For as long as I can remember I would often recommend buying (or building) a gaming PC as opposed to purchasing a home console. After all, I am a PC gamer, and as such, I always think a solid PC would be more powerful than a game console because they have the added benefit of being used for work, multimedia, and a whole lot more. But that said, as of this moment it’s hard to make that recommendation because of one simple thing: cryptocurrency. The drive to strike it rich through Bitcoin, Etherium, and other brands of digital currency mining has created a run on high-end PC components that has resulted in hardware shortages and the heavy markups that come with it. So if you are putting your gaming PC plans on the side for a while, and have been out of the console market for some time (or are new altogether), here are your main options to consider!

1) PlayStation 4 / PS4 Pro

The PlayStation 4 has been on the market since late-2013. But make no mistake, it’s still a gaming powerhouse. Its time on the market means that the PS4 is what you might call a “mature console.” One of the good things about this is that, if you bought a PS4 today, you wouldn’t have to sit around waiting for major blockbuster titles to be released before you could properly “break in” your new system. Instead, you’ve already got an impressive library of games out there just waiting to be played.

PlayStation 4 / PS4 Pro
Several models of the PlayStation 4 have been released since the console’s launch, so which one is right for you? Well, that depends. If you plan to do the majority of your gaming on a mainstream 1080p TV and don’t plan on upgrading to 4K anytime soon, you can pick up the PlayStation 4 Slim for $299.99 (with various bundle options available). However, if you want to make the most out of a 4K TV and enjoy games with improved visuals and performance, you might want to look into the PlayStation 4 Pro

The PS4 Pro ($399.99) is essentially an “incremental upgrade” to the original hardware, giving it support for 4K, High Dynamic Range (higher brightness levels and more lifelike colors), and allowing it to improve on almost any existing PS4 title. The extra power the PS4 Pro boasts allows it to improve texture quality, visual detail, and overall performance of already existing titles. In essence, this allows developers to create games that run just fine on the original PS4 models; but giving additional visual and performance benefits to those running them on the newer Pro hardware. Don’t worry though: Sony has made it very clear that all games need to run well on old hardware as well as new hardware.

Here are a few games to look out for: Final Fantasy XV / Resident Evil 7: Biohazard / Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain / The Last of Us Remastered / Rise of the Tomb Raider

2) XBox One / One S / One X

Released around the same time as the PlayStation 4, Microsoft’s successor to the XBox 360 has also received various upgrades over the last few years. Interestingly, today you won’t actually be able to buy a new XBox One console; because the original models were discontinued in 2016 when the new XBox One S revision officially went to market. However, given the low cost of the One S (starting at just $229.99), this is actually a benefit for buyers given how many major upgrades the new revision has compared to the old model.

XBox One / One S / One X
The XBox One S is still perfect for those gaming on a 1080p TV, but it has the added benefit of offering full HDR support, providing high-quality upscaling of games to make them look much sharper on 4K TVs, and offering the ability to play 4K media (including 4K Blu-Rays). All things considered, it’s the best of both worlds and it’s very attractive given its price-point.

Those demanding the absolute best from their game console, however, may want to look at the enthusiast-grade XBox One X. At a whopping $499.99, the One X is quite simply the most powerful home console ever created. It offers full native support for 4K gaming at a full 60 frames-per-second, offers improved HDR compatibility, and much like the PS4 Pro it offers performance and visual improvements to games throughout the XBox One library. Despite its high price, the One X is still the most economical way right now to enjoy beautiful looking titles on your new 4K HDR TV.

A few XB1 titles to look out for include: Rise of the Tomb Raider / Final Fantasy XV / Hitman / The Witness / Cuphead / XCom 2 / Overwatch / The Witcher 3

3) Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is the newcomer to the console market, following up on the flop that was the Wii U. The Switch, however, has been met with widespread praise and incredible sales since its launch on March the 3rd, 2017. At $299.99, the console sits in a sweet spot matching the PS4 in terms of price, yet has the unique benefit of being both a home and portable game system.

Nintendo Switch
The Switch is essentially a tablet with a detachable set of controllers that you can play it with. Players have the ability to place it in a dock that connects to a TV and enjoy their games at 1080p on the big screen, but they can also attach the joy-cons, undock the system, and enjoy their favorite games anywhere they want. It’s easy to think of this as some sort of shtick, but it’s really a game-changing feature that works perfectly with the flexible lifestyles people are living today.

While the Switch is new to the market, it’s already got a pretty impressive library at its disposal thanks to perhaps the most third-party support Nintendo has received in many years. Also, Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” and “Super Mario Odyssey” were some of the most praised and most decorated games of 2017.

Here are a few Switch games to look out for: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild / Super Mario Odyssey / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe / Xenoblade Chronicles 2 / Dragon Quest Builders / Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / L.A. Noire / Splatoon 2 / Sonic Forces

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the topic. So please stay tuned for more crafty content coming your way, care of Jessica's Journey, as written by Joypad Jess from NerdyButFlirty.com.


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