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Consumer Guide: Which Current Console is Right for You

Allysia Rainey, Staff Writer

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In the past 30 years, gaming has come a long way. From the original NES in 1983 to the brand new Nintendo Switch in 2017, there have been enormous changes in the gaming industry. Consoles have become more popular, more accessible, and more inclusive to a broader audience. However, it’s no secret that gaming consoles are expensive, and most people have to make a choice of which one to invest in during the current year. While it may seem tricky at first, this guide should narrow it down to one definitive choice.

There are three console brands in the market: Sony, which owns the Playstation consoles, Microsoft, which owns the Xbox consoles, and Nintendo, which is a company that exclusively produces games and gaming consoles. While Microsoft is an American company, Sony and Nintendo are Japanese and carry more eastern titles, so if you’re a fan of JRPGs or visual novels, the Xbox One may not be for you.

Nintendo is the oldest surviving game console company and one of the most beloved. The creator of classics such as Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid, they excel in  making memorable and family friendly games. Their most recent release is the Nintendo Switch, a hybrid console that can be carried around portably as a handheld or hooked into a T.V. as a home console. This type of console has a wide appeal for people who tend to travel often, as you can take one of the many titles offered on it and play them anywhere you’d like. It’s also a good console for families, as one could easily detach the Joy-Con controllers and give one to a family member or friend for easy, cooperative gameplay. While the Switch has a vast library of games, it has little storage space, meaning that you’ll most likely have to buy external storage as an added cost to the $300 you’ve already spent. It’s also less powerful than the PS4 or Xbox One because of its portable capabilities.

The Xbox One is home to critically acclaimed games like Cuphead, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Halo. It rivals the PS4 in power, and unlike the PS4, the Xbox One offers backwards compatibility for several titles. This means that if you bought a physical copy of Halo 3 for your Xbox 360, then you can still play it on your Xbox One. Remember that this doesn’t apply to every game you played on the Xbox One. Something of particular interest would be Microsoft’s introduction of the handicapped controller. This device is intended for disabled people who cannot handle gaming controllers as anyone else. If you or someone in your family is handicapped, then you might want to consider the Xbox One. It’s important to note that the Xbox One exclusive library is a bit weak, and independent games generally don’t get much support. At the same time, Microsoft does seem to be making a more conscious effort to port more indie titles to the console.

Of the home consoles, the PS4 is the most popular, and for good reason. Its exclusives include favorites such as The Last of Us, God of War, and Uncharted. PS4 titles are cinematic; they have a large focus on storytelling, realism, and immersion. Along with its large selection of games, the PS4 has its own VR (Virtual Reality) headset made specifically for Playstation games. Like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, the PSVR allows the player to strap on a headset that provides a full 360 degree view of the game, making the most immersive experience yet. There aren’t a ton of games for the PSVR at the moment, but it is getting support with games like Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and Doom. While the PSVR doesn’t match other VR headsets in quality, it does rival them in price. Because of the PS3’s convoluted structure, the PS4 is not backwards compatible, although it does offer the Playstation Now service, which allows the user to stream over 500 PS3 games at a price of $20 a month or $100 a year.

Which gaming console you decide to buy is entirely up to your preferences and situation. Whether you’re constantly on the move or just want to sit down with your favorite playable movie, this console generation has you covered. Hopefully, this guide helped you decide which one you’ll get.

 

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