So you’re talking about purchasing a console for video gameplay and you want to know what’s the cheapest. If you’ve done some preliminary work, then you’ll know that although there are only a few big players in this business, making a choice is pretty hard. All of them seem pretty good and they all have somewhat ambiguous model names which make it difficult to say the difference even across the brands. Why does the Xbox One S vary from the Xbox One X? So then what about the PS4 and the Xbox One? Were there any games that only work on some consoles, and not others? If you were going to buy the ultimate gaming console, which one would be?
I can’t even tell you what the best gaming console is, because nothing like that is best. However, I will tell you about various reasons which are the best and then you can choose the one that suits your needs.
Another thing I can tell you is, there isn’t a bad console among the major players. At least none so horrific, that they are lightyears ahead of the others. It all comes down to what counts most for you. So, when you read this article, I want you to note that. All the latest gaming consoles on the market fit very well into certain positions. Many of them perform more positions than others, while some have taken on a specific niche in work. Yet that niche is still sufficiently significant to make the gaming console a viable option, even if it lags in other areas. You will choose at the end of the day what console matches your preferences.
I can’t tell you about your favorites! But I can list which consoles do what good for you. I’m going to list them from the best to the not-so-best (I don’t want to say the worst-they ‘re all pretty good as I mentioned). If you want to know more about each of them, then you can read their in-depth reviews below. If you want to find out more about gaming consoles in general, you can read the more in-depth buyer’s guide that comes at the end.
Best Video Game Consoles – Quick Ranking
Last updated on 2020-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Gaming Consoles 2020 – Reviews
1. Sony PlayStation 4 Pro – Best Overall
Sony has also done some interior work, too. The AMD processor’s 8 Jaguar cores are now clocked at 2.1GHz, rather than 1.6GHz. RAM storage stays the same with 8 GB of GDDR5 but the regular PS4 now runs up to 218GB / s to 176GB / s. At 1 TB the hard drive has 500 gigabytes more than the regular edition. Also, there is a more efficient 802.11ac Wi-Fi antenna and a Bluetooth 4.0 receiver/transmitter.
As for the controller on the PS4 Pro, several improvements have been noticed from the predecessor but it is still a dual shock 4 controller at its core. So tell you which player you are, the touchpad has a light bar, and the buttons feel much lighter and more sensitive. Even the transition between Bluetooth and wired mode in the controller is seamless.
The PS4’s output is good enough to note the difference on other screens, whether you play VR games or have a 4 K TV. The process of data transfer from an earlier PS4 is simple because all you need to do is hook it up with an Ethernet cable. But it can be a slow operation.
That said, the improved computing power of this console increases table-wide performance including HDR, 4 K, and VR games, which expand every year. That can come in a variety of ways to boost efficiency. Whether you play games at 30fps with 4 K resolution, or you have more polished textures, or you can play a 1080p game at a higher fps.
Those with 1080p resolution TV screens will not be able to experience the enhancements planned for 4 K TV owners, but in their favorite games, they may experience improved frame rates. Those with 4 K TV will see the greatest benefits by far, including older games played in native or upscaled 4 K with HDR.
The VR experience the PS4 Pro is expected to boost, too. We run smoother on this console and games with enabled PS4 Pro Mode look better and get faster frame rates.
2. Xbox One S – The Best Gaming Console for Multimedia
The Xbox One S is an engineering achievement that wows whoever wants to check it out. It manages to bring a powerful power supply and a 2 TB hard drive into a shell that is as heavy as its ancestor, the Xbox One, at most as 40 percent. The only sad part is that we may never know exactly how Microsoft did that.
This also has a great deal to do with rearranging the pieces inside and making the entire console more tightly packed but still more reliably cooled for better airflow. It may also involve using the elves of Santa, and a touch of magic.
As for the exterior style, the console also has a significant improvement over its predecessor. Metal buttons replaced capacitive for turning the console on and ejecting game disks, and the USB 3.0 ports were shifted to the console’s front side. Sadly, the Kinect port from its predecessor is lacking-if you want to use it, you would need to buy a separate adapter.
Generally, the console is only available in white so you don’t get a lot of variety there. And there aren’t many style choices at first blush. However, they also have limited edition consoles that coincide with game releases in various color schemes. You can also have a 3rd party skin mounted on your Xbox, and you can customize controllers through the Xbox Design Lab software from Microsoft.
Microsoft said the Xbox One S chip is similar to the Xbox One chip that followed it. The disc drive, though, is Ultra HD Blu-ray capable of 4 K and HDR. With Ultra HD televisions, the Xbox One S does very well, but we wouldn’t put it on the same level as the PS4 Pro. It is capable of 4 K resolution, either updating games for you or unloading the mission onto your TV.
This also loads content much quicker, and at higher resolution, than the Xbox One, which was slower when working with standard resolutions. If you use your gaming console to watch services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, and YouTube, you’ll be glad to learn that each of these services has a 4 K version running on the Xbox One S.
They look much better when it comes to games than they do on the Xbox One since they’re just upscaled on the One S. This console will run your favorite titles easily, guaranteeing a great experience. Yet something important to remember is that Microsoft has no intention of making any exclusives for the Xbox One S.
