Son Wants to Switch Video Game System

Updated on April 02, 2014
C.T. asks from Red River, NM
21 answers

We held out for a long time and did not have a video game system despite years of begging from our son. Finally when he was 8 and a half we were given a used Wii, and our son was super excited for a while to play Kirby's Return to Dreamland and Skylanders. His birthday is coming up (he's turning 10) and all he wants and is begging for is to sell the Wii and buy a used xbox 360. He begs and begs and begs. He plays on this at his friend's house and he wants to play Minecraft on it with his friend. He likes the controls better. He likes the games better (you always want what you don't have, right?) He is making lists. He is researching what we would make selling all the used Wii stuff. He is researching the cost of a used xbox. He talks about it nonstop morning to night. It's an obsession. Have any of you switched your video game system? We have all these Wii daughter has her favorite zoo animal game...we have all these controllers and the yoga pad and all these Skylander figures and all this stuff! It seems crazy to me to just sell everything and switch. I think he should ask for something different for his birthday. His dad sees no big issue in switching. I feel bad for our daughter who "loves" her baby animals on her zoo game (which honestly she never plays). Would you consider doing this for your kid's birthday?

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So What Happened?

I'm so glad I asked this question. I'm learning. Julie S. thanks for telling me about that device! I had no idea. Well, keep the answers coming. Thanks :)

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answers from Anchorage on

We did not switch, we added. Like you, we had a bunch of games and stuff for the Wii, but the boys wanted to play other games that were not compatible with the Wii, so we got them an Xbox and we have them both hooked up. They love playing games like Minecraft, GTA, and Call of Duty on the Xbox and also still enjoy the Mario games and the Skylander games they play on Wii. I did not see the need to make it a "one or the other" type of situation.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Or you could just have both. Really, the Wii gets old for the older kids. My son prefers the PS3, but he would have a PS4 or an Xbox in a heartbeat as well. He's a teen. They can play interactively with their friends (who are at their own houses).

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Houston on

Sounds like he deserves that Xbox.

I love that you aren't dropping everything to buy him something new. I love that he is learning to sell and save. This makes me want to encourage you to buy him one now!

As far as switching, even if you do get an Xbox it won't end with just Minecraft. Since he knows how to research things, chances are he's going to find other games on the cheap and want them too. Are you/he ready for that?

In a quasi-perfect world, I would keep the Wii for you and your daughter, and get him the Xbox under the condition he'll have to pay for any new games, and promises to still play the Wii with his kid sister from time to time :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Your daughter absolutely should not be told "We're selling the Wii so your brother can have what HE wants." No way.

If it's a gift, either get it or don't; he does seem to have done some good research, which is to his credit, but tell him that selliing the Wii must not be part of his calculations. It would be utterly unfair to his sister.

If it's not going to be a gift, make him earn the money.

But don't sit there feeling bad for your daughter. Don't sell the Wii. And make very clear to your son that if keeping the Wii means it takes longer for him to get his Xbox, he must not ever say one word of complaint to you or to his sister or the Xbox might not happen at all. If he so much as grumps, "If Sally weren't playing her dumb kid games on the Wii I could sell it" I'd come down on him for that.

And be sure if he does get his Xbox that you set up, in advance, a schedule of "screen time" for each week and weekend. He sounds so determined to have his toy that he might end up spending too much time on it. I'd limit it to weekends and to only a certain number of hours each weekend day. Do a firm schedule up front before he gets it -- not after you discover he's sneaking to play for hours on school days. Be clear that violating the schedule means he loses the Xbox for a substantial time, every time.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I might end up being in the minority, but yes, I would, especially if he's agreeable to getting a used Xbox. However, I wouldn't sell the used Wii and all of the games. You probably can't get that much for them so I would just keep them for your daughter. The Wii does generally appeal to younger kids. We held out until our kids were 12 and 9 to get any kind of gaming system, but for most of the last 5 years we've had two systems--the Wii for our younger son (and me) who prefers the Wii games and a PS3 for our older son who likes the sports games. We do not allow M-rated games such as Call of Duty or Grand Theft auto, although our oldest is now 17.

I think it shows maturity and realistic expectations that he's doing cost research and is willing to get a used system. Maybe this can be his one big gift or it can be in lieu of a party if he usually has a party. Limit him to one game to start or put other games on a wish list for relatives or future gifts. Does he have some money of his own he can contribute? It is very normal for boys, especially as they get older, to either want a PlayStation or an Xbox because the games are different and it sounds like your son is being responsible and reasonable in his request.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

We traded in our Wii, all of the games and got our son an Xbox.
With boys, it's ALL about Xbox.
So....yeah....I would!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Richland on

Why on earth would you switch systems? Not cost effective and unnecessary.

