The ultimate battle: playstation or Xbox? The age old debate against which console is the best for gaming. No matter you choice, we can all agree that gaming is a beloved past time for many. Japanese giant Sony’s popular console, the PlayStation, has probably become the most critically acclaimed worldwide. Which one do you choose?

The following shopping guide will teach everything you need to know about this popular video game console. Through its history and its various generations of models, the PlayStation has earned its place in American homes. We’ll also go over the various aspects of these consoles and answer some of your most frequently asked questions!

Key Facts

  • Officially abbreviated as PS, PlayStation is a video gaming brand that consists of four home video game consoles, as well as a media center, an online service, a line of controllers, two handhelds and a phone, as well as multiple magazines.
  • Like any game console, the PlayStation is an electronic device that allows you to play thousands of video games once you connect it to a television or another screen, and to the mains for power (except portable models).
  • It was created and owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment on December 3, 1994, with the launch of the original PlayStation in Japan, and has been owned by that company ever since.

Ranking: The best PlayStation versions on the U.S. market

You may think there is only one type of Playstation. And while Sony does have the monopoly on this product, the brand actually offers several different types of consoles, each with its own set of features. To help you decide which console deserves a place in your gaming life, we have brought together the top 5 playstation consoles based on user ratings, features, prices, and more!

No. 1: PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB Console

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If you are looking for your ultimate gaming console, then this one is a great option for you. The all new lighter and slimmer PlayStation4 system has a 1TB hard drive for all of the greatest games, TV, music and more.

PlayStation entertainment options like PlayStation Vue  give you plenty of options for entertainment. Connect your controller to your PS4 system with the USB cable: To charge your controller when in rest mode, you must first checkmark the [Supply Power to USB Ports] option in (Settings)> [Power Saving Settings] > [Set Functions Available in Rest Mode].

No. 2: PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB Console

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The most advanced PlayStation system yet, the PS4 Pro is designed to take your favorite PS4 games and add to them with more power for graphics, performance, and features. With this console, games like Call of Duty: WWII, Gran Turismo Sport, and more, are optimized to look stunningly sharp and detailed when played.

This console is not just for gaming. With this device, you can stream 4K videos, movies, and shows to your PS4 Pro. It is important to keep in mind, 4K Entertainment requires access to a compatible content streaming service, a robust internet connection, and a compatible 4K display.

No. 3: Nintendo Switch – Neon Red and Neon Blue

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The Nintendo Switch is a great option for gaming on the go. In addition to providing single and multiplayer thrills at home, the Nintendo Switch system can be taken on the go so players can enjoy a full home console experience anytime, anywhere. The mobility of a handheld is now added to the power of a home gaming system, with unprecedented new play styles brought to life by the two new Joy-Con controllers.

This bundle has a lot to offer, and includes the Nintendo Switch console and Nintendo Switch dock in black, with left and right Joy‑Con controllers in Neon Blue (L) and Neon Red (R). It also includes two Joy Con strap accessories, one Joy Con grip, an HDMI cable, and Nintendo Switch AC adapter.

No. 4: PlayStation Classic

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Feeling nostalgic? PlayStation Classic is a miniature recreation of the iconic PlayStation console, pre loaded with 20 fan favorite games along with two wired controllers for local multiplayer showdowns and a virtual memory card for vital game saves. PlayStation Classic also features the same famous logo, button layout and outer packaging – but this mini console is approximately 45 percent smaller than the original PlayStation and includes a HDMI cable to connect directly to a TV.

This is a great product for fans of vintage and retro gaming systems! Keep in mind, some critics of this gaming console have said the games are running European versions of the games instead of US versions, which means they play slower and may have some issues not present in the US versions of the game.

No. 5: PlayStation VR – Astro Bot Rescue Mission + Moss Bundle

Last but not least, we have the Playstation VR bundle. This is a great option if you are looking to take your gaming to the next level. This bundle also comes with a few games, so you can get used to the feel of VR gaming.

ASTRO BOT Rescue Mission is a brand new platformer, developed exclusively for use with PS VR with gameplay unfolding around you in 360 degrees. Moss is an action-adventure puzzle game tailor-made for the VR platform that will transport you to expansive environments brimming with creatures and take you on a journey to help a young mouse named Quill.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about PlayStations

Sony and its competitors haven’t targeted a single type of audience, but rather aim to satisfy gamers with different profiles. To do this, they have created different types of devices that suit different playing styles.  This makes deciding which PlayStation is right for you just a little bit more interesting. In the following sections, we will go over everything you need to know before buying one of these consoles.

While home PlayStations are the most popular and best-selling models, Sony has also launched other types of game consoles on the market.
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What is a PlayStation exactly?

The original PlayStation wasn’t actually Sony’s sole invention. It was initially a partnership with Nintendo, the leading gaming console frontrunner at the time of its creation. Sony went on to make the PlayStation and secured the top spot for gaming consoles.