The controller in Xbox One S is almost the same as the controller in Xbox One. This does support Bluetooth natively, however, and is the first Microsoft controller to have this feature. That means you can use it not only on your console but also on your Laptop. The One S controller also has a textured grip which makes it easier to hold on long stretches, unlike the Xbox controller.
It also has a more efficient wireless antenna allowing you to sit further away from the Screen than you do from the Xbox One. This comes in several different color variations and some very unique, limited designs such as the Cyberpunk 2077 edition.
Older Xbox One controllers will operate on this console as well, which is perfect for those used to it. I would have preferred only rechargeable batteries on this new device.
3. Nintendo Switch – Best Hybrid Gaming Console
Look at the Nintendo Switch and you can know at the same time that it is trying to do several things. Nintendo is trying to do something new, close to what they did before. These are after all the same guys who gave us 3D without 3D glasses on the Nintendo 3DS, motion-controlled gaming on the Wii, and now a hybrid console on the Switch.
Understandably, as you set out to trailblaze like that, there will be very high hopes and risks. The Nintendo Switch met its target, however, and over the years the sales have taken on a substantial uptake.
You’ll notice when you purchase the Nintendo Switch kit:
- A Stand
- Two Detachable Joy-Con controllers
- A grip that helps you to merge them into one gamepad for TV play
- Two straps that transform the Joy-Cons into single controllers
- A dock that can be used to connect your console to a typical gaming TV
There are plenty of products, and they all come with outstanding build efficiency and ergonomics. Not only is the entire system novel but it also has a huge cool factor.
The handheld mode is somewhat similar to the PlayStation Vita, with its analog buttons. Yet the resolution of the screen is much higher, at 720p. This is probably the highest quality I’ve seen on a handheld screen yet.
We have quite a lot of versatility built into the Joy-Cons themselves. The right hand has the A, B, X, and Y buttons that Nintendo has been using since its SNES days and an analog stick that is very oddly positioned. There is also a start button which has the form of a plus.
On the left-hand side, we have a minus button, which is the pick button, a sharing button, an analog finger, a d-pad, and 2 shoulder buttons.
Console mode allows the device to dock so it can be connected to your TV. The console simply moves the viewing from the handheld screen to the TV screen quite smoothly without you even having to pause your game.
The Nintendo controllers are jacks of all trades themselves. We have plenty of different setups, but not all of them are more comfortable. My biggest niggle with these was the very poorly positioned right analog stick that requires some finger acrobatics for successful operation.
Every year, the library on the Switch, comparable in size and popularity to those on the PlayStation and Xbox, continues to expand. In reality, it is perhaps the most expansive compared to what Nintendo has provided for previous consoles. You get amazing exclusives, such as Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening, Super Mario Odyssey, or Animal Crossing: New Horizons, as well as great indie titles, like Stardew Valley.
The Switch’s big downside is that it’s not nearly as strong as either the Xbox or PlayStation. It won’t help to play the 4 K game. The handheld will give you 720p and will give you a max resolution of 1080p when attaching it to the Screen. So if you’re not especially looking for the new visual specs on the market, this is good enough.
Another problem with the Switch is that not so many third party games are available for it. Yes, among others, it has The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt and Doom, but most of these have already been available on the other platforms for some time.
There is the Nintendo Labo, in terms of VR but it’s more of peripheral cardboard than a full-fledged VR headset.
Overall, the Switch is a fantastic portability and usability console, even if you don’t necessarily need power or the current range of the most popular games. If you’re familiar with exclusive Nintendo and Indie titles, this will be an all right console for you.
4. Nintendo Switch Lite – Best for Portable Play
The biggest difference between the Switch Lite and her twin, the Nintendo, is that it is only possible to play the Nintendo Lite in handheld mode. You can not connect it with the TV for use. As a consequence, it’s lighter and more compact than the switch. It comes with a smaller screen of 5.5 inches compared to the 6.2-inch screen of the Switch but maintains the same display of 720p.
A direct consequence of this greater compactness is that the Nintendo Switch Lite looks like a handheld a lot more relaxed than the Original. Especially if you have small hands this is crucial. That said, I still think the 3DS, which isn’t as big as either the Switch or the Switch Lite, is the most comfortable handheld Nintendo system.
Even the controls are set on the Switch Lite. There are no joyful-cons with this device. The Joy-Cons were portable on the turn, and you could dock them to a central hub for television use. The controllers are set in place here. I’d call them set Joy-Cons, except that they don’t have all the controls the Joy-Cons had. There is a D-Pad instead of the directional buttons which I prefer, to be honest. Operating feels more normal.
The Switch and Switch Lite allow both Bluetooth and Wireless connectivity, although I must point out that you are still unable to connect wireless headphones to these. They also require external storage via MicroSD. Therefore the internal 32 GB capacity can be easily expanded.
The Switch and the Switch Lite very very little in terms of output. The only important difference I’ve encountered is that the change has a slightly better battery capacity, doesn’t have the switch’s HD Rumble feature, and lacks an IR Motion Camera. Even on the Switch Lite, you can’t play games designed exclusively for TV. It only works in handheld mode with games that support it.
Alright, perhaps I need to take that back
Legally speaking, if you purchase Joy-Cons individually (plus their charging grip), you can play a game that just doesn’t endorse a portable function. You will also have the chance to use HD Rumble. Although it does mean spending more money and I’m not sure if using the Joy-Cons in TV mode with a screen as low as that of the Switch Lite will be as easy. This sounds like a little stretch as compared to buying the Switch.
