17 votes

Which gaming console would you recommend and why?

From what I can gather, the choice comes down to Xbox and PS5. Also, from what I've read, I'm leaning towards PS5.

This will be for my two boys since they are growing out of simple Internet gaming. Probably will be an upcoming Christmas gift for them.

Thank you in advance for all of your advice and expertise since I have zero knowledge of any of this.

37 comments

  1. autumn
    Link
    What kind of games do they like to play? What consoles are their friends playing? These are rhetorical questions to help narrow down your options! Is there a reason the Nintendo Switch isn’t in...

    What kind of games do they like to play? What consoles are their friends playing? These are rhetorical questions to help narrow down your options!

    Is there a reason the Nintendo Switch isn’t in your lineup?

    15 votes
  2. [5]
    stu2b50
    Link
    It's actually pretty complicated in that situation. I personally consider a PS5 to be the "better" console. But, in your situation, the Xbox has an ace up its sleeve: Xbox Game Pass. It's a...

    It's actually pretty complicated in that situation. I personally consider a PS5 to be the "better" console.

    But, in your situation, the Xbox has an ace up its sleeve: Xbox Game Pass. It's a subscription service that honestly gives you access to a quite fantastic library for the price. Like, if you do play games quite often this is amazing value for the money - the cost to buy all the titles is astronomical. It'll have all the latest releases and such. The Series S is $100 cheaper than the digital PS5 - that's 6 months of game pass right there. Assuming they'd actually buy a game, that's another 4 months.

    I'd love to have that as a kid and not worry about which $60 title to ask my parents to buy. Maybe make them do chores equivalent to the monthly sub price (it's like $15, I'm sure they could do the dishes enough). The Xbox Series S is also the cheapest current generation console right now - with significantly worse performance, but hey, do kids care about 1080p vs 4k?

    13 votes
    1. [4]
      nothis
      Link Parent
      These subscriptions quietly price-hike the moment the subscriber base reaches desired levels (Gamepass very recently did for PC) and your entry ticket is the price of the base console, which is...

      These subscriptions quietly price-hike the moment the subscriber base reaches desired levels (Gamepass very recently did for PC) and your entry ticket is the price of the base console, which is quite a commitment as well.

      Also, $120 a year is not nothing. It's two full-priced AAA games. But considering that games tend to go 50% off a few months after launch and old and indie games costing more in the $10 to $20 range (which make up a non-trivial part of their "hundreds of games"), it's not that cheap. The newest Rockstar release, Call of Duty or Ubisoft open world game won't show up on Gamepass anytime soon.

      I'm a big believer in Netflix-style game subscription services but because of the enormous money involved and the bitter competition, I see the landscape as too divided to be really a good deal at this moment. I'd rather pick the games available. Microsoft just paid for Bethesda games not to release on other platforms but let's see how sustainable that is (or whether they manage to ruin them, as they did with other bought studios in the past). Meanwhile, Sony actually has several good, new games, every year. It's IMO the better bet.

      5 votes
      1. [3]
        TheJorro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        $120/year for 350+ games is pretty cheap if you plan to play more than four video games from its library a year, especially if you're not someone that plays Call of Duty or Ubisoft games. I've...

        $120/year for 350+ games is pretty cheap if you plan to play more than four video games from its library a year, especially if you're not someone that plays Call of Duty or Ubisoft games.

        I've built a huge library of games over the years but I've almost stopped buying games (even on massive sales) and have instead switched over into subscriptions like XGP, EA Play (now redundant with XGP), and Humble Monthly. My yearly costs are a fraction of what they once were for the amount of games I get and play between them.

        For a net new collection, I would recommend looking into subscription services first.

        4 votes
        1. moocow1452
          Link Parent
          Also, if you use the 3 years of Gold Upgrade trick or look for deals on Game Pass Ultimate, (Black Friday had 3 months for $20, plus an extra month for turning on auto renewal) you can work it so...

          Also, if you use the 3 years of Gold Upgrade trick or look for deals on Game Pass Ultimate, (Black Friday had 3 months for $20, plus an extra month for turning on auto renewal) you can work it so that you're getting a very good deal.

