Video game systems come and go. For some systems, life as a living room staple quickly can turn into an afterlife spent in the corner of a closet. Some consoles, however, transcend generations.
Console gaming as we know it is changing. The Nintendo Switch has the potential to alter the ways in which we play games, whereas the Microsoft’s Xbox One Scorpio, which has yet to be released, eventually could negate the need for companies to release consoles in a generational fashion. Despite potential changes to the status quo, however, certain gaming systems always will be relevant, as well as useful.
Here are our picks for the video game consoles with the most staying power.
With the PlayStation 4 Pro’s addition of 4k gaming to Sony’s already-great platform, the PS4 could be the ultimate system. Moreover, Sony’s PlayStation Vue service allows owners to stream premium television channels through their systems, making the PS4 all you really need in your living room.
At the end of the day, however, what matters is the games. And no other company — with apologies to Nintendo — offers as many fantastic games on its platform. Sony’s three previous PlayStation platforms also had great games, but the PS4 is a more-refined, sturdier system than its predecessors. The system also has been a major commercial success, as Sony has sold approximately 54.82 million units worldwide, according to VGChartz.
It remains to be seen if the portable capabilities of the Nintendo Switch ultimately will render the 3DS moot, but we’re betting that it sticks around a long, long time. Nintendo has sold nearly 64 million units, including more than 7 million in 2016.
Other companies, such as Sony, have tried to create worthwhile portable platforms, but the 3DS’ perfect blend of size, user friendliness and excellent library of games make it the greatest handheld ever made. And as great as Switch could be, it won’t be able to fit in your pocket.
Depending on how Scorpio, the platform’s forthcoming upgraded version, turns out, the Xbox One could jump to the top of this list by next year. When compared to the PS4, the Xbox One’s sales figures — approximately 28 million units sold globally — aren’t impressive, but Scorpio could change all that.
While technically a new system, Scorpio really will be extension of Xbox one’s platform, according to IGN. The system will be designed in such a way as to allow for Microsoft to iterate on the Xbox platform going forward. Given Scorpio’s reported 4k gaming abilities and rumored 4.5 times more power than Xbox One, however, we’re not sure another upgrade will be necessary for quite some time.
None of this would matter, however, if the Xbox One didn’t have as many games and useful apps as it does. The interface isn’t always user friendly, but if you invest the time required to learn the systems capabilities, you’ll find you have no reason to own another system — or cable, for that matter.
With approximately 101 million units sold, the Nintendo Wii is one of the most successful video game consoles every made. In hindsight, it’s remarkable that the system’s motion-sensor controls work so well, given that the system debuted over a decade ago. It hasn’t just been a hit with hardcore gamers, however, as the system was something of a phenomenon, finding its way into college dorms, kindergartens, and even nursing homes.
With such a a robust library of games, this console isn’t going anywhere. Moreover, while Switch eventually will have a virtual console that enables gamers to play vintage games, the Wii presented no boundaries, allowing gamers to play virtually any old games.
This system certainly has its best days behind it, but gamers likely will be going back to it for years to come. Part of that is a frustrating lack of backwards compatibility on the Xbox One platform, whereas some of it is due to the system’s massive game library, as well as its simple interface.
The 360 isn’t done in the sales department, either. In 2016, it sold nearly 400,000 units, adding to its lifetime worldwide sales of roughly 86 million.
Thumbnail photo via Pexels