New to Gaming? Which System Should You Buy?

It’s easy to assume that everyone out there already has a favorite gaming system, whether it be Xbox, Playstation, Wii, or something else. But what if you are totally new to gaming? What if you want to play, but you have little experience with any of the available gaming options, and you have no idea where to get started?

As an adult, I’ve mainly been a phone or tablet gamer with occasional toe-dipping into Mac and Wii games. But every time I watch an episode of House of Cards where they show Kevin Spacey’s character, Frank Underwood, “relaxing” by playing some shoot-em-up on his Playstation and big screen TV, I’m reminded that it’s something I’d like to advance to.

But which console? Which system? Where do you even start?

So I put together a list of questions to ask the Gear Diary crew:

1. If money and a catalog of games already owned were no object, what do you feel is the best gaming console system available now?

2. Why is it better than _________?

3. What does ________ have that your recommendation doesn’t have?

4. Is your recommendation a gaming console that a beginner would feel comfortable with, too?

5. What is your favorite gaming controller (and why)?

6. What are your favorite gaming headphones (and why)?

And here were their replies …

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.

4 Comments on "New to Gaming? Which System Should You Buy?"

  1. PolyGeekism | February 3, 2015 at 4:07 pm |

    Personally I think it can be a little simpler, and you can take personal bias out of the equation mostly.
    First do you have friends who play games that you want to play with? In today’s world that is becoming even more important than it ever was in the past. If they are all, or mostly on one console, that is the one you need to get.
    Have some deep roots with Nintendo properties,(Mario, Zelda, Metroid etc.) and do not really care about having the best available graphics, Wii U that one is easy.
    Is this taking the role as an entertainment machine? Right now the Xbox One would have a slight edge. It already supports DLNA for home network streaming, and if you have a cable/satellite box it can run through the system for dual control as well. Also if they can pull off the forthcoming Windows 10 updates this will be even better. PS4 should get DLNA support sometime, so it’s close, but the Wii U is terrible in this aspect, no blu-ray, not going to ever be able to network stream, and it is solely designed for gaming, for better or worse.
    Game’s is mostly a tossup. They all have some impressive first party stuff, with Xbox One probably being slightly ahead of PS4 as of now. One big caveat though is Japanese RPGS. Playstation is way ahead here and that won’t likely change soon.
    Controller is probably more personal preference than anything, although it is hard to argue that the control stick layout on the Xbox controllers isn’t better than the PS4.

    Going back to my first statement though, if you are a social gamer, and all of your friends are on one console, that is going to be where you want to be, regardless of the other qualities of the competing systems.

  2. GREAT points, thanks! So … which one do you have? =)

  3. I am betting XBONE due to the controller comment … I am more familiar with it as well so it feels more natural to me, but I find that is one of those ‘what you know’ things.

    But I love all of his points!

  4. PolyGeekism | February 3, 2015 at 8:32 pm |

    Personally I do have an Xbone, and have been an Xbox guy since Halo 2 or thereabouts. The main reason at the time was Xbox Live. To put it simply, it just worked. Playstation guys always cried about it costing money, but it also never went down and was very very well supported.
    Now it is kind of a wash in that department. They are both pay services, and both have so many little outages it can be frustrating. These new systems seem to have some pretty big growing pains that have come with the package, even though the hardware is more computer-like then ever. I was not an early adopter last time though and I am sure there were hiccups then as well. Eventually I will get a PS4, but it probably wont be until Gran Turismo 7 as that is the only title I even own the PS3 that I bought over the holidays.

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