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Reward Information: Which Subsequent Era Console Does Your Baby Need?

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This holiday season The next generation of gamers are hoping to get the next generation of game consoles. But confusing branding by console manufacturers – not to mention a huge shortage of consoles – could lead to unboxing disappointment. Before making big promises this year, there are two things you should be clear about: which console you actually want to get, and how difficult it could be to get one.

By the way, it's perfectly understandable if you get lost – especially at Microsoft At the end, the branding is a bit strange this time. Even our staff's lifelong gamers mixed up the different Xbox names a few times.

If you're not one hundred percent sure what brand of console your child (or partner, or whoever) is, stop by now. An Xbox has a capital X somewhere on one side with no wires coming out, and a PS4 has a more subtle "PS" icon embossed thereon. The "Pro" has three "levels" and the regular has two.

Okay, now that you know what you have, here are the new versions you want:

Sony PlayStation 5

The PlayStation 5, or PS5 for short, is the latest game console from Sony. It's what your kids want if they already have a PlayStation 4 or even a PlayStation 4 Pro that they might have got back a year or two.

The PS5 is more powerful than the PS4, but it also plays most PS4 games so you don't have to worry about a game you just bought for a birthday or whatever. It has some fancy new features for fancy new TVs, but you don't have to worry about that – the improved performance is the main attraction.

There are two versions of the PS5, and the only real difference is that one has a drive for playing disc-based games. Both come with a controller and are roughly the same size. The one with the drive costs $ 500 and is the one to choose if you are unsure whether the recipient would prefer the driverless "Digital Edition". Saving $ 100 upfront is tempting, but keep in mind that some titles are $ 70 for this generation, so the option of buying used games at half price may pay for itself quickly.

The PS5 doesn't have any "real" next-gen games, and the selection this season will be pretty slim. But your best pick for pretty much any gamer is Spider-Man: Miles Morales. I've played it and its predecessor – which Miles Morales comes with – and it's going to be the one everyone wants right off the bat. (His violence is pretty PG, like the movies.)

Unfortunately, the PS4 controllers do not work with PS5 games. But don't worry if you get extra stands or charging stands or something, unless your player is already playing a lot of games with other people on the couch.

Microsoft Xbox Series X.

The Xbox Series X is Microsoft's newest gaming console, replacing the Xbox One X and One S. Yes, the practice of changing the middle word instead of the last initial is difficult to understand, and it will be why a lot of kids do unpack last year's new console instead of this year's one.

The Xbox Series X is more powerful than the Xbox One X, but it should also play almost all of the old games. So if you've recently bought something, don't worry about it being incompatible. There are plenty of fancy new features out there, but you don't have to worry about them or buy them separately – things like HDR and 4K all depend on your TV, but any TV in recent years will look great.

There are two versions of the next Xbox and they are very different. The Xbox Series X, valued at US $ 500, is the "real" version with a drive for old and used games and all of the power-ups announced by Microsoft. This one is almost certainly the one that every gamer will expect and hope for.

Microsoft, like Sony, has a drive-less version of the Xbox: the $ 300 Xbox Series S. Confusingly, this is the same price, color, and console name and type as the last-gen Xbox One S first make sure you are not buying the One The Xbox Series S is definitely "next-gen", but has a little less power than the Series X and will therefore make some compromises in addition to the lack of a drive. It's not recommended to get these unless you know what you're doing or really need that $ 200 (understandable).

There isn't really a big must for a game on the first day. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla is likely a good choice if bloody violence is okay. If not, a gift certificate or subscription to the "Game Pass" service, which offers free games, is fine.

No additional controllers required – Xbox Series X supports the latest generation of controllers. A real thank you to Microsoft for that.

Difficulty level: Vacation 2020

Credit: Devin Coldewey / TechCrunch

Now that you know which console to get (again … a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X), I have some bad news and some good news.

The Bad News is that they will likely (read: definitely) be sold out. Microsoft and Sony are pumping out these things asap, but the truth is they really rushed this start to get it in time for the holidays and don't have enough to get around.

Resist the urge to buy the “next best” model from last year – the new ones are a big change and replace the old ones, not just upgrades. It would literally be better for a kid to get a pre-order confirmation for a new console than a brand new old one. And don't try to find one on eBay or whatever – this is going to be a very cheating season and it is better to avoid this scene entirely.

The pandemic also means you likely can't or won't stand in line all night to snag a unit in person. To get a console, you will almost certainly have to spend a lot of time on the major retailers' websites … and a bit of luck. Follow the electronics and game stores on Twitter and bookmark the console pages to check availability regularly. However, expect each shipment to sell out within a minute or two, with the retailer's website crashing every time.

Also, don't buy them a Nintendo Switch unless of course they asked for one. The Switch is fantastic, but it's fundamentally different from the consoles mentioned above.

The Well The news is that you won't be missing out on much right now. Almost every game worth playing for the next year will be available on the new and old consoles. In some cases, players may be able to start their game on one and continue on the next. Good luck figuring out which games will be improved, updated, or otherwise carried over between generations (it's a patchwork mayhem), but any of the hot new games are great choices.

Good luck!

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Katherine Clark