Choosing any piece of tech for a kid can be a minefield, and game consoles are no exception. As a parent, how do you make the right choice between Sony’s iconic PlayStation or the Xbox from Microsoft? Even where that’s already been established, it’s still far from the end of the story.
Do you buy the PlayStation 4
or the PlayStation 5
? Logic dictates that the newer PS5 is likely the best choice. However, getting your hands on one is another matter entirely, with the console currently sold out worldwide.
Then, when it comes to Microsoft’s Xbox, do you opt for the Xbox One
, the Xbox Series X
, or the Xbox Series S
? As you can see, choosing the best game console for any kid in 2022 could be easier said than done.
Furthermore, neither Sony’s PlayStation nor Microsoft’s Xbox in any guise may, in fact, be the right choice anyway.
Choosing the Right Game Consoles for Kids
Luckily, the current console gaming landscape is somewhat less complicated than it may first appear. Taking mobile or strictly handheld devices and VR headsets like the Oculus Quest off the table, there are around a handful of main contenders right now.
- Sony PlayStation 4
- Sony PlayStation 5
- Microsoft Xbox One
- Microsoft Xbox Series X and Series S
- Nintendo Switch and Switch OLED
This list also discounts options like Apple’s iPad, gaming laptops, and devices such as the Valve Steam Deck
. With that, it’s ultimately a choice between three different families of consoles from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.
Sony PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5
Launched at the end of 2020, Sony’s latest PlayStation is the PS5. However, the PS4 is still available and is almost just as impressive today as when it first arrived on the scene back in 2013.
The current-generation PlayStation 5 would be the model to go for in an ideal world. That said, and with the ongoing global chip shortage
affecting manufacturing across the board, getting your hands on one is no easy feat
Moreover, as a kids’ console, the PS5 may be overkill. Right now, there’s a better breadth of choice in terms of games for younger players available on the PS4, too. Helpfully, the existing model is also much more readily available and significantly cheaper.
Microsoft Xbox One, Series X, and Series S
Like Sony’s PlayStation, the Xbox from Microsoft is also available in two guises. The current generation comprises the Xbox Series X and Series S.
Launched in 2020, the flagship Xbox Series X is the preferred model for most gamers. That’s because it offers superior graphic processing power compared to the digital-only Xbox Series S. As a digital-only console, games for the Xbox Series S must be downloaded and cannot be played from traditional discs as they can on the Series X. Like the PS5, there’s also a shortage of both current-generation Xbox models.
However, just as with the PS4, the existing Xbox One is still available from Microsoft. Once again, the older model benefits from a wider choice of more kid-friendly games. That said, there’s a slightly better choice available on the Sony console, especially in terms of titles for significantly younger children.
Nintendo Switch and Switch OLED
Lastly, there’s the Nintendo Switch. Taking the handheld-only Switch Lite out of the equation, Nintendo’s console lineup currently extends to two models. These are the Nintendo Switch and the Switch OLED. The latter represents a mid-life refresh for the Switch, which was first launched in 2017, and boasts an improved display and a few other minor refinements.
Aside from that, the two consoles are largely identical, making the Switch range a more straightforward proposition than the lineup from either Sony or Microsoft. And there’s more good news when it comes to Nintendo’s Switch. That’s because, of all of the consoles considered here, it’s by far the most focused on kids.
For starters, it’s a two-in-one proposition, serving as both a console and a handheld gaming device. Even more importantly, it also has a far superior range of child-friendly games
than either the PlayStation or Xbox.
An ever-growing roster of massively appealing action, adventure, puzzle, role-playing, simulation, and sports titles lends itself exceptionally well to younger gamers. Across a staggering 4,300 or more releases, many examples, such as My Friend Peppa Pig
, are rated as suitable for even the very youngest of children as well.
Verdict: The Best Consoles for Kids
All of the latest game consoles from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo come with parental controls
. Accordingly, it’s possible to tailor any of them toward one or more kids of varying ages. However, it’s arguably Nintendo that offers the best and most well-rounded solution in this regard.
With that, and as far as the best console for kids goes, it’s tough to beat the Japanese video game company’s ever-popular Switch. The latest model, the Nintendo Switch OLED, is the option to go for. That’s primarily as the newer version offers more storage and a superior, fractionally larger screen.
It does cost slightly more than the original Switch, but for those who particularly enjoy handheld mode, which is most kids, a better screen makes the OLED model a worthwhile investment. That said, if there’s a deal to be had on the original model, by all means, don’t feel it necessary to hold out for the Nintendo Switch OLED solely on that basis.
Protect Your Kid’s Console With Upsie
There’s no escaping the fact that kids’ game consoles are likely to come up against at least a little rough-and-tumble. As such, it’s a good idea to invest in a degree of accidental damage protection. Available from Upsie, a choice of extended video gaming warranty
solutions grants precisely this and plenty more.
First and foremost, Upsie’s extended video gaming warranties offer protection in the event of manufacturing defects, mechanical faults, and other failures. At the same time, they also provide further peace of mind with protection for drops, cracks, liquid spills, and any number of other accidental mishaps.
With an extended warranty from Upsie in place, kids’ game consoles are protected for up to three years. Coverage is comprehensive, easy to understand, and affordable. If the console does break, they have a variety of repair and replacement options available.
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