The newest heavy-duty console to hit the market – the Xbox One X – has 4K HDR playback and the most powerful gaming console processor on the market. The Xbox One S and PlayStation 4 Pro also have some 4K and/or HDR playback abilities, though to a lesser degree than the One X. Any of these is a smart choice if you have a compatible TV and access to 4K games and video, and they can make for the perfect binge session of Netflix’s latest 4K content.
Graphics processors keep getting updated, and video games follow suit, becoming more spectacular but also quite demanding. PC gamers are painfully familiar with the trend of needing a video card upgrade every couple of years when they want to play the latest games at an acceptable frame rate. But you don't need to be sitting around waiting for a new game's release date to come when eBay has such an enormous back-catalogue of older games to choose from!
The Master System was essentially a conduit for SEGA to get its arcade hits into the home. Even though the Master System did not have the horsepower to completely replicate the experience of SEGA's enviable stable of arcade smashes like OutRun and Space Harrier, there was no other place to play these games outside of an arcade. But SEGA also released plenty of great, original games for the console over its lifespan, including Alex Kidd in Miracle World and one of the greatest role-playing games of all-time, Phantasy Star. However, thanks to Nintendo's iron-grip agreements, few third-party publishers ever supported the machine and software came out at a very frustrating pace. Months could go by between major releases and that made a dud on the Master System feel even more painful.
More than just a clearance house for lightly-aged AAA titles, the Switch also offers an ever-growing catalog of fantastic first-party games like Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as well as excellent indies such as Stardew Valley, Celeste, and Dead Cells. Add in some forward-looking experiments with Nintendo Labo, and the Switch is looking like an incredibly well-rounded platform with something unique to offer everyone.
There are many pre-built options out there but building your own can cut some costs but you'll need to troubleshoot everything yourself. Generally speaking, you'll want to aim for at least an Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor and Nvidia GTX 1070 GPU. This will allow you to enjoy even more demanding titles at 1440p resolution and a comfortable 60 frames-per-second at the very least.
To add to that, it has a long line of outputs, which means you get more options with this than with the earlier models that did not have this exciting and useful opportunity. You can, for example, connect a pair of earphones to it, which makes it possible to talk and listen to the audio at the same time. This means that when you sit and play, you feel even more immersed in the game, and you forget the time and the place, and the only thing that exists in this moment is just this game and this unique universe you have jumped into.
In adventure games the puzzle is in focus. In this genre the player is presented with a mystery which has to be solved by investigating the environment and talking with characters in the game. There are many types of these games, but most often they involve a detective team that tries to uncover hidden connections in the world of the game. In adventure games the central activity is to collect and combine objects and information to get access to more of the background story.
And then there's Nintendo, which tends to run almost purely on exclusives. Mario and Link are pure gold, and Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are two of the best games in their respective series (Breath of the Wild was also released on the Wii U). Add Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, and the clever Nintendo Labo sets and you have a lot of Nintendo-only games. The trade-off is fewer current AAA games like Call of Duty (though Bethesda has ported Doom, Skyrim, and Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus to the system).
Stepping up to 4K gaming requires paying a premium, however. The PS4 Pro tacks an extra $100 onto the price, while the Xbox One X adds $200. That means 4K gaming and enhanced PlayStation VR performance on the PlayStation 4 (recommended for the excellent Tetris Effect) will cost you $400, while experiencing Forza Horizon 4 in 4K on the Xbox One will run $500.
Gaming consoles span several major brands, including Nintendo, Playstation, and Xbox. They also span several generations, with the PS4 console being the latest Playstation and the Xbox One X console being the latest from Microsoft. If you’re looking to play at home, traditional gaming consoles offer stunning HD graphic capabilities thanks to Blu-Ray technology, and the Wii gives you the chance to get active too. If you want to be able to take interactive gaming with you on the move, handheld models also offer up 3D graphics, touchscreen control, WiFi and 3G connectivity, movie and video playback as well as incredible gameplay.
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