Best game consoles of September 2017

Top 10 game consoles

How to choose the best video game console

Which is the best video game console of 2017? This question is likely to arise in the players’ minds, especially the hardcore ones. On the market full of wonderful game consoles like Sony PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Wii U, it becomes pretty tough for players to determine which game console is the right one for them. Each of them is still special and distinguished from each other due to the uniqueness in their performance, graphics, speed, storage, entertainment, no. of games, exclusive games, portability, and so on. That is why you need to breakdown their major specifications and features in order to decide which is the right one for you.

Graphics & Performance

The latest game consoles are equipped with premium graphics and provide great gaming experiences but you have to pay for the extra cherry on the top. If you are to compare the graphics processing units or GPUs of major gaming machines, like Microsoft Xbox One S vs Sony PlayStation 4 Pro, you'll notice they are closely matched. The GPU clock speed can range from a maximum of 950 MHz (Nvidia Shield 2) to 550 MHz (Nintendo Wii U) for the game consoles available till date. Features like 3D visualization, number of shading units, and the size of the display environment are also important for an immersive gaming experience.

Shading Units

Most of the video game consoles today have shading units or stream processors integrated in their GPU. Although shaders are generally used to control GPU-focused tasks, like image, video and signal processing, they also boost performance because they facilitate parallel data processing. For example, Sony PlayStation 4 has 1152 shading units, exceeding the average value of 925.3, which accelerate graphic processing and rendering speed.

TFLOPS

Floating-point performance refers to the computational power of a system and is measured in floating-point operations per second. Some of the famous game consoles of the 1990s, like the Sega Model 1 or Nintentdo 64, had less than 200 MFLOPs (mega-floating point operations per second). Fast forward to present day and the floating-point performance of the average game console is of 1 TFLOP (tera-floating point operations per second). Flagship game consoles, like Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro, has 4.14 TFLOPs. The eighth generation video game consoles are based on AMD's Accelerated Processing Unit or APU, a series of 64-bit microprocessors in compact form that functions both as CPU and GPU through a single chip. This means that if you have AMD’s Radeon APU, you don’t need to install a dedicated GPU as it is already included in it, unlike in AMD CPU. With integration of CPU modules, cache and a graphics processor all together, AMD Radeon APUs provide high graphics quality and performance that CPU or GPU can never deliver individually.

RAM & internal storage

 

All the video game consoles now-a-days demand huge RAM and internal storage. When there is enough RAM in a console, users can enjoy a lively gaming experience. Most flagship game consoles, like PS4, PS4 Pro and Xbox One, have 8GB of RAM. Nintendo’s Wii, however, possess only 2GB of RAM. Internal or on-board storage has replaced the memory cards and cartridges of old game consoles. The first Microsoft Xbox, released in 2001, was the first machine to use on-board storage: 8GB, along with an optional memory card of 8MB. By allowing more space to save larger data or by shifting from a couple of MB to hundreds of GB, the consoles of these days are becoming more powerful than ever. The latest game consoles have the largest on-board storage capacities: Sony PS4 Pro has 1TB and Xbox One S has 2TB.

 

Ports & connectivity

USB ports are a great advantage when you want to charge your mobile phone while being deeply immersed into the liveliness of the games. Not only that, when you have a USB flash drive and HDMI ports on your console, you can easily save your game profile and transfer it to another console or take it to your friend’s house. Connectivity is another praiseworthy advantage found in modern game consoles. With Bluetooth connectivity, gamers can connect any Bluetooth device they want – headsets, speakers or even keyboards.

Controllers

If you like playing games that involve a lot of movement, you might prefer wireless controllers over wired controllers. With wireless controllers, you don't risk getting tangled in cables. The wireless controllers available for the Xbox 360, for example, allow you to enjoy lively and uninterrupted gaming experiences because there is no significant delay between the moment you give the input and the moment when the input is visible on the screen. Basically, the lag for wireless controllers has to be below 10ms. However, there is a major advantage wired controllers have over wireless controllers: with wired controllers, you don't have to worry about charging the battery of your controller.

Motion sensitive controllers provide an intuitive sense to gaming by detecting and tracking gamers’ movements with the help of accelerometers and gyroscopes. When you move, your movements are translated into the game. The motion sensitive controllers are suitable for sports and action games that require significant amount of movement. Xbox One with Kinect is one machine with which you can get a realistic experience when playing movement-based games with the help of the motion sensing cameras integrated into it.

Entertainment

What more could you ask for than a game console that offers a variety of entertainment options like movie streaming, virtual reality games, and exclusive games. Besides, there is a wide range of accessories you can use for different types of games: racing wheels, joysticks, and even comfy seats. However, not all the machines are equal, since each of them is unique in terms of hardware, movie streaming capacity, exclusive apps, interfaces, accessories, etc.

Movie Streaming

With some game consoles, for example Sony PlayStation 4, you have access to popular movie streaming services like Netflix and Hulu Plus. Sony's latest Pro version supports even 4K resolution. When you look for movie streaming, Xbox One is not to be overlooked either, as it offers extensive 4K video playback support and a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray built-in.

Virtual reality accessories & games

These are the games that a person can play with a VR headset, which guarantees and immersive and interactive experience in a 3D environment. PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift are the rivals in the VR gaming world, both offering advanced technology and a growing number of VR games and apps. EVE Valkyrie, Headmaster, Rez Infinite, Farpoint, Final Fantasy XV are only some of the the most exciting virtual games announced for PlayStation.

Game Ecosystem

When we talk about the best game consoles, it’s the ‘games’ that ultimately matter the most. When choosing a game console, the choice depends a lot on the games you like to play. The number of exclusive games often becomes the top priority for most of the users. Exclusive games are, in fact, what defines a console; they are only available on a single platform belonging to the console producer. Sometimes, an exclusive title becomes so stunning that players die to buy the game console just to play a that exclusive game. Some of the most popular exclusive games for Xbox One are Forza 5, Halo 5 and Killer Instinct. Due to the fact that Xbox One has more exclusive titles, this console might be an attractive choice for many gamers. However, the release of the outstanding Uncharted 4 has added another important exclusive title to PS4. Some of the other exclusive titles for PlayStation 4 are Alienation, Amazing Discoveries In Outer Space, Bloodborne, Bound, DriveClub, God Of War, and Until Dawn.

By Samita Tamrakar

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