I think, hands down, I’d have to go with the Nintendo Wii on this one. No contest. PS3’s are ridiculously expensive and have hardly any good games (except for Grand Theft Auto, which, of course, you can’t exactly promote within your library) and the Xbox just sort of seems to me to be the type of gaming machine that encourages long-term single player experience. Of course, you can go online and frag your pals in Call of Duty (ahem, CoD, excuse me) but it isn’t very conducive to in-person team play.
Enter Nintendo Wii. The machine is worth buying for several reasons in the library. Not only is it comparatively inexpensive, but so many of its games are designed for in-person collaborative or competitive play. Where in Xbox live you scream at people through a headset, with the Wii you interact in a way that is unusual for a video game experience. It also has an image, because of its uniqueness, that is parent friendly. When mom and dad want to go play tennis with the neighbors, how can they say no to sending the kids off to the library (of all places) to do the same?
I guess I was supposed to talk about the research aspect, and considering the pros and cons of each system a little more in this post. But it just seems to me to be a no brainer here. The cross-demographic appeal and collaborative play elements of the Wii just seem to me to trump anything else a Playstation might have to offer. And if you’re looking for that more traditional, video game-y, single player experience, there’s still just no match for Mario.