How to pick the right games console this Christmas

Think the latest Xbox is something to do with the X Factor? Does a PlayStation sound like great fun for the garden? If your kids are begging you to fork out on a games console, but you feel like they’re speaking a foreign language, it might be time to get clued in to the wonderful world of gaming There are two new games consoles out this Christmas – the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. If you’re a parent looking for the perfect gaming present for your child or teen, but you don’t know your Wii from your 3DS, here’s some advice on both the newest consoles and the old reliables to help make buying easier. The latest consoles So, what’s the difference? Both machines are very similar, but the PlayStation 4 (PS4) is aimed solely at gamers, while the Xbox One is also an overall entertainment machine which connects to your TV. The hands-free control system for the Xbox (called Kinect) comes as standard. It’s like a camera that sits on top of your Xbox One and picks up your hand and voice commands – like a traditional remote control would. The PlayStation equivalent, the PlayStation Eye, doesn’t come as standard – which is why the PlayStation 4 will generally be cheaper than the Xbox One. How much? The Xbox One retails at about €500 and the PS4 will be around €400 and both should come with games (always check the deals on offer). New games usually retail between €50 and €60, but the second hand games market on DoneDeal is thriving. However, both products are more than just consoles; they’re overall entertainment devices. The good news is that both should last at least five years before they’re even remotely out of date. What else do they do? Both machines play music and DVDs and have Netflix, RTE Player, YouTube and the internet. The Xbox is also Sky compatible. Both consoles are likely to have more TV options in the future. You can also make video calls on them. Can the whole family use them? There are games available for all ages, but a PS4 or Xbox One can be enjoyed by anyone aged 6 or upwards on their own. There are also games that parents can play with toddlers. A few other important points to note: You won’t be able to play older games, such as PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 games, on the PS4 or the Xbox One Be aware of age certificates: games, just like films, are rated according to how much adult content they have and this rating is clearly marked on the box Games are not transferable: for example, an Xbox game won’t work on a PlayStation and PlayStation 3 games won’t work on the new PS4. Always check before you buy What else is new? Nintendo’s latest, the Wii U came out last year and is a good child-friendly console (age 4+). Tablets are very popular and can be as cheap as €100 (non-brand), rising to €300 and up to €900 (for various Microsoft Surfaces or iPads). These are great for surfing the web and for downloadable games – a fast-growing market. Older models Check out the designated Games and Consoles listings in DoneDeal’s Electronics section for great deals on second hand machines and games. Nintendo 3DS and 2DS are both lovely handheld, child-friendly portable consoles (age 5+). The 2DS is about €120-€140 and the 3DS is about €220 (always check the second hand deals on DoneDeal, as you could get them for around 30% less). The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (any age from 6 upwards) are still available and still recommended. They’ll set you back about €100-€300 depending on whether you’re buying new, the memory size and extras. Both machines have thousands of games available, many of which are at knock down prices and many PlayStation and Xboxes on DoneDeal come with games. Both will eventually see their new game supply dry up because of the PS4 and Xbox One, but you should get at least two years out of either. The Nintendo Wii is still available for roughly €100 or less and is great for family-friendly and social games. It’s ideal for young kids (under 7) or families getting started in gaming. Sony’s handheld PlayStation Vita is a beautiful machine – it’s a higher-end handheld console and retails from about €100 (on DoneDeal) to about €250 (new). #Christmas #Electronics #GamesampConsoles