Consoles leave me spoilt for choice



monkey presents.jpgThe battles often went long into the night, with my opponent using a counter-attack strategy to trump whatever I had in my armoury. At one stage I was even close to admitting I had met my match, that the force against me was too strong.

But now, just when it looked as though defeat was inevitable, I have seized victory – my girlfriend has agreed to buy me a games console for Christmas.

It’s not that I don’t love my DSi. Many happy evenings have been spent trying to solve the puzzles on Professor Layton and the Lost Future and I will always be grateful to Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training for keeping my noggin sharp.

The lure of gaming on the big screen is just too great. Now, how to choose between the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii? My gaming future rests upon the contents of my Christmas wish list.

As a bit of a gaming petrolhead, Gran Turismo 5 is the first game to draw me to ask for a PS3. Lightly kissing the apex of a corner before hearing the rev of a Ferrari F2007’s engine as I move up the gears, that’s what I long for – and against the backdrop of the French Riviera, perhaps I can convince my girlfriend it’s a holiday?

Sweeter still when it’s your friends seeing you disappear into the horizon while they spin out of control. It’s free to play online on the PS3, so there’s no excuse for them to stay in hiding. When I’m finished showing them how it’s done on the track, I can always retire to create my own serene levels on LittleBigPlanet.

Maybe the missus won’t stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me on Call of Duty: Black Ops, but I reckon the built in Blu-Ray player will keep her sweet. The PS3 also has the BBC’s iPlayer, so I can convince her to let me finish the next mission – she can use it to catch up on EastEnders once I’ve finished.

I would be swinging with precision on Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf 11 using PS Move. The only dilemma I will face is settling for birdie or attacking the pin for an eagle.

No more sleepless nights for me. When my mind is made up, it’s made up for good.

But wait, ever the devil on my shoulder, Bill Gates is there offering temptation in the form of an Xbox 360. What’s that, Billy? Kinect means I don’t need a controller anymore? I simply gesticulate, kick and dance to play games? That’s right.

I might have embarrassed myself in PE when I was at high school, but what if Kinect Sports is my chance to become a football pro and volley my way to success? Choosing the Xbox could be the decision that catapults me to sporting glory.

I only need to make sure I draw the curtains when I play Dance Central and tear up the floor to Lady Gaga. The old “I bought it to appease the missus” line should be enough to bat away any probing questions when my mates come round. Although with a bit of Dutch courage we’ll all be jiving to Bad Romance. Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah-ah…

Kinect aside, Xbox does have a pretty fierce selection of games, it must be the one for me. I still have unfinished business with the Elites from previous versions of Halo, the daddy of all sci-fi console games. And when I complete campaign mode in the week I’ll skive off work with ‘flu-like symptoms’, I’ll be just about ready to take aim at the millions of gamers on Xbox Live.

Maybe I’m leaving some of my hardcore gaming roots, or maybe it’s just an unbelievably entertaining console, but the Wii is also on my shortlist. Nothing could be more addictive than trying to bowl the perfect game on Wii Sports... one more strike and I’ve achieved immortality in the bowling hall of fame alongside, err, not sure.

I could even convince my girlfriend that if she wants me in shape then another hour on Wii Fit Plus is in order, so better let me dominate the living room for a little while longer. Or if none of my friends can make it to my house, I’ll get my girlfriend to play and invite my dad round, we can live like the Redknapps.

Decision time is approaching fast and I get sweaty palms whenever I think about which controller fits best in my hands.

I could always let my girlfriend choose and leave it as a surprise to unwrap on Christmas morning.