I would like to start off by sating that I own the 360, PS3, PS2, Xbox, Gamecube so I have no prejudice towards any (I bought th eWii for my daughters). I recommend that you think long and hard on two critical factors that will likely decide which console to get, 1) price, since your parents are buying it they may not just pay any price, 2) what types of games do you like to play. I recommned that of the modern consoles such as the 360 and PS3 (I don't consider the Wii a modern one because other than it motion controller, which I am not a big fan of, its got nothing going for it) the 360 clearly has way more games available. Both MS and Sony make excellent games that are exclusive to their systems, so if you absolutley must play Killzone 2 or Halo 3 you must buy the PS3 or 360 respectively. Of the current crop of PS3s the 40 GB is not backward compatible at all, does not do emulation, and I canot be certain of the current 80 or 160 GB systems. If they are, I am pretty sure most PS2 games are not currently playable, but I would check Sony's web site to be sure. The 360 is backward compatible, through emulation, with better than 75% of the Xbox games. The PS2 has the largest library of games, but few new games are geing made for it, and it is very possible that this could the last year Sony continues to make them, though I guess they will actually stop by early 2010. Since you are generally a casual gamer and if you absolutley must play Mario, Zela, or Metroid Prime (the one made the Wii is supposed to be the last one though) then the obvious choice is the Wii, though be careful as the majority of games for the Wii are crap (just read the independent game magazines). Even the ones that are ported to the Wii from the PS3 and 360 are not nearly as good, and Nintendo has literally no standards for the games developer's produce for the Wii. If you think you might go online and play games then there really is only two choices, the 360 and PS3, although the 360 has the best online experience in my opinion it currently costs $50 a year and the PS3 is free (but you get what you pay for). I hope you find this formation helpful.