The console wars that have waged since the first few gaming machines entered homes is still going strong, and the three big players are head-to-head right now. Nintendo has its latest Switch while Sony has the PS4 Pro and Microsoft is powering on with its Xbox One S — but which is best?
While the PS4 Pro and Xbox One S are more directly comparable for high-end gaming power, the Nintendo Switch uses its unique mobile and exclusive game title approach to give them a run for their money.
Of course the Microsoft Project Scorpio next-gen console is still due out later this year which should change this playing field with 4K and HDR gaming at the next level. Although right now we already have the 4K offering in the PS4 Pro and Xbox One S. So which is best?
PS4 Pro and Xbox One S offer 4K graphics over the Nintendo Switch
When it comes to resolution and color range, Sony and Microsoft win out. The PS4 Pro and Xbox One S offer 4K gaming for newer titles. The PS4 Pro also upgrades lots of older games to play them in HDR meaning better colours and contrast.
The Nintendo Switch still tops out at 1080p when plugged into a TV and when in mobile mode, as a tablet-like device, the screen is a mere 720p.
While Microsoft and Sony win here on paper the Nintendo offering, as it always has been, is more cartoon like so graphics was never going to be its main appeal.
The Nintendo Switch is mobile unlike the PS4 Pro and Xbox One S
The Nintendo Switch can be docked for gaming at home using the Joy-Con controllers or taken out and about with the controllers split into two and slid onto either end of the tablet computer. That means a game can be stopped on the big screen and continued, still at high quality, on the move. It also means multiplayer with friends anywhere and linking up of consoles for group play.
The PS4 Pro is a fixed console although you can play certain titles via the PS Vita when on the same Wi-Fi network at home. The Xbox One S is similar but also allows for gaming on compatible Windows 10 PCs at home. Although once you get beyond that front door the fun is over.
Nintendo Switch may have better games than PS4 Pro and Xbox One S
OK, saying Nintendo outright has better games is a bold leap. This comes down to tastes. But judging from the utterly staggering reception that the latest Zelda: Breath of the Wild has received, Nintendo is steaming ahead early with its winning exclusive titles.
That said, you won’t get certain games you can enjoy on PS4 Pro like Uncharted or Xbox One S greats like Gears of War, for example. Like we say, this one comes down to tastes and the Sony and Microsoft consoles certainly have more to pick from at this stage.
Switch has no media player while PS4 Pro and Xbox One S stream and more
Nintendo has opted to leave out media playing functionality in the Switch, focusing purely on the gaming experience. Microsoft offers an Ultra HD Blu-ray player and 4K streaming apps through its Xbox One S. Sony’s PS4 Pro also supports 4K streaming apps.
The Xbox One S really wins out here as it’ll even pull in TV all via a voice-controlled EPG for easy viewing of all your content in one place. Streaming your locally stored movies from a computer is also easy here.
When it comes to shelling out for the actual machines, Microsoft offers the best deal with Xbox One S priced from around $300. In close second comes the Switch at around $300 but with more pricey games it’s going to cost more to actually get working. In last is the PS4 Pro for about $400 — although bundle deals that include games can help here.
So while the Xbox One S has the best media player, the PS4 Pro games look best and Switch is the most versatile - the best is a tough one to pick. You need to think what you want from the machine, what your budget is and which games you want to play. Then all that’s left to do is get yours and say goodbye to your free time.
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