Gaming console buying guide
Microsoft’s Xbox range has something to offer all ages and interests. There are more than 1300 games to enjoy, from platform games to sports and shooters.
You can play all the latest blockbuster franchises, like FIFA, Call of Duty, Halo , both solo or with friends or other gamers online through Xbox LIVE. The Xbox One is also more than just a gaming machine.
You can download your favourite streaming apps like YouTube and Netflix, and use the Xbox media centre to download movies, TV shows, new (and old) games plus music directly to your console.
You can play against friends or people from around the world using Microsoft’s Xbox Live online platform. All you need is an Internet connection and an Xbox LIVE Gold membership. For a monthly or annual fee, you can join the more than 1 billion multiplayer matches played every month. With an Xbox LIVE Gold membership, you also receive exclusive discounts on games through the Xbox store, as well as a selection of free games to play every month.
Xbox Play Anywhere
You can play a Play Anywhere digital title on both Xbox One and a Windows 10 PC at no extra cost. This lets you play a game on your console, and pick up where you left off on another Xbox One or PC, bringing all your saves, game add-ons and achievements with you.
The Xbox Series X is Microsoft’s most powerful Xbox yet.
Featuring re-engineered hardware and software integration, Xbox Velocity Architecture delivers superior speed and performance like you've never seen before. Ready for 8K gaming with speeds up to 120 fps, you'll experience lightning-fast gaming with incredible detail.
Custom 1 TB NVMe SSD & 16 GB GDDR6 memory
4K Ultra HD gaming up to 120 FPS & up to 8K HDR
Watch Blu-ray and stream 4K TV shows
The Xbox Series S is the standard version of the console, but it's still a great option for gamers. Nearly 60% smaller than the Xbox Series X, it's the tiniest Xbox ever. Yet it still delivers high frame rates up to 120 fps and speedy loading times - just what you need for intensive gaming.
512 GB SSD with expandable storage slot
1440p gaming up to 120 FPS & HDR
Stream 4K video with built-in WiFi
3D spatial sound & Dolby TrueHD with Atmos
A large selection of both digital and disc-based Xbox One, Xbox 360 and original Xbox games can be played on Xbox Series S or X. These backward-compatible games are powered by an emulator of older Xbox operating systems which provide most of the features including screenshots, broadcasting and Game DVR. A variety of older Xbox games can also run in an enhanced mode on the Series X or Series S, leveraging the additional power of the console for higher resolution visuals.
To play older games, you can use the original game disc (with Xbox Series X only). Or you can also download a digital version of the game, which can be found in the ‘Your Games’ list.
The PlayStation 5, or PS5, is a firm fan favourite and, like the Xbox Series X/S, has something for gamers of all ages. There are thousands of titles across all genres to choose from, plus you get popular exclusives like The Last of Us and Uncharted.
Being a modern console, the PS5 goes far beyond gaming, and lets you access your favourite streaming apps, such as YouTube and Netflix. You can also download music and movies. The Disc Edition can play both Blu-ray discs and DVDs, plus there are improved parental controls which let you manage which games and content your family can access. It’s a great packaged entertainment system for the living room the whole family can enjoy.
The DualShock controller has the familiar X, circle, square and triangle format, as well as new features like a built-in speaker and share button to record your gameplay and publish online. The controller is wireless, charged via USB and features built-in vibration for a more responsive playing experience.
You can join millions of people online for multiplayer gaming with the PlayStation Plus subscription service. PlayStation Plus also offers exclusive discounts to subscribers on the PlayStation Store.
Though PlayStation 5 does not allow backwards compatibility with disc-based PS1, PS2 or PS3 games, you can play many older titles digitally for a small subscription fee. Many PS4 disc games can be played on the PS5 Disc Edition, or are available digitally. It may be possible to transfer digital games you already own to your PS5, and some games will also benefit from Game Boost for enhanced performance.
The Nintendo Switch is a truly ground-breaking console. Not only do you get a range of classic exclusive titles, such as Super Mario, Mario Kart and Zelda, you can also play in both traditional mode on a TV, plus on-the-go as a handheld device.
When connected to the dock and TV, the Nintendo Switch offers HD gaming like a classic console. But you can easily detach it from the dock and add two Joy-Con controllers either side of the device and take it out with you like a classic Gameboy.
Multifunctional design lets you play both as console and handheld
Seamlessly carry on gameplay from TV to the handheld device
Up to 6 hours of gameplay when in hand-held mode
The Joy-Con controllers can be used as a traditional controller, split into two controllers for multiplayer and as part of a steering wheel. You can also enjoy Wii-like functionality by holding each Joy-Con controller in your hand for boxing or tennis games, making games more active when you play them.
You can play with friends at your house or online, and it's possible to link up to eight consoles. A paid online service for Nintendo Switch is launching in late 2017, but online features will remain free of charge until it launches.