A battle royale doesn’t get much bigger than this: a head to head (to head!) matchup of the three most popular video game consoles: Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation 4 Pro (PS4), and Microsoft Xbox One X.
For the next six rounds, these fierce competitors will face off over games, backward compatibility, specs, software, accessories, and “heat,” or how much excitement exists around the system right now.
Round 1: Exclusive Games
Xbox One X comes out swinging a mighty weapon. It boasts exclusive compatibility with one of the biggest franchises ever: Halo. If you’ve played Halo, you know it’s so hard to stop! If you haven’t played yet, you’ll have to get an Xbox One X in order to experience it, since Halo isn’t available on Nintendo Switch or PS4 Pro.
Still, the PS4 Pro is no slouch in the games department. PS4 games include Spider-Man and franchises like Infamous and The Last of Us; a lineup strong enough to prevent the Nintendo Switch from climbing to the top with its long-time favorites developed around Pokémon and Mario.
Exclusive Game Winner: PS4 Pro
Round 2: Backward Compatibility
For gamers with some experience under their belt, none of these consoles will be their first. That means they’ll end up with a stack of games from previous gen consoles crying out to be played again.
If you have a PS4 Pro or Nintendo Switch, those games will have to keep crying. Neither system offers backward compatibility with older game discs. (They do, however, provide access to virtual versions of older games … for a price.)
The Xbox One X, on the other hand, plays its own games as well as those developed for the Xbox 360. It also provides users with access to older games via a virtual library.
Backward Compatibility Winner: Xbox One X
Round 3: Hardware Specs
We’ll get this out of the way up front: in terms of raw processing power, the Switch doesn’t have much to brag about. That’s by design, though. The Switch relies on ingenuity and beloved characters — rather than brute force — to stand out in the competitive field of video game consoles.
Speaking of brute force, both PS4 Pro and Xbox One X have plenty. Here’s what that processing power breakdown looks like for you hardcore gamers:
|PS4 Pro||Xbox One X|
|CPU||CPU @ 2.1 GHz, x86-64 AMD “Jaguar”, 8-core||Custom CPU @ 2.3 GHz, 8-core|
|GPU||4.2 TFLOP AMD Radeon||Custom GPU @ 1.172 GHz, 40 CUs, Polaris features, 6.0 TFLOPS|
|Memory||8GB GDDR5 + 1GB||12GB GDDR5|
The bottom line? An Xbox One X is more powerful than a PS4 Pro and offers 40% more power than any other console, so you end up with better-looking games. This does not mean, however, that PS4 Pro games are unattractive. They’re actually flat-out beautiful. With either console, you’re getting technological marvels that fit snugly next to your TV.
Hardware Spec Winner: Xbox One X
Round 4: Software
When the Atari 2600 hit the market back in the late ‘70s, all it could do was play video games. And if you’ve ever seen the games it played, you know that it barely did that!
Today, game consoles are expected to do more. And they do!
Of the three consoles in our Battle Royale, the Nintendo Switch comes in third. While it has a couple of non-gaming entertainment options — streaming service Hulu and video giant YouTube among them — it’s not a key destination for video or music providers.
The real match-up is between the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. If you like streaming, PS4 Pro and Xbox One X offer Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Want to watch cable TV without cable TV prices? PS4 Pro offers Sony’s PlayStation Vue. As for the Xbox One, users can sign up for a similar service, Sling TV. The Xbox One X also offers a 4K Blu-ray option and Dolby Atmos support. That’s enough to put the Xbox over the edge in terms of software flexibility.
Software Winner: Xbox One X
Round 5: Accessories
Controllers, remotes, stands, even virtual reality headsets: the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X both offer a world of accessories! If you’re deep into gaming (like, you have the chair and everything), the availability of all of these accessories might be right up your alley.
But if it’s ingenuity you’re after, and you consider yourself a member of the maker scene, neither console can top Nintendo Labo. That’s the kit of cardboard-based projects users can develop using their Nintendo Switch. Yes, it skews a little younger in terms of target market. But it enables you to build a robot, remote control cars, and did we mention A ROBOT!
Keep your VR gear. The Nintendo Switch has us considering world domination.
Accessories Winner: Nintendo Switch
Round 6: “Heat”
Though they still generate tremendous interest online and their games command a great deal of streaming attention on Twitch, the excitement around PS4 Pro and Xbox One X has quieted a bit. That’s not surprising since both systems have been around for a while. Still, it’s ALWAYS awesome to unbox your brand-new console regardless of brand.
But the real heat right now is around Nintendo Switch. Online searches on key sites such as Google, YouTube, and Amazon are magnitudes higher for it than for the other two, for example. Nintendo Switch is generating enough heat at the moment to warm the Arctic. How long it will be able to do so remains to be seen. For right now, though, the winner in this round is undisputed.
Heat Winner: Nintendo Switch
Pick Your Winning Video Game Console
Remember when the question was as simple as, “Which is better Xbox or PS4?” The game console field has gotten a lot more complex since.
But this particular battle is over. It’s gone the distance. That means it’s time for you to decide the winner. Is Halo enough to win the day for the Xbox One X? Is the PS4 Pro’s power the deciding factor for you? Are you getting swept up in the excitement, fun, and robot-building ability of the Nintendo Switch?
Make your selection and then get the rent-to-own winner at a Rent-A-Center near you. You’ll never have to wonder which video game console is better because you can upgrade at any time! Start your order online and take your game console home today.