Gaming Console for an Airbnb

Hi Guys,

I'm looking to add a console to an Airbnb I manage for the guests. The property is solely an Airbnb listing, no one lives at the property ongoing. It's an addition probably aimed more at entertaining the kids.

Which console do you recommend? The property has NBN via Satellite so online gaming isn't really an option. latency and data limits do limit this.

I was thinking of getting maybe 10 games to start, looking for older games to keep costs down. Which are the must haves that will be suitable for all ages? and maybe the odd obscure game that a guest may not have played before?

I'm leaning Switch, but have no idea. The last consoles I had were the Wii and the 360.

I did ponder a MAME cabinet, but the costs can add up.

Cheers

EDIT:

Thanks Guys for feedback.

Went with an Arcade Cabinet.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/240-Amusements-Arcade-Cocktail-M...

and a pool/air hockey table

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/192795935913?ul_noapp=true

and also grabbed a basketball game thing you see in the arcades (cheapie) and a dart board.

Done I reckon.

Comments

  • +8 votes

    Definitely the switch in my opinion. It's affordable, is extremely children friendly and has a plethora of quality local multiplayer games.

  • +20 votes

    aldi arcade box

  • +61 votes

    I host an Airbnb and I think the console option would be overkill. Controllers getting lost and broken and having to replace them.

    Better option may be to have an HDMI cable running out of the TV and the guest can connect their own console.

    I think having Netflix and Stan would be sufficient for a guest's entertainment needs.

    •  

      Unfortunately Stan and Netflix aren't an option. I have 70gb of peak data for the month, and say in January I have had 8 groups through. It's not a lot of data for the month.

      I do have Foxtel + Sport/Movies. but still get the comments re: Netflix. I guess I can't stop them anyway if they use their own devices.

      I get ya re: the controllers. I guess it's worth the risk to keep em happy.

    • +3 votes

      I dunno, some of the fancier airbnb places are quite nice, like little resort villas. If you can trust a thousand dollar leather chair to a stranger you can trust a switch too and it could help you get rave reviews, helping justify your premium airbnb.

    •  

      Yeah. I use my own device for Netflix when nothing is available. If there was a guestbook advising that the limit was low and asking politely for me not to use Netflix and explaining the situation I would probably not use it. So that might be a good idea.

  • +14 votes

    If cost is a consideration i would steer clear of Switch. Whilst you can find the console on some ok deals here now the games tend to be more expensive vs Xbox. Another consideration if its for AirBnB is the switch is a mobile console so way more likely to be dropped and damaged vs a stationary console like PS4 and Xbox.

    I would go for Xbox One S, you will find loads of games for around $10-$20.

    •  

      Thanks for the heads up re game costs. It is a consideration.

    • +1 vote

      Steer clear of an update box S (xbone) OP has sat internet. Modded Wii. Super cheap to replace, chuck roms on it. Alternatively super nes classic or ps3.

      • +1 vote

        Just don't connect it to the wifi then..

        •  

          If you mean the Wii, definitely not lol. If Xbone Some games require you to update software. Not so simple. Kingdom hearts 3 is patching in the prologue on day 1 so a big day one update. COD black ops 3 has a massive download for additional game content as the whole game doesn't fit on the disk. Just some examples.

          • +1 vote

            @Cheapsize: Yeah I was shocked when my neighbours kid got an xbox for Christmas, it just so happened that I was over when they tried to set it up. The game, forget now what it was, required an update, they don't have an internet connection so they were stuck. Connected it to mine and boom 27G download. For that game only. Wtf.

    •  

      Also Xbox has VLC player so any hard drive with movies on it can play through that

  • +1 vote

    The advantage of the Switch is that it is more aimed towards a family console with games suitable across all ages which is what I think you're going for. Most the decent games will cost $50+ though.
    Older Xbox and PlayStation games tend to become cheap (with exceptions) meanwhile Nintendo seems to retain its value for a long time (at least the Nintendo 1st part games).
    Adding an old console probably won't be very appealing so I don't think adding a Wii or Wii U will do (not that these are not fun, just most kids will want the newer stuff).
    I find that Xbox and Playstation cater more to the mature players but there should be some family games (Lego games, some racing, etc.)

    • +1 vote

      Thanks mate, It's the dilemma. I do like the idea of being able to find the odd cheap $10 game here and there to add to the collection. $50 a pop starts to hurt.

