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2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Video Games (Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch)

Looking for a last-minute gift with Christmas less than a week away? This holiday gift guide goes over some of the best options for video games and consoles from the big three: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.


Which console should you buy?


If you’re looking to buy a video game console for your kid, you might be unsure which is the best option. The Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 (PS4) are the more similar of the three consoles (and they each have multiple versions) with many of the same games playing in the exact same way, while the Nintendo Switch is a slightly different type of console. For many people, it might come down to which console their friends have or plan on getting, so you should try to find out if there’s a preference for the person you’re gifting it to. Here’s a quick explanation of each console.


Xbox One

There are three consoles in the Xbox One family: Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X. They all play Xbox games perfectly fine, and all accessories from each console work with each other, there are just advantages to the One S and One X.


The Xbox One is the original console that was released back in 2013. However, after the release of the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X, this original Xbox One isn’t as readily available after it was discontinued by Microsoft.


The Xbox One S was released in 2016 and has taken over as the entry level type of Xbox. It’s a smaller and faster version of the Xbox One, with a built-in 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray player and the ability to stream 4K video. It’s an excellent value at $199.99.


The Xbox One X is deemed “the world’s most powerful console” by Microsoft, and they’re right. It has all the same features of the One S, but it’s basically a souped-up version. The One X is the fastest console out there, and it said to have 40% more power than any other console (including the competitors). The big draw for the One X is the ability to play games in true 4K. The top-of-the-line console makes all games look better even on a non-4K television, but it’s mostly a recommended purchase for those that have a 4K TV or are thinking about getting one soon.



Like the Xbox One family, there are three members of the PlayStation 4 family: PS4, PS4 Slim, and PS4 Pro.


The PS4 is the original console that, like the original Xbox One, has given way to the newer versions of the console. Like the Xbox One consoles, all consoles and accessories that work with the PS4 also work with the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro.


The PS4 Slim is basically just known as the PS4 now, as it’s just like the PS4 except smaller and sleeker. For someone happy with playing some games with their friends, this should do just fine.


The PS4 Pro is similar to the Xbox One X in that it’s a faster, more powerful version of the console. The PS4 Pro is said to have “4K-TV Gaming”, but you should note they play with the words a bit. While you can game on a 4K TV and it looks great (better than the original/slim PS4), it is not true 4K gaming like the Xbox One X. You’ll get more frames and high-dynamic range, but everyone agrees the One X looks better. The PS4 Pro does stream 4K content from Netflix, though.


Overall, it might not be worth spending the extra $100 on the PS4 Pro unless the recipient really wants the best version of the PS4.



For younger kids and casual gamers or people that need to be on the move, the Nintendo Switch is probably the best option. The Switch comes in one version, and it comes with one set of Joy-Con controllers. The Joy-Cons work together as one controller, but they can be separated and work as two individual controllers.


The Switch is unique because it can be played as a handheld on the go via the 6.2-inch screen. And of course the console can easily be docked and games can be played on television screens via connection from the HDMI cable that’s included with the console.


One issue with the Switch is that the Joy-Cons are costly; they cost more than normal Xbox and PS4 controllers. However, there’s also a lower-cost pro controller, which is a more traditional type of controller that some might prefer anyway. Also, again, the individual Joy-Cons can work as individual controllers, so two sets of Joy-Cons mean four people can play at once.


In addition to it being a good fit for young kids and many casual gamers, people looking for a family-fun console should probably go with the Switch. But keep in mind there is no Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu app, though there is a YouTube app that can be watched via the console screen and TV.



Popular Games For Xbox One And PS4

Many games are available for all three consoles, but the games are most similar on Xbox One and PS4. These are some of the most popular games available on Xbox and PS4 for holiday 2018:


Red Dead Redemption 2

The most popular game of the year has so much to do that it should be playable for several years, so it’s a pretty good investment for a video game.


NBA 2K19

The best sports title available is again worth a purchase this year with NBA 2K19. The long-running series offers the most realistic gameplay of any sports game.


