A very large majority of both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One libraries are available on both platforms. Though both platforms have popular exclusive franchises, the PlayStation 4 (Pro or standard) sees more exclusive games each year. The PS4 also has access to a small number of less well-known indie games and niche titles, such as Japanese role-playing games, that the Xbox One does not.
T3 has reviewed all the best video game consoles going, from Microsoft's 4K powerhouse the Xbox One X, through to Sony's rival PS4 Pro, and onto Nintendo's hot hybrid, the Nintendo Switch, and we've tucked hundreds of hours under our belt playing their best games, too. As such, our tech experts are perfectly positioned to help you find your perfect gaming console.
We researched and evaluated seven gaming consoles to recommend the best ones for your family gaming and entertainment needs. Our overall winner is the Xbox One X. The console has a full artillery of features, powerful hardware and a large selection of current and backwards-compatible games that are fun for new and seasoned gamers of all ages to enjoy. With the Xbox One X, you have access to free apps for streaming videos, listening to music, watching sports, getting gaming news and even chatting online.
A games console is the perfect Christmas present – it’s exciting, it’s cool and everyone can join in on the day (as long as you’ve had the foresight to sneak it out of its packaging on Christmas Eve to download the inevitable six hours of system updates). But selecting which machine to opt for is complicated and confusing, and if you get it wrong you may end up with yet another unloved gadget crammed in the cupboard where you keep the air fryer and mini candyfloss machine.
The Xbox One even upgrades the famous controller. It now has Bluetooth connectivity and works with Windows 10 without the need for an adapter. If you are a PC gamer, this would be a major bonus feature. Of course, you can enjoy exclusive Xbox titles like the megastar Halo franchise, which you can play in 4k. The console is backward compatible with all Xbox games. The Xbox One definitely stands out for its multimedia capabilities. It’s not just a gaming console but a fully-fledged entertainment center. It’s something both hardcore and casual gamers can love.
The PlayStation 3 got a bad rep when it was originally released. But Sony re-released a slimmed down version of the PS 3 with a more affordable price tag later. PS 3 is still a great console to own when you want more juice than what the PS 2 offers, but cannot really afford the PS 4. You can get a PS 3 new for less than $300 these days. That’s a major bargain considering all the games you will be able to play on this console. It’s backward compatible with PS 2 and original PS titles.
Nintendo lags behind its competitors in raw power, but makes up for it in form factor. The Switch is a small tablet rather than a bigger, blocky console, and you can play it on the go with its built-in 720p screen. The compromise comes in a resolution that tops out at 1080p when connected to a TV, and generally poorer performance in terms of frame rate and effects than the PS4 and Xbox One.
For handheld game consoles, the seventh generation began with the release of the Nintendo DS on November 21, 2004. This handheld was based on a design fundamentally different from the Game Boy and other handheld video game systems. The Nintendo DS offered new modes of input over previous generations such as a touch screen, the ability to connect wirelessly using IEEE 802.11b, as well as a microphone to speak to in-game NPCs. On December 12, 2004, Sony released its first handheld, PlayStation Portable (PSP). The PlayStation Portable was marketed at launch to an above 25-year-old or "core gamer" market, while the Nintendo DS proved to be popular with both core gamers and new customers. Nokia revived its N-Gage platform in the form of a service for selected S60 devices. This new service launched on April 3, 2008. Other less-popular handheld systems released during this generation include the Gizmondo (launched on March 19, 2005 and discontinued in February 2006) and the GP2X (launched on November 10, 2005 and discontinued in August 2008). The GP2X Wiz, Pandora, and Gizmondo 2 were scheduled for release in 2009. Another aspect of the seventh generation was the beginning of direct competition between dedicated handheld gaming devices, and increasingly powerful PDA/cell phone devices such as the iPhone and iPod Touch, and the latter being aggressively marketed for gaming purposes. Simple games such as Tetris and Solitaire had existed for PDA devices since their introduction, but by 2009 PDAs and phones had grown sufficiently powerful to where complex graphical games could be implemented, with the advantage of distribution over wireless broadband.
"i love...5 Star...While the ps4 platform itself is a great technological advancement I don't agree with the fact that you buy a game cd for $40 or $50 but then have to pay an additional fee to enjoy playing online with your friends personally I think that is a little ridiculous I appreciate that it's internet capable but I don't agree with having to pay for online gaming after so much money has already been shelled out...Have had a PlayStation 4 for about a year and just bought a new one for gift because to me it beats out both the Xbox One and Wii U, which I also own, and the base PS4 is a great starter console for younger players."
"There were two kinds of kids on the playground in 1986: those that thought the NES was the most powerful, most awesome videogame system ever... and those who knew they were wrong. I was a member of the latter group, merrily playing Alex Kidd, Wonder Boy, Fantasy Zone, and Quartet. (I used to even write and draw game manuals for made-up Master System games, that's how over-the-moon I was about vids.) It's not that I didn't like the NES. I certainly did. But I could argue until the sun went down about how Phantasy Star was better than Dragon Warrior. And when the sun did indeed go down, I went home and put on those crazy 3D Glasses that set me back many, many weeks of allowance. I still have them. And 2 back-up pair."
