What Is The Best Gaming Console To Buy?
What Is The Best Gaming Console To Buy?
Wait… home theater.. and video games… what?
Yep that’s correct.
You see, most people don’t take into account the fact that a decent portion of the home theater sphere does actually include the topic of video games believe it or not.
I mean think about it, let’s say you finally set up that man cave you’ve been clamoring for, for a while and you manage to get everything set up just the way you want.
Sure you’ll test it with some movies, maybe even watch a few shows.
But chances are you’ll eventually be at least slightly curious how video games look and sound on it at some point or another; even if you aren’t massively into them.
Not to mention the fact that there’s people who build entire game rooms around them.
Let me tell you firsthand, it’s such an incredibly awesome experience. There really isn’t anything like it when you do it right.
Now more than ever, exists an impressive amount of variety offered (putting it very lightly). That’s both a good and a bad thing. It’s good because hey on one hand, it gives you a lot of options.
On the other It’s bad because, what the heck do you pick?!
With all the gaming options available today, it becomes increasingly harder to decide what to get and why.
By now you might be wondering okay…so what is the best gaming console to buy?
The short answer is that it’s really hard to say. It’ll honestly depend on what your particular interests are. But chances are, you’re probably looking for a direct answer.
Since I’m a huge gamer as well, I’ll take the liberty of helping you out.
So the long version will be an elaboration on that. I’ll go over each home entertainment console, and why someone might be happy with a specific one.
At the very end, I’ll give you my personal thoughts about what my favorite is. Sound like a plan?
Let’s get to it.
The PlayStation 4 Slim
The PlayStation 4 Pro
The Xbox One S
The Xbox One X
The Nintendo Switch
My Personal Favorite
The PlayStation 4 Slim
First up the PlayStation 4 Slim.
Man has this thing been around forever (the brand I mean). I remember playing the first iteration back in the year 2000 and being floored how amazing it was.
The PlayStation 4 (obviously being the 4th version) is a culmination of sorts on what Sony has learned over the years. The slim is the new standard version of the original 4 from 2013. Nothing changed majorly. It’s just a slimmer version of it.
It features a Blu-ray player, so it’ll let you play all your favorite DVD’s along with Blu-rays. It also has its own marketplace called the PlayStation store. This store features thousands of movies and games. Some are free but most are not.
The console supports HDR (high dynamic range), and something called remote play. Remote play is pretty cool because you can stream your gameplay to friends so they can watch.
The controller has something called dualshock rumble which is basically a vibration within it that reacts to what’s happening on screen. So why would you go with the PS4? There’s a lot of reasons honestly.
Reason #1….First party games!
Holy moley guacamole are there a lot of good games on it, especially first party. Think of a first party game as one that’s unique to that brand and isn’t available on any other console.
From Horizon Zero Dawn to Ratchet And Clank, there’s really no disputing how good its personal lineup is.
Reason #2 PlayStation VR
If you haven’t tried virtual reality, then I don’t know how else to put it other than you’re in the game. No like seriously, when you put this thing on, you’re inside the game world. Have you ever seen Tron or Sword Art Online? It’s that level of intense.
I wish I could describe how amazing it is over text, but you would need to try it yourself to understand. It really feels like the future. There’s also a growing list of other content on it as well. YouTube even supports VR (now that’s a wild experience.)
Even on non VR games, you can still play standard ones. Best way to describe how that is, is that it feels like your sitting in a movie theater in front of a giant screen. It’s so strange because it doesn’t feel like something like this should even exist yet.
While there is virtual reality on the PC, as of right now, the PS4 is the only home console with a VR device.
Reason #3 Shareplay
This one’s awesome. If you’re a really social gamer, then this ones for you. If you have a game on PS4 that you’re playing online, then what you can do is invite someone else to your game to play with you. What’s special about that is the other person doesn’t even need to own the game to play along.
Reason # 4 Backwards Compatibility
Being that this is the 4’th PlayStation, it only makes sense that there’s a large catalogue of games existing from previous generations.
Sony was aware of that and so allowed the PS4 to be backwards compatible with them; with a few limitations of course.
While it can support past games, that number is limited, and is only offered online via a service called PlayStation Now. There’s certainly a larger amount that’s supported than there use to be, but it still is far from all of them.
Overall the PlayStation 4 is awesome, and it’d be really hard to go wrong with it. With so many games, it’s pretty obvious that there would be a massive number of genres to choose from as well. Though I did notice that there tends to be a lot of Action RPGs on it (role playing games) If that’s a genre that interests you, then you’d definitely be right at home.
There’s certainly something here for everybody. I would also go with the PlayStation if you’re someone who values socializing since a large part of the experience is playing and interacting with other players online. I can tell you personally that it really is fun to do so. Plus there’s even VR support.