5. ASUS ROG Phone 2 – Best Android Gaming Device
That’s perfect; it’s a phone which is also a console for games. The interest is in the specifications, like making an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus processor arrive with the ROG 2. Eventually, it can hit just shy of 3 GHz processing speed, ensuring that this phone can play games on a budget much better than some mid-level gaming rigs!
Yet there is plenty of other hardware that allows this phone worth your time in gaming. It comes, for example, with a whopping 12 gigs of LPDDR4X RAM packed into such a compact frame that it can still fit in certain wallets. All this RAM guarantees quick response times and the fast loading of current games. The 1 TB of storage included ensures that you can also have numerous games installed simultaneously.
Add to all of that a 6.6-inch monitor that can project at a resolution of 120 Hz at 2340 anywhere 1080, and you have a nice piece of gaming hardware on your side. It also includes a response time of 1 ms, so in many of your favorite games, you’ll be able to play competitively without struggling compared to those on conventional consoles.
We like playing a multitude of top-tier games on this gaming machine, too. There are more than 100 games available at 120 FPS including some modern classics such as Minecraft, Temple Run 2, and more. It’s a bit disappointing that most royal titles like Fortnite are locked up to 60 FPS, so they can’t take advantage of all that this phone has to offer.
The ROG 2 uses several vents as a piece of gaming equipment to keep the interior cool while the equipment works to provide a spectacular viewing experience. A 6000 mAh battery offers enough power for around two days of use and you’ll need to charge even though you are factoring in the refresh rate at 120 Hz.
Thanks to the side charging slot, recharging this gaming phone is pretty easy, and there is an extra USB-C charging port at the lower part, along with a headphone jack. Other ports have included a dual Nano-SIM card slot, plus the device’s right-hand volume and power buttons. Undoubtedly it’s surprisingly straightforward to use the phone.
Also, the ROG 2 arrives with a rugged “aero” case which can increase the thermal transfer despite sacrificing the device’s overall integrity. Since it comes with buying, after the fact, you don’t need to waste any time taking up a special package.
Along with all the superb gaming-focused features, this still comes with a surprisingly decent double camera. Based on what you’re using the rear or front lenses, the camera can take 48 or 24 MP images and is compatible with most GSM networks, including some staples such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and more.
Ultimately, the ROG 2 is a small gaming PC that you can hold in your pocket for a fairly heavy demanding price. If you can tolerate the cost, it is a great way to experience a more mobile gameplay experience without compromising too much graphics or performance processing.
6. Microsoft Xbox One X – Best for Gaming addicts
The Xbox One X revolves around strength. Unless you just want the cutting edge of technology in terms of gaming consoles available on the market, it’s hard to outdo the One X. It’s going to be overshadowed by the upcoming Microsoft Series X planned for later this year, but the One X remains the king for now.
With the Xbox One X, the true win is about how much raw strength it holds. It works with an 8-core CPU with a 12 GB GDDR5 RAM processor clocked to 2.3GHz. It also delivers 6 GPU power teraflops through a 1172MHz (clocked speed) GPU. That is some serious computing power for a gaming console, but it’s all for good reason because it’s all about making 4 K HDR native gaming.
The hardware department’s only weakness is the HDD which is stuck at 1 TB of storage capacity. 4 K games are heavy, and so the HDD tends to fill up pretty soon. The Xbox One X performs very well, owing to its immense strength. All the games look a lot better, whether 4 K or even 1080p.
In reality, the Xbox One X does supersample to boost the images for 1080p games. Supersampling operates by pushing the game to display in 4 K as if it were linked to a 4 K Screen, resulting in around four times the amount of information you’d get at a 1080p resolution. Now, of course, not all of these data can be viewed on a 1080p screen, but the specifics are still better than they would otherwise have been.
As a consequence, the photos look clearer and less jagged. Not all will enjoy this feature but it will attract people who care about quality.
Xbox One X’s immense strength is unleashed on a 4 K HDR screen, and you’ll see the complete glory of performance from the original 4 K HDR titles.
Even the Xbox One X increases frame rates. Only the strongest consoles fail to reach 60fps and sometimes slip to or below 55. The Xbox One X has far fewer of those drops and provides a more consistent average frame rate.
In terms of style, the One X is identical to the One S. I would personally assume the only distinction between the two is the color model and the disk tray placement. Another distinction, although this one isn’t a noticeable difference, is that the disk tray on the One X will handle 4 K Blu-ray disks.
7. PlayStation 4 Slim – Best Starter Console
The Slim PS4 is an outstanding console for example. Most of the exclusives available on the PS4 Pro can be found here. If you wouldn’t want to fork extra dollars for all of a PS4 Pro’s performance, though, then this is an attractive substitute. The regular PS4 will work with a decent 30FPS and 1080p resolution for most games.
The fact is that such specifications are strong enough for the majority of people to enjoy their favorite games, and even the most tech-savvy customers will yearn for something better. I’d say the PS4 Slim is a 1080p console at best, and just can’t go any further. In terms of energy efficiency, the one key position I would say beats the PS4 Pro.
