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How to Choose the Best Gaming Console in 2024

Are you searching for a new console? We’re here to help. Whether you're looking to play great single-player story-driven games on the PS5 or want some family-friendly action that the Nintendo Switch delivers, there's truly something available for everyone. Check out our full breakdown of the most popular video game consoles available now, and skip to the end to see if you should consider PC gaming at home or on the go instead.


For more information about prices, games, and accessories for each console, use the links below to jump to each section:


Jump to:

Best PlayStation Console - PS5​

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One of the most popular consoles this generation is the
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, Sony's latest and greatest that followed the wildly successful PS4. It features upgraded 4K visuals with support for ray tracing, an ultrafast SSD, and the all-new DualSense controller that immerses you in your games through haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. The standard edition retails for an MSRP of $499.99 and comes with a Blu-Ray UHD disc drive for playing physical games and media, but a digital-only version is also available for $399.99 if you prefer to download your games directly from the PlayStation Store. You also now have the option of picking up the
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for $499.


PS5 Games​


PS5 is known for its
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including The Last of Us series, God of War: Ragnarok, Marvel's Spider-Man 2, Horizon: Forbidden West, Returnal, and many, many more.

PlayStation Subscription​


To enhance your PS5 experience for online multiplayer gaming, you may also want to pick up a PlayStation Plus membership, which is available as three different tiers starting at $79.99 per year. Learn more about
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.

PS5 Accessories​


There are also a number of
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and
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you should consider adding such as additional DualSense controllers for co-op gaming,
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, and charging stations to keep your DualSense batteries topped up. The new
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was also recently released, but it's hard to get your hands on.

Best Nintendo Console - Nintendo Switch OLED​

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Nintendo's latest Switch model is the
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, aptly named due to its larger 7-inch vivid OLED touchscreen display as compared to the original Nintendo Switch's 6.2-inch LCD screen. There are currently three models of Nintendo Switch, including the aforementioned Nintendo Switch OLED that retails for an MSRP of $349.99. Additionally, you can pick up the standard Nintendo Switch for $299.99, or the smaller portable-only Nintendo Switch Lite for $199.99. All three consoles can play the same games, so the decision as to which one you purchase comes down to playstyle and preference.


Nintendo Switch Games​


Nintendo is known for its
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including Super Mario Wonder, Mario Kart 8: Deluxe, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, just to name a few.

Nintendo Switch Subscription​


If you enjoy retro gaming, or playing multiplayer games online, you'll want to consider a
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, as well. Plans start at just $19.99 per year and include access to a curated selection of classic Nintendo games across the NES, SNES, GameBoy, N64, and more. Additionally, some plans also include access to expansions and additional content for popular games such as Mario Kart 8: Deluxe and Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Nintendo Switch Accessories​


Additionally, there are a number of great
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and
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you can pick up to enhance your experience such as the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, microSD cards for additional game storage, carrying cases, and more. You might also want to grab great
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.

Best Xbox Console - Xbox Series X​

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The
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and
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are Microsoft's latest consoles for the current generation, with the Xbox Series X being the larger, more powerful version that enables true 4K gaming and 1TB of storage. Xbox Series X retails for an MSRP of $499.99, while the digital-only, slightly less-powerful Xbox Series S retails for $299.99. Both consoles have access to the same library of games, but you'll enjoy better visuals and performance on the Xbox Series X.


Xbox Games​


Xbox has been making big waves recently,
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, as well as
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, making them the sole owner of popular franchises such as Call of Duty, Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Diablo, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and many, many more. While Xbox Game Studios hasn't seen the same success over the past decade as compared to Sony's PlayStation Studios, it's slowly been building a stable of incredibly talented studios who will undoubtedly release some amazing titles in the future. For more information on what's available now, check out
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.

Xbox Subscription​


Xbox's main focus lately has been
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— a Netflix-style subscription service that provides access to hundreds of popular games including Microsoft's first-party titles day-and-date, including Starfield, Halo: Infinite, Forza Motorsport, and more. Plans start at just $9.99 per month and also allow you to play online multiplayer games with your friends.

Xbox Accessories​


If you're picking up an Xbox Series X|S this year, you may consider adding some popular
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such as an additional
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for multiplayer gaming at home, a storage expansion card that allows you to store more games on your console, or a
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for online gaming.

Best Handheld Gaming PC - Steam Deck​

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For PC gaming, the
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is the
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and has quickly made a name for itself, offering a console-quality experience on the go. There are three models of the Steam Deck available: the standard 256GB base model with an LCD screen that retails for $399—a major upgrade from the original 64GB model that used to sit at the price but is being phased out along with the 512GB LCD model. Then there are two
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models to choose from a 512GB option retailing for $549 and a 1TB model that retails for $649. Check out our comparison between the
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for more about the differences. If you’re looking to step away from the Steam Deck, the
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lineup is a great alternative.


Steam Deck Games​


The Steam Deck has access to thousands of games across Steam's PC storefront, many of which are
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and portable form factor. While you can play many popular titles in your Steam library on the handheld, you can also opt to stream the entirety of your library over Wi-Fi,
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, allowing you to play games that aren't verified to run natively on the Steam Deck.

Steam Deck Accessories​


Additionally, there are a number of
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you'll want to consider if you're picking one up including
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that allow you to play your games on a TV or monitor, a screen protector, and microSD cards to expand your internal storage, allowing you to download and store more games locally.

Should You Buy a Gaming PC Instead?​


Gaming PCs offer a
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, but some prefer the flexibility offered by a PC as you can upgrade individual parts and customize your experience far more than you can with standard consoles. You're also not limited to purchasing games from a single storefront as PC offers a variety of different merchants such as Steam, Epic Games Store, GOG, and more, often allowing you to shop around for the best sales on popular games.

However, the initial investment for prospective PC gamers is often much higher than simply purchasing a console that's ready to go out of the box. You can opt to build your own PC by purchasing individual parts and assembling it yourself, or you can
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that offers a more streamlined experience out of the box (although there's still quite a bit of configuration required after powering it on for the first time). If you prefer to play on the go, you can also
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, often far more powerful than standard laptops, that strikes a balance between power and portability.

There are often
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such as popular MMOs like World of Warcraft, MOBAs like League of Legends, and competitive FPS games like Valorant. Additionally, you can also opt for a service like Xbox's
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which provides a library of popular games for you to download or stream to your PC.

What is the Best Console For Kids?​


While Nintendo consoles are all designed with children in mind, the
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is a great choice as it's a smaller, less-expensive console designed exclusively for handheld play and comes in a variety of different colors including turquoise, gray, yellow, coral, and blue. It features a 5.5" touchscreen display, 32GB of internal storage, and up to seven hours of battery life. The Nintendo Switch Lite retails for an MSRP of $199.99. It's worth noting that the Nintendo Switch Lite cannot be connected to a TV and does not feature detachable Joy-Con controllers like the other two models. Here are all of the main retailers currently selling this Switch model:


Additionally, the standard
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console is a great choice for children and families as you can play games in both handheld mode, as well as on the TV and in tabletop mode. The Nintendo Switch retails for an MSRP of $299.99 and features detachable Joy-Con controllers that allow two players to play on the same console.


Matthew Adler is a Commerce, Features, Guides, News, Previews, and Reviews writer for IGN. You can follow him on the site formerly known as Twitter
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and watch him stream on
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.

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