If you are new to gaming, it can be a bit of a minefield with so many consoles and games to choose from, so we have put together a little guide about each of the main gaming consoles available now.
The PlayStation 4 (PS4) is an eighth-generation home video gaming console which was developed by Sony. The console features an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) built upon the x86-64 architecture, which can theoretically peak at 1.84 teraflops, making it the most powerful APU had developed at the time. The PS4 places an increased emphasis on social interaction and integration with other devices and services, including the ability to play games off-console on PlayStation Vita and other supported devices, the ability to stream gameplay online or to friends, with them controlling gameplay remotely. The console’s controller has improved buttons and analogue sticks as well as an integrated touchpad. The console also supports HDR10 High-dynamic-range video and playback of 4K resolution multimedia. Critics have praised the console for the performance difference compared to other gaming consoles and Sony have since released the PlayStation 4 Pro, a high-end version of the console with an upgraded GPU and higher CPU clock rate to support enhanced performance and 4K resolution on supported titles.
Xbox One is the successor to Xbox 360 and is the third console in the Xbox family. Moving away from its predecessor’s PowerPC-based architecture used in the original Xbox, it features an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) built around the x86-64 instruction set. Xbox One’s controller has a redesigned body, D-pad and triggers capable of delivering directional haptic feedback. The console places an increased emphasis on cloud computing as well as social networking features and the ability to record and share video clips or screenshots from gameplay or live-stream directly to streaming services such as Mixer and Twitch. Games can also be played off-console via a local area network on supported Windows 10 devices. The console can play Blu-ray Discs and overlay live television programming from an existing set-top box or a digital tuner. A higher-end model the Xbox One X was released in 2017 and features upgraded hardware specifications and support for rendering games at 4K resolution.
The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid console which means that it can be used as both a home console and a portable console. In the home console mode, the main unit is inserted into a docking station to connect to a television screen or monitor. Alternatively, for portable use, it can be removed from the dock and operated similarly to a tablet computer through its LCD touchscreen. The Switch can also be placed in a standalone table-top mode visible to several players. Its wireless Joy-Con controllers, which include standard buttons and directional analogue sticks for user input, motion sensing and high-definition tactile feedback, can attach to both sides of the console to enable handheld-style play. The Switch can also connect to a Grip accessory to provide a traditional console gamepad form or be used individually in the hand, supporting local multiplayer modes. The software supports online gaming through standard internet activity as well as local wireless ad hoc connectivity with other Switch consoles.