For today in the world of game consoles, there are three main competitors: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages – which we will talk about today.
While Microsoft undoubtedly wants as many users for the Xbox One, they bet on an ecosystem that is more open than in any other console. Xbox One supports a cross-platform game with Windows 10 and has a built-in streaming system Mixer – an impressive and useful tool.
Nintendo Switch is a strange, but surprisingly attractive console. It significantly loses the previous two in terms of power, but this is compensated by a unique form factor that combines a conventional and portable console in one device.
For those who want to spend the winter evenings for video games and plan to buy a console for this, we’ll look at five models: PS4 Slim, PS4 Pro, Xbox One S, Xbox One X and Switch in the only available modification.
To date, the PlayStation 4 is considered the most popular console of the new generation in the world. According to existing data, Sony is ahead of Microsoft in sales. The comparison can be considered fair, given that the original versions of PS4 and Xbox One debuted in 2013.
PS4 at the start cost $ 400 and offered for this amount of advanced graphics from AMD and the promise of supporting HDR in the future. However, the original PS4 topical for today is not considered. After it, Sony released two updated versions: PS4 Slim and, later, PS4 Pro.
PlayStation 4 Slim
Slim, as the name implies, is a thinner version of the original PS4. Indeed, the console has become almost a kilogram lighter, while maintaining the performance of the video subsystem at 1.84 TFLOPS. It comes in two versions: with 500 GB or 1 TB of internal memory and supports Blu-ray and DVD in the same way as the original PS4. Prices for Slim, however, start at $ 300.
PlayStation 4 Pro
The next major update was the release of PlayStation 4 Pro. It costs $ 400 and is about 1.4 kg heavier than Slim. The main change in it was the support of games in 4K thanks to the technology of so-called chess rendering. In fact, this can not be called a full 4K, but the difference between chess rendering and real 4K is almost impossible to notice. PS4 has not changed the processor or memory (which is why it can not be called a truly new generation), but it added a new AMD graphics at 4.20 TFLOPS.
But what good is the 4K console that does not support anything above 1080p? Fortunately, the developers went to the meeting and the number of games optimized for the new game rendering process is constantly growing. It’s about indie projects like Abzu, Outlast 2, No Man’s Sky, Resogun, Rez Infinite, Rocket League, Nex Machina and The Witness, as well as AAA games Destiny 2, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Fallout 4, Overwatch, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Horizon Zero Dawn and Battlefield 1.
In recent years, Sony has actively promoted the development of indie games for the PlayStation, allowing small studios to perform at major events and put the most high-quality and creative projects in the game store. However, now the company’s focus shifted from indie to virtual reality.
Compared to Xbox One S, Xbox One X and Switch, PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro have one important advantage: support for PlayStation VR. The platform was launched just a year ago, but more than 100 games for it are already available in the PlayStation Store, and by the beginning of 2018 another 60 are planned to be released. As for the virtual reality helmet itself, it is also constantly improving. Already, in Japan, a new version of PSVR is available.
PlayStation 4: Summary
Advantages of PS4 Slim:
- A virtual reality
- Support for Blu-Ray and DVD
- Active development of indie projects
- A wide selection of AAA-exclusives (Uncharted, The Last Guardian, Persona 5, Bloodborne, Nier: Automata, Metal Gear Solid V)
Disadvantages of PS4 Slim:
- No support for 4K games and videos
- No support for UHD Blu-Ray
- Bad autonomy of the Dualshock 4 controllers
Advantages of PS4 Pro:
- Everything from PS4 Slim
- Support for 4K video and games thanks to chess rendering
- Smooth display of virtual reality
Disadvantages of PS4 Pro:
- No support for UHD Blu-Ray
- Much heavier Slim
- Bad autonomy of the Dualshock 4 controllers
If any company can erase the boundaries between the game on the PC and the console, it will definitely be Microsoft. A number of Xbox games are perfectly compatible with Windows 10 thanks to the Play Anywhere program. And it’s not just a cross-platform game between users of both systems. Buying a game for Xbox One, participating in this program, the user automatically receives its free copy for Windows 10. In reverse order, by the way, this also works.
Of course, after the announcement of Play Anywhere on E3 2016, users wanted to know which games would be compatible with it. For today, they include Cuphead, Tacoma, Forza Motorsport 7, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Gears of War 4, Thimbleweed Park, Ruiner and We Happy Few. In the future, support is expected for other outgoing games – including AAA projects.
Since its release, Microsoft has positioned the Xbox One as a console that will be online all the time. This should simplify the updating of both the system and the games, and also add new features to the games themselves. Most users have taken this idea with hostility, since an unstable Internet connection is a common problem, and because of it many simply will not be able to use the Xbox One. As a result, Microsoft had to change the concept just before the release.
To date, two versions of this console are available: Xbox One S and Xbox One X. What is expected, none of them has ever realized the principle of permanent connection to the Internet. At the same time, two functions tied to the network were added: streaming through the Mixer platform and the possibility of a cross-platform game between the Xbox One and Windows 10.
Xbox One S
This console, like the PS4 Slim, is a light version of the original console. It is about 40% smaller than the Xbox One, but it has a built-in UHD Blu-ray player and supports games and video in HDR.