The PlayStation Pro
This is an interesting one. Introduced in 2016, the Pro version you can think of as a supercharged PlayStation 4. The internals have been ramped up to support a bigger range of features.
If your curious about the technical difference of what’s changed, you can read about it here.
In general the PS4 Pro has a few really big draws over its counterpart.
Reason #1 4K Gaming Support
If you aren’t sure what 4K is, I’ve covered it here.
Simply put, 4k is a resolution that’s 4 times that of 1080P otherwise known as full HD. That bump in resolution makes a huge visual difference.
The fact that it can support resolutions this high means games on it will look crystal clear. I can certainly vouch for that fact since I own one right now. However this takes a lot of power to do and so that brings me to my next reason you may want one.
Reason #2 More Powerful
Another reason you might be interested in this one is if you care about how your games look. With so much power, the pro is capable of pumping out some truly impressive looking games.
When I say impressive, I mean the kind of graphics where it’s almost hard to distinguish from real life. Things really look that good on it.
That’s not even to mention that it also supports all of the latest Dolby Digital Formats so if you have a good sound system, wow are you in for a treat. This extra power also allows games to not only look better, but play better as well. It even improves how VR games look.
In summation, if you care about how your games look, the PS4 Pro would be the one to get. It has all the same features of a normal one, with the added bonuses of additional power and 4K/HDR compatibility.
It really is an awesome console. The only thing to keep in mind though is that it doesn’t play 4k Blu-rays oddly enough.
The Xbox One S
The Xbox One S is a newer version of the original Xbox One released back in 2013. That version isn’t available anymore so the S version became the default edition.
The Xbox One S is pretty similar to the PS4 if anything, however there are some differences that may make you want to go with this one (no pun intended)
Reason #1 4K Blu-ray player
This is quite the enigma. While the One S doesn’t support 4k gaming, it does have a unique defining feature; a 4k Blue-ray player. Those are relatively new, so the fact the Xbox One S even has one is both surprising, and incredible
Reason #2 The Games
Sony isn’t the only one with an exclusive line up as Microsoft’s Xbox has a spectacular assortment of games as well.
From Halo to Gears, let’s just say it’d be really hard to be bored. The games offered here at top notch so again, there’s something here for everybody as well.
Reason #3 HDR Support
Besides being able to display 4k content, it possesses the ability to display HDR content as well. HDR again stands for High Dynamic Range. Think of it as an exponentially increased contrast ratio that mimics how the human eye see things.
Again, this is also something you would need to see in person to appreciate (there’s been a lot of those instances haven’t there?) As long as you have a TV that’s capable, you can take advantage of this new technology.
Reason #4 It’s Small
The One S is really small compared to other consoles. If you’re someone who doesn’t have the most space in the world, having a console that’s small is a life saver.
As a whole, the Xbox One S is a spectacular console with its main draw being it’s 4k media capabilities. If that’s something that interests you, then I would go with this one. I’ve also noticed that there’s a lot of racing games available on it so if you like that, then there’s another reason to go with it.
As far as the social aspect goes, that’s present here as well with a booming online multiplayer network. Overall, there’s plenty to keep you entertained here.
The Xbox One X
Here’s another certainly interesting one. Its main characteristic is that it is the most powerful home console to date.
It certainly lives up to that claim with almost the same amount of power as a dedicated gaming PC. Pretty impressive to say the least. So why would someone be interested in this one?
Reason #1 4k Blu-Ray Player
Being the next step up, it’s only natural that it would sport this feature like its smaller sibling. The player in the system itself is the same though so that hasn’t changed. Still it’s good to see it here though.
Reason #2 The Power
I’ve mentioned how insanely strong it is right? The Xbox One X not only has everything the Xbox One S has, but it’s also capable of 4k gaming.
Not to mention all the typical bells and whistles like HDR and backwards compatibility. This means that if you’re concerned with in game graphics, it will undoubtedly look the best on here.
Reason #3 It’s Small
Believe it or not, this console is small too. This is due to much more efficient internals. You would think something this powerful would be lumbering, but fortunately it’s not.
While the One X supports the same games that the S does, it does so at a much higher fidelity. If you’re one for eye candy and a smoother gaming experience overall, go with this one. You probably won’t believe how good it looks just as a heads up.
To put it bluntly, it’s a beast.
The Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo switch certainly is unique in that it is technically both a home and portable console. When at home, the console rests on a dock, and the sides of the switch come off.
These are called Joy Cons. When you decide to go out, you can attach the joy cons to the console and use it like you would say a 3DS. Why would someone want this one?
Reason #1 The Games
Jeez Nintendo is on fire with games lately. They started off 2017 by releasing the switch and the groundbreaking The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
The game was so good that not only was it one of the highest scoring games in history, but everyone collectively lost their minds over it (me included).
Then with the holiday season approaching, they decided to go with a 1, 2 punch and release Super Mario Odyssey, one that scored just as high. I’m not one to buy into the hype; in fact I’m usually a huge critic.
