The rules of the game(r): buying your next console

Or a gaming system in general, of course. Because pc’s, laptops and smartphones are also entertainment platforms that are making a name for themselves in this field.

Of course, the personal computer always has done so. But thanks to the smartphone and the introduction of other digital service, the use of a console is sometimes actually being circumvented. Still, the major gaming devices are always forces to be reckoned with and regularly go toe to toe with one another, continually trying to prove their worth and attempt to outdo the competition. Sometimes, manufacturers even give up: their peers simply have too much money and resources, meaning they go out of business or rely their focus on other ventures.

Look at SEGA, for instance: still active in game developing, but they’ve departed the console business over twenty years ago. In other fields, similar things happen. Take Betamax and VHS in mind – the latter won. And have you ever heard of HD DVD? That was the rival of the Blu-ray disc, which eventually came out on top, bringing the so-called High-definition optical disc format war to a close. To swiftly get back to the topic at hand: Sony was a decisive factor in this, because it implemented a Blu-ray player in its then-latest console, the PlayStation 3.

Should things like this worry you? In other words, will Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft give up on their gaming divisions anytime soon, leaving you behind with a system that no longer receives official support? No, highly unlikely. All three have become well known and established brands and they won’t go anywhere in a hurry. But the major differences between the Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox consoles are quite huge. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Nintendo

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What competition could a brand as old and renowned as Nintendo possibly still have, especially now that both Atari and SEGA are out of the picture? Well, we’ll get to those in a minute, but the longevity of this Japanese manufacturer stems from the fact that gamers of all ages have embraced it.

And no, that’s not only because it’s been around for such a long time, but because they mainly seem to focus on family-friendly titles. Think Pokémon. Donkey Kong. Super Mario Brothers, The Legend of Zelda, Mario Kart, Super Smash Brothers-

Okay, that last one is slightly more violent. In a comic, cartoony way, but still. Bear in mind that all these aforementioned are in-house franchises.

Also, Nintendo dominated the market with its Game Boy for ten years! The handheld game console would eventually find some competition, but none have been so prevalent and loved in the minds of generations of gamers as this rectangular device.

Nowadays, the Nintendo Switch has followed up on the Wii, GameCube, Nintendo 64 and the (Super) Nintendo Entertainment Systems. Players may enjoy it as a handheld device or hook it up to their television set.

Also, Nintedo has created a niche for itself: instead of having an entry in the present ‘generation’ of consoles – the ninth, to be exact -, it has placed itself out of this system in order to always be relevant. Safe to say, they certainly have succeeded in that regard.

More mature games have also found their way to the platform. Despite that – or even because of this fact -, the Nintendo Switch caters to gamers of all ages.

Sony

Source: pocket-lint.com

Between late 1994 and early ‘95, the Sony PlayStation was introduced to the market. It was a game changer, for sure. In every sense of the term. The fifth of its consoles, the PlayStation 5, is the focus of its current fans. And by that we mean fanatic players, not its cooling system.

Anyway.

When it comes to exclusive titles for serious gamers who want to experience beautiful graphics and moving stories, the PS 5 is the way to go. Think The Last of Us and its sequel. Horizon Zero Dawn and its upcoming successor. Detroit Become Human. Ghost of Tsushima. Marvel’s Spider-Man. Die-hard gamers will probably come after us with rotten eggs, vegetables, pitchforks and torches for leaving out their favourites, for which we apologize. But that doesn’t mean we do not respect the omitted flagship titles. Because here we have another manufacturer that has made quite a name for itself in that field!

Microsoft

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Forza, Halo, Ori, State of Decay, Sea of Thieves… we could come up with some others, but the list of notable exclusive titles on Xbox isn’t that long. Then why should we mention the Xbox Series X and S at all?

Because of its backward compatibility. Even though many players are constantly looking for the next big thing, the Xbox is renowned for keeping older titles from previous generations playable. Also, the Quick Resume function on their latest devices allows you to pause one game and go play a different game, fire up YouTube or do something else. Then pick up where you left off whenever you feel like it.

Also, cloud saves allow a quick resumption of your play from one device to the next, be it an older model, your smartphone or a pc. Because, have we mentioned cross-platform play yet? Cross-platform play! Join your friends in your favourite games on whatever platform you choose. Granted, only a handful of multiplayer titles use this feature. It is the hope of many that it will become an industry standard.

What to choose?

That’s the main issue, right? Every manufacturer has got something going for them, each has a unique perspective and exclusive features. So… just pick the one that suits you best!

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No? Not enough incentive for you? Okay, well, then you could let one of the following factors decide.

Cost

We’re not going to talk about the current situation in this field, because as soon as we do, things may have changed. The smartest thing to do is visit this website and see for yourself how much the various consoles will set you back.

Friends

Do you want to be able to play with friends and relatives? Then picking the device that they use could be an option. Of course, should one or more games on other platforms be enticing, you’ll have to make sacrifices. Your choice.

Alternatives

Have you already got a pc or laptop with a good enough processor, memory and graphics card to play the titles you want? Then you might not even need a console! There’s lots of singleplayer and multiplayer fun to go around in various genres.

Also, cloud gaming has become the way of the future to play games without the inclusion of a traditional device. Companies such as Nvidia (GeForce Now), Amazon (Luna), Sony (PlayStation Now), Google (Stadia) and Microsoft (Xbox Cloud Gaming, formerly known as Project xCloud) allow you to choose which device to use to access their subscription service. From that point on, you can dive right into their vast library of games!

Happy gaming.

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