Sony estimates that up to 28 percent of this console uses less power than the PS4 Pro. I couldn’t check it, but I can tell the fan on the PS4 Pro wasn’t as loud as the one. Fan noise is a clear indication of how much fuel a machine uses since an overworked machine absorbs more air to refresh itself. That said, I always thought the disk drive was very noisy, whether I was downloading a game or simply playing a Blu-ray.
This console is identical to the PS4 Pro just about anywhere else. The UI appears a little more sensitive, but I’m not sure it’s such a huge change you’ll notice the difference. On the PS4 Slim, the network output seems as good as the PS4 Pro. That is comprehensible.
This relies heavily on network capacity, given how many streaming services are integrated into this console like a game download store and online gaming. The PS4 Slim features a 5GHz link at 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac combined with an Ethernet port. It is an upgrade compared to older PS4s which had just a 2.4GHz connection. Sharing videos and photos from gameplay on the PS4 Slim is also super simple.
You can save up to 15 minutes of gameplay with a dedicated ‘Share’ button on the controller, which you can then save to a hard drive or upload to Sony’s PSN network or YouTube and Facebook. Keep the Sharing button and take a screenshot. The PS4 Slim also supports live streaming on Twitch, but you will need to make sure that you have a quick internet connection to make this possible.
8. SNES Classic – Best for Classic Game Lovers
To Nintendo fans nostalgic about the 16-bit age of gaming consoles and games, the SNES Classic is a perfect pick. Those were the times when great titles such as Earthbound, Super Metroid, and Zelda’s Legend: A Connection to the Past were released, all of which earned a reputation as some of the greatest games ever produced.
The console looks very similar to the NES Mini in terms of design, right down to the power and reset buttons located at the top of the screen. To complete the retro look, there is even a fake ‘Eject’ ring. On the front are fake controller buttons, which you’d need to cut to get behind them at the actual ones. This seemed like a smart idea for the developers, but when you’re using the console it contributes to a cluttered look because it looks less well put along than any of its predecessors.
Although at 56 inches the controller cords are relatively short, the controllers themselves feel very secure in the pocket. Although the buttons on the Nintendo Switch might not feel as clicky as those, they are accessible and sensitive. You can also plug controllers into your Wii or Wii U via a WiiMote, and play games that are not in the SNES Mini.
Another excellent thing is that now the SNES Mini Classic arrives with 2 controllers in the package, which means you can play console games without needing to purchase an additional controller individually.
On SNES Classic the user interface is the same as the original. You can choose from a list of games sorted by the number of players, name, developer, release date, or even how recently the games have been played, by scrolling left or right.
The games are outstanding emulations from the originals as they come with a smoothing algorithm that allows the pixels to look less rough than the actual. However, you can opt for a full picture emulation or a CRT filter that emulates old CRT screens if you wish.
There are just 20 games in the game library, not everyone would be pleased with that. That said, there are plenty of rumors that the SNES is as hackable as the original, meaning you may be able to expand your game range if you want to. Yet all this is inofficial.
Thankfully, several of the games already mentioned, like Super Metroid, Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Final Fantasy III, and Super Mario World, are quite good.
The game’s most notable addition, however, is Star Fox 2. The game has never been published before, until now. It was supposed to be a sequel to the original but canceled at the last minute. It just isn’t convenient. To unlock it you will have to complete a bit of the original Star Fox. Yet I guarantee you will love it once you do. Of course, I did.!
9. Google Stadia – Best for Online Gamers – Great Streaming Platform
Google Stadia is alluding to two things. First is Google’s game-playing service and the second is the shop where you’ll buy the games you’re playing. You’ll be able to hold all of your titles, but you’ll probably still pay full price for those titles. Google Stadia’s biggest selling point is that games can be played from anywhere on any computer, as long as you have a good enough internet connection.
So you can play games on different devices like Smart TVs, PCs, and Chromecast. If your internet connection is low, graphical fidelity can be reduced to make the game more playable. There is also a production lab for developers who want to build app exclusives.
Google Stadia has a proprietary controller that can attach directly to Wi-Fi, but it can also function with controllers from third parties, like DualShock 4 and Xbox controllers. Nonetheless, the proprietary controller is very handy, because it allows you access to the platform’s unique social features.
This game system ensures a quick link to the internet, but not so fast as to be impractical. 10Mbps is appropriate for regular gaming whereas 4 K HDR games need a minimum of 35Mbps. Some other aspect you want is a Stadia Pro subscription. Google aims to allow you to play games that you have already downloaded without charging for the subscription.
You have to pay the monthly subscription, for now, to enjoy 4 K HDR games though. It provides you with a couple of free games and a discount on others. That being said, this is not a buffet in Netflix format. The exact structure is not yet well defined, but that doesn’t mean that you will only be able to play any game you want because you have the subscription.
This platform is a little mixed when it comes to selecting a game. There are nice things like Mortal Kombat 11 and Red Dead Redemption 2, and some other games that are at best mildly interesting. That said, with more exciting games coming to the platform, including several fantastic exclusives, the range is expected to expand rapidly as the year continues.
Google Stadia is an interesting idea because, like many other industries, Google is attempting to bring streaming, games, and social media to one location and move gaming to the cloud. It is still in its infancy but it is the kind of thing that has tremendous potential.