          1 vote
        2. nothis
          Link Parent
          Yea, I generally think it's a very good business model (I've long hoped Steam might consider it for a large part of their library). I just encourage people too look at the actual list of games and...

          Yea, I generally think it's a very good business model (I've long hoped Steam might consider it for a large part of their library). I just encourage people too look at the actual list of games and what they'd want to play. Not because it's there but because you actually wanted it. This is where these offers fall apart for me.

          I've looked at Humble Monthly, XGP and PS+ and it's often "wow, this AAA game I considered playing is free on that service, that's pretty great!" but then you also realize... hey, this game is over year old, it was on a sale for $15 a month ago. And these 300 other games are all indies and 5+ year old games with mediocre reviews, I don't really want them (and could get them for literally $5). Meanwhile, the true blockbuster titles and hit indies don't show up on these services (with some exceptions that tend to be isolated events).

          I'm not buying much on sales anymore, either. The Steam sale frenzy is over. But instead of switching to subscriptions I just... don't buy crap because it's cheap. There's games you hear about, niche interests, big titles... that you just know you'll have a good time with. These are rare! A few a year. I buy those, happily, often at full price. I think I still pay way less than the average gamer but I've also reduced my backlog to near-zero and I haven't played a game I was genuinely disappointed with in years. So yea, I could buy one of those subscription services and instantly get access to hundreds of games. But which games? That's become more important to me. I often don't buy any games for several months, despite being rather passionate about the medium. It made me a happier gamer. And these subscription services in their current form... they just remind me of my absurd Steam library with all these games I'll never play. Quality over quantity.

          1 vote
  3. [3]
    skullkid2424
    Link
    Something to consider outside of the prices, hardware, and library - do your kids have friends in either ecosystem? A lot of gaming is done online with friends - so if their friends group or best...

    Something to consider outside of the prices, hardware, and library - do your kids have friends in either ecosystem? A lot of gaming is done online with friends - so if their friends group or best friend is already on one system, that may be the de facto winner.

    12 votes
    1. [2]
      Pistos
      Link Parent
      This is true. At the same time, it's generally easier to find strangers to play with (whether randos or players you "friend" online) at any given time of day, rather than try to schedule with...

      This is true. At the same time, it's generally easier to find strangers to play with (whether randos or players you "friend" online) at any given time of day, rather than try to schedule with meatspace friends, or even to share game interests with people in meatspace.

      1 vote
      1. skullkid2424
        Link Parent
        Possibly. It sounds like the OP has young(ish) kids, so playing online with strangers may not be a desired outcome. And a console may be a way to maintain existing friendships during the pandemic.

        Possibly. It sounds like the OP has young(ish) kids, so playing online with strangers may not be a desired outcome. And a console may be a way to maintain existing friendships during the pandemic.

        8 votes
  4. [16]
    Pistos
    Link
    If you don't think your sons will be serious gamers over the next little while, I've generally found the Nintendo products (Wii, Wii U, and now Switch) good choices for casual gamers who don't...

    If you don't think your sons will be serious gamers over the next little while, I've generally found the Nintendo products (Wii, Wii U, and now Switch) good choices for casual gamers who don't take gaming that seriously.

    Also, getting/making a gaming PC should be under consideration, too. For a few hundred USD, you can get some third- or second-generation hardware (I'm primarily talking about the graphics card) which can play many games released in the last 10 years. The vast majority of games allow you to adjust graphics settings to play on less-powerful hardware, too. With a gaming PC, it doubles up as something usable for general computing, i.e. homework, web, email. If you have old parts in the house (monitor, mouse, keyboard), that's extra savings right there.

    I was a dedicated Playstation gamer for many years, on PS3 and PS4. I switched to PC gaming last summer, and haven't looked back. The graphics are better, and I get great value from Steam sales. In fairness, I haven't played PS5 yet personally, so I can't speak to any improvements in the recent generation.

    10 votes
    1. [15]
      stu2b50
      Link Parent
      Although it's quite possibly the worst time in the last few decades to buy a gaming PC, especially if you want to build it by yourself (ironically, prebuilts are significantly cheaper). GPUs are...

      Although it's quite possibly the worst time in the last few decades to buy a gaming PC, especially if you want to build it by yourself (ironically, prebuilts are significantly cheaper).

