Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Nvidia Shield… discover our selection of the best game consoles in 2021, according to your needs.

THE BEST GAME CONSOLES OF THE MOMENT

THE BEST GAME CONSOLES OF THE MOMENT
MICROSOFT XBOX SERIES X
  • Powerful and quiet
  • True 4K
  • an attractive Xbox Game Pass
THE BEST GAME CONSOLES OF THE MOMENT
SONY PLAYSTATION 5
  • Excellent controller
  • Excellent graphics
  • Neat backwards compatibility
THE BEST GAME CONSOLES OF THE MOMENT
NINTENDO SWITCH
  • On the spot or to go
  • Nintendo’s best sellers
  • Two players with one controller!

The new consoles are finally available, albeit with recurring availability issues, so this is the perfect opportunity to take a look at the console market.

Contrary to what happened during other transitions, the two generations of current consoles are clearly not meant to cohabit. There will be no ultra-compact version like PS One or even a big price drop for PS4 and Xbox One. The latter are sold at far too high a price to be of any interest.

That’s why we decided to simply remove them from our buying guide. As the eventful release of Cyberpunk 2077 painfully demonstrated, the basic models are now obsolete. The PS4 Pro and One X are doing a little better, but buying them doesn’t make much more sense, especially with the big backwards compatibility efforts made on the new consoles.

WHAT’S NEW DOCTOR?

Basically, the PS5 and Xbox Series X are remarkably similar. Both are built around an AMD-designed processor and graphics chip combo. The general architecture remains x86, which greatly facilitates cross-platform development and backward compatibility with the previous generation.

Without going into technical details, there are a few points that are particularly interesting for gamers.

The first is the abandonment of platter hard drives in favor of SSDs using a PCI-Express bus. Coupled with some tricks for data decompression, this results in greatly reduced load times. In our tests, they were divided by ten on some titles. In other words, the good old loading screen seems to be on its way out.

Both consoles also adopt HDMI 2.1. In addition to a higher maximum resolution (up to 8K), this new standard brings refinements that were previously reserved for the PC. We are thus entitled to an automatic switchover of the TV in low latency mode, but also to VRR (variable refresh rate).

Behind this barbaric term hides an automatic adjustment of the screen refresh rate according to the number of images per second of the television. In short: no more tearing of the image and an impression of fluidity strongly reinforced.

The only drawback is that these functions are reserved for HDMI 2.1 compatible TVs.

CONSOLES TO PLAY ON TV

MICROSOFT XBOX SERIES X
THE MOST POWERFUL CONSOLE

Which game console to choose
  • Powerful and quiet
  • True 4K
  • an attractive Xbox Game Pass

With the Xbox Series X, Microsoft is promising us wonders: an overpowered console, capable of running games in native 4K while not producing a jet engine noise on takeoff.

First observation: the machine is massive! So much so, in fact, that it doesn’t fit into many TV cabinets, especially if you want to put it upright (which is recommended for better cooling). In action, the machine is indeed very quiet even with greedy titles.

Which game console to choose
Which game console to choose according to your needs in 2021?

On the software side, we appreciate the interface, simple to use and perfectly fluid. Microsoft also impresses with the Xbox 360 and Xbox One backward compatibility. Not only do the vast majority of titles work, but they see their resolution and frame rate increase. This is a great way to rediscover your game library.

On the other hand, the list of interesting exclusives so far is limited, to say the least, and this will not improve in the near future, as Sony has signed most of the promising projects. On the other hand, the Redmond firm has a huge Joker to play with its Xbox Game Pass. This subscription (9.99 euros per month) gives access to a very large catalog of games. Promising at the time of its release, it is constantly growing and proves to be a real argument in favor of Microsoft’s console.

This includes titles from the 23 studios that Microsoft has acquired in recent years, including Zenimax/Bethesta. The next Fallout, Doom or Elders Scrolls will above all be made for the Xbox.

So the Xbox Series X is a very good console, handicapped only by a lack of interesting exclusivities for the moment.

SONY PLAYSTATION 5
THE FUTURE ACCORDING TO SONY

Which game console to choose
  • Excellent controller
  • Excellent graphics
  • Neat backwards compatibility

After having dominated the market with the PlayStation 4, Sony was not surprisingly expected to have a new baby.

