PS5 vs. Xbox Series X vs. Nintendo Switch: Which is the Best Console this Holiday Season?

Best Video Game Console Featured

The newest generation of video game consoles has promised to up the power, graphics and gameplay that will look good for years to come. Both the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X are only a few months into release but are already showing signs of what’s to come from games in the future. On the other hand, the Nintendo Switch is in the middle of its cycle and continues to sell out. With three different yet promising consoles on the market, how can you choose which one is right for you? Read on as we help you do that.

Raw Gaming Power

Best Video Game Console Xbox Series X

Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X boast excellent levels of power that are good enough to last for a console generation. With 8-core CPUs, 16GB of RAM and powerful GPUs at their disposal, each console is capable of incredible graphics, frame rates and 4K output.

Winner: Xbox Series X

Even as both the Xbox and PS5 boast power on paper, the Xbox Series X is a more powerful machine overall. With 4K gaming, up to 120 frames per second and 8K HDR available, the Xbox is ready to show its power. That’s before you even get to the 12 teraflops of power and a whole lot of technical jargon. Needless to say, the Xbox is extremely powerful and, with 3D spatial sound, you will feel completely immersed while playing.

Runner Up: PlayStation 5

Best Video Game Console Ps5 Controller

Like the Xbox, Sony’s PlayStation 5 also boasts 4K gaming, 120 frames per second and 8K support. That’s on top of its own immersive audio experience. While Sony’s console appears to be slightly less powerful on paper, that doesn’t really tell the full story. Software optimizations and developer tweaks will ensure PS5 games take full advantage of everything the hardware is capable of. Games will load significantly faster than the PS4 and PS4 Pro, and with ray tracing, you will see true-to-life shadows and reflections in any game that supports the technology. Ultimately, it really comes down to what’s on paper, and in that regard, Xbox manages to outshine the PS5, but just barely.

Third Place: Nintendo Switch

Nintendo never focused on building the most powerful hardware. Instead, Nintendo built something that was powerful enough to run an entirely new library full of new and old titles that makes it fun for users of all ages. Perhaps the biggest note of the Switch’s power is that it runs in 720p while in handheld mode and 1080p while docksx. There is no 4K option on the current generation Nintendo Switch.

Exclusive Games

Consoles can truly thrive or fail based on the volume and reception to their exclusive games lineup. Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X have a lengthy list of games on the horizon that will be exclusive to their platforms. Nintendo, on the other hand, has had years to introduce a catalogue of exclusives that adds some incredible titles.

Winner: Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch Catridges

Without a doubt, the Nintendo Switch currently has the best lineup of exclusive games. It starts with pretty much everything Mario (Odyssey, Mario Kart, Deluxe, Rabbids, etc.), and that’s on top of games like Breath of the Wild or Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Each of these games are not just popular in terms of sales. They are almost all universally acclaimed hits supported by outstanding reviews. Throw in Pokemon games, Splatoon 2, Super Smash Bros., Luigi’s Mansion, Cuphead and the list goes on and on.

Second Place: PlayStation 5

While the PS5 is only a few months old, it’s already hitting home runs for its exclusive lineup. Spider-Man: Miles Morales is already winning hearts and minds as is the cheeky Bugsnax, both available to play right now. The real promise of the PS5 exclusive lineup won’t really start until 2021. Next year will see releases like God of War: Ragnarok, Gran Turismo 7, Horizon Forbidden West, Project Athia, etc. Between the console’s graphical improvements over its last generation, the updated controller and improved audio, each of these games are all but assured to be must-own titles. However, they are not out today, and even as most launch dates are set for next year, they are still tentative.

Third Place: Xbox Series X

If there has been one downside of Xbox ownership through the years, it’s been exclusive titles. That’s already looking to be the case for this next generation of consoles. Halo has long been the backbone of Microsoft’s exclusive lineup, and that is the case yet again with Halo Infinite. Forza is arguably the best racing game across all consoles, so Forza Motorsport will be a highly anticipated release. Ultimately, it’s not that the Xbox Series X won’t have exclusive titles, but PS 5 will have more (potentially far more) exclusive titles.

Pricing

Winner: Nintendo Switch

Consoles Online Switch

No big surprise here as the Nintendo Switch comes in at the lowest price point among all three consoles at $299.99. The Switch Lite comes in even cheaper at $199.99 and has all of the power of its larger cousin, less the dock capability.

Runner Up: Xbox Series X

The Xbox Series X prices in at $499.99, which is pretty much what was expected in the run-up to launch. The less expensive Xbox Series S console lacks the disc drive and some of the power but prices in at a more manageable $299.99.

Third Place: PlayStation 5

The PlayStation 5 also costs $499.99. A disc-less version with the exact same internal hardware is available for $399.99. If you are okay with a digital only library of games, the digital edition and the $100 savings are well worth consideration, especially when you factor in that you do not lose any of the hardware capabilities.

Online Services

Winner: Xbox Series X

For now, Microsoft wins the online services war. Game Pass stands above the competition with a deep catalog that offers over 100 console (and PC) games. With two levels of Game Pass available for consoles ($9.99) and consoles + PC/Android devices ($14.99), there really is something for everyone. New games are added regularly and all members get exclusive discounts on digital sales through the Xbox digital store. There’s a bevy of sports, racing, fighting and kid-friendly titles available including notable Halo titles, Forza Horizon, Battlefront II and more.

Second Place: PlayStation 5

Best Video Game Console Ps5 1

Sony’s PlayStation Plus is available for $59.99 a year. Subscribers get access to online play, monthly games, exclusive discounts on digital titles and more. Each month Sony gives away between two to three digital titles, which can be downloaded to your console and playable as long as you remain a subscriber. The games are often previous bestsellers, as well as some fun multiplayer games that can provide hours of gaming for you and friends next door or across the country.

Third Place: Nintendo Switch

Nintendo’s online platform is not nearly as robust as either of the offerings from Sony or Microsoft. Nintendo Switch Online does allow for online play, saving data in the cloud and special offers. Unless you need online play, there is really no other reason to grab the $19.99 a year online service from Nintendo. Retro game fans will love the library of titles Nintendo has released from both NES and SNES that are all instantly playable on the Switch. There are only around 70 titles between both platforms, and Nintendo doesn’t update the service with any kind of regularity. That said, if you have an itch to play the original versions of Super Mario, Zelda or Super Mario World, or even Donkey Kong, you can find them here.

Which Console Is Right for You?

You should choose the Nintendo Switch if you value an extensive library of some of the most unique and exclusive games available today.

The Xbox Series X is definitely for the person who wants to game as much as they want entertainment. The Xbox is a powerful gaming platform with an incredible array of media-centric features, making it the perfect all-in-one home entertainment experience. Also choose the Xbox if you really love the idea of playing your back catalog of previous generation Xbox titles.

If you value the best combination of power, entertainment and exclusives around, Sony’s Playstation 5 is your best choice. With so many excellent titles, including God of War and Horizon Forbidden West coming in the next 12 months, there is so much to do and play on the PS5.

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David David

David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.

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