Rather than watching the hero save the world from imminent destruction on cinema screens, why not play the hero instead? There is no better time to get into gaming than the present. With bleeding edge graphics, Hollywood-esque narratives and immersive experiences that transport players to whole new worlds, gaming is no longer just for kids. Ready to take the plunge but don’t know where to start? Educate yourself by checking out our comprehensive guide to the best gaming consoles. Explore a whole new dimension of entertainment you never knew existed today!
Sony’s PS4: For The Players
Boasting 80 million monthly active users on the PlayStation Network (PSN), Sony struck gold with the Playstation 4. Since 2013, the PS4 has released an uncountable number of exclusives that bedazzled critics and fans alike. PS4 games are usually characterised with stellar graphics, solid gameplay and refined design. The best gaming console needs to have the best games. Need a list of go-to-exclusives for the PS4? Here’s some of our favourites. Want to feel like a gun-slinging, quip-cracking Indiana Jones? Uncharted 4 is perfect for you. Feel like exploring Norse Mythology while guiding a young boy’s journey to adulthood? Experience the greatness that is God Of War. Want to live a high schooler’s life by day and vigilante’s life by night? Embrace Persona 5’s cast of heroic delinquents. Craving an interactive experience that plays off classic horror and slasher tropes? Check out Until Dawn’s witty satire and engaging narrative. The list goes on as Sony has established a strong foundation of exclusive video games for users to enjoy.
Gaming with others online used to be free on the PlayStation 3. Unfortunately, Sony decided to charge PS4 users for playing online for this console generation. Known as PlayStation Plus, the annual subscription system charges players who want to play against or with other PS4 users online. While unpopular, Sony has claimed that the funds collected will upgrade Sony’s existing net infrastructure. Sony has tried to make amends by offering free games to users as long as they stay subscribed. This has helped many players to experience relatively lesser known games such as XCOM 2 andBloodBorne. It’s important to keep in mind that players do not actually own the games since they only remain playable if players stay subscribed.
The PS4 Pro Released in 2016, PS4 Pro is an upgrade over its original iteration. It features hardware that supports 4K resolution and High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology. Utilising Boost Mode, the PS4 Pro can run games in 60 frames per second (60fps) and displays sharper images. Definitely consider this a more powerful version if you already own a 4K HDR TV and do not own a standard PS4. PlayStation VR To supplement the claims of being the best gaming console, the PS4 is the only console that supports Virtual Reality. PSVR introduces VR to the mainstream market and allows users to experience enhanced immersion. Fortunately, it is sold at a fraction of the cost of competitors Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The PSVR heightens the experience and cranks the realism up by exposing players to 3D spatial audio and immersive 3D visuals. Experience games with full VR functionality by slaying Hell’s demons inDOOM VFR and exploring the twisted Baker’s Home in Resident Evil 7. Asmore PSVR games arrive in 2018, PSVR is worth a spin if you’re looking to try something new and experience games on a new level of intensity and immersion.
Microsoft’s Xbox One: The All-In-One Entertainment System
Microsoft made a fatal mistake during their 2013 E3 press conference. By promoting Xbox One’s television capabilities, they lost many avid gaming fans. Through the Xbox One’s early stages, Microsoft relied on its same few hallmark franchises. Conversely, Sony took risks and funded first-party projects to diversify its offerings. Unfortunately, this widened the gap between both consoles and drove fans to Sony. As more PS4 exclusives released, the writing was on the wall when it came to what was the best gaming console. Yet, recent changes has allowed Microsoft to win back some fans, such as by releasing fan-favourites like Halo 5 and Forza 7. These releases built up the One’s game library and encouraged former fans to commit to buying the console. [caption id="attachment_15676" align="aligncenter" width="640"] (Credit: Alang7 / flickr)[/caption] Welcome Additions To further bolster its offerings, Microsoft introduced Backwards Compatibility with its Xbox One. This made previous generation classics like Halo and Gears of War playable on the Xbox One. Featuring up-scaled graphics, Xbox One owners could play classics without extra fees. Microsoft also made efforts to unite both Xbox One and PC players by configuring Xbox Live to allow for cross-play with PC gamers. This allowed Xbox One owners to play with PC users despite being on different platforms. On the technical front, Microsoft also made improvements to the existing console. To keep up with 4K resolution trends, newer Xbox Ones come with 4K Blu-ray players to view Ultra HD Blu-ray movies. They also included more technically capable components to provide better graphical fidelity. Ultimately, this helped position the Xbox One as a technical powerhouse and in the eyes of some, the best gaming console. [caption id="attachment_15774" align="aligncenter" width="640"] (Credit: BagoGames)[/caption]
Nintendo’s Switch: Challenging Console Conventions
While competitors pursue higher graphical fidelity, Nintendo has a rather simple design philosophy that revolves around fun. The company culture echoes this as they constantly try new things. This has come with both success (Game Boy) and failure (Wii U). Regardless, their attempts to innovate are a welcome breath of fresh air to the gaming market. Nintendo’s newest console has been a massive success this year. Selling 14.8 million units globally, the Switch edged out the original Wii and PS4’s first year sales. Named the Switch, Nintendo has gone back to basics by playing to its strengths of delivering a solid handheld console experience. Combining this with the Switch’s ability to dock and transform into a home console, the Switch has met the demands of today’s gamers by providing a portable gaming experience without compromising on game scale or quality. With powerhouse exclusives like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey alongside popular third party titles like NBA 2K18 and Rocket League, the Switch has exceeded expectations. The Switch possesses great potential with fan-favourite titles like Pokemon and Kirby down the line. By foregoing the ongoing 4K resolution war and focusing on delivering game experiences unique to the Switch, Nintendo has managed to establish itself as a firm competitor to the PS4’s dominance.
The Best Gaming Console?
In conclusion, a video game console is a hefty investment. Besides costing a few hundred dollars, gaming requires time commitment and an open mind to trying out new games. That said, what you get in exchange is interactivity and immersion that you can’t find on any other medium. To answer which is the best gaming console, we must look at each console’s unique offerings and how they suit you. The Nintendo Switch is great if you’re looking for something that conveniently fits into your hectic schedule. The games on the Switch are also a breath of fresh air compared to the blockbuster home console titles. The Xbox One will fit you best if you missed out on games from the early 2000s. Buy this if you want an all-in-one entertainment hub that is ready for 4K resolutions. While limited in new games, you can pick up Backwards Compatible titles like Halo and Gears Of War. The PlayStation 4 is for gamers who are looking for a wide and steady stream of exclusive games. Buy it if you crave varied experiences, want a console that caters for Virtual Reality or want to be part of gaming’s biggest console community. [caption id="attachment_15762" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] (Credit: Sony Computer Entertainment / Wikimedia Commons, Xbox One Logo Vector / freepnglogos, Nintendo / Wikimedia Commons)[/caption] Regardless of your decision, what you’ll definitely need in addition to your new best gaming console is games. Check out our list on 2017’s highly anticipated games and catch up with the gaming crowd today. Happy hunting!