For video game enthusiasts, this is the coolest time of the year. But if you are new to the medium or planning to buy video games as a gift, this can be confusing as well.
This week, two more video game units made their debut. On Tuesday, Microsoft launched the Xbox One Series X and S. Two days later, Sony will release the PlayStation 5.
And let’s not forget the Nintendo Switch, which was launched more than three years ago but was one of the most popular video game consoles available. As of September, Nintendo says it has sold more than 68 million Switch consoles.
So which controller should you choose? Let’s break them all down:
PlayStation 5 review:A powerful video game console with innovative controls
Xbox Series X and Series S review:New gaming consoles are trying to ease the burden
Xbox X / S
How much does it cost? $ 299.99 for the S-Series, $ 499.99 for the X-Series. Microsoft also offers an All Access program where consumers can pay for controllers over two years, similar to buying a smartphone.
What is the difference between the two controllers? The X Series includes a Blu-ray drive, and the S Series does not include a drive, which means you must download all of your games digitally. The X Series features a more powerful processor and a “true 4K” resolution. It also features more storage capacity (1 TB) compared to the S-Series (512 GB).
What can I play? Almost every game is available on the Xbox One, Xbox 360, and even some games from the original Xbox. Third-party games are also available including “Madden NFL”, “Call of Duty” and “Fortnite”.
What are the advantages? If you already own an Xbox, the transition is seamless. Setup is very easy if you are coming from Xbox One. All Xbox One accessories are compatible, including consoles. Between Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft’s game subscription service, and its support for legacy titles, there is a wide range of games available. And these games load faster, leaving more time to play. Also, the S Series costs the same as the Xbox One or PlayStation 4.
What are the disadvantages? There is no Xbox Series X or S-only video game at this time. There isn’t enough storage space for digital games, especially on the S Series.
How much does it cost? $ 499.99 for the standard PS5, and $ 399.99 for the digital version
What is the difference between the two controllers? The only difference is that the standard PS5 has a Blu-ray drive, while the digital version does not. So, like Xbox Series S, PS5 Digital Edition owners can only download their games digitally.
What can I play? The console comes with “Astro’s Playroom” and features most of the older PS4 games, including “Fortnite”, “Call of Duty” and “Madden NFL”. There are also a few games that take advantage of the capabilities of PS5, including Marvel’s “Spider-Man: Miles Morales” and “Demon’s Souls.”
What are the advantages? It features an incredible rechargeable controller that boasts advanced touch technology. The interface is better organized. There are more experiences designed specifically for the PS5, along with a wide variety of older games, all of which load faster. The Digital Edition also features more storage (825GB) than the Xbox Series S consoles.
What are the disadvantages? Really big. It also has similar storage restrictions as Xbox.
How much does it cost? $ 299.99 for the standard model, and $ 199.99 for the Switch Lite
What is the difference between the two controllers? The standard model connects to your TV and features detachable consoles. An ideal choice if you are using it as a family device that many people will play with. Switch Lite uses controllers built into the console, so it’s only available to play in handheld form.
What can I play? Nintendo has a strong collection of its own games, which include “Super Mario”, “The Legend of Zelda”, and others. There are also some titles from other publishers including “Fortnite”, “FIFA” and more. Selection is a bit more limited compared to Xbox or PlayStation.
What are the advantages? It is very portable, so you can play games on the TV or on the go. Contains a collection of Nintendo games by “Super Smash Bros.” To the fun and family-friendly “Animal Crossing”. Consoles are less expensive, and Nintendo Online Switch’s service is a more affordable option for Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus. The service also provides access to classic Nintendo games from the 1980s and 1990s.
What are the disadvantages? It will not contain the advanced 4K technology of consoles like PlayStation or Xbox. Chatting with friends while playing games is an inconsistent experience. Some games like “Fortnite” include live voice chat, while others like “Mario Kart” require users to download a separate Nintendo Online app for iOS or Android. Also, the third-party game suite is not as powerful as other consoles.
What about PS4 or Xbox One owners?
If you already own a PS4 or Xbox One, there’s no reason to jump in if you’re not ready since there are still quite a few exclusive experiences for the new consoles.
If you don’t have consoles at home, the PS4 or Xbox One work as an affordable option with a large library of games and many tech advances like 4K resolution. However, with the introduction of new consoles, developers will eventually stop creating new games for the PS4 and Xbox One.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @ brettolina.