Xbox One S is part of the Microsoft ecosystem – which, in general, is quite a good thing. In addition to the cross-platform game and Mixer (through which, by the way, you can stream on Twitch in 4K UHD), this console has another undeniable advantage: backward compatibility. If, by buying the PS4, you can only play what was released on the PS4 (including, of course, the PS3 and earlier console game remasters), then in the case of the Xbox One, you also get access to an extensive library of games from the original Xbox and Xbox 360.
Finally, the last thing to note is the Bluetooth-controller. The gamepad from Xbox One can be called a standard – both in terms of autonomy and quality.
The price of the Xbox One S starts at $ 300.
Xbox One X
The second of the current consoles from Microsoft today is the most powerful ever created. Xbox One X is equipped with graphics for 6 TFLOPS and 12 GB of GDDR5 memory. For comparison, the PS4 Pro only 8 GB. And, unlike it, Xbox One X supports the current 4K in games and video, and is also equipped with a UHD Blu-ray player.
Of course, for this power you have to pay: the price tag Xbox One X starts at $ 500. Recall that the PlayStation 4 Pro supports VR and costs $ 400. Although Microsoft also spends a lot of efforts on development in the field of augmented reality, so far it has nothing to answer PSVR.
Xbox One: Summary
Advantages of Xbox One S:
- Streaming via Mixer in high resolution
- Support for UHD Blu-Ray and current 4K
- Stunning gamepad
- Backwards compatibility with Xbox and Xbox 360
- Play Anywhere for cross-platform games with Windows 10
Disadvantages of Xbox One S:
- Does not support VR
- Graphics weaker than PS4 Slim
- No 4K
Advantages of Xbox One X:
- All from the Xbox One S list
- Games and videos in 4K
Disadvantages of Xbox One X:
- The most expensive console on the market
- Heavy, inconvenient to carry
- Does not support VR
If you describe this console in one word, then it will be “wonderful.” It is not the most powerful, not the most budgetary, does not support 4K or VR, and does not have a large library of games and applications. And despite all this, it’s amazing. Switch offers exactly what Nintendo promised: a hybrid console with support for 1080p games on the TV and up to 720p on a portable 6.2-inch display.
Switch offers as an exclusivity some of the best games of this year (which in itself was quite productive for good games). This is, in particular, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 and Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle.
Also on the console is a decent set of indie games. For Nintendo, such a system is new, but developers are definitely grateful for the ability to publish games on the Switch – as well as users. Thus, Shovel Knight, TumbleSeed, Stardew Valley, Rime, TowerFall, Travis Strikes Again, Floor Kids, Golf Story, Super Meat Boy Forever, Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth + and Kentucky Route Zero became available on the Switch.
Nintendo Switch comes with two miniature Joy-Con controllers, each of which is capable of functioning as a full gamepad. However, it’s no secret that joeys are not suitable for big hands. The console also comes with a Joy-Con Grip, which connects two controllers into one large one. The big disadvantage of this system is that the controllers do not charge at the same time.
Thus, Nintendo literally forces users to purchase additional accessories. So, the full-sized Switch Pro Controller costs $ 70, while the Charge Grip, allowing the joysticks to charge when connected, will cost $ 30. Also in the console is an NFC-module that supports Amiibo figures. The figures themselves give different bonuses in games and cost an average of $ 15 per piece. The cost of the console itself is about $ 300.
Nintendo would not be Nintendo, if there was not an annoying software feature in its new console that users can not escape. In the case of Switch it is an inability to make a backup of your progress in games. Although the console supports micro SD memory cards, you can not save to it. Also there is no any online service for backup, although in the PS4 and Xbox One they are provided. This means that if you accidentally deleted the save or lost the console, then all the progress in the games will be lost irrevocably.
The switch does not support 4K or VR, but the console itself is unique. Nintendo has already tried to create a hybrid console with the Wii U, but the success of this idea was unsuccessful. Switch is also convenient as a portable system, and as a full-fledged game console. This is the only prefix of the current generation, which makes sense to take with you when you leave home. It is ideal for playing in an airplane, train or public transport.
Nintendo Switch: Summary
Advantages of Nintendo Switch:
- Portable and full-fledged console in one device
- The possibility of a local multiplayer game
- A large number of worthy exclusives
- A growing number of indie projects
Disadvantages of the Nintendo Switch:
- Expensive controllers and other accessories
- No backup for in-game saves
- Few applications for media content
- Does not support 4K and VR
For today, there is no “perfect console”, which will suit anyone. Each system is unique, has its advantages and disadvantages. So the determining factor is the player’s preferences.
Do you want a console with a large library of games and a powerful active community? Then your choice is PS4 Slim. If at the same time you have a TV with 4K resolution and you want to use this advantage, then pay attention to the Pro.
If, on top of all this, you want the console to act as a player for UHD Blu-Ray and have a lot of friends playing on Windows 10, almost certainly you will like the Xbox One X.
For travelers (as well as those who spend several hours a day in the subway) and lovers of playing with friends offline it makes sense to choose Switch. This is not to mention the fact that she is attractive for her exclusives – especially Breath of the Wild.
With three powerful consoles and a growing PC gaming market, being a fan of video games now is a pleasure, regardless of the chosen system.