First observation: the machine is a real tank. Like Microsoft, Sony had to fit all that power somewhere, and the result is a machine that’s even bigger than the Xbox Series X. Not only will it be difficult to install in a cabinet, but its 2000’s design will clearly not please everyone.

Which game console to choose
Which game console to choose according to your needs in 2021?

If the noise pollution is more controlled than with the PS4 Pro, we can’t say that it is completely silent. We also notice that the noise varies according to the model, more consistency on this point would have been appreciated.

Unlike the Xbox controller, the PS5 controller has evolved quite a bit. In addition to a revised look, it is now bigger, which makes it easier to hold. The rear triggers are now adaptive, with resistance varying according to the context. The feeling is convincing, but we’ll have to see if the developers take advantage of it. Vibration is also improved in a general way and we welcome the adoption of USB-C for charging.

The interface is also evolving in the right direction, becoming generally clearer and more fluid. On the storage side we get an 825GB SSD, of which only 667GB is actually usable. At a time when most major titles exceed 100 GB, we will quickly find ourselves cramped. The addition of a second SSD in M2 format is possible, but the functionality is not yet activated.

As for games, we find ourselves, as on the Xbox, with a certain lack of big launch exclusives. Things should improve in the coming months, but for now you’ll have to be content with playing PS4 titles. Fortunately, this time the backwards compatibility is almost perfect.

While it lacks a few release exclusives to really shine, the PS5 is a solid and overall promising console. It is for the moment the best way to enjoy your PS4 games.

CONSOLES TO PLAY WHEREVER YOU WANT

THE HYBRID CONSOLE
NINTENDO SWITCH

Which game console to choose
  • On the spot or to go
  • Nintendo’s best sellers
  • Two players with one controller!

Despite insistent rumors, Nintendo did not take advantage of this E3 2021 to present a Switch Pro.

The Nintendo Switch is still the best choice for a console that can be used both in portable mode and in living room mode on a TV. A detail that makes it particularly attractive, but above all different from its competitors (which is why it has its own category).

Nintendo has always put forward a certain robustness for its consoles and the Switch is no exception to the rule (editor’s note: the Game Boy works even 20 years later). It’s a console that’s suitable for young and old alike, especially with a well-stocked catalog of games that now reaches over 1,000 titles available on the eShop. There is something for everyone, from the famous Big N productions with licenses such as Zelda, Mario or Pokémon, to the flagship titles from third-party publishers such as Dark Souls, FIFA and many others.

Which game console to choose
Which game console to choose according to your needs in 2021?

Regarding its raw characteristics, it integrates a 6.2-inch HD screen, an Nvidia Tegra X1 chip associated with 4 GB of RAM found, for example, in the NVIDIA Shield 2017, a 4,310 mAh battery that gives it an autonomy of 2 to 3 hours depending on use and a storage capacity of 32 GB (expandable via micro SD).

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING A GAME CONSOLE

WHAT ARE THE THREE MAJOR CONSOLES OF THE MOMENT?

The console market is dominated by three giants: Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. They respectively design the Nintendo Switch, PS5, and Xbox Series X. With the recent release of the last two, the Switch is starting to show its age. However, it still has Nintendo’s particularity.

WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA TO CONSIDER BEFORE CHOOSING A CONSOLE?

It is important to think about the games you want to play before buying a console, because the catalog can vary greatly from one machine to another. For example, the most popular games are found on home consoles owned by Sony and Microsoft rather than Nintendo (Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, Grand Theft Auto). On the other hand, Nintendo has a lot of exclusives from its in-house licenses (Mario, Pokémon, Zelda) that you won’t find anywhere else (if you forget about the games released on smartphones).

Want to play online with your friends? In that case, you’ll probably have to play on the same machine as your friends, because cross-platform play is still extremely rare today… too bad. Finally, you’ll have to pay attention to the consoles’ features. Some allow you to play in 4K, others to play Blu-ray or to act as a multimedia hub.

If you’re looking for even more mobility, there are many accessories to enjoy a gaming experience on smartphones and tablets.

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