Video Games Weekly: Video Games 101: Coming this Fall! What you need to know about the newest consoles
This year is a big year for video games. Pokemon Go is sweeping the nation, and there is new hardware being released for the Big 3 consoles: Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo within the next 12 months. Many libraries are still circulating older console games for Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii, and justifiably so since many patrons have yet to make the jump. So, what does all this new hardware mean for libraries?
Nintendo Miniature NES
Release Date: November 11, 2016
What’s New: This cute little system is preloaded with 30 classic NES games. This is AWESOME for gamers who want a throwback experience, or show teens how difficult video games used to be back in the day. It’ll come with its own NES-like controller, but it can also hook up to your Wii/Wii U remotes.
Games: Games will come preloaded on the system, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing extra games for a circulating collection.
Should librarians buy it for programs?: Absolutely. This is going to be a gem for library gaming programs, that is, if you don’t already have a Raspberry Pi. You can justify spending $60 because it will be used program after program, and will also have crossover appeal for all ages. Adults, especially Millennials, will play for the sake of nostalgia. Teens will like it because it’s new content, and these games are really hard. Heck, even kids will want to attempt to beat The Legend of Zelda even though there is no hope for them!
Release Date: October 13, 2016
Price: Launch bundle is priced at $499
What’s New: The PlayStation VR is strictly used for virtual reality games. You’re not paying for a whole new console, instead you’re paying just for the headset. You also already have to have the PS4 and PS4 Camera, which is sold separately.
Virtual reality games are pretty controversial in the gaming community. Some predict VR is the “future of gaming”, but VR has many obstacles to overcome before it becomes a staple in the gaming world. That being said, I’m really excited for VR gaming because it is a whole new way to get immersed in a fictional universe (as long as you don’t get motion sickness).
Games: There will be new games released solely for PlayStation VR. They already have Star Wars Battlefront ready to go, as well as 50 other titles. However, I do not believe libraries should start buying these games for circulating collections quite yet. It’s hard to say whether or not the PlayStation VR will be a success, and even then the people who will be purchasing the headset can probably afford to buy the games for themselves. Keep your ear to the ground for any of your patrons expressing interest.
Should librarians buy it for programs?: If librarians are looking to purchase a VR headset, it is not the worst but it’s not the best either. However, it is one of the cheaper VR headsets in the market that is also of decent quality. I would recommend checking out this list of VR headsets and corresponding reviews to learn more about VR before purchasing it. Personally, if my library had infinite money I would buy the HTC Vive, but that’s just me.
Release Date: August 2nd, 2016
Price: Ranging from $299-$399 (depends on the size of the hard drive)
What’s New: A lot more storage (you can get up to 2TB when you pre-order), a slimmer design, displays in 4K Ultra HD (basically, really fancy pants graphics) and a better wireless controller. Xbox gamers need all that extra space because when you want to play a game, the entire game gets downloaded to the game system. I know plenty of gamers who have purchased an external hard drive just to save their Xbox games!
Games: Xbox One games will be compatible for the Xbox One S. You will not have to order separate games for this console.
Should librarians buy it for programs?: I’m going to say no. Xbox One S’s main feature is the storage and the 4K Ultra HD experience, but how many libraries have a 4K Ultra HD TV? I’m guessing not that many. If you need extra storage, you can always purchase an external hard drive rather than buying a whole new system.
Xbox One is on sale though!: In lieu of the Xbox One S getting released soon, Xbox One console bundles are priced at around $275. If you want to upgrade your library program consoles, now is a good time to do it since many companies are trying to empty their stock!
Questions? Comments? Tweet them at me!
By: Alanna Graves
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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