The New Wave of Gaming Consoles

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Jun 27, 2017

by NIC HEALEY

Top gaming consoles plus a unique way to play.

It’s been more than four decades since video games moved from arcades to living rooms. From the first Ataris to the high-tech consoles of today, these devices are a key part of any home entertainment system and spell fun for all ages. Offering more than just games, they also connect you to streaming video services and even open up the world of 4K Ultra HD.

Sony PlayStation 4 Pro

The PlayStation 4 (PS4) Pro is an upgrade rather than a brand-new console but it’s an impressive one. The Pro packs in double the graphics-processing power of the first PS4. Visuals are sharper and more detailed, while some new games will run at close to 4K resolution. But there’s a small trade-off: the PS4 Pro is about 20 per cent bigger than the original model. $560

Play Horizon: Zero Dawn 

Microsoft Xbox One S

Like Sony’s PS4 Pro, the Xbox One S is an upgraded version of the 2013 Xbox One. It has a slimmer profile and more powerful processors but the even better news is that all your old games will work on the latest model. A key new feature is the console’s ability to play 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and stream video in 4K, meaning your 4K TV can finally get the workout you’ve been craving. The One S also supports high dynamic-range imaging, which, combined with a compatible TV, promises better contrast and more natural colours. From $399

Play Mass Effect: Andromeda

Nintendo Switch

More than 100 million units of the Nintendo Wii have been sold during its lifetime so the Switch, released in March this year, faces some serious sibling rivalry. Although it’s less powerful than the other consoles here, the Switch features remarkable versatility. You can plug it into a TV via an HDMI cable but it will also convert into a portable tablet-style device. The side controllers – called Joy-Cons – detach, letting you game with a friend or prop up the screen on a table using the kickstand. $469

Play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Immersive gaming 

The PlayStation VR, or PSVR, is currently the simplest way to get a true virtual reality (VR) experience at home. It’s easy to set up – though it will add a lot of cables – and while the headset isn’t cheap ($550), it’s more affordable than similar options such as the HTC Vive ($1399) or the Oculus Rift (about $858). You do need a PS4 or PS4 Pro console to run it but, in return, you get access to an ever-growing catalogue of immersive VR games.

SEE ALSO: The Video-on-demand Boxes You Need in Your Home