Gone are the days when parents and children would spend days out in the garden soaking in the sun as they play tennis or any other outdoor game. Kids these days are more interested in tech-based gadgets, and parents are always looking out to keep up with that.
Unless the parents are all about gaming themselves, there is little to no chance that they would have thought about getting a video game console. But your kids might be insisting on getting a console all the time.
So, it’s the 21st century, and you are willing to be the cool and connected parent. An easy way to start this off is by getting something that can bring the family together on the same couch. And what can be better than the ever-loved video game console? Now you might be thinking over, “which is the best gaming console for families?”.
Video games are a great way to keep the whole family entertained as they get involved together in an activity. But if you are in doubt about which video gaming console will be worth buying, we have got your back.
Before you head out to spend a lot of cash and end up having your kids disappointed, our guide will be here to assist you. We have put together a guide to help you choose the best video game console for families.
Your queries might include which console will offer the best value? Which console will support games that the whole family can play together? In this article, we will try to navigate these queries by suggesting the top four video game consoles.
A buying guide follows the product reviews for further clearing away any confusion.
The first upgrade that the PS4 Pro carries is the enhanced bandwidth. For people who previously had PS4 can feel the difference as the Share and Remote Play have improved bandwidth so you can stream games over the internet. There is also a bump from 720p of PS4 to 1080p in PS4 Pro when sharing, playing, and streaming.
Netflix and YouTube compatibility:
What if your gaming system can also be used for viewing your favorite TV shows? The PS4 Pro is compatible with Netflix and YouTube that can be streamed at a 4K resolution and HDR.
Decent inputs and outputs:
The PS4Pro comes with one Superspeed USB 3.1 port on the back and two on the front that is used for charging and syncing the controller together with connecting to the PlayStation VR, in case you are planning to buy one.
PlayStation Camera ports, optical audio, Ethernet, and HDMI 2.0a lie at the back of the PS4PPro right next to the power connector. Although the HDMI input port is absent, the PlayStation Vue by Sony works with equal efficiency.
Update on the DualShock 4 controller:
The conventional DualShock 4 controller has a small iteration, which is the presence of a light bar on the touchpad. It is useful in scenarios when you don’t want to turn over the controller only to find out which player you are. Another important update is that the triggers have been tweaked, and overall, the controller feels lighter in weight.
4K HD resolution:
The star of the show in the PS4PPro is the 4K UHD resolution. The games you play will look significantly better in contrast to the standard 1080p games. 4K resolution increases the detail of every face, every vehicle, every weapon, and even a hair strand of the character; everything looks sharp. The details are more noticeable when you view an object from up close.
- Improved visuals
- Supports all PS4 games
- Excellent gaming ecosystem
- HDR can be difficult to setup
It won’t be wrong to call the Xbox One S a beast in the video games console world. Although the main model is available in white color, you can also choose from multiple customized variants. The overall design is elegant, compact, and unlike the original one, it does not appear to be a massive power brick.
The Xbox One S has three USB 3.0 ports present on the console, where one of them is tucked to the front of the box rather than the side, which was the old legacy carried from Xbox One.
This provides the user with easy access in situations where the console is placed in a cabinet.
The rear has two HDMI ports; one for output and one for TV video input. The console also contains additional USB 3.0 ports and an IR output port if you want to use an external IR blaster.
The effort put in by Microsoft can be seen in the controller of the Xbox One S, which comes with a slightly different design. In contrast to the older gamepads, the controller is sleek. The feel when you hold it in hand is similar, but the surface has a firmer grip. It is also compatible with Bluetooth for Windows 10 devices.
A console that works beyond gaming:
Like other modern consoles, the Xbox One S is not just bound to gaming. You can stream Netflix and Amazon videos in HDR and 4K. You can enjoy Ultra HD streaming if you have subscribed to an Amazon Prime or Netflix account.
4K Ultra HD Blu-rays can also be played on the Xbox One S. All you need to do is pop one in the front slot, and it will give you the option to download the most recent version of Blu-ray app.
Refined user experience:
Besides improved resolution, sharper display, and improved controller design, the Xbox One S also focuses on providing users with a sophisticated experience that is easy to navigate. If you have a compatible UHD TV, then you are in luck as the console will update the non-4K videos to 2160p. The processing chip of the Xbox One S ensures that the system runs smoothly at a quick pace.
- Reduced physical footprint
- HDR and 4K streaming
- 4K Amazon Prime and Netflix playback
- 4K gaming is bounded to upscaling
Compactness is a significant feature when it comes to handheld video game consoles. The Nintendo Switch Lite is featured with all in one design. The width is about an inch shorter than the original one, adding to its compactness.
