How To Buy A Game Console
The PlayStation 5 launched in November 2020, and most retailers have been consistently sold out of both the $500 PS5 and the $400 PS5 Digital Edition ever since. With the PlayStation and Xbox platforms offering similar graphics capabilities (at least on paper) at similar prices, the reasons to choose a PlayStation over an Xbox revolve mostly around which games you want to play and how you want to play them.
how to buy a game console
It's tough to choose a new gaming console. There's often a lot of competing factors to consider, as well as your personal preferences, that help decide which console is the best gaming system for you.
Usually, console manufacturers such as Sony or Microsoft sell their consoles at a loss and make up for the shortfall through their games and services. This way of doing things could stay the same, meaning that you shouldn't see huge price increases with each successive generation of consoles.
Specs don't mean everything, and it's more what the developers do with the hardware and software that makes games great. That being said, if a console has flaws in its specs (e.g., its CPU is underpowered, or its storage space is lacking) this could hamper your gaming experience, especially towards the end of that console's lifespan.
Also, consider how these specs translate to your gaming experience. For example, a console can look great on paper, but still underperform compared to its rivals and vice versa. Nintendo is the console king when it comes to using your console's specs smartly and efficiently.
Digital Foundry is a great YouTube channel if you want a detailed analysis of consoles, games, and more gaming-tech-related things. Consider it to see how well your potential new gaming console runs its games.
Next, we have arguably the most important aspect to choosing your new gaming console; its games library. This usually determines whether we consider a console to be the best gaming system. It is all about the games, after all!
This is a tricky one to gauge off the bat, as new gaming consoles' games libraries gain quality throughout the lifetime of the device. Always take a look at all next-gen consoles' launch libraries to see if they're for you, as well as each console's unique showcases or presentations at events such as E3.
The first thing that'll stand out to you when you're deciding which next-gen console (or past generation) to buy is its aesthetic. That being said, it's probably not the most important aspect. But, a cool, unique design is always a plus.
There are also the dimensions of the console to consider. In the ninth generation of video games, we've seen a truly bulky design from the PS5, which might make you favor the Xbox Series X/S over it for practicality. Nintendo and Valve, on the other hand, have smaller consoles than Sony and Microsoft, but face different design objectives because of their handheld and hybrid nature.
An arguable must-have feature for all next generation consoles is backward compatibility. Gamers rejoiced when Sony and Microsoft announced that their ninth generation consoles, the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, would be backward compatible, with these consoles even enhancing select last-gen games. Backward compatibility also helps boost a new gaming console's launch library, giving you a range of last-gen games to play.
In addition to gaming-oriented features, there are also non-gaming features you should look out for. Can your new games console play Spotify, Netflix, and other streaming services? Can you browse the web on it? Ask yourself if there's anything more you want your new gaming console to do besides being able to play games.
On top of its games and features, take a look at the different services your new gaming console provides. Standard gaming subscriptions would be for online gaming and streaming games, but take a look at the unique perks a subscription would give you, whether that's free monthly games, special discounts, cloud storage, or anything else.
With each new console generation, you'll see new services, improved services, and unique services across all next-gen consoles. It's best to keep an eye out and weigh up the pros and cons of the services each new gaming console offers.
It's best to compare the controllers for next generation consoles. Look at each of their aspects, such as shape, build quality, button layout, haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and any other features they bring. It might not sound important, at first, but it really can make a difference.
In the end, the best gaming system is the one that satisfies what you want from gaming, whether that's an immersive single-player experience, VR gaming, or to try out as many games as you can with a streaming subscription. So, do your research and make sure your new gaming console gives you what you want.
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The days of rallying all your friends to get the same gaming console are over. With the emergence of cross-platform play in today's gaming world, the console you choose can be based purely on your preference -- or simply availability, as the last few years of PlayStation 5 shortages have taught us.
But choosing a console has never been more difficult, especially with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X battling head-to-head -- and that's not to mention the versatility of handheld consoles, or the options available if you want to remember your childhood and enjoy something more retro.
You know your console is a good one when you can't keep it on the shelf even two years after you released it. That is the case with the PlayStation 5. A combination of chip shortages and high demand from gamers around the world has made it difficult for many to secure this next-generation console.
Being unwilling to bend to the will of scalpers, I was only able to purchase one in the past few months. The experience on the PlayStation 5 is unlike any other console we've seen in the gaming realm. 4K graphics, lightning-fast loading speeds, and a new DualSense controller are just a few of the features that set this console above the rest.
The new controller for the PS5 allows you to feel every step, gunshot, and surrounding movement, so you can take full control of your gaming experience. With haptic feedback, adaptable triggers, and a built-in microphone, this controller is unmatched by competitors, and it's the best we've seen in console gaming.
Personally, I've found them to be far more comfortable than the PlayStation 4 controllers. Although, if you're continually pressing L2 or R2 during a game to pull off combos, for example, I've found it can be a strain on your fingers.
When the next-gen consoles were released, the PlayStation 5 emerged as the top console in the gaming realm. But while the Xbox Series X is behind in competitive gaming, it's ahead in the versatility category. The Xbox Series X can be used as a top-tier gaming console or as an expensive Fire Stick with its library of apps including most major streaming platforms.
While games made specifically for the Xbox One are compatible with the Series X console, Microsoft has games specifically designed for the Series X and S consoles that reduce load times and showcase 120fps capabilities. While playing with such a high frame rate, you can enjoy 3D spatial audio so you know what's around you at all times.
This console is easier to obtain than the PlayStation 5, so if you're looking for a powerful console you can get right now, this is the best choice. From binge-watching your favorite shows to gaming with your friends across the world, this console checks all the boxes.
In a world where most gamers focus on getting high-performing monitors or the biggest TV, the Nintendo Switch is doing things differently. While this console gives you the option to play on your TV, the handheld 7-inch OLED screen provides gamers with a gaming experience you can transport with you.
With so many uses, you can race against your friends in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, watch YouTube on your TV, or venture through the world on The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. If you're interested in using a Switch for cozy games, you could opt for titles including Stardew Valley or Potion Permit.
Nintendo estimates that battery life will last between 4.5 - 9 hours. As you can see, that's a broad spectrum, but in my experience, it seems about right. If I'm playing games that are less graphics-heavy such as This War of Mine, or retro games like Grandia, power consumption is lower and I can reach the higher points of this estimate. However, fast-paced options like Zelda will burn power more rapidly.
While the specs for this console aren't the flashiest, the Nintendo Switch is the perfect gaming console for families due to the abundance of family-friendly games and multiplayer options, such as Overcooked, offered through the Nintendo eShop.
This gaming console can be docked or handheld and is based on Linux. The interface is user-friendly and the analog sticks -- as well as the top controls -- are familiar and comfortable. When it comes to playing resource-heavy games, the graphics are incredible and, in my opinion, far superior to the Nintendo Switch.
However, while the Steam Deck is a handheld console, I wouldn't consider it particularly portable or suitable for use on the morning commute. Valve estimates between two and eight hours of battery life, and while it is possible to reduce the brightness or refresh rate to save power, you are best off using this device near a power source or outlet.
The Xbox Series S is the less advanced counterpart to the Xbox Series X. Though this console is noticeably smaller than the Series X, it comes at a cost: the lack of an optical drive. Along with having no disk drive, the Xbox Series S displays games at 1440p, while the Series X displays games in 4k. But, being more affordable, if you're willing to sacrifice picture quality for saving money, this Series S is a perfect option. 041b061a72