      GPUs are just nonexistent. 1080tis are going for ABOVE their MSRP. Seriously, look at the sold listings on Ebay. People are paying $800 for a USED 1080ti, a GPU that is 5 years old and started at $700.

      So you're going to pay a premium for 2 or 3 generation old hardware. And forget the latest; that's like a $500-1000 added price.

      7 votes
      1. [6]
        nukeman
        Link Parent
        Stupid question, why are components so expensive? Is it pandemic-related?

        Stupid question, why are components so expensive? Is it pandemic-related?

        2 votes
        1. [5]
          stu2b50
          Link Parent
          Demand for sillicon has gone waay up, supply has not nearly caught up. COVID causing supply chain issues doesn't help; neither does the Trump era tariff on GPUs from Asia. Part of it is that with...

          Demand for sillicon has gone waay up, supply has not nearly caught up. COVID causing supply chain issues doesn't help; neither does the Trump era tariff on GPUs from Asia.

          Part of it is that with Eth prices going up, it's become profitable to GPU mine again. But imo a lot of it is pent up pandemic demand for hobbyist activities. Miners make a good punching bad, but the reality is that a $800 1080ti is not about to make profit or any kind of sense; much of this is gaming demand.

          8 votes
          1. [4]
            nukeman
            Link Parent
            Ah okay, thanks. I’m planning on doing a build soon.

            Ah okay, thanks. I’m planning on doing a build soon.

            1 vote
            1. stu2b50
              Link Parent
              I would either wait for things to normalize (but, to be fair, that will take an indeterminant amount of time), or buy a prebuilt. Since OEMs have contracts directly with GPU vendors, those are...

              I would either wait for things to normalize (but, to be fair, that will take an indeterminant amount of time), or buy a prebuilt. Since OEMs have contracts directly with GPU vendors, those are mostly normally priced. It's so bad that the cost of the GPU in a prebuilt in the market today, can be MORE than the cost of the entire prebuilt with the GPU.

              5 votes
            2. [2]
              spit-evil-olive-tips
              Link Parent
              if you already have a GPU, your best bet will be to re-use it in your new build, then plan on upgrading after the covid-caused supply issues settle out. prices on most other components aren't too...

              if you already have a GPU, your best bet will be to re-use it in your new build, then plan on upgrading after the covid-caused supply issues settle out. prices on most other components aren't too bad, but the GPU market has gone full Tulipmania.

              for maximum futureproofing, get a motherboard that supports PCIe 4 (such as) and it'll be able to handle a GPU upgrade easily, as well as fancy new stupidly fast SSDs that are just starting to arrive with PCIe 4 support.

              2 votes
              1. nukeman
                Link Parent
                Alas, I haven’t begun purchasing parts yet. I’ll keep this info in mind, thanks!

                Alas, I haven’t begun purchasing parts yet. I’ll keep this info in mind, thanks!

      2. [7]
        Pistos
        Link Parent
        If that's the case, then sure, you can strike "build PC" as an option. OP should only do it if the prices are sensible.

        If that's the case, then sure, you can strike "build PC" as an option. OP should only do it if the prices are sensible.

        2 votes
        1. [6]
          Don_Camillo
          Link Parent
          That only applies if you want an Uber-PC, just get some midrange components and you will have a nice gaming rig for 1000.- including screen and peripherals. You dont actually need the BEST GPU TM...

          That only applies if you want an Uber-PC, just get some midrange components and you will have a nice gaming rig for 1000.- including screen and peripherals. You dont actually need the BEST GPU TM and the BEST CPU TM. thats just some "PC-Masterrace" bullshit.
          a decent midrange PC will still outclass any/most Console, is upgradable, you can do whatever with it, not just game and watch videos, the selection of games is crazy, eg Steam, Itch.io, Humble Bundle. and your kids might actually get an interest in IT and learn some stuff besides "just" gaming.

          1 vote
          1. [5]
            stu2b50
            Link Parent
            That's not true anymore. It's that ridiculous. A GPU that can compete with a PS5 or Xbox Series X cost significantly more than the entire price of the console. You're going to need around a 2070...

            That's not true anymore. It's that ridiculous. A GPU that can compete with a PS5 or Xbox Series X cost significantly more than the entire price of the console. You're going to need around a 2070 or 2070ti, and those are going for EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS.

