Ask Engadget: What's the best console for a new gamer?

Most of us are so firmly entrenched in supporting our next-gen console of choice that it's hard to remember why we chose it in the first place. Or is it? Alex would like to know:

"I am interested in buying a gaming console but am stuck at which one. I've never gamed much before, so I want a consle that is well-rounded, with a good mix of games, and I do prefer a regular controller over other designs. I already have a PSP, which I use for movies, and I think it would be nice to use an Xbox 360 controller with my computer, as a replacement for my aging Flight Simulator joystick. Ability to play media over my home network would be neat, but not necessary. Price is not a major issue, but I'm not looking to invest a lot in accessories and add-ons. All the consoles have different features that appeal to me, but I am not sure which one to buy. Hope I can get some help."

Obviously the format war aftermath has a bit of weight in this decision, and the PS3's been picking up steam in other metrics as well, but he's looking for a games machine so Blu-ray alone isn't going to make the winner here, and the Xbox 360 has been on top for a while. Got any opinions? Come on, don't be shy. Oh, and if you have a question of your own for Ask Engadget, send it on in to ask at engadget dawt com. Messages that begin with "Dearest Engadget" will receive extra consideration.