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How to Choose your Gaming Console

You’ve got some free time, some money set aside, and you’re thinking about picking up a console. You know there...

How to Choose your Gaming Console

You’ve got some free time, some money set aside, and you’re thinking about picking up a console. You know there are some new ones on the market, and you’ve heard pros and cons from both camps. So, which one is right for you?

The first question I need to ask you is where you plan on playing. If you’re mostly a stay-at-home kind of dude, a home console’s the obvious choice. But if you spend a lot of time travelling or commuting, a handheld’s a no-brainer. Subway trips fly by with a PS Vita or a 3DS.

In the blue corner, we have the Vita. The Playstation Vita is the next iteration of Sony’s Playstation Portable, or PSP. Sporting a front OLED touch screen, a touch-enabled back panel, two analog sticks, and a motion tracker, the Vita is the choice for serious gamers who crave their fix on the go. Standout titles include Tearaway, Gravity Rush, and Assassin’s Creed Liberation, as well as a slew of compatible PSP and Playstation 1 classics. Go with the Vita if you already have a PS3, since it has some amazing cross-system features like Remote Play, or if you just want a home console experience wherever you are.

 

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In the red corner, we have Nintendo’s 3DS. A successor to the massively successful DS, the 3DS is a flip-up portable system with two screens, the lower a touch screen and the upper 3D-enabled. This setup makes for some extremely creative and novel gameplay solutions, most of which are available only on the 3DS. This is Nintendo, so of course the 3DS has a ton of Marios, Zeldas, and Donkey Kongs. If they were your friends growing up, a 3DS is for you.

 

But what about your living room? If you spend the majority of your free time at home, consider giving your TV some love. Before we go any further, there’s another key question to ask: do you have kids?

 

If you do, get yourself and your kids a Wii U.

 

What’s a Wii U? Glad you asked.

 

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The Wii U is the next version of Nintendo’s hit home console, the Wii. Whereas the original Wii was a novelty due to it’s Wiimote motion controllers, this time the gimmick is a touch screen wedged into a gamepad-- try to picture two halves of a videogame controller on a tablet. The Wii U is also compatible with older Wii games as well as the Wii motion controllers, which makes for some interesting combinations, such as asynchronous multiplayer. What this means is that one player uses the tablet controller to manage things only he can see, while others play against him or around him. See why I asked if you have kids?

 

For those who’ve decided not to procreate, let’s take a look at the two biggest contenders in the home console game.

 

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First up is the Xbox One. Although Microsoft failed in their mission to get people to call it “the One” (“Xbone” is still a popular moniker), their next-gen game box packs a serious punch. First things first: the Xbox One is much more than just a videogame console. Sure, it has hit exclusives like Ryse and Titanfall, but the Xbox One is ultimately a multimedia box. It’s the right choice for people who watch a lot of TV and want to converge their entertainment in a single place (hence the name). The Xbox One takes over your cable TV and lets you operate everything with your voice, so if you want to watch TV, you need only say “Xbox, watch TV.” “Xbox, play Need For Speed”. “Xbox, Skype David.”...you get the idea.

 

So what’s the catch? Since the Xbox One is an all-in-one device, it’s been confirmed that part of the hardware is gimped for games. If games are all you care about, you should get a PS4.

Sony’s fourth Playstation, and this generation’s most powerful video game console, is the choice for the dedicated gamer. With hardware that trumps the Xbox One in terms of pure processing muscle, the PS4 is all about games, games, and nothing but games. A host of exclusive blockbuster games like inFamous: Second Son and upcoming titles DriveClub and The Order:1886 pair with a swarm of indie darlings that found their home on the PS4. The sheer number of released and upcoming games ensure that anyone who wants to play the most games with the least hassle will choose the PS4. No wonder Sony’s calling it “The Best Place to Play.”

 

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