10. Apple iPad Pro 11 – Best iOS Gaming Device
The Apple iPad Pro 11 can be a great choice for many of your favorite games if you’re in the mood for a mobile gaming platform. For example, it sports an 11-inch liquid retina screen, offering higher pixel rates per inch than other LCDs. That indicates that you literally cannot see individual pixels with your naked eye; in other words, games look fantastic on the screen of this device.
Other technological enhancements, such as ProMotion and True Tone improvements, make the show truly captivating, able to project a wide variety of colors and information no matter what you want to play or view. It is also incredibly bright (though, when appropriate, it can be turned down for eye comfort).
It is also a pretty quick tablet particularly in comparison to many PCs. It showcases an A12Z Bionic Chip and the ability to process octa-core, allowing it to outperform many spending plan gaming rigs. As a consequence, games like Fortnite, Civilization VI, and more are a good choice.
Upon recharging, it is powered by a battery with plenty of juice for up to 10 hours of use. It also features 4 speakers on its perimeter to allow you to blow your best sports with reasonably good-sounding audio. 5 studio-quality microphones ensure that the onboard speakers will not hinder your gaming experience or force you to use headphones.
Obviously, and beyond all the advantages of gaming, this tablet comes with many features that make it a flexible tool for other digital requirements. For example, it features a spectacular 7MP TrueDepth camera for truly phenomenal shots.
The camera features 12/10MP front and back lenses and a LiDAR scanner for improved light collection and saturation, respectively. Typical Apple tablet system add-ons, such as Apple Pay features, and Face ID options for safe unlocking are also included. Thanks to these inclusions, you can use this as your staple tablet as well as a gaming tool.
You may also connect can accessories, such as Apple Pencils, a Magic Keyboard, and more. A USB-C interface port can be used to charge various accessories and attach them to the main computer.
Overall, due to its outstanding internal hardware and usability, it is a great all-around tablet and a good gaming platform. Although it is not quite as high-powered or ideal as a dedicated gaming Machine for graphics-focused activities, it is a nice middle ground if you’d like something more compact for household entertainment.
Gaming Console Buyer’s Guide
Let’s start with a fundamental question: what is a video game console?
The machines made it possible to play games on your television when the idea of a gaming console began, even though televisions had no inherent gaming capabilities. You will attach the gaming console to the TV and then play games using console-compatible controls or after-market controllers. Many games were integrated into the gaming console, but most of the time you could purchase game cartridges and later DVDs and other storage media that would allow you to extend your games collection. So long as the game is consistent with the console you can play it. There were also portable gaming consoles you could take around and play games on, rather than waiting until you got home and sit in front of the TV.
Gaming consoles are progressing well beyond that today. With them, you can stream video enabling your friends to watch your game in real play online. You can also capture and share your games with friends. Gaming consoles can obey voice recognition, have formed-in browsers for browsing the web, enable streaming services such as YouTube and Netflix to be used, and many other things.
We have also the next generation of gaming to play: Google Stadia, which does not require game consoles or large and costly PCs. Through logging into the platform and using its powerful computing capabilities to process the new and most resource-intensive games you will be able to do all of this.
Another thing to ask before you purchase a gaming console is: Who’s it for?
You may bet your money that each of the consoles mentioned in this review will offer you a unique experience. We all have strengths that make them ideally suited for certain playing styles. It’s not just about worrying about what the edge is for the player you’re purchasing the console for, even though it’s you. You must also remember whether the player plans to use the console for gaming. Some people purchase only game consoles but others do choose to use them as a digital tool to watch movies or download Netflix.
All modern appliances switch from specialization to generalizability. For instance, over the years, your phone has become more able to do the things your laptop or desktop computer is capable of doing. The same relates to your smartwatch, your smart TV, and, obviously, your games console. They are a true multimedia center, with the new generation. One may also argue that we are moving towards a future where not only storage capacities but much of the computing capacity, even at the retail level, is transferred to the cloud, and we will all bring a single computer in which we do all, jumping from platform to platform when we want to perform specialized tasks.
Nonetheless, we’ll think about that some other day more. Let’s just point out for now that our gaming consoles have evolved to be capable of much more than just gambling.
Where was I from? Yeah, right: From whom do you buy the console?
Only one more thing to remember here: some people may want conventional gaming with traditional controls while others may want movement control or even VR controls. Only think about it when you are choosing a console for games.
Another thing that you should remember is the risk of paying more than the game console’s purchase price. The reality is consoled themselves don’t do too much directly out of the box. You’ll need to buy them to play games, which normally cost at least $50. When you choose to play online and have access to extra functionality on the console, normally there is a subscription fee payable. You will also need to buy more controllers if you want to play with your mates. By doing these things, you’ll drastically cut down on your options and have a smaller pool of consoles to choose from.
So now we’ve got it out of the way, let’s focus on the game consoles themselves. The business is, to be frank, something of an oligopoly. There are a few big players controlling something like 70-80 percent of the market, and then the rest are battling over crumbs pretty much. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
On the one side, there’s so much rivalry between the major players on the market that price shoots up every year and you’re sure to get a decent console if you’re buying from either of those big players. On the other side who knows what innovative new products and innovations we’d have in the industry if more brands were competing for the top spot.
