Video Game Consoles Review

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Why Video Game Consoles?

New video game consoles introduce new ways to play games. Fortunately, gaming systems have several years between versions, so you won't have to worry about a new console becoming obsolete a year after you purchase it. The best video game consoles set the standard for gaming. Today, video game consoles do so much more than play games – they have become the family's hub for entertainment.

Video game consoles are primarily judged for their technological capabilities, their gaming features and their extra media capabilities. You'd be hard-pressed to find a modern console that does not offer some kind of multimedia experience, so in order to pick the best console for you, you need to look at the subtle distinctions between each one. The PlayStation 4 and the Wii U focus on new control interfaces while the Xbox One offers cloud computing to supplement the system's power. At the end of the day, there will be fun games on all of the consoles, but if you don't like the controller, you won't enjoy playing for long.

We rated our favorite video game consoles and found that the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox 360 are the best systems. You can read our detailed reviews about each gaming system or our articles about video game consoles.

Video Game Consoles: What to Look For

A video game console is a major purchase and should be the product of careful consideration and review. Choosing a new game console that suits your family can be a bit tricky, but you'll reap the benefit of selecting the right system. The one you choose should provide a variety of game titles, offer multimedia features to enhance its functionality and everyday use, host an online community and provide help and support for technical issues. Below are the criteria we used to evaluate video game consoles:

Performance
Consoles will never trump PC gaming in sheer computing power, but consoles are simple. Once you plug it in, you are set for years to come. Still, you want a console that will perform well for years to come. We looked at the muscle of each console and compared their specs against each other. It is important to note that the most powerful console won't necessarily have the best games. However, the most powerful console will likely have the best-looking games.

Features
Video game consoles today offer online gaming and loads of additional features. We looked for consoles that offer remote play through a handheld device, excellent online connectivity and extra features such as content streaming. Games are more social than ever, thanks to online components, so you should look for a system that offers headset support to talk with your friends.

Multimedia & Social
Gaming consoles are still primarily for playing games, but they are increasingly becoming the entertainment hub for the entire family. For example, the Xbox One has an HDMI-in port so you can plug your cable box directly into the console and play games while watching a football game. We looked at each console's media apps and social capabilities.

Help & Support
A video game console manufacturer should provide timely and comprehensive help and support for technical issues by offering several contact methods, including online chat, telephone and email. The manufacturer should provide detailed information online about its consoles. Also, look for a manufacturer that offers a good warranty on new products.

As you can see, there are quite a few aspects to consider before making a final decision on which video game console fits your lifestyle best. Each system offers a unique style of gaming, and your specific entertainment preferences will determine which video game console is right for you.

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Electronics » Other Electronics » Video Game Consoles
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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
Sony PlayStation 4 Microsoft Xbox One Microsoft Xbox 360 Sony PlayStation 3 Nintendo Wii U Nvidia Shield Ouya Nintendo Wii
Sony PlayStation 4 Microsoft Xbox One Microsoft Xbox 360 Sony PlayStation 3 Nintendo Wii U Nvidia Shield Ouya Nintendo Wii
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Price
Visit Sony PlayStation 4
Visit Microsoft Xbox One
Visit Microsoft Xbox 360
Visit Sony PlayStation 3
Visit Nintendo Wii U
Visit Nvidia Shield
Visit Ouya
Visit Nintendo Wii
Ratings
9.75
9.68
8.58
8.38
7.20
7.08
5.25
4.13
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
10.00
10.00
8.75
10.00
9.38
10.00
10.00
10.00
8.13
8.75
8.75
10.00
7.50
8.75
9.38
10.00
6.88
7.50
7.50
7.50
6.88
6.88
7.50
7.50
5.00
6.25
5.00
5.00
3.75
5.00
2.50
7.50
 
Performance
GPU Clock (megahertz) 800 800 500 550 550 1,900 520 243
GPU Peak Floating-point Operations per Second (TFLOPS) 1.84 1.23 1 1.8 0.35 0.07 0.01 0.01
CPU Cores 8 8 3 8 3 4 4 1
CPU Clock (gigahertz) 1.6 1.75 3.2 3.2 1.23 1.9 1.7 0.73
RAM 8GB GDDR5 8GB DDR3 512MB GDDR3 256MB GDDR3 2GB 2GB LPDDR3 1 GiB DDR3 64MB DDR
Memory Bandwidth (GB/s) 176 68.3 22.4 25.6 13 12.8 2 1.9
Standard Storage Capacity 500GB 500GB 250GB 250GB 32GB 16GB 8GB 88MB
Available HDD Upgrade
 
Wi-Fi
USB Ports
HDMI Ports
 
Headphone
 
Ethernet Port
  
 
Composite   
  
Features
Online Service PlayStation Network Xbox Live Xbox Live PlayStation Network Nintendo Network Shield Store Ouya.tv WiiConnect24
Annual Online Subscription Cost (US Dollars) $50 $60 $60 Free Free Free Free Free
Game Media Blu-ray Disc Blu-ray Disc DVD Blu-Ray Disc Wii U Optical Disc Digital Digital Wii Optical Disc
Backward Compatibility N/A N/A Xbox PlayStation Wii N/A N/A GameCube
Microphone Headset & Camera Headset & Kinect 2 Headset & Kinect Bluetooth Gamepad Build-in Microphone Bluetooth N/A
Camera PlayStation Camera (Optional) Kinect 2 (Included) Kinect (Optional) PlayStation Eye (Optional) Gamepad (Included) N/A Various (Optional) N/A
Number of Controller Inputs 4 8 4 7 2 Gamepad + 4 Wii 1 4 4
Remote Play PlayStation Vita N/A N/A PlayStation Vita Gamepad On-Board Screen N/A N/A
Re-download Digital Games
Mobile App
     
Content Streaming/Sharing
   
  
Multimedia
Max Video Format 1080p 4K 1080p 1080p 1080p 720p 1080p 480p
Netflix
Hulu Plus
YouTube  
 
Video Store
 
  
Blu-ray Disc
 
    
DVD
    
CD  
    
Video Files  
 
  
Audio Files  
 
  
Social Connectivity
Social Networking
  
Voice Chat
 
Email
  
Party Chat
    
Cross-Game Chat
     
Video Chat  
   
Help & Support
User Forum
Software Updates
Email
FAQs
Phone
  
Online Chat
 
  
Warranty 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year
Dimensions
Weight (pounds) 6.2 7 10.9 7.1 3.5 1.28 0.7 2.7
Height (inches) 2.1 10.8 7.2 2.6 1.8 5.31 3 6
Depth (inches) 12 3.1 11.5 11.4 6.8 2.24 3.2 8.5
Width (inches) 10.8 13.1 12 11.4 10.6 6.22 3 1.75
Controller Width (inches) 6.4 7.1 6.1 6.2 10.2 6.22 6.4 1.4
Controller Height (inches) 3.9 6.9 4.1 3.8 5.3 5.31 4.2 5.8
Controller Depth (inches) 2 2.8 2.4 2.2 0.9 2.24 2.1 1.2
Controller Weight (ounces) 7.4 16 9.4 6.8 17.6 20.48 9.7 5
Controller Battery Life (hours) 8 30 50 20 5 10 4 37