Jumping to the top spot on my Best Value list is Nintendo’s Wii (pronounced “wee”) console. The enthusiastic reception of the Wii has translated into excellent sales, and that in turn means plenty of games now, and for the future. The Wii replaces the GameCube in Nintendo’s lineup, and is backwards compatible with GameCube titles. The physical unit is much smaller than either the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, but it lacks the ability to play DVD movies, so you could not replace your existing DVD player with this console.
The reason that I have the Wii jumping up two slots from its position on the Best of the Best list to claim the top spot on the Best Value list has less to do with the console itself, and more to do with who will use it (although the fact that the Wii is priced well below consoles from Sony and Microsoft certainly doesn’t hurt its value rating). It’s unique blend of active, movement-based control system and games like Wii Sports, which are immediately fun with no learning curve, results in a video game system that the entire family will use. Mom and Dad will jump in and play tennis with the kids, Grandpa will warm up to some friendly bowling competition, and who DOESN’T want to see Uncle Fred’s imaginary golf swing with only a Wiimote clutched in his hands? Nintendo hasn’t made just a video console for the rest of us; they’ve made a video game system for ALL of us, and it deserves the top spot on my Best Value list.