  • +14 votes

    no way would i be putting even an older console into an airbnb, it will get thrashed by any children and broken within 2 months. if you want to do something like this, look at a retropie

    • +4 votes

      retropie is good. i went to a party at a friends place a little while ago where they had a prebuilt retropie setup in the garage. basically an old arcade joystick panel with an rpi hidden underneath, hooked up to a tv. a few of us wanted to try it but basically got booted off by little kids who spent the whole night playing

      the novelty appeal for adults is probably higher than a modern console, and small kids seem to get into older games pretty well. and the whole thing is pretty sturdy and hard to break, steal, or lose. just one big solid panel with joysticks and buttons (if you get that type of off the shelf unit). Or you can go for one that looks more like a regular console, like an imitation SNES or something. aliexpress seems to have some interesting options, all pretty cheap

  • -3 votes

    PS4 with VR

  •  

    Why bother with console and foxtel? Save costs and don't do anything? Do you find it helps at all? Makes yours stand out?

    • +1 vote

      I think it has so far. I'm being guided by the feedback I have received since starting this at the end of December where it was suggested to add Internet, Foxtel, console, boardgames and the like. I have added those bar the console.

      The property is set on about 80 acres away from Townships. The views of the bay, the wineries and the vineyards within the property are the hook for the adults, but it does lack that entertainment factor for the kids.

      There's budget there to improve the offering, we only have about 25 days available to book now till the start May, with May and June starting to fill.

      I figure a console or arcade for winter will help keep them happy. Outdoor play equipment will likely come next, and the owner has all but given the green light to put in a 3 hole golf course (fake turf greens). The plan is to create a great getaway, not just a place to sleep.

    • +1 vote

      Gives the guest something extra to complain about.

  • +21 votes

    Wii will still own in holiday situations and is cheap. So no real loss for broken stolen etc.
    Get Mario Kart, Mario Party, Wii Sports etc

    •  

      It is an option.

      •  

        not sure if there was Sing Star style game for the Wii or Wii U. but on the PS2 it was always a huge hit amongst my 20-40 yo female friends.

        adds the extra cost of microphones though.

    •  

      This, all the bits for it are cheap as hell too now.
      To worry less about disks too, mod one and just install them directly.

  •  

    where abouts is your airBnB located?
    would it maybe be better to invest in a bunch of good board games (many can be purchased cheap from op shops) instead of a console?

    •  

      It's on the Bellarine Peninsula, Vic. I added the boardgames before the current guests arrived. I'll keep adding to that collection. I think it will help heaps.

  • +6 votes

    Yeah go for Wii U

    • +1 vote

      Wii U golf looks pretty cool

      •  

        A controller smashed into your tv screen from kids playing golf or tennis doesn't look cool tho. I reckon go for a multi game arcade box, like the sit down ones with a glass tabletop. That way parents will get some fun playing some of the retro games with the kids. Have a house 'highscores' for some challenge

        • +1 vote

          A controller smashed into your tv screen from kids playing golf or tennis

          Maybe place a notice, house rules booklet, etc , please ensure kids have wii controllers strapped to wrist at all times during play.

          I Seriously doubt this happens that much where controller would hit tv and smash tv. After all, it's not like when playing tennis, you throw the raquet across the net. Then even if controller does slip away, would have to be a freak of luck for it to happen to form a trajectory exactly into tv screen, and with enough force to crack the glass.

          I would go the wii, for cheapness of it, and very much family/kid focused gaming. Ps4 and xbox one are really focused on adult and older teen gamers, so child friendly content is very very limited.

          also not ps4 or xbox one require hefty data usage, game downloads, game updates
          Also note OP, xbox one wont even let you use the console, without the forced most recent update. Its annoying asf, as I rarely game, and when I turn xbox one on after a couple of weeks, I then cannot simply play it straight away where I left off, it absolutely refuses to let owners use almost all features, without internet connection and latest update (whether you want the update or not). So scratch the xbox one entirely from being an option.

          •  

            @DisabledUser271064: Re the Xbox One I don't think that is true at all. I take my Xbox one on holiday regularly to places that have no internet and it has always worked perfectly for a big library of games.

            Do you have your xbox not set as your home xbox?

            •  

              @dave999:

              Do you have your xbox not set as your home xbox?

              Yes

              that have no internet and it has always worked perfectly

              Maybe this is the key, not connecting online at all, then it presumably doesn't know there is an update, and thus doesn't force the update ultimatum. Ie. I probably have my hotspot on most of the time (on old unlimited data phone plan) and I'm getting message , telling me basically update now, or no don't update but network features etc wont work. Then I choose no, and it practically stops me from doing anything. Maybe I can watch a bluray, everything else is blocked.

              •  

                @DisabledUser271064: I'm sure if you never update the Xbox eventually it won't be compatible with respect to the networking features. I've never got to that point. If you want to play online then obviously you will have to keep it updated (to a point).

                You can of course update it from a USB stick, download it onto a USB on a computer that has good internet access and just plug it in to the Xbox and go from there.

