Choosing a Game Console: Switch, Xbox or PlayStation?

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Last Updated on November 18, 2020 by Mark P.

Interested in getting a new game console? Many people are, considering that the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 are coming out soon. That said, you may not be sure which console would really satisfy your needs. That being so, this brief article will cover some of the most important points in determining whether you should invest in a Nintendo Switch, an Xbox, or a PlayStation.

Which Gaming Console is Best?

First and foremost, one needs to understand that ‘best’ is totally subjective. It’s not that the Xbox is better than the PlayStation, or that either of them is better than the Switch. They each offer different things that may make it the ‘best’ for different people. For instance, the Switch is the only one of these three options that can be played anywhere as a handheld. Its graphics will undoubtedly be worse than the Xbox Series X or the PlayStation 5, but if you value the ability to play on the go, then the Switch is the better option.

Meanwhile, the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are pretty comparable, just like the two console series have always been. There are slight differences of course, but at the end of the day, they’ll have pretty similar graphics, loading times, etc.

What’s really important in choosing a console is knowing what games you want to play, because each has unique franchises you can’t play on their counterparts. Looking forward to Halo Infinite? That will require an Xbox. Pokémon? That means a Switch. Each console has titles you may not be able to play on any other console, so knowing the games you want to play is the most important part of choosing one.

Which Gaming Console is Cheapest?

If your budget is the primary concern, you may want to know how much each of these consoles cost. Of course, we can’t account for third-party sellers like Amazon or eBay, so we’ll only be talking about official prices here. We’ll also include the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, in case you aren’t interested in the next-gen and would be fine with the soon to be older models.

Please note that we won’t account for special edition prices, or variants that add extra cost, like consoles with extra storage beyond the default.

Nintendo Switch Lite Pricing

This variant of the Nintendo Switch, called Nintendo Switch Lite, is the cheapest at $200. It can play all the games the regular Switch can, but cannot be plugged up to TVs, making it a pure handheld console. It also can’t remove its controller pads like the regular Switch, which limits some functionality. If purely on the go gaming is what you want, this is the most cost-effective choice.

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch Pricing

All three of these are $300. It pays to remember that the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are relatively old by now, and that they will literally be overtaken by the Series X and PlayStation 5 in just a few days. Naturally, the new consoles will have much better performance in graphics and loading times, among other things, but they’re more expensive as well.

Worth a special mention is this: the PlayStation 5 will have exclusive games for its console, but the Xbox Series X will not. Many new PlayStation games will be PlayStation 5 compatible only, meaning you won’t be able to play them on the PlayStation 4. However, the Xbox will not receive any games that are only playable on the Series X, at least for a few years. For example, you will be able to play Halo Infinite on the Xbox One when it comes out. This is important because, if you don’t care about the absolute most cutting-edge graphics and performance, you can buy an Xbox One and still play all new Xbox games that are going to come out for the next year or two. But you will have to buy a PlayStation 5 to play newer PlayStation games.

As for the regular Nintendo Switch, the extra $100 on the price tag is due to the presence of certain functions and performance enhancements. The regular Switch can be plugged into a TV via HDMI cable, allowing for a traditional console experience. Its controllers can also be removed from the device, allowing you to hold them in your hands or even split them between two people for co-op. Its graphics are slightly better, and it also has improved battery life.

Xbox Series S Pricing

The Series S is the downgraded, less powerful version of the Xbox Series X, just like the Switch Lite is to a regular Switch. The good news is that it is a, relatively speaking, very affordable $300. Moreover, the Series S is also the smallest Xbox ever made, so if space in your setup is an issue, there’s that. On the other hand, it’s less powerful than the bigger, more expensive Series X, with slightly worse graphics and load times. However, it will still be far superior to the Xbox One in those regards. It also doesn’t have a disc drive, meaning all games must be downloaded digitally.

PlayStation 5 Digital Edition Pricing

This console is just like the Xbox Series S. It’s a smaller version of the newer console. It costs less than the regular PS5 at $400, but doesn’t have a disc drive and has inferior specs with graphics and loading times.

PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X Pricing

At $500 for both, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are the most powerful versions of the new consoles coming out in a few days. They have disc drives and have the best specs. That said, they’ll be able to play all the same games as the slimmer versions, so the only reason to get these more expensive models is if you really want a disc drive or the higher specs.

Related: Best Xbox Game Deals