The PlayStation, throughout its life, had many names; PS-X, PS1, PlayStation and PSone. Ultimately, is it a console used to play thousands of different online video games, and provide hours of entertainment.

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Did you know that the PS1 has sold over 100 million units?

What type of game console is the PlayStation?

While Sony has created different types of this video game console, the PlayStation remains the desktop or home console. Four different generations have been released onto the market, all of which for the backbone of everything PlayStation stands for. The latest model is the Playstation 4 – or PS4 – which hit stores in 2013.

As we briefly mentioned above, Sony has other products under the Playstation brand. You can also find two models of portable gaming devices, a digital recorder (PSX), a Sony Bravia television and a PS-oriented VR system (virtual reality). While none of these products are as successful as the Playstation itself, they all fall under the same brand, and are widely popular in the gaming community.

Andrea PirloItalian Former Professional Footballer, World Champion in 2006

“After the wheel, the PlayStation is the best invention of all time.”

How were PlayStation game consoles born?

The origins of the PlayStation go back to 1988, when Sony and Nintendo were working together on a Super Famicom (Super Nintendo) console with a CD-ROM drive. The console named Play Station (emphasis on the space) or Super Disc would be a CD add-on to the Super Nintendo. The affordability and large storage of CD-ROMs were about to revolutionize the industry.

But an incident would change the history of video games and gaming consoles: Nintendo chose to develop a CD player with Philips, leaving Sony empty-handed with a half-finished console. The high level meeting that followed between Sony President Norio Ohga and his board members transformed the company forever.

The whole concept was shaken when Nintendo started to question Sony and setup a partnership with Philips. Sony had been humiliated when Nintendo chose to work with Philips, and the company decided to launch its very own console to uphold the company’s honor. Thus, the PlayStation 1 was born!

Why did first PlayStation start a revolution?

The father of PS consoles, Ken Kutaragi made the most of what he had learned while working on the joint project with Nintendo and developed his own console, the Sony PlayStation. It was released in Japan on December 3, 1994. The PlayStation was introduced to the United States at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles in May 1995. They pre-sold over 100,000 units by September’s US launch.

The PlayStation brought the gaming world to the modern era. It had the ability to generate 3D graphics, and the greater space available on the CD led to the addition of voices and cinematic sequences. This is why the first PlayStation titles, such as the futuristic races of Wipeout, had a huge impact on gamers.

The PlayStation is a fantastic gaming console, but its potential is greatly reduced without the right accessories.
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Other consoles, such as the one Sega created, had similar technologies, but the great majority of their games were Japanese-themed. PlayStation held its consumers by bringing together great Japanese games with themes that would interest the Western market. This development then spread tothe United States, France of the United Kingdom.

What are the differences between the PS generations?

Over the years, there have been several generations of PS consoles. Since its launch back in 1994, Sony has released four major consoles, all of which have received refreshed designs. The original PlayStation  didn’t come with a DualShock controller. Instead, its basic PlayStation controller lacked thumbsticks and force-feedback technology. Sony would later release its first DualShock controller in 1997, which would add these features. Here’s a quick comparison table of every PS model ever released:

PlayStation model Generation of video game consoles Technological features Units sold
PlayStation 1 Fifth Systems similar to PCs. 32 or 4 bits. First 3D environments. 104 million
PlayStation 2 Sixth Ergonomic joysticks and external memories. Internet connection. 128 bits. Over 150 million
PlayStation 3 Seventh Multi-core technology in the central processing unit. Format integration. Blu-ray, wireless controllers and joysticks. Digital games. Over 85 million
PlayStation 4 Eighth Internet as the central axis of its functionality. Use of multimedia and applications. Development of streaming. Over 90 million

What is DualShock?

DualShock is a line of gamepads with vibration-feedback and analog controls developed by Sony for the PlayStation family of systems. The DualShock touchpad is a small surface that you can press and swipe on, similar to the equivalent on a laptop. This enables developers to map different parts of the touchpad to be different “buttons” that you can press.

On top of being wireless and presenting a truly ergonomic design, DualShocks now have a built-in vibration function and buttons on each stick – L3 for the left stick, and R3 for the right one. The most recent model, the DualShock 4, also has buttons to navigate on Internet and watch movies, for example.

For over a decade back then, consoles had been using cartridges, which were expensive to produce and offered little storage space.
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What is the PlaySation Store?

Sometimes called the PSN Store, it is an online digital media service available to anyone using a PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Portable (PSP) or PlayStation Vita console – the two latter being portable devices – via the PlayStation Network (PSN). Gamers are able to download all types of different content on the online store.

You will need to have a master PSN account in order to access the Playstation Store. Each user also has a download list where he or she can view all items previously purchased. Guest users can use their master account to download free content or to purchase content on another console.

Toshihiro NagoshiCreator of the Yakuzafranchise

“If you would pour its power into graphics, it’ll be the best that we’ve yet to see, and I think everyone is thinking about in what way we should use this power. I think artificial intelligence and machine learning will continue to evolve.”

