Which games console should I buy?

If your kids are already nagging you for this year’s birthday gift, you might be comparing games consoles to try to figure out whether to get them the one on their wish list. Gaming can be an expensive hobby, because you’ll probably have to fork out for the games once they’ve got their hands on the hardware.

The main players in the console market are still Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft -- that’s not changed for the last few years. However, the increasing power of tablet devices, and the lower cost of games, has given adults more options when choosing a gaming device for the kids.

Image result for computer games

iPads, Android Tablets

Overall, iPads and Android tablets cost from £100 upwards, and have fewer of the high-profile games that your kids have heard about. There is a little crossover; for example, a game like Minecraft can be played on tablet or console relatively well. But tablets tend to have lower cost, smaller games.

For young children, a tablet is a good device if they’re still learning how to use games. It has the advantage of being easy to use, and you can set up child-safe modes on certain Android tablets; Samsung has a great ‘Kids Mode’ for example.

However, if you have a decent budget, there’s no point getting an iPad just for gaming. You may as well get a dedicated console.

Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is the latest big hit for Nintendo after it stumbled with its previous machine, the Wii U. The Switch is a portable device that can also be plugged into a TV, so it’s quite versatile. Its controllers can be used attached to the screen, or held in the hand.

Nintendo has the monopoly on cute platform games and puzzles. Kids from around 5 years upwards will enjoy the various Mario games (including the flagship Super Mario Odyssey). Older children might enjoy the vast RPGs Nintendo makes, like the Legend of Zelda series.

Games aren’t cheap, but Nintendo has its niche among families and is hard to beat for young gamers who are looking for something colourful and easy-to-play.

Sony PlayStation 4

The PS4 has a dedicated teen and adult following thanks to its library of war and sports titles, with the FIFA series continuing to bring in revenues for Sony. Most titles can be played online, and are probably best that way; you may not be comfortable with younger kids voice chatting with some of the older players, so bear that in mind if you’re looking for a family console. In addition, there aren’t really the family or children’s titles that Nintendo excels in.

If you’re buying a console new, get a PS4 Pro, which handily doubles up as a Blu-Ray player (although sadly it doesn’t yet support 4k discs) 

Microsoft Xbox One

The Xbox One continues to have strong support among grown-up kids that are perhaps a little young for some PS4 titles. If your children are into Minecraft, and they’ve outgrown the tablet version, this is the best machine for them to move on to: Stampy Longnose can often be seen playing the Xbox One version in his videos.

If the standard console is a bit too much of a splurge, there’s an S version aimed at younger gamers which might be more suitable.

*The information in this blog is designed to provide helpful information on the subjects discussed. Please seek a professional for expert advice as we can not be held responsible for any damages or negative consequences upon following this information.

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