Best Video Game Consoles in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update June 27, 2018
The gaming industry advances incredibly fast, offering more and more products to discover. Whether you are a pro-gamer or a novice, you will be interested in learning what's new in gaming equipment. Don't stay behind, get the best game consoles! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
CPU
RAM
GPU
HARD DRIVE
INTERFACES
EXTRAS
CONNECTIVITY
 
PROS

Enables you to play modern video games and enjoy a vivid and amazing 4K dynamic picture. You can watch high-resolution video content from Netflix, YouTube services online with this gaming console.

CONS

Has a comparatively bulky case.

OUR VERDICT

Treat yourself to stunning visuals of modern fast-paced video games, which were made available by the use of the GPU doubling the one of a standard PS4 in performance.

detailed parameters
CPU

JAGUAR AMD CPU 64-bit X86 8-CORE

RAM

8Gb GDDR5

GPU

4.20 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon GPU

HARD DRIVE

1 TB

INTERFACES

3 x USB 3.1 (Gen.1), 1 x AUX port, 1 x HDMI out port (supports 4K/HDR),

1 x Digital-out (optical) port, 1 х LAN port (RJ45)

EXTRAS

Support of the HDR standard for TVs, which makes another step towards an image realism due to higher picture dynamics and contrast. The console has an auto detection of the max resolution supported by the connected TV

CONNECTIVITY

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0

PROS

The design makes the console slimmer and more compact. The entire case has a matte finish so the dirt and fingerprints are not very conspicuous now.

CONS

Not very fast games and updates download via Wi-Fi.

OUR VERDICT

With a more compact design, Sony managed to produce a powerful and modern gaming console capable of delivering a smooth and visually impressive gameplay while cutting the overall energy consumption by 28 %.

detailed parameters
CPU

JAGUAR AMD CPU 64-bit X86 (1.6 Ghz) 8-CORE

RAM

8Gb GDDR5

GPU

1.84 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon GPU

HARD DRIVE

1 TB

INTERFACES

1 х HDMI, 2 х USB 3.0 type A, 1 х LAN port (RJ45)

EXTRAS

Support of the HDR standard for TVs, which makes another step towards an image realism due to higher picture dynamics and contrast. The console has an auto detection of the max resolution supported by the connected TV. Supports Blu-Ray discs

CONNECTIVITY

Bluetooth, Wi-Fi (802.11ac), Ethernet

PROS

Owing to the Bluetooth support the bundled gamepad can be used with any Windows 10-based Bluetooth-enabled device or system.

CONS

The noise of the fans inside the case is noticeable.

OUR VERDICT

The compact console case was not a hindrance for the engineers to locate the power adapter inside the case, thus giving you more freedom in placing Xbox One S in your house. The grilled air outlets considerably increase the efficiency of the console air cooling.

detailed parameters
CPU

JAGUAR AMD CPU 64-bit X86 (1.6 Ghz) 8-CORE

RAM

8Gb DDR3

GPU

1.4 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon GPU

HARD DRIVE

500 Gb

INTERFACES

3 x USB 3.0, 2 x HDMI, 1 x Optical audio out, 1 х AUX

EXTRAS

Support for Blu-Ray video output at 4К resolution. High Dynamic Range Imaging for an improved image dynamism, Xbox Live for gaming together with friends

CONNECTIVITY

Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth

PROS
Thanks to the Kinect Real Motion, the sensor can track even the smallest movement.
CONS
The power adapter is pretty big and connects separately.
OUR VERDICT
The console has amazing characteristics and can be used as a player for movies in Ultra HD and for Blue-Ray. This is one of the best items you can get!
detailed parameters
CPU
JAGUAR AMD CPU 64-bit X86 (1.75 GHz) 8-CORE
RAM
8 GB DDR3 (shared between CPU and GPU), 32 МB ESRAM
GPU
1.24 TF -RADEON HD 7790
HARD DRIVE
500 GB
INTERFACES
3 х USB 3.0 2 х HDMI (1 in, 1 out) 1 x Optical audio out
EXTRAS
Smart Match system on Xbox One, 4K video support, Blue-Ray discs support, Skype adapted specifically for Xbox One
CONNECTIVITY
Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth
PROS
You can use Wii U GamePad as a remote controller for your TV.
CONS
Small hard drive storage space.
OUR VERDICT
The model features Miiverse - the newest chatting system on social networks. You will be able to discuss various topics with players all around the world. Don't miss out on this amazing console!
detailed parameters
CPU
IBM Power PC 750 (1.24 GHz) 3-CORE
RAM
2 GB DDR3, 32 MB eDRAM cache (both shared between CPU and GPU)
GPU
AMD R600/700 550 MHz
HARD DRIVE
32 GB
INTERFACES
4 х USB 2.0 1 х HDMI 1 х AV Multi Out 1 х Сard reader
EXTRAS
GamePad with touch screen, Classic pro-controller, Stylus for Wii U GamePad.
CONNECTIVITY
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0