You can use each account on a maximum of two consoles. Remember that having the latest PS firmware is essential if you want to access the PlayStation Store. This shop uses each country’s local currency to set their prices.

Can I use my PlayStation to do other things besides playing?

Absolutely! Although PlayStations are mainly designed for gaming, they have a variety of uses. For example, users can also use these consoles to access various streaming sites, such as Netflix or Twitch. Here is a table with more details on the different uses of your video game console:

PlayStation function What it’s for
Multimedia You can read multimedia files (compatible music, photos and videos) stored on your hard disk or USB memory sticks.
Internet browsing Compatible with PS controllers, the virtual keyboards of certain models allow you to surf the web, exchange messages and voice chat with friends and family.
Applications You now have access to a wide range of platforms, that include Netflix, Spotify, Rakuten TV, Filmin, RTVE, HBO, and Amazon Prime Video. This is on top of the games, movies and series available on the PS Store.
Online services and online shops As mentioned above, you can buy a wide variety of digital content on the PlayStation Store.

What are features offered by non-desktop PlayStation devices?

As we’ve explained before, desktop PS models have been the most popular and best-selling models. However, Sony has released other models as well. These have also created their own little revolutions in their sectors by offering incredible and innovative features. Here’s what you need to know about the two other types of PS gaming devices:

  • PlayStation Portable:The PSP device reversed the trend of making handheld game consoles smaller and smaller by featuring a much larger screen. It’s naturally designed to be taken everywhere we go, and it can also perform many of the functions that a desktop game console or a smartphone can.
  • PlayStation VR (virtual reality):the PS RV is the newest addition to the PS4 family. You can use this virtual reality device with any of the PS4 versions available on the market. Simply connect the headset to your PS4, add the PlayStation Camera and discover new realities. You’ll have a 5.7-inch OLED screen and a 360-degree view.

Shopping Criteria

If you are thinking of purchasing a PlayStation, then you are on the way to starting your gamin journey! Before you buy, its important to understand a few key aspects of these consoles. As we have mentioned, Sony has adapted their consoles to fit different playing styles. In the following section, we detailed some key shopping criteria to help you make the right decision.

  • Disk capacity and processors
  • Internet connection
  • DualShock controllers
  • Multimedia functions
  • Game compatibility

Disk capacity and processors

The capacity of your gaming console will depend mostly on which generation you choose to purchase. For reference, we encourage you to choose a model with no less than 500GB. This way, you are less likely to run out of space with your games and multimedia files. If you’re also expecting exceptional graphic and sound quality when playing, you should pay attention to the graphics processors of the device.

Internet connection

Your PlayStation will connect to your at home wireless network. This is important, because if your internet is weak, you games will lag. This means that you will not be able to play as well and you may have a poor gaming experience. This also depends on which country you live in, as some areas have naturally faster internet. Whatever the case, you want to make sure your console is connected to a reliable internet source.

Mark CernyLead Architect & Producer of Sony’s PS4 and PS Vita

“As a gamer, it’s been a little bit of a frustration that audio did not change too much between PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4,” he said. “With the next console, the dream is to show how dramatically different the audio experience can be when we apply significant amounts of hardware horsepower to it.”

DualShock controllers

One of the aspects to consider when purchasing one of these devices, is if the consoles comes with a set of DualShock controllers. This may enhance some features in certain games. However, if you are used to the older Playstation models, you might not like this feature. Keep in mind that some games may require you to have certain equipment, such as DualShock controllers.

Multimedia functions

As you know, console entertainment isn’t just about video games. Nowadays, PlayStations allow you to do much more than simply play, and you should really take advantage of their latest features. These range from various useful applications and the PlayStation Store to social media, music and video platforms. So you might want to check what the PS model you’re interested in has to offer besides the very best video games.

Game compatibility

Video games tend to lose compatibility with the latest consoles when a new generation comes out. This means that you may not be able to play your favorite games if you buy the latest PlayStation. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you check which are the key video games you want to play. This will be key when you’re picking your very own console.

Summary

Sony’s PlayStation is a series of video game consoles that have completely revolutionized the industry since their inception in the 1990s. The PlayStation 1 was part of the fifth generation of consoles, and it became an instant sales success. Nowadays, four desktop PS models exist, as well as handheld and virtual reality devices.

All you have to do is connect your PlayStation to a screen and a power source, and you’re good to play. Handheld devices can even be played on the go. What’s more, playing isn’t the only thing you can do with your console anymore. At a time when connection is key, you can browse the Internet, listen to music and take full advantage of many more features. You can, for instance, use streaming applications to watch movies and series.

If you liked our shopping guide on PlayStations, feel free to share it on your social media. Help us let others know everything about these video game consoles! You can also leave us a comment in the section below. We’ll be happy to answer any question you might have.

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