If you are new to gaming and don’t quite know where to begin, or perhaps a seasoned gamer looking to try a different console, grab a seat and relax, because Parallax Media is here to help you out.

Every person who proclaims themselves a gamer had to start somewhere., In this day and age, there are a lot more options for which direction you choose to go when it comes to video games. The gaming industry has evolved substantially since the 70’s, and the content and consoles being released today are great examples of where innovation and technology can take us. With a handful of companies each putting their unique twist on the world of video games, deciding what route to go can be a bit tricky.

E3 has come and gone, leaving us with a slew of amazing titles for every video game enthusiast. End of summer sales are just around the corner. Soon, the holiday season will start; through all of this you may be wondering, which console is best for me?

In this article, we will cover Microsoft’s Xbox One/One S and Project Scarlett, Sony’s PlayStation 4 and upcoming PlayStation 5, the Nintendo Switch and last but definitely not least, the beloved PC. 

Microsoft

microsoft

Xbox One/ Xbox One S

Pros: The Xbox One has some powerful hardware that allows for a pretty stunning gaming experience. It was designed to parallel the hardware common in dedicated gaming PC’s, with 4K and HDR video abilities, if the user should have a compatible TV. Microsoft has done a great job with controller personalization, and offering an online platform that makes co-op an easy and enjoyable option in a wide variety of games. Although Microsoft doesn’t compare to Sony’s PlayStation when it comes to exclusives. The exclusives they do offer, such as Halo, Forza and Gears of War (Gears), have proven to be favorites among gamers. Whatever Microsoft lacks in exclusives they make up for in backwards-compatible titles. The Xbox One has a colorful game library and wastes no time in ensuring that our favorite titles will live on as the console moves forward. When you aren’t in the mood for video games, Xbox offers plenty of apps to cater to nearly all forms of online entertainment, from video streaming, to music, to even Skyping with friends. This console is well balanced and has shown that it can continue to upgrade as we do. 

Cons: All of those wonderful things said, the Xbox One/One S is not perfect, and comes with a hefty price tag. These consoles, though their hardware is up to any challenge, are among the most pricey and Microsoft plans to keep it that way. Gamers will find that once it’s all said and done, they are not just purchasing a great console. In order to enjoy this gaming console to the fullest extent, gamers will need to acquire a compatible television and accessories, and a paid subscription if you choose to play online at all. VR, which is gaining popularity, is not offered through any Xbox console. 

Microsoft revealed their latest Project Scarlett at E3 this year, claiming it will have the most advanced hardware and technology the gaming industry has to offer. 

project scarlett
© Xbox Project Scarlett Announcement

Project Scarlett

Hopes: Everyone hopes that the console they support will be the greatest in their class, and the hopes for the upcoming Project Scarlett will be no different. Besides having great hardware and possibly the greatest backwards compatibility and streaming game service out there, those who support the Xbox will hope that their console will give them more in terms of exclusive titles. While Halo, Gears, and Forza have held up their end of the bargain, it’s quickly becoming stale. One exclusive that seems to have been left by the wayside is Fable, which used to do pretty well on the original Xbox as well as the Xbox 360. It was sorely missed in the current generation of consoles, as seeing a game of such high regard on a current generation console would have appealed to both the fans of the series as well as new blood.

Fears: Project Scarlett seems to be fighting against its own cousin, the PC. While it has the advantage of being able to be connected to a large screen 4K television, the PC also has the advantage of being able to connect to multiple monitors at once. Furthermore, the PC has the unique ability to be modularly upgraded (talked about more in a segment down the road), meaning it will always be able to play games that the Xbox will have at similar, if not possibly higher settings than the console. Also, since the Xbox Game Pass is available on the PC, this would mean that sales figures for the Xbox could be adversely affected, especially for those who think that having both the Xbox and PC would be akin to having the same thing. How Microsoft will be able to entice one to buy the other would be something that would require a lot of convincing.