Sony PlayStation 4 Pro

The Most Powerful Gaming Console

The Sony company managed to develop the most powerful gaming console as of today, which offers the support of such cutting-edge technologies as HDR and 4К resolution output. The new console is a modified Sony PlayStation 4 model, though its title has a “Pro” suffix.  This suffix indicates the use of a new more powerful hardware, which offers a performance higher than that of a predecessor. The PlayStation 4 Pro integrates the most powerful console graphics subsystem available on the market today. The GPU with an impressive 4.20 TFLOPS of processing power opens the new possibilities for game developers in creating more visually sophisticated digital worlds and for gamers in indulging themselves in stunning gaming titles. The raw GPU power is backed up with the modern features support that’s why Sony PS4 Pro offers 4К video output both cabled and streamed and enables you to enjoy a smooth and detailed picture all the way. Using the reworked and optimised for the Pro model Netflix and YouTube video content services help you utilise the advanced capabilities of the Sony Playstation 4 Pro fully. Thus having connected your PS 4 Pro to a LED TV with a big screen that supports the 4К resolution and HDR standard that becomes very popular, you will experience the most technically advanced and visually riveting video gaming and videos watching to date. Another noticeable step in technical evolution that this gaming console by Sony has made is a significant frame rate increase in virtual reality experience, which makes gaming even more immersive. Cooperative gaming and user communication features were also enriched by the implementation of the Share Play feature that allows reassigning your gaming controller to another person, inviting your friend to your gaming session as a spectator and play PS titles without installing them to your console.

Review of Sony PlayStation 4 Pro 1 TB, Black

 

Sony PlayStation 4 Slim

A Slim Shape

We use to say that there is always room for improvement. The Sony company, which produces a great number of digital devices and innovative gadgets is well aware of that. In the company’s opinion, the world famous Sony PlayStation 4 gaming console needed an upgrade both in design and features. The Sony PlayStation 4 Slim incarnation was produced to become a perfect balance of elegant, aesthetical shapes and powerful components that ensure a stable operation in any title developed for PS4. The slimmer PS4 variant runs even more silent and dissipates less heat, which is without a doubt to the credit of more elaborate arrangement of the internal elements and heatsinks. Reworking the console externals resulted in Sony’s discarding the glossy case elements, which were making fingerprints, dust and dirtying more conspicuous. So the refreshed and reshaped Play Station 4 Slim with its entire case in matte finish has much better resistance to dirtying. The support of the new HDR standard that offers more dynamic colour transitions in certain scenes and more overall contrast makes colours look more vivid and rich. Besides the slim gaming console version is fully compatible with the games and discs for a standard Play Station 4 edition, thus renewing the console does not require renewing your game collection. You can store your movies, music and other data on an external hard drive and get a quick access to them by connecting the drive to your PS 4 Slim, which frees the console onboard storage for gaming content.

Review of Sony PlayStation 4 Slim

 

Xbox One S

Improved Aesthetics and Design

The Microsoft corporation is famous not only for the Windows operating systems series but for their entering into gaming console market with the Xbox One model and their latest effort called Xbox One S. The renovations affected many aspects of the console and made it rather different from its previous version. The first aspect to consider is the size with the dimensions cut by 40 %, the power adapter was carried in the console case contrary to the external power adapter design for the Xbox One. The second important aspect that has changed is the maximum video out resolution, which was ramped up to the 4К. Thus you will have an optimal level of detail even with the modern large TV panels. This Microsoft gaming console comes with a gamepad, which visually does not differ from the one of the standard Xbox One. However, the new gamepad has got the Bluetooth support to second its standard wireless connection protocol. The Bluetooth support means that the new gamepad can be easily hooked to your PC or notebook, which widens the area of its application. The efficiency of internals cooling was also increased not without the help of introducing new grilles in the console case. Summing things up, with the Xbox One S your aesthetical feeling will be pleased and gaming performance requirements will be satisfied. Your personal gaming experience can be improved by using a pair of high-quality headphones for TV as games will sound more immersive and involving.