            A 1060? $300. Bruh. 3000 series? Impossible to buy, and will be at least 2x their MSRP when they are.

            Currently, the 5 year old GTX 10xx cards are going for MORE than their MSRP right now. Since when did CPU/GPUs appreciate in price!?

            Until the GPU market calms down the value proposition compared to a PS5 or Xbox Series X is godawful.

            4 votes
            1. [3]
              Don_Camillo
              Link Parent
              something like this https://www.gpucheck.com/gpu/amd-radeon-rx-590 <-- this one I use or https://www.gpucheck.com/gpu/nvidia-geforce-rtx-3050-ti is still a good deal, and you can play anything you...

              something like this

              https://www.gpucheck.com/gpu/amd-radeon-rx-590 <-- this one I use
              or
              https://www.gpucheck.com/gpu/nvidia-geforce-rtx-3050-ti
              is still a good deal, and you can play anything you want. and you can switch and sell later (1-2 years) and get something at a reasonable price that blows away any console you can buy atm.
              like with any console generation before, they might be competitive when they are new, a bit down the road they have no chance to keep up.
              And if you factor in costs for games which are a lot cheaper on PC you break even fast.

              there is reasons to buy a console, there are different ones to buy a pc. I would get a pc because there you still have the slight chance that you/your kids might learn a lot more than just play games.
              If you just want an easy (as in ease of use) way to play games get a console. if you want to play together, get a switch.

              1. [2]
                stu2b50
                Link Parent
                Have you seen how much an Rx 590 cost these days? It's about $500. That GPU, which performs worse than either console, costs $100 more than the PS5 and cost the same as the Xbox Series X in its...

                Have you seen how much an Rx 590 cost these days? It's about $500. That GPU, which performs worse than either console, costs $100 more than the PS5 and cost the same as the Xbox Series X in its entirety.

                JUST the GPU. And the 3050ti doesn't exist yet; no doubt will be immediately sold out and scalped for $600-700.

                That's why it's not a great time to buy a PC right now. You cannot buy a GPU for a sane price. It's impossible.

                1 vote
                1. Don_Camillo
                  Link Parent
                  sorry, I did not really understand. This is crazy, I'm gonna sell my card this looks like a good time :-)

                  sorry, I did not really understand.
                  This is crazy, I'm gonna sell my card this looks like a good time :-)

            2. j3n
              Link Parent
              Is this hyperbole, or have things really gone totally off the rails over the last 3-4 months? I was in the market for a new card last year and decided to wait for the 30xx to launch. It took some...

              Is this hyperbole, or have things really gone totally off the rails over the last 3-4 months? I was in the market for a new card last year and decided to wait for the 30xx to launch. It took some patience, but I was able to get a 3090 within a month or so of launch directly from Best buy for MSRP.

      3. nothis
        Link Parent
        Jesus. I didn't know it was that bad.

        People are paying $800 for a USED 1080ti, a GPU that is 5 years old and started at $700.

        Jesus. I didn't know it was that bad.

  5. Muffin
    Link
    For someone who isn't super heavily invested in games already, I would recommend the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo's first party games are hard to beat in the polished fun category, which is what I...

    For someone who isn't super heavily invested in games already, I would recommend the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo's first party games are hard to beat in the polished fun category, which is what I personally value a lot in games.

    7 votes
  6. [2]
    Venko
    Link
    I bought an Xbox Series X with the 3 years game pass trick - buy 3 years of gold from cdkeys (£40 a year when I did it) then pay £1 to upgrade it to game pass ultimate. In total it worked out at...

    I bought an Xbox Series X with the 3 years game pass trick - buy 3 years of gold from cdkeys (£40 a year when I did it) then pay £1 to upgrade it to game pass ultimate. In total it worked out at £571 for both the top spec xbox console and 3 years of more games than I could possibly play. This is absolutely ridiculously good value for 3 years of gaming. Also Game Pass Ultimate includes the PC Game Pass library and streaming library as an extra bonus.

    I'd strongly recommend paying the extra for the Series X over the Series S even if you don't care about the higher specs. The usable storage is 802GB for the Series X and 364GB for the Series S. That means you can store double the Game Pass games on the Series X. My wife and I share the Xbox and Game Pass library. For two boys plus yourself (and maybe a spouse) 364GB of game storage will get really frustrating really quickly.

