I would actually recommend gamecube because, they are more aimed at children like Mario and Pikmin but have some great mature games (Metroid prime and Resident evil [dont let the kid see that one]) and cheap too.
Out of Ps2 or Xbox i'd say Ps2 its easier to use the controllers and there are more younger games (eg. Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and clank, etc.)
Agree with ebackhus, altough if your son is adament on buying a console, I advise the PS2, it has a educational games, although they are hard to find. It is simplistic and fun, unlike the Xbox. And it wont leave him asking for a PS2 if you had bought him the gamecube.
It is the best console for edutainment but your son won't see it that way when all his friends are rushing out to buy PS2 or Xbox new releases!
If you want educational yet entertaining, then the computer is probably the best choice. If it has to be a console game, then I would choose the PS2, however, it is coming towards it's "end of life cycle" with the PS3 just around the corner (keep in mind that the PS3 will be able to play PS2 and PS1 games).
Thanks for that guys. All interesting points, especially as you all seem to understand the 'cool' factor that even 8 yr olds have these days. just wish he'd settle for the PC, but consoles seem to be the thing. I guess my next question would be what games could you recommend for an 8 year old on a console?
Well, the games all have ESRB rating symbols placed on the game and box. *Real parents* notice these, and others just don't care what their kids play. I'm not sure what is "hip" to 8 year olds these days, but I think it is easier to tell what he shouldn't be playing.
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