Review of Xbox One S Console

 

Microsoft Xbox One

Performance

Microsoft Xbox One console is equipped with AMD Jaguar Accelerated Processing Unit analogous to that of PS4 but clocked at 1.75 GHz. The AMD Jaguar CPU consists of 2 quad-core modules with as many as eight cores. The GPU used for the Xbox One is 853 MHz AMD Radeon GCN chip, which is analogous to RADEON HD 7790 desktop GPU. The GPU and CPU are closely integrated and share 8 GB of DDR3 RAM with a bandwidth of 68.3 GB/s, 3 GB of which are reserved for the utility software and the operating system, and 5 GB are available for games. To further accelerate the system performance, the manufacturer decided to complement the Xbox One memory subsystem with a 32 MB eSRAM module, which has a memory bandwidth of 109 GB/s.

Review of Microsoft Xbox One Console

Interfaces

This latest model in Xbox product series has 3 USB 3.0 ports with a peak data transfer rate of 5 Gb/s for data exchange between the console and external media devices. It is worth mentioning that Xbox One consoles are furnished with two HDMI ports, one for input and one for the output of video (and digital audio up to 7.1 channels) signal at the resolution of up to 4K. There is also a separate optical port for digital audio output, which allows connecting audio receivers and digital audio signal processors to do a digital-analog processing and pass the signal to amplifier and speakers. For connecting to the Internet there are two options available: a wired Ethernet port and a wireless Wi-Fi connection. There is also a Kinect 2.0 dedicated port on the back side of Xbox One consoles.

Microsoft Xbox One Console in the use

Extras

Smart Match is a revolutionary system of players selection for Xbox One. The Smart Match was fully reworked and redesigned for the next generation games and it implements the most advanced algorithms of gaming partners selection based on their skills, native language, and reputation. That means you will be playing with people similar to you. And what is also important, you will not need to wait for another player to join you in a cooperative gaming mode. The Kinect Real Motion technology enables the Kinect 2.0 high-resolution sensor to track your motions with high precision. For example, you can clench your fist and thus give a specific command in a game or an application interface. You can give commands and issue orders when you stand or seat. With an Xbox One console, you can communicate via the Skype application in Snap mode while watching TV as well as organizing three-way Skype calls with people all over the world. The basic configuration of this video game console has a capacious 500 GB HDD on the board, which is enough for storing many modern games. Besides, you can choose an optimal configuration among the ones available on the market.

Detailed review of Microsoft Xbox One Console

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
Microsoft Xbox One Console
 

Nintendo Wii U

Performance

The Nintendo Wii U console is equipped with a tri-core IBM PowerPC 750 (Espresso), which is clocked at approximately 1.24 GHz. The CPU of the Wii U console operates with 2 GB of DDR3 RAM memory. The GPU used in this Nintendo console is AMD R600/700, clocked at approximately 550 MHz and with 32 MB of eDRAM cache memory. The GPU supports 3D video and images. The memory architecture of the Nintendo Wii console allows the Espresso CPU and Latte GPU to access both the main 2 GB DDR3 memory pool and the eDRAM cache memory on the GPU, thus boosting the overall system performance.

Review of Nintendo Wii U Deluxe Set

Interfaces

Nintendo Wii consoles offer 4 USB 2.0 ports capped at 480 Mb/s for the connection of external devices. This Wii console supports the video output at up to 1080p resolution (Full HD) via the HDMI and component video out or 576i, 480i (anamorphic widescreen) via the analog composite video out. The Wii U is capable of outputting a 5.1-channel linear PCM surround sound signal or analog stereo signal. The compact Nintendo Wii console supports wireless network connectivity and Fast Ethernet wired connectivity with an accessory as well as Bluetooth 4.0 connection.

Nintendo Wii U Deluxe Set in the use

Extras

The Nintendo Wii U supply package includes the Wii GamePad with a 6.3” built-in touch screen. This compact display does not have a multi-touch functionality, though. The package also includes a classic Nintendo Pro game controller for those who prefer its ergonomics. The Nintendo Wii U has a bundled stylus used with the GamePad, which is very helpful in the games developed specifically for Nintendo Wii U consoles. This modification of Nintendo Wii U console includes 32 GB of internal eMMC flash memory for the storage of your game info and media.

