When it comes to consoles there’s always been – and probably will be – a pretty tough war.
The console war has cost many a life (not really), but which console really should be crowned the King (or Queen) of 2018? Let’s take a look…
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The PlayStation 4 is an absolutely fantastic console, and with it’s big brother, the PlayStation Pro, available for more hardcore gamers, and the cheaper standard version for the rest – plus the Slim – there’s good options here if you’re on a budget. But let’s get into a bit more detail.
The PS4 Pro is the most high-tech of the options available from Sony, and it can output dynamic 4K, as well as HDR video. The console features an upgraded GPU, plus the 4K resolution isn’t just for video playback. That being said, not all the games can be played in native 4k – a lot of Sony’s catalogue of games are upscaled.
In terms of storage, you can get anything from 500GB to a 1TB hard drive, meaning you can store a nice amount of games, though the more hardcore gamer might struggle with the 500GB.
PlayStation has arguably some of the best exclusives on the market, with 2018 exclusives including God of War and Spider-Man.
This year even more titles were added to its Greatest Hits line of games, where you can pick up classic Sony titles like The Last Of Us and Uncharted for basically nothing.
For story-driven exclusives, you’ll struggle to find a better choice than with a PS4.
There’s also the option to add in VR if you pick up a PlayStation, so if that’s something you’ve had your eyes on, this might be the best console for you.
Online features are becoming more and more popular – and more and more expensive. If you’re looking to use the PlayStation’s online multiplayer then you’ll need to be signed up to PlayStation Plus.
Signing up will also get you a few other things too, including exclusive discounts on games from the PlayStation Store and monthly downloads free of charge.
PlayStation Plus itself is – unfortunately – not free of charge, and usually costs around £40 for a 12 month subscription. There are deals floating around sometimes, but it’s an extra cost to consider.
Depending on the model you go for, and considering seasonal deals, you can pick up one of many PS4 bundles for a range of prices.
A standard bundle, including one new game such as COD Black Ops 4, Spider-Man or Red Dead Redemption 2, with 500GB of storage would cost around £250-£280, rising up to £350 for a Pro 1 TB version. The Slim option is more around the price of the standard bundle, and would set you back about £250.
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The Xbox One is a powerful and sleek-looking console with a lot to offer. Just like Sony, Microsoft also has a couple of different options when it comes to choosing the latest offering from its company.
The Xbox One X is the more hardcore option of the two, but it does offer true 4K and 60 FPS gameplay. Best suited for a 4K TV to really get your money’s worth, the X will still look better than most other consoles even without a 4K TV.
The Xbox One S is a more popular console as it comes in at a much lower price than its counterpart. It’s smaller and lighter than its big brother, and still supports 4K resolution – but only for video playback.
It might not be as powerful, but it’s a solid choice for any gamer.
Microsoft has a pretty decent choice of exclusive titles, though it seems to be known for favouring FPS games than story-driven ones.
The Halo series is probably one of the most popular exclusives that you’ll only be able to play on Xbox, but there’s also the likes of Cuphead, Sunset Overdrive, Ori and the Blind Forest, the Forza games, and Sea of Thieves.
Microsoft offers tiers of subscriptions, starting you off with a free level of Xbox Live and offering paid memberships for something less restrictive.
Paying to sign up to Xbox Live Gold is similar to PlayStation Plus, in that you’ll get free monthly games to download, and discounts on the store page.
Yes, you’ll need to pay for Gold to be able to access the full online multiplayer features your games offer, but it’s a little cheaper than the PS Plus. Right now, you can get a 12 month Xbox Live Gold subscription for around the £30 mark.
If you’re lucky you can usually scout out an Xbox One S for around the £200 mark – sometimes even a little lower – making it perfect if you’re on a budget.
If you’re looking to take full advantage of what Microsoft can offer, then the Xbox One X is actually the most expensive console on the market right now, usually retailing for between £380 and £450 depending on the model.
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Nintendo has been dismissed of the console wars for a while now, with its family-friendly consoles and games often turning the more dedicated gamers off choosing it. The release of the Switch in 2017 is changing that though, as the console is now a firm favourite for gamers of all ages.
Definitely not the most powerful console on the market right now, the Switch doesn’t pretend to be anything that it’s not. You’ll get your HD games and they’ll be playable both on the Switch’s screen (a high-quality and nice-looking screen of a decent size) and on your TV thanks to its dock.
Some people have recognised a frame-rate drop from the TV to the in-built screen, with Nintendo confirming the screen is 720p, rising to 1080p when docked.
Although not the most powerful, it’s travel-friendly, perfect for playing with friends, and utilises a tonne of different ways to play thanks to its intuitive touch-screen and easy-to-use JoyCon controllers.
Nintendo has some of the most classic games and franchises of all time, and if Mario, Pokemon, and Zelda are right up your street, this is the only console you’ll be able to play them on.
Plus – Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
The Switch now offers some AAA titles, including Skyrim, though you’ll still be paying full price for a game that’s definitely old now.
On the flip side, there are hundreds of indie games available on the eShop, and you can often pick up nice little indie title for around £1 when there’s a sale.
Nintendo Online launched earlier this year, so yeah, you’ll need to fork out for your online multiplayer now. Following the likes of Sony and Microsoft, your subscription will get you your online play, access to free NES games and data saving in the cloud. Nintendo’s offering is the cheapest of the three, and you can get a year’s subscription for £17.99. There’s also family bundles for multiple consoles too.
The Nintendo Switch is the cheapest of the bunch, and you can pick up a console for around £280. If you’re looking for a bundle that price obviously goes up, but unless you’re after a special edition version – like the upcoming Pokemon and Super Smash Bros. versions – you shouldn’t be paying more than the £350 mark.
With such unique ideas and premium exclusives available from all three of the console giants, the war’s still raging on for now.
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