We still have the SNES from our oldest, Genesis, Game Cube, Wii, WiiU and the Xbox 360. We just add over the years.

They make switches that are fairly cheap that switches to which ever game you want to use without changing the connections if you run out of ports on the monitor.

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answers from Tampa on

I'm impressed that he's doing his research and that he's asking for a used 360. I think most boys his age would probably be asking for the "latest and greatest" and beg for a new Xbox One.

If the Wii belongs to both kids, I think it's unfair to ask your daughter to give it up for her brother's birthday. If she honestly never plays it, she should at least get some of the proceeds from selling it. If she does play on it, I would just keep the Wii for her and make the 360 a gift for your son...IF you're ok with him having a gaming system.

That being said, if he wants to play online with friends, he'll also have to have an Xbox live membership/subscription. And I'm sure he'll want more games. There were always be new games and the new "trendy" game to play. You'll have to figure out where you draw the line at "new" things...

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answers from Boston on

Absolutely make the switch. The Wii is very outdated, is for little kids, and you can't get good new games for it. You won't get much for it by selling it, so keep it and buy a used XBox 360 if that's the system your son and his friends are into (we're a PlayStation family but really, they're both good). That way they'll both be able to play their old games as they build up a new collection on the new system.

All of the good sports games are not available on Wii and haven't been for years. You will find a much better selection of games for him and the XBox should get you through a few more years before it's time to consider another upgrade. We're usually one generation behind so that we can buy used...meaning we have a used PS3 and will keep that until it dies and at that point, there will be some used PS4s on the market and we'd consider moving up.

They just put MineCraft on PS3 and honestly? There's no comparison between that an playing it on an iPad. It's much better on a console. Your son knows what he's talking about...make the switch!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Switch systems. It's not a big deal. Most game stores usually have a trade in program, but I would check with a local video game store because they usually give a better trade in value for your stuff. If you have a Hastings in your area, they are a good place to start. We are a gaming family. There are five active gaming systems in our house, and at least a dozen vintage systems from the Atari to the Nintendo Game Boy SP. I like the Xbox for the demos. Before I buy a game, we check out the demo first, to make sure it is appropriate and enjoyable.

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answers from Rochester on

In my house, we just add new systems. You won't make anything selling a used Wii - maybe 20 dollars! And the accessories - go ahead and check what Amazon offers as a trade in. You'll be shocked - it's not worth it.

But then again, all that is beside the point - what other responders have said is absolutely right. You have ANOTHER child that uses that toy. How could you even think of selling it? "Sorry, child one, I'm selling the family toy so your brother can have something that has ZERO games for girls."

Personally, we stick with Nintendo because it's more family friendly. I've been with Nintendo since it's introduction of the NES, which I STILL have. I don't think the Wii is for babies, contrary to apparent popular belief (I am cringing, honestly - my husband plays plenty of games on our Wii. Shop online for your games - there are plenty!)

The Minecraft is a fad. Do you want to spend the money on a fad? Go ahead - totally your choice. If it were me, I'd have your son help to earn the money - perhaps you can match him as part of his gift - to see if he really is invested in doing it. It's too easy for him to sell his sister toy to buy his own, and frankly, a bit ridiculous. If he has to earn a part of it, you'll truly know whether he really, really wants it - selling the old Wii isnt earning it. ;)

For Christmas, I got my oldest the 2DS. The DSiXL got handed down to the youngest, who had JUST figured out how to play and enjoy it. I would never have thought of trading up.

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answers from Dallas on

I would switch. The Wii appeals to younger kids while the Xbox is liked by the older ones. Minecraft is alot of fun. Just know that you will have to have an Xbox Live account and will have to have internet access to the Xbox in order to play. Once you do, he can go online with his friends to play Minecraft. Also - Xbox gives away 2 free games a month - 1 the 1st - 15th and 1 the 16th - end of the month. You just have to download them. Some games of course are not appropriate for your sons age but others might be.

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answers from Chicago on

Heck no I wouldn't switch systems! We have a Wii that my kids broke, but I'm not replacing it until they're older to properly care for it, even though they've been asking me to get them an xbox. I told them I won't buy anything else because they have all Wii games and they cost too much money. When they're old enough they can get jobs and buy their own video game systems. What we've provided for them is more than sufficient for their needs.

If your son wants one, let him earn the money to buy one. If he doesn't have formal chores, now would be a great time to set that up so that he can earn his luxury items.

