Console gaming online comparison
Console gaming network comparison

Unsure which broadband gaming network will be the best? Trying to decide which console you should invest in getting hooked up to the net for online play? Let our in-depth guide help you avoid some of the biggest pitfalls, and give you a guiding hand to making the right choice.

Xbox
Xbox communicator

Broadband only

Network adapter built-in

Available now

PS2
PlayStation 2 network adapter

Broadband only

Requires hardware adapter

Available June 11th

Gamecube
Gamecube broadband adapter

Broadband and narrowband

Requires hardware adapter

Available now

Xbox Live
Microsoft's Xbox Live is a broadband only service, meaning you'll need either an ADSL or Cable internet connection. The disadvantage of this in the UK is that only 66% of the population is currently covered by Broadband, and if you're not in an area which has ADSL or Cable then you simply won't be able to hook up your Xbox to the online gaming network (unless you're able to take it to work and connect via the office network).

Xbox has a built in network adapter, so there's no need to purchase add-on hardware, although you do need to buy an Xbox Live Starter Kit which comes with the voice communicator headset, 12 months subscription to the service, and two demo online games.

PS2 Network Gaming
The PlayStation 2 online service will only be available to Broadband users in the UK (Sony launched a narrowband modem for the USA but found that the service wasn't good enough on slow connections, and decided against it for the UK). As the PS2 isn't fitted with any form of network adapter, you'll need to buy the PS2 Network Adapter, which plugs in to the expansion bay on the back of the machine.

Sony have completed open beta testing of the service in Europe, and it will launch in the UK on June 11th, with the Network Adapter retailing for 24.99, with special bundles also planned.

Gamecube online
Gamecube's online offering allows either narrowband users to connect with a Gamecube Modem, or broadband users to connect using the Broadband Adapter.

Nintendo's online service is available in the UK now, and simply requires you to purchase an adapter which plugs in to a slot on the console, and have an online enabled game, such as Phantasy Star Online.

GamesPaper listed on NewsNow.co.uk

GamesPaper headlines on NewsNow - news feeds updated every 5 minutes

Our headlines are listed on NewsNow's Computer Gaming feed - updated every 5 minutes, 24 hours a day...

Inspiring new desktops from Dell

Mass market PC manufacturer Dell have launched a series of new Inspiron desktop machines to compliment their existing Dimension and XPS ranges, with a choice of Intel Core2Duo and AMD 64 X2 processors, 4GB of RAM, 1TB of storage and new Nvidia Direct X 10 graphics cards, making them an ideal choice for gamers.

Gamers made aware of memory importance

The amount of memory in your computer could be crucial to enjoyment of the latest games titles, which can benefit from new high-performance Ballistix RAM.

It's suggested that most PC owners could at least double their computers memory, in many cases giving even old PC's a new lease of life or new powerful PC's their true full potential. Find out here how much and which RAM your computer needs.

Speed boost for British gamers

Internet service providers across the UK have been increasing connection speeds rapidly over the past few months, with new higher speed 8Mbps products from BT Total Broadband and PlusNet with packages starting at 9.99.

The new faster speeds are already being offered in some parts of the country, where operator UK Online are providing a Home 22Mbps service over selected BT telephone lines in major urban areas.

Meanwhile gamers living in Telewest and NTL cabled areas can now receive up to 10Mbps download speeds on the top consumer package.


More GamesPaper: News Reviews Previews Features Downloads