Pre-order the Xbox One S Minecraft Creators Bundle (1TB) and be part of a worldwide phenomenon. Jam-packed with a full-game download plus popular content from Minecraft community creators, the bundle includes the Xbox One S console with 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, 4K video streaming, and a wireless controller. Play Minecraft with friends! Build, dig, and craft together with friends who are on PC, mobile, VR, and console.
Ralph Baer's original Odyssey is the machine that started the home videogame industry. Others may have popularized it beyond measure, such as the Atari 2600 and NES, but the Odyssey series is truly the genesis. The Odyssey was limited, though (all games were onboard, the paddle-like controller was clumsy compared to the joystick), and so Magnavox, the manufacturer of the console, pressed forward with the Odyssey 2. It aped the blockbuster Atari 2600 -- now its chief rival in 1978 -- in many ways, such as using the then-traditional one-button joystick and interchangeable cartridges. While the Odyssey 2's resolution is lower than the 2600, the console surpassed Atari’s in a handful of technical areas -- such as the out-of-the-box inclusion of a full keyboard for easy programming and edutainment software and the availability of an optional speech synthesizer.
There's no "I" in team and the days of being limited to solo gaming are long gone. Online play lets you join forces and complete missions co-operatively, or go head-to-head with real people from around the world instantaneously. A premier online gaming experience backed by dedicated servers offers fast, smooth connections, but often comes with a small monthly or yearly fee. If you want to play with your friends make sure you know which consoles they're using, that way you're not left on the sideline.
Even as Sony successfully marketed the slick and cool PlayStation 2 as a high-tech home media device, Nintendo tried to sell GCN as a simple games player for the whole family -- in hindsight, probably a mistake. GameCube looked like a lunchbox and, save for the fantastic Nintendo-published exclusives like Metroid Prime and Super Mario Sunshine -- it didn't really sport any distinguishing features over its competitors. The machine sold almost exclusively to Nintendo fans and younger gamers, which is why it was also largely shunned by third-parties, whose software usually performed better on other platforms. Nintendo ultimately sold about 22 million GameCube systems worldwide -- roughly 118 million units less than PlayStation 2.
In 1996, Nintendo released the Game Boy Pocket: a smaller, lighter unit that required fewer batteries. It has space for two AAA batteries, which provide approximately 10 hours of game play. Although, like its predecessor, the Game Boy Pocket has no backlight to allow play in a darkened area, it did notably improve visibility and pixel response-time (mostly eliminating ghosting). The Game Boy Pocket was not a new software platform and played the same software as the original Game Boy model.
Video games have changed the way we tell stories – and with more and more possibilities to change a certain story in a game with an interactive narrative, where you as a player are faced with crucial decisions, more complex stories can be told. Games for Playstation, Xbox and PC give us the possibility to take risks that feel real without having the real world knock on the door with real world consequences. Part of what is so alluring about a first-person shooter game is that you as a player can shoot a heat-seeking missile at a building and see the results – without ending up in prison.
As a platform, the Dreamcast brought SEGA's biggest franchises to the next generation, including Sonic the Hedgehog and Virtua Fighter, but also introduced new series like Crazy Taxi to the gaming community. Unfortunately, the Dreamcast was SEGA's last venture into console territory; but its impact, legacy, and notable franchises are still evidenced today.
We do test them, of course. We’ve spent a lot of time playing video games on these consoles and even more thinking about what they can do. We make sure that everything we like about these products works and delivers like advertised. That includes playing all kinds of games, checking the quality of the internet connectivity, factoring in quality and quantity of exclusives, and checking if developers are currently making games for the platform.
Game systems in the eighth generation also faced increasing competition from mobile device platforms such as Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems. Smartphone ownership was estimated to reach roughly a quarter of the world's population by the end of 2014. The proliferation of low-cost games for these devices, such as Angry Birds with over 2 billion downloads worldwide, presents a new challenge to classic video game systems. Microconsoles, cheaper stand-alone devices designed to play games from previously established platforms, also increased options for consumers. Many of these projects were spurred on by the use of new crowdfunding techniques through sites such as Kickstarter. Notable competitors include the GamePop, OUYA, GameStick Android-based systems, the PlayStation TV, the NVIDIA SHIELD and Steam Machines.
^ Herman, Leonard (1997). Phoenix: the fall & rise of videogames (2nd ed.). Union, NJ: Rolenta Press. p. 20. ISBN 0-9643848-2-5. Retrieved 16 February 2012. Like Pong, Telstar could only play video tennis but it retailed at an inexpensive $50 that made it attractive to most families that were on a budget. Coleco managed to sell over a million units that year.
In 1990, Nintendo finally brought their Super Famicom to market and brought it to the United States as the Super NES (SNES) a year later. Its release marginalized the TurboGrafx and the Neo Geo, but came late enough for Sega to sell several million consoles in North America and gain a strong foothold. The same year the SNES was released Sega released Sonic the Hedgehog, which spiked Genesis sales, similar to Space Invaders on the Atari. Also, by 1992 the first fully licensed NFL Football game was released: NFL Sports Talk Football '93, which was available only on the Genesis. This impact on Genesis sales and the overall interest of realistic sports games would start the trend of licensed sports games being viewed as necessary for the success of a console in the US. While Nintendo enjoyed dominance in Japan and Sega in Europe, the competition between the two was particularly fierce and close in North America. Ultimately, the SNES outsold the Genesis, but only after Sega discontinued the Genesis to focus on the next generation of consoles.