Best Gaming Console You Can Buy Right Now

With the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch — each with their own unique features — to choose from, and Sony talking up the upcoming PS5’s specs and price, buying a video game console isn’t as easy a task as it used to be. Throw in variants such as the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X and things become a bit more confusing. If you’ve been asking yourself which is the best gaming console to buy, what to keep in mind before making a purchase, and what you need to get the most out of your new console, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s get started.

What are gaming consoles and who needs one?
Gaming consoles are machines whose primary function is to play video games. Popular current-generation consoles include Sony’s PS4 family of consoles, the Nintendo Switch, and Microsoft’s Xbox One range.

If you’re looking to graduate from the likes of Candy Crush on your smartphone, or you’re a lapsed gamer whose last tryst with a controller was playing Super Mario Bros, gaming consoles are arguably the most popular, cost-effective way to play video games.

If you prefer the flexibility and openness of the PC platform along with the convenience of digital services like Steam and GOG, along with the ability to mod your game, you should consider building a gaming PC instead. However, for most people, building or maintaining a PC might be too much effort, hence gaming consoles offer the simplest way of getting started.

What you’ll need before buying a gaming console
Now before you run out and buy a PS4 or Xbox One, there are some prerequisites. For one, you’ll need a fast, stable Internet connection. This is because most game downloads are in excess of 30GB. Even if you buy games on disc, developers keep updating them so if you want the latest, bug-free experience or if you play online multiplayer, you’ll need to update the games. The bare minimum should be a 5Mbps Internet connection in our experience, though you’ll be better served with faster Internet speeds, and definitely generous data caps.

You’ll also need an HDTV with HDMI input, or a monitor with HDMI input, with a native resolution of 1280×720 (720p) at the very least. This is because every console works via HDMI (and ships with an HDMI cable) and most games support resolutions of 720p and above. Ideally though, you’d want a screen with 1080p or 1440p. And if you have money to splurge, a 4K TV with HDR is the way to go for the absolute best performance.

 

Our top pick for most people — PS4 Slim
The PS4 Slim is our number one choice for a host of reasons. After a rocky launch, Sony India has been able to ensure mass distribution of the console, which makes it really easy to buy. Be it sites like Amazon or Flipkart, large format retailers like Croma, Landmark, and Reliance Digital, or your own neighbourhood games store, getting a PS4 is easy.

It helps that there are several bundles to get you started such as a 500GB PS4 Slim with Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition, Uncharted 4, and Gran Turismo Sport with three months of PlayStation Plus (PS Plus) — the online service needed for online multiplayer. It makes the price of Rs. 23,580 palpable as you won’t need to buy a new game or spent to play online anytime soon. That’s not counting the two PS4 games you get each month with a subscription for the service.

And with great availability comes support for the console as well. If anything goes wrong with your PS4 Slim during the first year of purchase, Sony lets you get a brand new console rather than issue repairs to your existing unit. If your warranty has lapsed, you can get a new console for upto 50 percent off on the MRP. Of course, in both cases, you’ll need to provide your warranty card and proof of purchase.

This doesn’t extend to PS4 consoles bought outside India even if they are from other PAL territories like UK and the UAE. Sony has confirmed that its warranty terms extend to PS4 consoles bought in Indiawith BIS clearance only and not units bought from the grey market.

Support aside, there’s a massive library of PS4 games out there. From big budget exclusives like Uncharted 4 and God of War to indie titles like Pyre and Transistor or quirky Japanese fare like Persona 5 and the Yakuza series, there’s something for everyone on the PS4. Most of these games end up making it to India officially in part due to an efficient distribution network and thanks to the PS Store, Sony’s digital storefront for the console which now has prepaid cards so you don’t have to use a credit card.

It also helps that there’s a growing used game market. With most new PS4 games priced between Rs. 3,499 and Rs. 3,999 it’s not exactly affordable for most to buy new games each month. Sites such as IndianVideoGamer and GameXS let you buy used games at lower prices. Your mileage will vary of course with newer titles costing a bit more than those three to six months older.

For example, we were able to pick up Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and Nier Automata for Rs. 4,500 combined. Not too shabby considering brand new versions of all games would have set us back by around Rs. 7,500 in total.

In addition to being our overall pick, the PS4 Slim 500GB bundle with three games and three months of PS Plus provides the best option for those on a budget as well. Reason being you get three games that show off the visual prowess of the system as well as being fantastic to play. With PS Plus thrown in, you get two games a month for the console as digital downloads. All of this gives you a total of three solid exclusives and six additional titles to check out which means you can technically, hold off for the first three months of owning a PS4 Slim before buying new games for it or renewing PS Plus, at the very least.

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