One Stop Guide For Consoles, Games, and Rentals
In 1968 the first console was invented. It was bulky, wooden, came with two wired controllers and had the name “Brown Box”. Those times are seemingly lightyears behind the new world of gaming. Gaming consoles today are so sophisticated that you might confuse it with a computer. Not only have the consoles evolved into their prime forms (PS5, and Xbox Series X) but so have the games and industry surrounding the gaming culture.
In 2019 alone it was estimated the gaming industry made $120 billion in revenue and are expected within two years to reach 200 billion easily. But just how many average people are passing up tv remotes for controllers? The statistics for the number of gamers worldwide found that nearly a third of the global population are in fact gamers. Astoundingly in 2019 more people tuned in to the League of Legends championships than the people who were attending/ watching the Super Bowl combined. In 2021, those numbers are expected to double.
But in this age of digital consumerism, you may wonder what the future of gaming is and how can it keep up? The answer is: pretty well. The newest gaming consoles and the sophistication of the new games being released for 2021 virtually guarantee the number of gamers will continue to climb.
Covid and Gaming
2020 has been a rough year for everyone, and it's no surprise that while most of the world was locked away inside, that console sales went up. People needed a gateway to escape and the consoles were there to oblige. With this increase in demand the game companies like Sony and Microsoft have struggled to keep units on the shelves. This year Sony ordered 50% more units of Ps5 than they ever needed to with the PS4.
Microsoft is having similar issues with fulfilling orders as most the new-gen consoles are flying off the shelves nearly as fast as they are restocked. Some stores have waiting lists for the new consoles since the demand is so high. Even Facebook is feeling the heat in the gaming industry as they are racing to produce more of their Oculus VR systems than ever before. Demand has spurred innovation and the result are some of the most dynamic consoles and games yet produced.
The New Generation of Consoles
One of the shining moments of the 2021 release was the development of the Ps5 and Xbox Series X systems earlier this December. These consoles are the top of the line in gaming technology with stunning HD4k graphics and amazing hardware. But is there any clear difference beside looks and manufacturer for these gaming systems? As you would expect from these two consoles, they are brutes when it comes to gaming.
Both have shorter load times and 4k connectivity that the older gen just simply could not handle well. These consoles are designed for speed, graphics, and processing power. Of the two consoles, the Xbox X is a bit cheaper, but both are backwards compatible. This means your Xbox one and Ps4 games can still be played as well as your online friends who have not made the switch. Here are the pros and cons of each:
- Ps5 Pros: Significantly faster load times. PS plus adds multitudes of free games to your library each month, has Revolutionary controller haptic systems, and 4K support.
- Ps5 Cons: It is much larger than previous models, has limited games at launch, storage space issues, no Dolby support.
- Xbox Series X Pros: Faster load times, Dolby and amos support, backwards compatibility, 4k support.
- Xbox Series X Cons: no UI development, requires a compatible TV, limited library of games at launch.
What if You Can't Buy Them in Stores?
As of right now it is becoming increasingly difficult to find the New-Gen gaming systems anywhere. They fly off the shelves in record time and even online stores are having problems keeping them in stock. However, there are a few places to check. Flagship stores such as Sony.com, and Xbox.com, generally have some in stock for a higher price point. But since these come directly from the creators a lot of worry about ordering online is avoided, such as scams and card theft. Avoid eBay and places like that to buy these as many people are reporting scams. So, buyer beware when using third party places.
Games: Digital, Physical, or Rent?
Gaming consoles are pretty useless unless you have games to play on them. In the past, this used to require you to go to a game shop and spend time browsing through various titles until you found one. Now there are multitudes of options available to such as digital downloads and renting your games. Digital downloads are just what their namesake implies in that these games have no physical copy and are obtained from the online store to be downloaded directly onto your console. This is advantageous in that if you travel you only need to bring your console since the games are on it.
The drawback is that you cannot return or trade in digital downloads. Renting a game is a great way to test one out before dropping $50-60 dollars on a game only to figure out you hate everything about it. There are even several services that cater specifically to game rentals. The biggest video game rental company is GameFly. With Gamefly you pay a monthly membership fee and can rent as many games as you like. If you like the game you pay a little bit extra to keep it permanently.