I can’t tell you a lot about what we could lack, but I can tell you a lot about what we have and much of it is about comparing the top 3 manufacturers of gaming consoles:
Those 3 brands together hold the majority of the market share. As a result, they are going to monitor the guidance of this buyer pretty much too. There are a couple of different gaming consoles, but the detail about them is brief enough that I’ve included it in their analysis. As for the buyer’s guide segment, let’s look at and compare the 3 biggest brands.
We’re in the 8th generation of gaming consoles, and the year’s buzzwords are “4 K” and “VR.” We do have the hybrid console, which can both be portable and wired to a TV. In several years now we had Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. There have been updates since that period, but there’s been a general feeling that its period for a revision. For the PS 5 and the Xbox Series X coming out later in 2020, both overhauls will arrive this year. I can’t wait to see what is in store for these controllers. The Nintendo Switch has carved a niche out for itself in other reporting. Although it doesn’t hold a candle to its key competitors’ graphic capabilities, it has made considerable strides in the retail industry.
What I want us to look at is how these big brands compare one another based on certain factors.
The anchor price appears to be about $300 for gaming consoles. Many of the base models of the major consumer products, including the Nintendo Switch (despite its poor graphics) hang around there. That said, if you want to reap the full benefits of 4 K gaming you’ll have to pay extra. That’s an additional $100 to $200, depending on whether you update a PS4 or an Xbox One. Improved VR experience and 4 K gameplay would cost an additional $100 for the PS4, which would bring your initial sum to $400. 4 K gaming would cost $200 extra for the Xbox One, taking the initial amount to $500. And all this is before taking into account the extras I listed earlier, such as online gaming, extra controllers, streaming services, etc. There’s a split between Xbox and Playstation 4 for most of these, and both will cost you a couple of hundred dollars more, depending on what kind of update you are having.
You need to have decent controls so you can enjoy the gaming experience. In this respect, the PS4 and the Xbox have done well, even with some well-designed gamepads. Both work pretty well, and how one functions better than the other has more to do with a little bit of ergonomics and esthetics than it does with functionality.
The Xbox One controller is an Xbox 360 controller progression. The key changes are that each of the trigger buttons has its input while the pad as a whole has far more curves.
A great aspect of the Xbox One controller is its compatibility with PCs and outstanding Bluetooth connectivity. It is anticipated given that both Windows and the Xbox are owned by Microsoft. The Xbox Design Lab also provides a fantastic facility, where you can develop your own Xbox One controller. You can select your custom patterns and colors and get an Xbox Controller which looks like no other. You don’t get the Sony operation.
As for the PS4 controller, the DualShock 4, a far greater overhaul seems to be taking place. It’s certainly based on the Playstation 3 controller but it works much harder to distinguish itself, retaining just the better elements of the DualShock 3 while doing away with all the worst. The trigger buttons will respond more quickly, the analog sticks will be more comfortable and the controller will fit comfortably in your pocket. It has a center touchpad, which can be helpful, and a built-in speaker that certainly upsets the cool factor.
If you consider the Nintendo Switch things get even more interesting. You can use it at home as a gaming console and as a portable device, too. If used as a home console, the Joy-Con controllers can either be snapped on the sides while handheld or linked wirelessly.
Such controls feel very natural in the pocket, although I wouldn’t say the direction buttons are as sensitive as those on the controllers on Xbox One or PS4.
That said, the hardware is just something else in the Joy-Con controllers. They have a special Nintendo figures (Amiibo) NFC reader, an infrared camera and a great rumble sound. You do have the option of either connecting them like a standard gamepad to each other or using them separately, with a Joy-Con in each hand, giving you a lot more flexibility while gaming. For the DualShock 4 and Xbox One controllers, you don’t get the option to keep half a controller in each hand separately.
Another unique feature of the Nintendo Switch is that you can use controllers from third parties. You can also use the Joy-Cons, the Switch Pro, or Hori and 8Bitdo gamepads. You will not only use the flexible Joy-Cons but also the Switch Combo. That feels more like Xbox One, and third-party controllers of high quality.
There’s no specific support for third-party controllers with the PS4 and Xbox One. There are a couple of wired choices, as well as Evil Controllers and SCUF goods, but you can expect to pay a pretty penny for them.
You can’t compare too much between different game consoles. For starters, they all have various architectures and different operating systems. There is also no benchmarking of any kind that is consistent across all gaming consoles. This makes the comparison of their hardware components rather difficult. Yet we can compare one thing reasonably well, and that is the graphics of the gaming device.
The Xbox One and PS4 are rated on about the same in terms of graphics capabilities and game output. Others can run better on one than the other when it comes to individual games, but the variations aren’t so large that most people can note.
What occurred is sony and Microsoft both released 4K-enabled editions of the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro right in the middle of the 8th generation. These models were both HDR (High Dynamic Range) and 4 K capable as well as much more efficient than their predecessors
Something to remember here is that while these consoles are capable of 4 K, it doesn’t mean that every game you play will be in 4K. That’s a problem with individual games, not the console or the 4 K TV. What usually happens is that the game’s rendered resolution is in the UHD range somewhere (between 1080p and 4 K). Instead, the game machine up-converts resolution to 4 K before it is sent to your Pc.
There’s not much to say about the Nintendo Switch’s raw power, which comes in here behind its rivals. Note the turn is more of a laptop compared to a giant console. As a consequence, it obviously cannot be as strong as this. But it has a great form factor. You get 720p when you play this as a handheld. The total resolution is 1080p when you attach it to the Lcd. This also has a lower frame rate than its stronger rivals, too. You won’t get too many handhelds with a 720p resolution, however, and the frame rate on TV is decent enough for most purposes.
