More That Just Fun and Games

Hannah Storm and Early Show Broadcast Manager Marci Waldman on June 12, 2007. Her birthday is today, Hannah's is tomorrow and we share the same philosophy. It's inevitable-so embrace it and have a great time!
CBS/Kate Morris
Microsoft's XBox and Nintendo's Game Cube offer more than just games.

With cutting-edge graphics, surround sound audio and unprecedented gameplay, these two video game consoles are among the season's hottest sellers. What's the difference? Resident Technologist Digital Dan Dubno breaks it down this way:

Microsoft's XBox is an amazing game system, period. It has the fastest processor, the most memory and the most mind-blowing graphics seen on a videogame system to date. At $299, thought, it's also among the most expensive. The games we tried include "Shrek," based on the animated film, and "NFL Fever," a football game. Both featured amazing graphics. The gameplay graphics in "NFL Fever" fooled many a passerby to think we were watching a real football game, snow and all. It's the best football game we've played yet. "Shrek" was a lot of fun, too, but did feature some bathroom humor and violence not intended for the same young audience that went in droves to see the film. A controller to turn the XBox into a DVD player costs $30, and is a must if this is to the the all-in-one entertainment system it has the potential to be.

Nintendo's Game Cube also features amazing graphics and sound, but in a much smaller, and dare we say, portable box. The Game Cube is downright cute in its small, boxy appearance, complete with a handle which almost begs you to take it with you. The games we played included "STAR WARS: Rogue Sqaudon," a space action game, and "Waverace: Blue Storm," a racing game set on personal watercraft. Both featured great gameplay and graphics. The "Star Wars" game challenged the first three films for its special effects and was a lot of fun to play. The original score from the film is still echoing in our ears. "Waverace" was also fun, but the graphics were a bit more along the lines of what we saw in video arcades a few years ago. At $199, Game Cube is $100 cheaper than both the XBox and Sony's Playstation 2. It can't play DVDs, but if you and your kids are in it for the games, Nintendo's rich history of games and characters have a rich new home here.

Check them both out. In the end, it's all about which games you and your children want to play. Make sure you visit your local electronics store and check out the game library for each unit. While the XBox is primarily targeted toward older teens, and the Game Cube for younger children, each has plenty to offer. While one might be better suited for your family than the other, neither is a bad choice.

Watch Dan Dubno's report on CBS News "Up To the Minute." Just click on the video icon on the right.

by Daniel Dubno