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answers from Seattle on

If he's putting that much effort into it, I would seriously consider it. ALL the skylander's figures should work with the XBOX or Wii, you'd just need to get a new portal that is compatible with the console.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

We have a Wii and an Xbox 360 Kinnect. Both get used. We have had the Wii a lot longer, but the kids use both. Honestly, they use the Xbox way more often and they prefer the Kinnect.

I would not trade one for the other. Since your daugther really likes and uses the Wii, keep it. They aren't insanely expensive, so go ahead and get the other one. You don't need more than a game or two to start.

So yes, I would do this for my kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

You don't need to have just one. We don't switch consoles, we add them. Like Julie, we have current and older consoles accumulated over time.

I would keep the Wii for sure because there are games for it that I like that are not available on any other platforms. Our original Wii died and we replaced it with a WiiU.

We don't have Xbox, we have Ps3. Both consoles get used by my teen sons on a regular basis, but Minecraft is something they play on their computers.

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answers from Washington DC on

We made the switch from the Wii to the WiiU at Christmas. We can still use all the old Wii games and buy all the cool new WiiU stuff. He loves it! Maybe this could be an option for you?

Otherwise, he has done his homework on the new system and researching selling the old stuff. Might be a good idea to follow through. But trust me--his wishes will change with what the friends are into and what their parents buy them. My 11 year old went through the big Minecraft stage at that age with his friends, but he did it on computer. It lasted a year tops and now he is on to other games.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

My son is 10, almost 11, and has been lobbying to upgrade to a Wii U, which wouldn't be so bad since we already have a Wii and could reuse the games, but still it costs $$. I am not a big fan of jumping on every new technology when the existing one is just fine. My son wants Minecraft so bad too. Unfortunately, our Nooks do not offer it and I refuse to get it on my phone as he would take that over to play. So, what to do? He was saving to buy Minecraft on our desktop, but after playing a free trial for a bit, he is not that into it. It is more fun(and different) to play on a tablet or Xbox, which his friends have. The computer is harder to control.
Buying an Xbox, to me is out. Too expensive. I would rather wait until he is older and can pay for some games himself. I also feel a lot of the Xbox games are for an older crowd.
I would consider upgrading my son's Nook to a newer one that has Minecraft capabilities. We saw one at Target the other day for $129.
I guess my advice would be if he wants it that bad, he can save his money or use Bday money to pay for most of it. I feel my son should be happy with what he has and for the most part he is. He gets that things are expensive and we don't get everything we want. But it is hard when that is all they talk about and do all the research. My son is the same way. He HAD to have that Skylanders SwapForce for Xmas and he played it a few times and now it just sits there.
I know Gamestop has trade in plans. You can trade in your old game system for a new one. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

If he's that obsessed, it is wise to replace or add on another system?
It might be ok for him to get bored with what he has so he can get over it to a degree.
Playing with it on a friends system might be enough without bringing it into your house.
Is he going to be playing it morning, noon and night to the exclusion of all else?
We don't have any gaming systems.
Our son plays a few installed games on his laptop.
Both me and Dad work with computers and we just could not see encouraging him to spend his childhood in front of a screen when he could be running outside, playing with the neighbors dog and getting some fresh air and sunshine.
Now that he's in high school he spends plenty of time on the computer for school work and that's only going to increase as he goes to college and then when he's on the job.
He's got his whole life to sit in front of a screen.
We didn't see any particular need for him to begin doing that before he was 15.
For his last birthday our son wanted a compound bow and we got him a nice one (Mission Riot) and he enjoys spending time at the range target shooting.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Is the Wii his? If it is why is he letting little sister play on it? I'd say if he changes the Wii becomes little sisters. Period.

He shouldn't get to manage what she does.

If it's a gift for his birthday he shouldn't have to raise money to buy it. Sorry, it's a gift or he is buying it for himself.

Minecraft is fun, he can play it on a smart phone though or a tablet. Those are the items he'll want next, maybe skip the xbox and go straight to the next one so you aren't going through this again in a few months.

Wii is a thing of the past, he won't get much for it. Wii U is the more current version. No thanks. The kids really want tablets and stuff like that. They will last until they're adults if they take care of them. They can even use a tablet in college instead of a laptop.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Well, I was right in there with your son, given all the research and stuff he is doing, until you talked about your daughter having things on the WII that she loves. Now I'm not so sure.

Does your son have anything else of value that he could sell to pitch in on the xbox? Can some of the Wii accessories be sold separately? It just seems kind of wrong to let him soley make the choice to switch when other people in the family will be effected.

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