Which console now provides the most value?

Now that the Wii is cheaper, every major console has a reduced price. But which of those systems provides the most value? We give you the data.

With the announcement late Wednesday that Nintendo has dropped the price of its Wii console to $199.99, effective Sunday, all three companies in the video game space have reduced the price of their consoles. Now, the Xbox 360 Elite is available for $299.99 . Microsoft's Xbox 360 Arcade is offered for $199.99. And the PlayStation 3 sports a $299.99 price tag .

But price shouldn't be the only consideration when determining your video game purchase. When all's said and done, value is important.

That's why I've compiled a list outlining the cost of the consoles, important peripherals gamers might want to buy, and some additional features that users might care about. I won't tally the full cost, since every gamer is different. I also won't determine the real value of a respective console--that's your job.

Let's take a look.

Microsoft Xbox 360

Console: Xbox 360 Elite

Price: $299.99. A $50 rebate is available through October 5 .

Cost of extra wireless controller: $49.99

Cost of online gaming: $49.99 with Xbox Live Gold membership

Wi-Fi connection (optional): $99.99. Free with Ethernet

Storage: 120GB built-in

HD movie playback? Not built-in, but possible through Xbox Live

Motion gaming? Not yet. Natal is the future.

Typical new game cost: $59.99

Standout exclusives: Fable II, Halo series, Gears of War 2

Standout online features: Huge online-gaming community, exclusive Netflix streaming, downloadable game and entertainment content



Console: Xbox 360 Arcade

Price: $199.99

Cost of extra wireless controller: $49.99

Cost of online gaming: $49.99 with Xbox Live Gold membership

Wi-Fi connection (optional): $99.99. Free with Ethernet.

Storage: 256MB internal memory. 60GB hard drive with a three-month Xbox Live membership, headset, and Ethernet cable for $99.99.

HD movie playback? Not built-in

Motion gaming? Not yet

Standout exclusives: Fable II, Halo series, Gears of War 2

Standout online features: Huge online-gaming community, exclusive Netflix streaming, downloadable game and entertainment content

Nintendo Wii

Price: $199.99 (starting on Sunday)

Cost of extra wireless controller: $39.99. $19.99 for Nunchuck. $19.99 for Wii MotionPlus.

Cost of online gaming: Free

Wi-Fi connection (optional): Built-in

Storage: 512MB internal Flash memory built-in

HD movie playback? No

Motion gaming? Yes

Typical new game cost: $49.99

Standout exclusives: Super Mario Galaxy, Wii Fit, Mario Kart Wii

Standout online features: Free online gaming, downloadable classic games, Web browsing

Sony PlayStation 3

Price: $299.99

Cost of extra wireless controller: $54.99

Cost of online gaming: Free

Wi-Fi connection (optional): Built-in

Storage: 120GB built-in

HD movie playback? Yes

Motion gaming? Somewhat. New motion controller to be available in spring 2010 .

Typical new game cost: $59.99

Standout exclusives: Killzone 2, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Resistance 2

Standout online features: Free online gaming, downloadable game and entertainment content

So there you have it, a breakdown of the many costs and features that go along with each newly priced console on the market. Which console provides the most value? Let us know in the comments below.

Check out Don's Facebook profile, Twitter stream, and FriendFeed.

Updated at 11:19 a.m. PDT to add Xbox Live video feature.

 

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