The biggest developers of games, such as Activision and EA, also produce cross-platform games, which are games that you play on several platforms. However, some games are unique to a particular console. If you have an eye on a particular game, test if it is cross-platform or exclusive.
Whether it’s an exclusive game and you don’t have the right console, you’ll have to make a difficult choice on whether or not purchasing a whole console is worth it just to play one game. Playstation games appear to only be available on the PS4, while Microsoft games appear to only be available on the Xbox One.
There’s a bit of a bonus here, which is that you can enjoy Xbox exclusives on your Windows PC thanks to the launch of Windows 10 on certain updates from Microsoft. PS4 exclusives can only be found on the PS4. It brings an edge to Sony but not to its clients. Exclusive games make it more complicated for the player, and only the console manufacturer and game publishers profit.
Unless we were to contrast the extra features, on the Playstation side the range appears to be higher, with games such as Death Stranding, God of War, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Gran Turismo Sport, and Bloodbourne. Microsoft, of course, still has a few amazing games like Gears 5, Halo 5: Guardians, or Forza Horizon 4. The final call is an entirely individual matter of taste.
Although we’re talking about the exclusives, Nintendo almost seems to do nothing else. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey are two of their series’ best. Pokemon Sword & Pokemon Shield, Luigi’s Mansion 3, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate there are other fantastic names. There are lots of wonderful games available on Nintendo only. The biggest trade-off here is that you’re not having too many AAA titles, like Call of Duty. It looks like it could change, though, as several big games, including Doom from Bethesda and The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt from CD Projekt Red, have been porting to Nintendo.
Another place where Nintendo Switch shines is its fantastic support to third-party developers in general, and especially to indie developers. The reality that you really can play games on TV and mobile has helped you to reimagine loads of smaller and older titles that used to only work on TV. Games like Dark Souls, Okami, both Bayonettas, and Katamari Damacy are all classic games that have been remade to take full advantage of the Switch. Great indie titles have also come up, including Hollow Knight, Dead Cells, Stardew Valley, and Night in the Woods. Although the Nintendo Switch has only been available for a few years, the selection is amazing.
Only the PS4 and Xbox One S will use online streaming sites such as Netflix and play Blue-ray films. You get a bit more with the Xbox One S, as it can watch Blu-ray in Ultra HD and has integration with television as well. There’s a pass-through HDMI which enables you to run your satellite or cable box through the console. You might want to have a Kinect to easily control it or buy a third party infrared blaster.
For the HDMI pass-through, the Xbox One system contains live television from your cable provider. A third party USB tuner lets you watch TV on the radio. The Snap function helps to break down the screen so you can play a game or browse on one half and watch TV on another. The OneGuide program guide tells you what’s available on Machinima and Hulu Plus when watching live TV, giving you plenty of control over it. Unfortunately, the PS4 cannot support Blue-Ray ultra HD.
Nintendo offers just about as little variety. You can access Hulu only, and there is no music streaming services.
You may need to link your console to the internet if you want to watch Netflix, or even play games online. While Xbox One uses Xbox Live, the PS4 links you with the PlayStation Network. To play your favorite games online you’ll need a payment plan for both. For the PlayStation Network which is the PS Plus plan, whereas the Xbox has the Xbox Live Gold plan. Microsoft has the Xbox Game Pass, which includes the Xbox Live Gold and allows you to play more than 100 Xbox One and Xbox 360 titles, including biggest hits like Red Dead Redemption 2 or NieR: Automat.
Nintendo also has its premium subscription service which it recently launched: the Nintendo Switch Online. While it has fewer features than the PS4 and Xbox One services, it is typically cheaper and provides some free games and has a-list of NES titles, which is an extremely good deal
With game-streaming sites such as Twitch rising exponentially in popularity, and gameplay videos on YouTube becoming a major deal, capturing game footage has become commonplace. Both the PS4 and Xbox One have built-in game recording capabilities. Everything you have to do with the Kinect says “Xbox, a record that” or double-tap the controller’s Xbox button and then click X to save a screenshot and Y to save a movie. You can also capture game footage up to 5 minutes on the fly by snapping the DVR button to the side of the screen.
We will not leave the PS4 behind. On DualShock 4 it has a dedicated sharing click. You can use it to take a screenshot, save gameplay for up to 15 minutes, and even start streaming live to Twitch or the PlayStation Network. The fact that the PS4 has a longer capture time (15 minutes compared to 5 on the Xbox One) and more flexibility in setting up than the Xbox One puts this particular feature.
Nintendo Switch has a Capture button dedicated to it. Not all games, however, allow video recording and you cannot live stream, making the Capture button not nearly as usable as the Sharing button on the DualShock 4. You will also need to remove the microSD card and pass the files to your PC through a card reader if you want to recover any screenshots you have taken.
Virtual Reality Capabilities
Sony is a big player in this area since the PlayStation VR was released just a few years ago. Similar to other tethered headsets on the market, the PlayStation VR headset is not only compatible with the PS4 but also very convenient and accessible. It also has a wide range of games
For Windows 10, Microsoft has the Windows Mixed Reality app which is compatible with both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The thing is all these works on PC only and they’re not compatible with the Xbox One. I’ve also not heard Microsoft reveal plans to introduce an Xbox VR headset
Nintendo is a no-show here, with almost no VR capabilities.
