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Choosing a Console

Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or just enjoy a fun game with friends every once in a while, if you play video games you need a console that fits your needs. Take a look at our tips on what to look for in a console, and check out the unique features of the top three consoles on the market today.

 Key Factors to Consider

Performance
A powerful console will last 5–7 years—longer than many computers—so make the most out of your purchase by getting a console with good specs. Look at the CPU, number of cores, GPU (graphics processing unit), RAM, and amount of storage space. Make sure to check for Wi-fi connectivity, HDMI and USB hookups, and the ability to add extra storage if needed.
Controllers & Players
One of the main differences between consoles in in the type of controller they use. This factor mainly depends on personal preference, but if you’re a casual gamer you may want to look at systems with simpler controls. Also consider how many controllers can be used at a time—if you enjoy gaming as a family or in large groups, you’ll need a console that can support it.
Games Offered
Many popular games can be bought on multiple platforms, but manufacturers also tend to have some games that are exclusive to their consoles. If there’s a certain series of games you can’t live without, make sure it's offered on the console you’re considering!  
Multimedia Features
Game consoles now do a lot more than gaming. The best consoles can act as a complete entertainment system, with features like video streaming from Netflix and Hulu, access to thousands of apps, connectivity to cable or satellite TV, video chatting, and social media access.
Support
Because gaming consoles tend to last so long and manufacturers are constantly releasing system updates, it’s vital to have good support for your console. Pay attention to the warranty included with your system and look for manufacturers that offer good customer service and tech support, forums, tutorials, and more.

 Popular Consoles