Detailed review of Nintendo Wii U Deluxe Set

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
Nintendo Wii U Deluxe Set
 

What is a Video Game Console

A video game console/system or a gaming console is a device designed and built from the ground up for playing video games. Contrary to more versatile PCs, gaming consoles are intended first of all for running video games and provide a stable and smooth gameplay, while eliminating the need for a user to configure numerous game settings. However, game consoles can be used for watching videos encoded in different formats. Gaming consoles, just like PCs, can use different devices for a video signal output: TVs, digital projectors, displays. Each console game is developed for a specific line of gaming consoles. Thus, when picking a game you should keep in mind this compatibility issue. As input devices gaming consoles use specially designed gamepads or controllers that allow you to control your game character and navigate through game menus.

If you want to be able to play a wider range of games on your device, we recommend you to check the best gaming PCs, which are capable of running practically all modern games at maximum quality settings.  11

What Features to Compare

The first parameter you need to consider when choosing a game console for your is computing power of the console or its performance, which conditions the visual quality of compatible games and gaming mechanics (ways of user interacting with game world). One of the main console components influencing the console performance is the CPU installed. The higher the processing power of the CPU used the larger amounts of data the console is capable of processing per second and the more sophisticated processing algorithms it can use. The RAM serves as a data storage space, to which a CPU has a quick access and which it uses for process the data. With that the larger the amount of RAM available (measured in gigabytes) and faster the RAM (the bigger the RAM bandwidth) is the higher the overall console performance. Another very important console component in the context of performance is the video system, which comprises a GPU and its video memory. The more powerful the video system the more video data the console is capable of handling per second and thus the better visual experience it offers. The GPU architecture also determines the maximum resolution of the output video signal and video formats the console is capable of playing back. Thus, gaming consoles can output video signals at resolutions ranging from the HD to Ultra HD or 4K (3840 × 2160 pixels) as well as decode high-quality Blu-Ray and similar video formats. As the video from gaming consoles can be transferred to various display devices, such as TVs, displays or projectors, the bigger the maximum resolution of the signal the bigger the screen you can connect your console to without resorting to image upscaling.

However, the performance alone is not enough to provide a great user experience with the console as its connectivity or connection interfaces supported also matter much in this regard. Modern gaming consoles can be paired with USB devices for data input, exchange or gaming control. The state-of-the-art consoles are equipped with USB 3.0 ports capable of data transfer at 5 Gbps speed. All such consoles are equipped with a digital video out, which is in most cases of HDMI type. As the HDMI interface can transfer a high-quality multichannel digital audio signal and a video signal transfer at the same time, thus reducing the number of cables required for using the console. As an alternative to the HDMI, modern gaming consoles have an optical audio out also capable of outputting a 5.1-channel HD-audio to external audio receivers, DACs and active speakers. Considering the ever growing popularity of wireless interfaces, modern consoles also provide the support of Wi-Fi interface. With that, the Bluetooth connection is often used for connecting gamepads to consoles at the distance of up to 10 meters without any cables.

The extras of the gaming console under consideration may also influence your opinion of the device. They are intended to facilitate and simplify the use of the console. For example, some console models are compatible with control devices (such as Microsoft Kinect) that transform natural movements of your body into control commands instead of reading gamepad signals. This was made possible owing to the use of a sophisticated gadget that combines cameras, motion sensors and some additional technologies that determine the position of your body, scan your movements and transform them into game character movements and actions. The support of the physical media, on which console games are distributed outside of the Internet is also important with the Blu-Ray HD being the most recent one. A large onboard storage volume is also an advantage as you can store more media and gaming content on the console. Another trend that gains more and more popularity is a virtual reality support. So make sure your new console is VR-ready to get the best gaming experience.

Sources:

1. Video-Game ConsoleBuying Guide, Consumer Reports. May 2016.

2. Jason Schreier Which Video Game Console Should You Buy? Kotaku. December 2, 2015.

3. Komando Staff Buying a video game system, Komando. August 12, 2015.

4. How to Choose the Best Video Game Console for You, eBay. March 3, 2016.

5. Chris Hall, Cam Bunton Xbox One S: Release date, specs and everything you need to know, Pocket-lint. August 2, 2016.

6. Jeff Bakalar PlayStation 4 review: Great gaming for 2016 and beyond, CNET. November 16, 2015.

7. How to Pick a Gaming System, wikiHow. January 2016.

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