    •  

      Yeah get the Wii U deal that EB do every once in a while and hack it, get a few wii controllers, job done.

  •  

    I'd probably go for something cheap like Wii or Wii U. Lot of great party/family games, and it isnt mobile like the switch so less likely to be broken.

  • +9 votes

    Unless you're intending to purchase some of the latest games (less than 12-18 months old) then there's no real reason to buy a latest generation console. You'd get a lot more out of buying a 360/Wii/PS3 and getting a whole raft of games alongside them for a fraction of the cost. After all, there are still plenty of great games on each of those systems and then you have the generic ones like racing and sports titles which will play almost exactly the same as the current releases, in reality.

    Alternatively, you could go the retro route with the NES/SNES/PS1 Classic releases, or an old console with an EverDrive (can get them for NES, SNES, N64, MD). These are old without being "old" in the same way that 1 generation old consoles are.
    And this is before considering the potential for theft of controllers, games, or even the console itself. Based on that alone, I wouldn't consider a latest generation console unless you were the one greeting guests and regularly checking in on the place to ensure nothing has gone 'missing'.

    Realistically, AirBnb would mostly be used for people on holiday or on business trips. There would be a few other smaller use cases, but I'd be surprised if these aren't the top two. Whilst I understand where you're coming from (and think it's a good idea) people on holiday or on business trips would not be spending a great deal of time in the room, so even a 'crappy' console would be more than enough to kill relatively small amounts of time.

  • +3 votes

    For the price of a switch you can buy a very good air hockey or foozeball table

  •  

    Ok if I was to say go the Xbox 360 route. I do have 2 consoles at home. They have both been JTAG'd ages ago. Can all of that be removed and put back to stock?

    Likewise a Wii that was modded. I think they are kicking around in boxes in the shed.

  • +1 vote

    Wii - cheap, popular so lots of used games and accessories, widely known, family/kid friendly.

    Just stay away from games that require too much moving around, otherwise your TV might end up with a hole in it.

  • +2 votes

    Pandora Box? (https://www.amazon.com/Pandoras-Console-Arcade-Classic-Games...)
    Over 1,000 games built-in, so no game discs or cartridges to go missing. ;)

    • +1 vote

      ^^^ Was going to say this.

      I don't have one but they look to be pretty bomb-proof, likely to be solid state (no mechanical hdd?) and could be built into a customised coffee table in the lounge room. It would take an axe to break it.

      I can't see a name console lasting too long. They're easy to break when mistreated, modded/ hacked console may "hiccup" and need fixing, some need batteries, media/ controllers go missing, updates, etc, etc.

      Try;
      https://www.tomtop.com/p-f1911us-2020.html

  •  

    You said board games - go with that.

    They cheaper to replace if something goes wrong.

    •  

      I used wii, is actually only about same price (or slightly more) as monopoly. Once 1 of monopoly property cards is lost, need to replace whole game I think really (unless they sell individual properties etc these days) .
      Also, original wii can easily be hacked to play backup of games. I'm not 100% sure on the legality, but certainly ethically, if you own the game, no issue with playing it installed on hdd rather than from disc (providing you own disc and have rights to play on disc) . Maybe include the game covers up high where kids cannot reach, in case any guests question why there are backup games on wii, you can show that you actually bought and own rights of use, to all games on the system. And just installed on HDD to avoid discs being lost/damaged/stolen.

  • +3 votes

    Any one of the mini consoles? NES/SNES/PS2 mini etc. All games are on-board, and will invoke the "hey kids, look what Dad used to play" kinda stuff.

    Controllers can be had off ebay etc, maybe even leave the genuine controllers at your house and leave aftermarket ones at the AirBNB? Controllers are wired, so no need to replace batteries. Just get an extension cord off ebay.

    And $100 or less purchase price, not bad if it goes missing or gets destroyed.

  •  

    Switch or Wii

    • +1 vote

      Switch would almost certainly get taken from house, even if just when the family go out for the day, kids would take it to use in car. Even unintentionally, likely to accidentally get left in family car.
      Idk if there is an easy way to secure the unit with some lock or something, so it cannot be moved from location.

  •  

    Apple TV isn't a bad choice. Just load a bunch of games.

  • +5 votes

    I've just pulled the trigger on a tabletop arcade machine. Thanks for the 10% coupon ebay

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/240-Amusements-Arcade-Cocktail-M...

    • +1 vote

      What are the odds that, after you test it out, it ‘mysteriously’ never makes it to the AirBnB? Looks awesome

    •  

      Good option. Consoles & controllers would just get broken too easily.

    •  

      Looks rad.

    •  

      Nice man yeah that should definitely brighten up the place and gaming area and provide nice entertainment for all ages kids and maybe even the adults haha wanting to relive some old childhood memories. Good luck on the place man.

