While video game consoles are all-in-one entertainment machines, the most important part of them is their ability to play games. Although many gamers will say that computers have the best graphics, new gaming technology is birthed on consoles. Also, some of gaming’s biggest franchises are only available on consoles. Finally, consoles tend to be future-ready devices, as manufacturers know that you’ll be using them for at least six years. This means that over the next few years, new peripherals and technologies will supplement the consoles.
First and foremost, a video game console has to have the ability to play exciting games. We judged these consoles for their games, media apps and technological capabilities. We favor consoles with powerful tech that will handle high-end games for the next five to seven years. On top of that, we want great gaming experiences, but because many games are available on multiple consoles, we judged the systems on their exclusive content. Finally, we looked at each console's non-gaming functions such as entertainment apps and social capabilities. Below are the criteria we used to evaluate video game consoles:
While the Nintendo Wii U isn't the best choice for serious gamers, it's still a solid video game console in its own right. The innovative GamePad controller introduces a second-screen experience, though it can be a little clumsy to use at times. The Wii U is backward-compatible and can play games for the original Wii; games and game play are more squarely aimed at a family audience, however. There's a limited number of streaming apps, but the Wii U can't play DVDs, Blu-ray Discs or audio CDs.