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About Our Rankings:

Our recommendations are based on expert comparisons between available products in each product category. For gaming consoles, we chose the topics that we think matter most to our users, and provide consise, clear comparisons of the features that matter. Our rankings change day-to-day based on our proprietary algorithms, that crunch data to identify top-performing products and tailor recommendations to exactly what our readers are looking for.

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Gaming consoles can provide countless hours of entertainment with friends and family. With so many choices of games, gaming consoles never seem to get boring no matter how long you own them.

Overview

When shopping for gaming consoles, it’s important to know what to look for so you can easily compare products. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

Are gaming consoles worth it?

Gaming consoles allow for a lot of entertainment for multiple people, which makes them worth the purchase. Some gaming consoles come with pre-loaded games, which means you won’t have to buy games to use with your console. Some people feel that provides even more value, while others like the flexibility of buying only the games they are interested in.

Either way, a gaming console can give you plenty of entertainment value for years to come.

What are the different types of gaming consoles?

There is no shortage when it comes to the types of gaming consoles that are available to consumers. Some popular types include:

  • Retro: Retro gaming consoles give consumers the chance to relive their love for some of the older games they might have grown up with. It also gives younger gamers the chance to play games that were released before they were born.
  • Wired controller: With this type of gaming console, the games are played on wired controllers. The players will have to stay fairly close to the unit.
  • Remote controller: Some gaming consoles use wireless remotes or nunchuks, allowing them to be active, doing activities like tennis, boxing, dancing, or more.
  • Online: Some gaming consoles allow online gaming played on computers rather than televisions.
  • VR: VR, or virtual reality, consoles or headsets allow users to interact with a 3D game in an immersive way. The player will feel as if they are truly in that world.

What makes the best gaming console?

If you have a favorite game or one that you want to try, the best gaming console for you will be the one that’s compatible with that game. You should also decide whether you’re looking for a gaming console that allows you to be active or one that you’ll sit while playing.

Finally, you should decide whether pre-loaded games are important to you or if you’ll want to purchase the games on an individual basis.

couple playing vr game

What are the important features of gaming consoles?

The important features depend upon what you’re looking for. For some people, pre-loaded games are an important feature. Another feature buyers are usually concerned with is what accessories, such as remote controls and nunchuks, come with the console.

The resolution of the gaming console matters, too. That can affect how crisp the picture will be. Some options include 240p, 480p, 720p, 1080p, and 1440p. It’s a matter of preference, but 720p and up are generally considered more desirable because of the picture you’ll get.

Another thing that matters is the frames per second rate. Generally, the higher up you go with that number, the smoother your gaming experience will look. A rate of 30 frames per second is the lowest you should go, while 60 will give your game a smoother feel.

Gaming Console FAQ

So how do you choose the gaming console that is right for you? These are the questions consumers are asking when shopping for gaming consoles.

Are gaming consoles computers?

While you can’t write a novel on your gaming console or do your taxes, essentially, gaming consoles are like computers. They have a hard drive and use an operating system just as a computer does. They also store information so you can have a number of games at your disposal. One important difference is that gaming consoles aren’t as expensive as personal gaming computers.

Are most gaming consoles plug and play?

The majority of gaming consoles are considered plug and play. You’ll come home with the box holding your gaming console, and then you’ll plug it into your television. Within minutes, you’ll be ready to play, making it an exceedingly easy process.

How much do gaming consoles cost?

There is a wide assortment of gaming consoles to fit every budget. Some are quite inexpensive, coming with a number of pre-loaded games. Then others are made for those who will pay more for top-of-the-line gaming experiences.

If you’re trying to buy a gaming console that has been discontinued, you’ll likely pay a higher price.

retro gaming consoles

Does a gaming console need internet connection?

Many gaming consoles don’t require an internet connection to do their job. You can often plug them into your television and start gaming whether you have a connection or not. But other ones, especially newer, more advanced gaming consoles, will require internet access. If you don’t have internet access, carefully read the fine print to ensure you’re choosing the right one for your circumstances.

Final Thoughts

Gaming consoles can keep you and your friends entertained, and they can be as activity-based or inactive as you want them to be. Look at which games you hope to play and what resolution and refresh rate the gaming console offers, and you’ll find one that is just right for you.

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