It weighs around 9.7 pounds, which is light to carry and hold. The portability of the console makes it easy to be snatched up and placed in your backpack on the go.
Comfortable to carry around:
Besides being just smaller in size than its predecessor, the Nintendo Switch is also much more comfortable to hold. The difference in layout is the main reason for the added comfort where the trigger buttons have been elongated, and the shoulder buttons have a slightly raised height.
The ergonomic shape and update layout give the impression of how the console has been designed with prolonged hours of gaming in mind.
Same performance, better battery life:
Although there is not as much significant change in performance in contrast to Switch, it comes with a slightly longer battery life ranging between three to seven hours. This is almost 30 minutes longer than the Nintendo Switch.
Choose your type:
The Nintendo Switch has been launched in a limited variety of colors- turquoise, yellow and gray. It comes with an off-white button that goes well in contrast with the gray console and complements the yellow and turquoise ones quite well.
More color and designs are expected to be released where Nintendo has also announced a coral version. The color variety, compactness, and matte finish are some of the many features that make this console a fit for all families where the children will greatly love the aesthetics.
When put through a contrast with the Nintendo Switch, the 720p resolution and 5.5-inch screen shows a sharper display and is more vibrant when playing the game. This can be a result of how the resolution appears on a smaller screen, but the difference is evident.
- Solid battery life
- Comfortable design
- Sharp display
- Motion controls are absent
The PS4 Slim can be set up in a breeze, especially if you are updating from your previous PlayStation 4 or even PS3. The same cables can be brought to use, so you don’t have to stretch behind your TV screen.
All you need to do is plug in the power cables and HDMI. Once connected to the internet, you can download the updates and various patches of ps4 Slim, and you’ll be ready to play in no time.
One update that is applied to the whole range of PS4, including the PS4 Slim, is the HDR support. This means that you can enjoy your games with greater details in the light sources. All the streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are compatible with the PS4 Slim.
You can also avail of access to the movie rental platform of Sony in case you want to watch a newly released Hollywood movie.
The dimensions have been visibly cut down in the PS4 Slim, where the overall weight of the console is also lighter in comparison to PS4.
A matte black finish extends over the console giving it an overall sophisticated look. The light bar indicator on the top mount shows the status for on, off, and sleep.
Update for pro gamers:
A fine addition to this console is the option to switch between wired USB data connection and Bluetooth with the PS4. Formerly, USB connection was only used for charging, where connectivity leaned solely on Bluetooth.
This feature might not matter to many, but for pro gamers, it can differentiate between a win or loss. The Bluetooth connectivity adds a small degree of lag to the controls.
The PS4 Slim offers a more stable online gaming experience as the networking has been improved in this upgraded console. The new DualShock 4 is a bonus for pro esports players who stay indulged in gaming all day long.
- Noiseless performance
- More portable than before
- No more distracting LED strip
- Lacks UHD Blu-ray drive
|1. PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB Console||11.6×2.2×12.9 inches||10.67 pounds|
|2. Xbox One S 1TB All-Digital Edition Console||2.6×13.2×12.9 inches||8.93 pounds|
|3. Nintendo Switch Lite||1x1x1inches||0.95 pounds|
|4. PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB Console||17x4x14 inches||2.2 pounds|
Now that we have looked through some of the best video game console options for you let’s move on to the features and factors you should consider when buying the console.
In light of ever-evolving technology, consoles are now being used beyond gaming. This means that besides playing games using the console, you can watch your favorite TV shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. with your console.
Many consoles are coming with DVD, Blu Ray, and other such features where you can enjoy a movie when you are done with your game. So if you want to make the most out of your console, you can opt for one that has built-in features like these.
More for less
On average, the cost of a console can vary between $200 to $400. This price is for the console alone, which can be quite costly for some. Many manufacturers release bundle versions following the release month of the console. These bundles allow you to pick your favorite game with console for a good value, so buying such bundles is cost-effective.
Availability and variety of games
If your family has been into video games for quite a while, then there is a chance that all of you like a particular game out of the many. Some game developers are quite picky, and they launch the games that are compatible with only certain consoles.
In short, not all the games run on all different consoles. Therefore, you must choose a console that is compatible with the games well-liked by your family.
Picking out something for your family can be a strenuous task as you have to consider everyone’s choices. We have listed down the best-rated consoles for families in this guide with their detailed features, pros, and cons so you can make the best pick out of the lot and enjoy gaming with your family.