But oh my.. Zelda and Mario, I can comfortably say, are 2 of the best games I’ve ever played ever, period. I was not prepared for how good they are.
I thought everyone was overreacting at first but.. boy was I wrong. Just…How?!
I wish I could convey to you the sheer magnitude of the joy you experience playing them, but even that wouldn’t cut it. What’s even crazier is that reviewers are calling them games of the generation.
I mean think about that for a second.
When has a video game company ever released 2 of the highest scoring games ever in the same year. We’re talking by the same company at that!
It’s just ridiculous. I’d honestly say these 2 are worth getting a Nintendo Switch alone.
Here’s something even harder to wrap your head around. There’s an entire catalogue of other amazing games on it too, with even more in the works. Nintendo really isn’t playing around this time lol.
Reason #2 Convenience
I don’t think there’s anything more convenient then being able to pocket a console. Being able to take it with you anywhere you go, and use headphones with it is awesome enough.
But being able to prop it up via the kickstand on the back, slide the joycons off, then play 2 players with someone else on it seems like such a novel idea that I wish it existed sooner. It makes a portable console a social event which is so cool.
To be truthful with you, I actually wasn’t a fan of the Switch at first. I didn’t really think it was necessary or all that intriguing. Guess you could say I didn’t really understand it.
But having bought it recently, I don’t know what I was thinking. Just get it, it’s really that good.
Let me put it to you this way. If you like fun, then you’ll like it. That simple.
My Personal Favorite
So here’s what you’re really curious about…(probably not but I digress)
Which one do I personally like the best?
Plot twist…..all of them.
It seems like every major console maker came out swinging, and in the end it’s really us that wins. I wish I could pick a favorite, but each console brings with it something so unique that I couldn’t honestly choose.
I eventually had to get all of them because they each had exclusive games that I knew I had to have. It’s not even just that they have fantastic games either; but it’s the sheer amount of fantastic games offered from each system.
You really would be hard pressed to go wrong with any of them though. And forget about it when it comes to playing them on your speakers.
You think it’s intense playing it on the television, but you hook it up to a good surround system and say goodbye to anything you planned to get done that day. They’re such an entertaining addition to a home theater.
So to answer the original question about what is the best gaming console to buy, ideally I’d say all of them. But realistically, it’s really going to boil down to what features you prefer.
That’s why I can’t wait to see what some of your favorites are. Is there a certain game you tried on your system that you enjoyed?
Let me know down in the comments below because I’d seriously love to hear from you guys. Until then, take care.
Hey everyone it’s nice to meet you. I’m Jay & I’ve been with this hobby for many years now. I decided to create this site to share everything that I’ve learned from personal experience with you. I also happen to be a huge gamer, lover of all things tech related, and a major fitness buff (love weightlifting)
16 Comments so far:
The features all the products provide are similar in many ways. For gamers would it be practical to make your decision on the type of games you like and what entertainment center is best compatiable? Or in my case should I just ask my children?
Home theaters and video game consoles go hand and hand, at least I think they do. It makes your gaming experience so much more enjoyable. I have been playing games since the days of blowing on Nintendo cartridges, Lol, and I absolutely love how far gaming has come. I have to say I agree with your choices, Horizon Dawn is a great game and the Zelda game, though I haven’t played it yet, I heard was amazing.
Hello there. I really like your comparison but still have a question. I’m a long time PC gamer but I’m more and more thinking about buying a console which would be used during parties (birthdays etc.) and by my kids. I’m thinking about games that make you move during gameplay. Which would you recommend for this? Xbox because of the Kinect or something else? Thank you in advance:)
One of my wishes is to have a Nintendo Switch, just because of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. But first I have to play Skyward Sword, because this is one of the Zelda games I haven’t played. what can I say? I am a Zelda fan
My daughter got the PS3 and Ps4 and also the XBox One. When we’re buying those console we really did not researched what’s the best option. Your article really points out the good ones on each console. I bookmarked your website for future review information.
Great website Jay. Thanks for taking the time to research and to share such interesting information. What a choice of video game consoles you have reviewed. I think that I will finally treat my family with a proper home theater, I am sure that we will all enjoy it.
Now, I am faced with the agony of choice. Could you please recommend just one for me? Considering that our age groups range from 15 to 70 years old.
I look forward to your response to make my decision.
Pretty awesome article. Honestly the Playstation sounds like the one for me, thanks so much for your help!
wow great post, i never would have even thought of putting a games console into a home theatre but now that you mention it, it makes so much sense!
I have the nintendo switch and my son and i absolutely love it, i grew up with the old ps 1 and 2 and the old nintendo gameboys and i can’t even believe the quality of the games you can play now compared to back then, makes you wonder what will be available in ten years!
You have given me some ideas now of what to get my son for Christmas, keep up the great posts!