There is no better time to invest in a video game console than towards the tail end of a console generation. By that time, the different consoles would not only have amassed a decent number of games in their respective libraries, but developers would’ve also gotten a solid handle of their respective hardware, enabling them to craft the best games possible. So whether you are an avid gamer looking to pick up a new console, or you are simply looking to pick up some games or video game accessories for a gamer friend or loved one, you’ve come to the right place.
The purpose of this guide is to help you decide on which video game consoles might be worth your hard-earned cash, as well as highlight some must-own games and accessories that would help you make the most of each one. To kick things off, we’ll be looking at the three dominant platforms that make up the current generation of games: the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch.
Launched in November of 2013, the Sony PlayStation 4 is the current champion in terms of sheer number of units sold, with more than a 100 million PS4s sold till date. This is a distinction that speaks for itself, since it boasts some of the very best console exclusives. It received both a slimmed down version known as the PlayStation 4 Slim, as well as a mid-generation upgrade in the form of the PlayStation 4 Pro, a more powerful version that is capable of outputting games in 4K resolution.
Also launched in November of 2013, Microsoft’s Xbox One originally came bundled with the Kinect, a motion sensor bar that allowed players to use their body movements to control their in-game avatars. It has since found another way of enticing gamers with its Xbox Game Pass subscription service, which provides them access to some of the hottest games available on the platform. Much like the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One also received a slimmed down version, the Xbox One S, as well as a half-step generational upgrade, the Xbox One X, which currently ranks as the most powerful video game console on the market, able to render visuals in native 4K.
The relative new kid on the block, the Nintendo Switch was launched in March of 2017. Since then, it has gone on to become one of the fastest-selling video game consoles of all time, with more than 40 million units sold till date. Its success can be directly attributed to its growing library of quality games, as well as its unique design. Unlike the other two consoles, the Nintendo Switch is a hybrid console, meaning it can function as both a home console as well as a handheld that can be played on-the-go. It recently received a handheld-only version dubbed the Nintendo Switch Lite.
Choosing a Console
There are several factors worth considering when choosing a video game console. These include:
Unless you happen to have access to a large vault filled with endless funds, chances are you need to consider just how much you might be willing to spend on a brand new console or game. The good news is the current crop of consoles have undergone a number of price cuts since their launches, so there is no better time to finally snag that console you’ve had your eye on for ages. The games themselves tend to get heavily discounted over time, except for first-party Nintendo games, which rarely get discounted below their original retail prices.
Let’s face it, not many of us have enough time to devote to playing video games, with work and life in general tending to get in the way of those precious gaming sessions. If you find yourself in this camp, then a hybrid console like the Nintendo Switch might be just what you need, allowing you to take your games with you wherever you go, and making those long commutes that much more bearable.
Size of Game Library
I know we are meant to favor quality over quantity, but nothing can take the wind out of your sails faster than buying a brand new console only to discover there are no worthwhile games to play on it. In terms of number of games, the PS4 has the largest library. The Xbox One on the other hand might not be able to measure up in the number of games it has in its library, but it makes up for this with a growing number of backwards compatible games from the Xbox 360 and original Xbox. The Nintendo Switch sits somewhere in-between, with a growing library that includes some of the very best games in series like Mario and Zelda.
Availability of Games
Another question worth asking is just how readily available are the games for your console of choice? This is doubly important in Nigeria since availability is determined by actual demand and supply in the country, not overall popularity in the wider gaming world. If this was a sole concern, then the PS4 would come out as the clear choice, with the Nintendo Switch (and Nintendo consoles generally) coming dead last. The good news though is Nintendo has its own online store known as the eShop, so all the games in its library can be bought digitally.
Nintendo has arguably the least developed online infrastructure of the bunch, with lack of native voice chat for most of its games being just one of its shortcomings. But it tries to compensate for this by having the most affordable subscription service, as well as throwing in a number of high-profile games from its NES and SNES back catalogue. The PS4 and Xbox One by contrast have very robust online services, but this comes at a higher price point. So if you are serious about playing the likes of Call of Duty and FIFA online, you might want to consider sticking with either of the two consoles.
And there you have it, some things worth considering while you are shopping for a new video game or console. We hope this guide has been able to shed some light on which ones would be right for you or your household. Be sure to visit Jumia for all the best deals on video games and accessories.