      A console would really only work for young kids and gamers who really only probably stay at home anyway haha lol jokes.

  • +2 votes

    As others have said, SNES Classic for sure.

  • +2 votes

    Good decision going for the arcade machine, consoles/controllers and guests do not mix. Pinball machine would have worked as well since they're so tough but the noise would drive the parents crazy! Later on if you have some outdoor space you could get one of those full size multiple game tables, pool/air-hockey/ping-pong, easily less than 1k and everything is very cheaply replaceable.

  •  

    I'd say get a cheap second hand Xbox One. Don't want to spend too much or someone may get…excitingly tempted. (if you know what I mean)

  • -1 vote

    Switch or Wii U or Wii is really bad advice.
    Touch screens that are easy to get damaged and switch joy cons are easy to become lost and the buttons are not very durable. Over enthusiastic people or those who do not sue wrist straps could accidentally throw Wii controllers.

    Cheap Ps4 or Xbone would be a better choice.
    Then load up some cheap digital games when they go on sale.
    No worries about lost, damaged or stolen discs that way.

  • +1 vote

    Yeah I think console would have ongoing issues.

    With the Arcade Cabinet I bought earlier

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/240-Amusements-Arcade-Cocktail-M...

    I have just bought a pool/air hockey table

    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/192795935913?ul_noapp=true

    This should keep them more that satisfied.

    Thanks again everyone. If you every need a getaway message me, I'll look after you in true Ozbargain fashion.

  •  

    Xbox One as it has RetroArch coming:

    https://www.resetera.com/threads/retroarch-coming-to-xbox-on...

    It requires developer account which is cheap or possibly free here:

    https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/430254

  •  

    Dont get a switch. They are too expensive and probably the easiest console to break as it will invite the kids to take it out of the dock. If you do ger one expect kids dropping it, scratching the screen up and breaking the controllers by not taking them off properly. Maybe it would be good for responsible adults/teenagers but for kids you are better off buying a Wii U, Wii or 360 as if its for kids they probably wont care too much.

  •  

    Xbox 360 or PS3. I'd go with a PS3 because of all the exclusives, but each to their own. Grab 2 controllers and a game bundle from Facebook or gumtree and you're set.

  •  

    I would steer away from xbox1 or ps4 as the console and game updates will drain the life out of your download. The 360 with kinect offers many games that get kids (and adults) moving with little controller usage.

  • -3 votes

    Get the Switch, mario kart and jackbox party pack 3. Secure it with this and get an extra pair of joycon and the steering wheel accessories. Trust me, the Switch is the 'hot new' thing. If you want none of your guests to use the console, then get a wii/ps3/xb360

    •  

      Far too easy to break. Plus accessories and controllers could get stolen as people know they are expensive.

  •  

    PS4 and XBOX 1 (S & X models) have Bluray, which I think is a good addition for an air bnb. Can pick up some bluray movies pretty cheap

  •  

    So can I rent your property and is it dog friendly ?

  • +1 vote

    What about something like this?
    It would definitely be robust enough, there'd be plenty of games for kids and adults.
    https://www.ebay.com.au/i/113343703085?chn=ps

  • +1 vote

    raspberry pi b+ with a healthy amount of roms, very easy to setup. otherwise NES/SNES classic with the controller extensions is probably more than enough

    •  

      I'd seriously consider this option. For easiest setup, grab one of the bundles that includes a case, power supply, compatible controllers, pre-flashed SD card etc. Should run you about $100.

      Download some ROMs for classic games like Super Mario Bros etc (basically anything from the older Nintendo or PS1 catalogues). Set up the Pi with power permanently on, in a locked draw with the cables for the controllers running out through a gap or hole (zip-tie them down so they can't be pulled free). The RetroPi interface is really simple and can be navigated by just the controllers.

      It's cheap enough hardware that there's not a huge risk of it being stolen (especially if you can lock it away), and if it is pinched, you aren't too far out of pocket. For controllers you can just use cheap generic USB gamepads, or second-hand Xbox controllers. The classic SNES and N64/PS1 games are simple enough to just pick up and play, yet long and engaging enough to keep kids entertained.

  •  

    Raspberry Pi

    A Nintendo Wii will need to be hacked and also need an external drive plugged in. If the external drive is left plugged in when the Wii is on standby, it will slowly wear the drive out.

    Switch joycons are notorious for developing worn out joysticks.

  •  

    NES/SNES Mini.

  •  

    Oops comment removed coz I put a link in from eBay.

    Pandora's box 6s. Google that in eBay. Basically it's a retro arcade box you plug power and HDMI into and it's got two arcade sticks built in, and heaps of games included.

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