Given that we have all been forced to stay at home more than ever before, thanks to the ongoing pandemic, it is unsurprising that we have been looking to entertain ourselves with games. Games consoles have provided an excellent comfort source at this strange time, whether you are a solo gamer or enjoy the community feel of multiplayer online games. Thankfully with internet shopping still waiting to help us, if you are looking to upgrade your console, there is a great selection of devices just waiting for you. So, what is your best choice for a 2021 upgrade?
Before Christmas, we saw one of the biggest console wars, with new releases for both PlayStation and Xbox. While both of these devices are massively popular and could be the perfect upgrade option, those who haven’t brought theirs yet are in the strongest position. It is always best to let the dust settle and not worry about being one of the first to own! It also gives the companies a little more time to push out any software fixes which are inevitable once more people come online and are using them daily. The PS5 has been long-awaited and is undoubtedly proving massively popular. It was sold out with pre-orders and led to a nightmare situation of people purchasing just to sell at a much higher price. Now we are well clear of that, you can get your hands on a new PS5 at the correct price and enjoy the advantages of the latest PlayStation technology. One of the most significant changes is the new DualSense controller which the company says will massively ‘revolutionise the way games are played’. This is in part down to the latest ergonomic shaping, but also the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback that are built in. It is wireless and rechargeable and also gives you the option to use the handset to chat online with friends. This is also a cross-platform controller, so if you are a PC gamer, you could also use the DualSense.
Xbox Series X
So, the offering from Nintendo that caused the fierce battle over Christmas is, of course, the Xbox Series X. Again, this had been in the pipeline for a while and fans could not wait to get their hands on the latest console. Nintendo wanted to ensure that they keep their commitment to backwards compatibility, so with this in mind, they also have a new controller that you can use with the older consoles as well as this latest offering. Much like their rivals, Nintendo also sold out with pre-orders which, to be honest, was totally expected as this has always been one of the most popular games consoles on the market. Now is a really great time to get your order in as the madness has settled and they are now back in stock for most online retailers. One feature that has been included with the new Xbox controller is the option to switch back to battery power if needed, something that PlayStation does not offer. This means if you forget to recharge, or the cat knocks it off the charger at night, you can still game whenever you want without having to wait for it to power up. If you have no preference or have yet to try either of these main two consoles, then this could be the next upgrade for you.
Now, of course, Nintendo also offers the fully mobile Switch console which is pretty much a DS on steroids and provides a wealth of features including the ability to link up with other players wherever you happen to be. For most of us, this is actually at home, but you could play in the garden, the bedroom or even the smallest room giving the Switch functionality that the larger screen fixed consoles can offer. At the moment it is only a rumour. Still, that rumour suggests that this year will see the introduction of the Switch ‘Pro’ , a moniker that the internet has given it, and not necessarily what Nintendo will be calling it. So, you have two choices; you can either get your mitts on the existing Switch and start playing now or hold off and see whether the gossip mill will prove correct once more. It has been suggested that if there is a new handheld console coming from Nintendo, it will be released in the first quarter, so by the end of March, we should know either way. As yet there are no firm ideas on what the upgraded console will or won’t offer, and the current Switch is a pretty decent experience so if you don’t fancy waiting you certainly will not be losing out.
Retro gamers of the world unite! Instead of desperately searching the internet for classic consoles that are on their last legs, it is now possible to get brand new tech masquerading as old tech. The Analogue Pocket has the look and feel of a GameBoy, including the same navigation buttons etc., but is shiny new and not at any risk of giving up the ghost. It offers you two choices, your favourite retro games on a new cleaned up screen and performance, or the chance to turn on the function of enjoying them warts and all just as you remember. This is set to be really popular and runs GB, GB Colour and GB Advance cartridges so you can relive your youth.