Still playing games on an Xbox 360, PS3, or Wii? Don’t be embarrassed. Like any gadget, it takes time for a new console to iron out the bugs and establish its identity … which brings us to the 2014 holiday season. The Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U are duking it out again, but a lot’s changed since last year. Not sure which console is right for the giftee on your list? Then you’re in the right spot.
First, three handy facts about buying a home console these days.
1. It’s all about exclusives.If you like Halo, get an Xbox One. If you’re excited about Uncharted, invest in a PS4. If Mario and Link are your BFFs, buy a Wii U and call it a day. There’s just no getting around fandom, and no getting around the fact that certain games only appear on certain systems. You will never see Mario on your Xbox One, and if that’s enough to sway you, we wholeheartedly encourage you to pick up the system that contains the franchises and characters you care about most.
2. The prices are neck and neck.This used to be a defining difference between the systems, as the Xbox One spent most of its first year priced at $500, a full $100 more than the PS4 and a good $200 more than the Wii U. So that made things easier. These days, though, all three systems are priced within the $300 to $400 range, and frankly, all three are worth it.
3. No one system is currently far and away better than the others.I know: This isn’t the kind of advice you were looking for. But it’s the truth. Thanks to a rash of price drops, great new games, and packed 2015 calendars, all three consoles have stepped up. They’re all looking good right now.
That being said, no console is infallible. Read on for a breakdown of each system.