Video games have come a long way since the early days of Pong and Pac-Man. For over two decades, Microsoft and Sony have been rivals in the fight for top video game system, while Nintendo has survived by finding its own niche in the market.
Today, the global video game industry continues to thrive, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, with restrictions keeping millions of people at home and looking for new forms of entertainment. During the pandemic, many have turned to video games to not only to kill time but to interact with friends and family without leaving their homes.
It’s been seven years since the last generation of video games systems, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, were released and gamers are excited for the new gaming consoles coming soon for the 2020 holiday season. If you want something sooner, the good news is that many of the best video game consoles are already available today.
Whether you’re an older gamer looking for retro arcade games or a young player looking to get the latest releases, there’s a console fit for everyone.
Choosing the Best Video Game Console for You
This holiday season, the console wars will heat up as Microsoft and Sony are expected to launch their latest consoles: the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5. Both video game systems are equipped with next-generation features such as support for 8K resolution gaming and backwards compatibility to deliver the most personalized and graphically impressive gaming experience seen yet. The new consoles are expected to cost around $500.
If you’re a family with small kids that likes to game together, the Nintendo Switch may be the best fit. In addition to having plenty of games with familiar and family-friendly characters, the Switch is also made to go from TV console to handheld, which is perfect to keep you or your kids entertained.
Gamers who want to play with the latest 4K technology should consider the PS4 and Xbox One, the current generation offerings from Sony and Microsoft. Even with the new gaming consoles coming out just around the corner, you can still get your money’s worth out of both of these systems. Why wait for the holidays when you can already get access to thousands of games and premium features like virtual reality and streaming apps?
It all boils down to personal preference and what you want from your console experience.
Nintendo Switch: The Best Portable Device
Every portable-preferred player’s dreams came true when Nintendo unveiled the Switch in 2017. No longer would gamers be limited to playing on a big screen. With the ability to connect to your TV like a traditional console as well as the ability to play the same games on the go, the Switch offers the best of both worlds. The two controllers, known as Joy-Cons, can detach from the console to allow multiple people to play at the same time.
There are two models of the Nintendo Switch to consider: the standard Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch Lite. Choosing between the two comes down to how you plan on playing, though budget and battery life can also be a factor. While the Nintendo Switch Lite is the more affordable model, it can only be played as a handheld device.
With more and more gamers joining the Switch community, it’s no surprise that Nintendo has had a lot of success with the console as well as its hot game title, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. From Mario Kart to Pokemon, there are many Nintendo Switch games you can play by yourself or against someone.
The launch of the Xbox Series X is exciting, but the cost and wait may not be worth it with the Xbox One S or Xbox One X available to play today. While both consoles play the same games and offer similar features, the Xbox One X is considered one of the most powerful gaming systems on the market.
Microsoft’s latest model offers the best performance, capable of playing games in 4K resolution and at 60 frames per second. In addition to the latest features like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, it’s also backwards compatible, meaning you can play Xbox 360 games through the system.
The bread and butter of the Xbox One is the Xbox Game Pass, a subscription service that allows access to hundreds of games for just $10 a month. So instead spending $120 on two new games, you can sign up for a few months of Xbox Game Pass and enjoy all the games available. Subscribe to Xbox Live Gold for mutliplayer games and added perks.
All in all, the Xbox One is an impressive video game system and is perfect for anyone, gamer or not.
With over 110 million units sold, the PlaySation 4 is one of the most popular video game consoles available.
Its latest model, the PlayStation 4 Pro, is an updated version of the system that brings 4K resolution to gaming and streaming. But what draws most people to the console is its selection of Sony-exclusive games such as Uncharted, Spider-Man, God of War, and The Last of Us.
Looking to escape reality a bit? Pick up a PlayStation VR to pair with your PS4 and step into another world via immersive virtual reality experiences.
Similar to Xbox Live Gold, upgrading to the PlayStation Plus online mutliplayer community allows you to play against others online and offers access to free games and exclusive deals.
More interested in watching shows and movies? The PlayStation 4 plays Blu-ray Discs and has a large variety of streaming apps available to download on its PlayStation Store.
What is your favorite video game system? Share with us in the comments below.