Battlefield V

EA has again made some questionable decisions with a big title, which is unfortunate, but Battlefield V is still a realistic first-person shooter that looks stunning. And despite issues, the good news is it can be had for nearly 50% off right now.


Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 isn’t as realistic as Battlefield, but the series isn’t going for ultra-realism. Black Ops 4 has plenty of game modes and customization.



Originally a free beta version, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUND is now a full game available for purchase on both Xbox and PS4. PUBG was the first battle-royale game and was a major inspiration for Fortnite. It’s less cartoony and more realistic.



While NBA 2K19 takes the crown for best sports game, FIFA 19 is very impressive too. It has excellent graphics, movement, and gameplay.



Fortnite Explanation


Some of you might be confused about how to purchase the hit game Fortnite. You do not need to buy it, as it’s a free game that can be downloaded for nothing on each console; so don’t fret about trying to find the game, as you can easily download it when the console is set up with internet connection. However, there is premium content and add-ons that can be purchased, so be careful that those aren’t purchased accidentally. Also, you can purchase the “Deep Freeze Bundle,” which includes a disc version of the game along with premium content.



Xbox One Buying Guide


Consoles (bundles also available)

Xbox One S: $199.99

Xbox One X: $399.99


Top Exclusive Games


Forza Horizon 4

The latest edition of Xbox’s excellent open-world racing game was released in October. As usual, it’s a realistic experience that most people will enjoy.


State of Decay 2

A zombie survival game certainly isn’t for everyone, but this is probably as good as it gets for fans of the genre in 2018. Another plus is that it can be had under $20.


Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves is a relatively easy-to-play pirate game that’s exclusive to Xbox One and Windows 10. The action-adventure uses Unreal Engine 4.


Halo: The Master Chief Collection

The top Xbox exclusive is probably Halo, and The Master Chief Collection packages past games dating back to the original Xbox for just $29.99. The deal is as good as it gets.



PS4 Buying Guide


Consoles (bundles also available)

PS4: $299.99

PS4 Pro: $399.99


Top Exclusive Games


God of War

The most recent God of War game was released to a ton of acclaim from both critics and fans, so it’s a very safe purchase for those that like action-adventure games.



Sony benefits from owning the rights to Spider-Man, and they put together an amazing open-world game for the character. Superhero fans will probably have a lot of fun with Spider-Man.


Shadow of the Colossus

This is a stunning remaster from the 2005 game released over a decade ago, so some that played the original game might be interested in giving it another go in HD.


Horizon Zero Dawn

Set in the future, Horizon Zero Dawn is another open-world game that’s received high acclaim since its 2017 release.


Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Any of the Uncharted games are worth a buy, but The Lost Legacy is the most recent release in the franchise.



Nintendo Switch Buying Guide


Consoles (bundles also available)

Nintendo Switch: $299.99


Top Exclusive Games


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

With every single character from the franchise throughout the years included, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is pretty much a must-buy with a Nintendo Switch. Smash Bros. Ultimate just came out earlier this month.


Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

It doesn’t take much selling for the Nintendo Switch exclusives. If you’re buying the console, Smash Bros. and Mario Kart are must-haves. As usual for the racing game, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is fun alone or with friends.


Super Mario Party

Super Mario Party is arguably a must-have, too, and it’s another great game to own on the Switch.


Super Mario Odyssey

There have been a number of classic Mario story mode games throughout the years, and Super Mario Odyssey is no different. For those that want to play a story game alone, it’s perfect.


Pokémon: Let’s Go

Very easy to play, Pokémon: Let’s Go is like the original Pokémon RPG games on the Nintendo Switch. There are two versions: Pikachu and Eevee.


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Finally, The Legend of Zelda games are a big part of any Nintendo console, and Breath of the Wild is still a good purchase after it was a launch title with the Switch console.

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XOgam2hg1gingerbread manbringbacknbastreet Recent comment authors
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lolol Kirby that boi

gingerbread man
gingerbread man



Switch >


RDR2 on XBOX ONE 4K is beastly! The best by far.


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