    If you're really interested in Playstation exclusives then you could get a PS5 too. But the value proposition is so much worse. I completely understand gamers with disposable income choosing a playstation but it makes no sense in your scenario.

    7 votes
    1. suspended
      Link Parent
      After reading through this thread I'm becoming more convinced of the particular circumstances and value from the Xbox. Thanks for all the input.

      After reading through this thread I'm becoming more convinced of the particular circumstances and value from the Xbox. Thanks for all the input.

      2 votes
  7. eve
    Link
    I think it really depends on what kind of games your kids want to play. Like stu2b50 mentioned, Xbox does have Game Pass. I personally have it and think it's a lot of fun. There's a lot of good,...

    I think it really depends on what kind of games your kids want to play. Like stu2b50 mentioned, Xbox does have Game Pass. I personally have it and think it's a lot of fun. There's a lot of good, and old, games that are included and that might be good for the kiddos. Xbox probably has the better backwards compatibility so in terms of library, it might be bigger. But there also might be games that interest them that are console exclusive, so that might be the bigger thing to consider.

    Edit to add, if they have any friends, they might want to play games with them online (if they're at that age) and they'd need the same console but idk if I'm jumping the gun on that, it just depends on how old your kids are lol.

    5 votes
  8. novov
    Link
    Another point to consider is that Microsoft (manufacturers of the Xbox) have recently been - rather controversially - buying out a lot of publishers of popular games, with the intention of making...

    Another point to consider is that Microsoft (manufacturers of the Xbox) have recently been - rather controversially - buying out a lot of publishers of popular games, with the intention of making future products exclusive to their console and PC. For instance, if your kid hears about the upcoming Doom, Fallout, or Elder Scrolls title from a friend, there's a good chance they won't be able to get them on the PlayStation.

    5 votes
  9. pocketry
    Link
    To counter what many people are saying, the exclusives on playstation are amazing. You get access to a small library of games with ps plus and free games every month. There are amazing games from...

    To counter what many people are saying, the exclusives on playstation are amazing. You get access to a small library of games with ps plus and free games every month. There are amazing games from the ps4 that are cheap on the store too. There is an additional ps now subscription that opens up more games to kind of compete with game pass.

    Then there's VR. It wouldn't surprise me to see it releases in 2022 and I am excited. The quest showed that a budget wireless headset works. With the PS5 you'll have a great way to get into higher end vr games than what the quest can support. They also started talking about the vr controllers and if no one else steps up their game, these are going to be the best vr controllers. The adaptive triggers and haptic feedback in the PS5 controllers are miles ahead of the competition.

    3 votes
  10. [3]
    grahamiam
    Link
    If you're buying soon, I'd stick with a PS4 for now. It'll have more sales and it'll take a while for the PS5 to catch up. If you mean outgrowing simple PC games that they're like 8-10 and have...

    If you're buying soon, I'd stick with a PS4 for now. It'll have more sales and it'll take a while for the PS5 to catch up.

    If you mean outgrowing simple PC games that they're like 8-10 and have been playing Minecraft, then the Switch is probably the better option. Can be portable if you want, lots of deals on indie games, and more kid-friendly games.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      kilroy
      Link Parent
      I thought PS5 could play PS4 games?

      I thought PS5 could play PS4 games?

      4 votes
      1. grahamiam
        Link Parent
        You're right! I'd read there'd be some issues with some discs but it looks like the newest articles say almost everything works fine.

        You're right! I'd read there'd be some issues with some discs but it looks like the newest articles say almost everything works fine.

        2 votes
  11. [3]
    ImmobileVoyager
    Link
    Outside™® Massively multiplayer. Always the latest trend. New games released every day, free and open source.

    Outside™®

    Massively multiplayer. Always the latest trend. New games released every day, free and open source.

    1 vote
    1. [2]
      moocow1452
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      The community is kinda toxic atm, and the mods be power trippin'. Edit: That's to say nothing about the current ongoing event.

      The community is kinda toxic atm, and the mods be power trippin'.

      Edit: That's to say nothing about the current ongoing event.

      2 votes