Sony

playstation

PS4

Pros: PlayStation’s fourth console is home to an incredibly diverse catalogue of games for sure, but what really sets it apart from its competitors are its exclusive titles. Cinematic, narrative driven content is where they thrive, and ultimately what Sony puts the most effort into. If you’re someone who has an interest in other media, like TV or film, these titles will offer you something new (read: playable), yet familiar in terms of storytelling. 

Cons: PS4 controllers have always been a source of ire from the fans of the Sony platform. Known for dying after a measly few hours of gameplay, the battery life of a PlayStation controller could stand to be improved. Most players usually turn off the LED lights at the front of the PS4 controller in a futile bid to extend the life of the controller, however the actual battery usage of the light is quite negligible, and therefore not a long term solution to the problem. Sony, for the PS5, could you please make the battery life for the controller a wee bit longer? Thanks in advance. 

PS5

Hopes: Our main hopes for the system would be that: one, it is not starting at a crazy price point — looking at you PS3 — but also that Sony decides to play nicer when it comes to backwards compatibility. Microsoft has really been pushing that concept lately and we would love to see Sony copy that same mentality. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have all of your digital and physical games be compatible with your new machine that might not have a huge library of games from the get go?

Oh, and also the controller battery life thing as mentioned above please!

Fears: To be honest, Sony is in an arguable first-place lead with the current generation, so it is really their game to lose here. Most likely they would have to mess up big time to have a whole ecosystem of players to jump ship, but that’s not to say it isn’t possible. The main fear is definitely in the exclusive games rather than the console itself. With Microsoft acquiring so many studios, will Sony be able to keep up with all the titles that will more than likely be exclusive to Xbox and PC (and maybe Switch since they play nice now apparently)?

Nintendo

nintendo

Switch

Pros: The most obvious pro for the Nintendo Switch is its ability to adapt to your lifestyle pretty easily. On the go? No problem. Finally, have some time to sit down on the couch? They got you covered too. The Switch’s inherent portability function makes it easy to complete a game wherever, whenever. Nintendo’s list of games are entertaining for all ages, and are perfect for couch co-op, while still remaining a great console for adventuring alone. 

Cons: Nintendo made leaps and bounds with the switch, and for the first time in a while, their flagship system is home to many triple-A titles we thought we’d never see on a Nintendo console. But with titles like Skyrim being released, it makes it clear that the hardware just doesn’t stack up against its competitors. Not only do we see a dramatic frame rate difference in some games, but the overall graphical quality falls short as well. Even native made-for-Switch games like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have some issues switching from the handheld screen to the “docked” or tv set up. 

PC

Pros: The one thing that PCs have over the competition is the ability to customize. Everything inside a PC is considered modular, which allows for a lot of customization to be done. This means more optimized performance, smoother games, and if you do have the cash to splash, some of the best graphics you can possibly see in the gaming world. Also, PC MASTER-RACE Y’ALL.

Cons: The problem with PC? Nothing. Nothing whatsoever. 

Nahhh I’m just kidding. The problems with PC? Remember what I said about customization being a pro? That comes with a caveat too. It’s really pricey to keep up. If you always want the latest and greatest, you are definitely going to have to shell out the cash for it. Graphics cards are the ones that will probably cost you the prettiest penny you have. However, in order to get that sweet sweet 4K running at maximum specifications, constantly upgrading that graphics cards is going to be your whole life. If you can, however, live with slightly worse graphics, top-end graphics cards can usually last you about 3 to 4 years before requiring an upgrade. No more 4K sweetness though. 

So there you have it, folks. Our little inside scoop on the top video game consoles and technology that are either already on the market or will be soon. We hope our insight will help you decide which avenue is best for you as the holiday season approaches, sales begin and new content is released. As always, we are happy to welcome another gamer into the exciting and fast-paced world of video games. If you are simply looking for an upgrade, or have found yourself in the mood to try something new, then we at Parallax Media are glad we could shower you with our knowledge and wish you good luck on your gaming journey!

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Zoe
An indie game enthusiast, Zoe can be found creating her own video games, writing or perhaps daydreaming about her favorite food; pasta. Follow her on Twitter @zoe_doman.

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