'll also have the ongoing cost of games.

Most of the games for the Wii are also cheaper than the PS3. The Wii doesn't use such intense graphics so the cost of making Wii games is a lot less than PS3 games.

So what is the cost of the Wii vs PS3?

In the US...

The price of the Nintendo Wii console has just been reduced, and now costs $199.99

Sony has just replaced the original PS3 console with a new version that's smaller in size and also has a bigger hard drive. The best news of all is that this new PS3 Slim console is cheaper than the original version and costs $299.99.

In the UK

The Nintendo Wii console costs £189.99 and now comes bundled together with Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort, and the new Wii MotionPlus sensor.

The new PS3 Slim console costs £249.99.

Wii vs PS3 – The Wrap Up! (return to list of topics)

Friends playing the WiiThe Wii is your console if you don't have a lot of experience with video games or if you're looking for a more casual gaming experience, and want to have a great time playing party games with your friends. The Wii is all about fun and sharing more than winning.

The Wii's remote controllers create a truly immersive experience, while using the controllers to play sports games or as real weapons really gets the old adrenaline going!

The Wii also has a great price tag, and value for money isn't even a question with the amount of fun you'll have playing it.

The PS3 is a serious games machine if you have a lot of experience playing video games or if you want to get more involved in playing video games. The games are complex with amazing graphics but they're aimed at people with a more competitive spirit.

PS3 console

The PS3 also plays Blu Ray DVDs and can store and play all your music CDs. The PS3 is more of a complete entertainment system than the Wii but this also makes it more expensive.

If you're a hard core gamer, or you want to watch High Definition Blu Ray DVDs (and listen to music while playing games or chilling with mates), then the PS3 is really good value for money.

When you're comparing the Wii vs PS3, the best advice I can give you is to buy the console that matches YOUR needs. These two consoles are so different from each other, and each one will give you a completely different experience.

If you're looking to buy either the Wii or PS3 (or both!), I always recommend buying from a retailer you can trust like Best Buy or Amazon in the US, or Play.com or Game.co.uk in the UK.

You know you'll get decent customer service and the reliability of a big retailer.

I live in the UK and I always buy my consoles and games (and I have a few!) from Play.com, Amazon UK and Game.co.uk. Play and Amazon UK have the best prices and brilliant customer service. Whenever I order from them I always get my order within a few days.

Here's a good example of why I like buying from Play.com...

When I ordered my Wii console from Play I wanted it delivered to a different address so someone could sign for it. Play called me before dispatching my Wii to confirm that it was me who placed the order. This gave me confidence that Play has good fraud protection in place.

Game.co.uk is more expensive than Play and Amazon generally but their customer service and delivery times are just as good. They do often have great deals though and I regularly buy from Game if they have something I want at a good price!

Whichever console you choose, Wii vs PS3, you won’t be sorry!

Find out all about the Wii's cool features in the Wii Console Features section.

Nintendo Wii Explained Home