A Note on Other Types of Consoles
Not all consoles are from the big 3 manufacturers on this list. Others are consoles for retro games, such as the original SNES, and others are Mobile consoles. The retro game consoles are nostalgic tools, which take us back to Atari, Super Mario, and Sonic days. The biggest downside is, of course, that they will not be compatible with the games available today.
We do have smartphone games, on the other hand. It has captured a large part of the market over the last couple of years and will continue to expand.
The world of mobile gaming is comprised of 2 continents: Android and iOS. Google’s operating system is built on nearly 85 percent of smartphones while Apple controls the remaining 15 percent. That’s about 2.4 billion smartphone gamers worldwide.
The way you’re playing on your phone or laptop is very different from what you’re doing with your game console. Everywhere you can bring your games with you, play in the taxi, in the subway, while waiting at the doctor … wherever and whenever you like. Tons of games are available to help you find all sorts of games: shooter, sports, arcade, reflection… Players will certainly have shorter sessions but they will play more often as they carry their gaming device with them throughout the day. That is the strength of mobile play.
Mobile networks do not suffer from the issue of exclusivity, either. Mobile phones, Advanced Televisions, Tablets, All are using the same operating systems. The consoles Xbox, PS4, and Nintendo are pretty walled together, Despite almost zero cross-compatibility, truly boundless gaming culture are difficult to build. Whether your computer runs Android or iOS, then no matter what app you have. Just about any game should you be able to play? Benchmarking is also much simpler since the fundamentals (architecture and operating system) are identical. A comparison of phone or tablet output is easy.
As a result, it is expected mobile gaming will take up more and more market share. They might not yet be as powerful as either of the big 3, but each year they develop stronger processors, faster RAM capacities, faster and larger storage capabilities, more reliable displays, and more responsive. We have enormous potential.
A Note on PC Gaming
Certainly, there is an argument for PC gaming to be made. PCs and shooter and strategy games, for instance, tend to be designed for one another. Of course, you can still play games like Fortnite and PUBG (Player Unknown Fighting Ground) on consoles, but it’s very hard to tear team-based competitive games like Counter-Strike: Global Attack and DOTA (Defense of the Ancients) away from the PC.
Some publishers appear to only release exclusive PCs, with many of those titles remaining among the world’s most successful games, such as League of Legends. You cannot also overlook MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Role-Playing Games) like World of Warcraft, which have developed their economies practically and are mainly played on PCs
Not only are many publishers making games exclusively for Windows, but now many titles that used to be only available on consoles are made for Windows as well. With platforms such as Steam taking us the next wave of gaming marketplaces, console-only games are becoming increasingly available on PC.
PC gaming’s biggest downside is that there is a bit of cost to it. When you want to be able to play the new games with the same visual and output experience as you would have on a computer, you would plan to spend $2,000 north on a gaming laptop or PC before considering the peripherals, such as the keyboard and mouse.
That’s very bad news. The excellent thing is that if you spend too much on a gaming PC system, you’ll probably go through a few generations of gaming consoles without updating because these are all state-of-the-art laptops and PCs with highly advanced hardware (too advanced that GPUs), Originally a gaming trend applications in new fields such as bitcoin mining and now AI have been discovered. If you have that kind of capital, then you can be sure that buying a gaming PC is a good investment.
One way to get around this is to create your original gaming PC, instead of purchasing a whole one. It’s not only cheaper because you can buy the parts cheaper, but it’s a great experience if you’re the kind of person who loves DIY projects. On the other hand, if this isn’t your kind of thing, then you’re probably better off getting a full construction from a supplier you trust.
What’s the Future?
The future is here, now. It is hoped Sony will announce the PS5 later this year. The Xbox Series X is now scheduled to be announced by Microsoft. All technical details have been made publicly available. These two consoles with AMD Zen processors, AMD RDNA 2 graphics, and SSD storage will provide massive power.
They will also be able to inflict 10 to 12 TFLOPs, which is massive compared to the 1.4 TFLOPs and 1.8 TFLOPs from the Xbox One S and the PS4 respectively. It’s also noted that current generation games are consistent with the next generation of consoles.
Several of these games will benefit from graphics upgrades at no expense to the player to use the full strength of the PS5 or Xbox Series X. I’m excited to see what both come up with when they launch the titles. But the real killer is Cloud Gaming. Big actors like Google with Stadia, Nvidia with GeForce Now, or even Microsoft with Project Xcloud are headed in this direction.
Video streaming is already a success, and the era of game streaming has started now. The issues associated with having to upgrade to more reliable computers may be a thing of the past for these systems. As I described in the Stadia platform person analysis, I’m very excited to see where the new consoles are going.
So we are coming to the close of our analysis with that. If you’re buying a console for yourself or someone else; whether you’re profoundly loving gaming or just looking for something to help you stay away from boredom while at home, the solid consoles in this review will keep you and yours highly entertained for a long time to come. I’m sure you’ve noticed something here that fits well enough for you, no matter what your tastes are, and I’m sure that you’ll appreciate that. Have fun until next time!