What is the best games console? Should you go for the PS4 or Xbox One? Should you grab a bargain with the Nintendo Wii U while stocks are available, or wait for the Nintendo Switch? What about handheld games consoles and streamers like the Nvidia Shield? We explain all and present your choices when it comes to the best games consoles 2017.
Also see: Best Games Deals
Games consoles are must-haves for many of us, but they're expensive. So keep in mind that you can still pick up older consoles and games at much cheaper prices. And check that the games that have caught your eye are available for your chosen platform. Here's our list of the best games consoles you can buy in the UK in 2017.
Sony PS4 Pro
- RRP: £349 inc VAT
Codenamed 'Neo' the new console from Sony is the PS4 Pro and it will be a must have for those loyal to the series, although the PS4 Slim is also an option.
You can buy the PS4 Pro from GAME here.
The PS4 Pro can output not only 4K, but also HDR video, both possible thanks to the upgraded GPU featured in the high-end console. And the 4K resolution isn't limited to video playback like the Xbox One S, although Sony has said many games will be upscaled.
The lack of a Blu-ray drive is a little strange but the PS4 Pro features a larger 1TB hard drive.
Read more about the PS4 Pro.
Microsoft Xbox One S
- RRP: £349 inc VAT
It's potentially not the Xbox fans were looking forward to (the fully 4K Project Scorpio will arrive next year) but the Xbox One S is a great console for now.
It's smaller and lighter than the Xbox One and the power unit is built-in which is also a nice touch. The launch edition has a whopping 2TB of storage, too. Although the Xbox One S supports 4K resolution, it's limited to video playback so you'll have to hold out for Project Scorpio for 4K gaming (or get the PS4 Pro).
Read more about the Xbox One S.
Sony PS4 Slim
- RRP: £259 inc VAT
The new PS4 Slim is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin, a smaller version of the original PS4 in a smaller (more rounded) design.
Exisiting PS4 owners won't need to upgrade as the internals are almost identical. Although the new slim PS4 will get HDR support, that isn’t a exclusive as it’s being introduced to the launch PS4 with a software update.
Read more about the PS4 Slim.
- RRP: £349 inc VAT
The PS4 is no longer a 'next-gen' console with the arrival two new models - the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro. That doesn't mean you shouldn't buy one though as it remains a great option for console gamers.
We weren't the biggest fans of the wedge shaped design but luckily the PS4 makes up for it in power, a great selection of games and, for many gamers, the familar DualShock controller which is wireless.
- RRP: £429.99 inc VAT
As with the PS4, the Xbox One is now the old model and no longer 'next-gen' with the Xbox One S the new model.
It's big, chunky and heavy but the Xbox One is a powerful console with decent games. It's a great media streamer and has a Blu-ray drive, too, making it an all round entertainment device. Many will prefer the controller compared to its rivals and Windows 10 users will also get some nice benefits such as Game Streaming.
Nintendo Wii U
- RRP: £249 inc VAT
It's hard to believe that the Wii U has been around for nearly four years, but it's still a good option for the casual gamer and families. You can use the old Wii remotes and play the games, too, which will be a bonus for many.
One of the main attractions, aside from Nintendo's range of popular franchises, is the Gamepad which can be used on its own like a handheld console.
It's worth noting that the new Nintendo Switch is expected in March 2017. With that in mind Nintendo is stopping production of the Wii U in November 2016, which means once stocks are gone your only option to buy the Wii U will be secondhand.
Nvidia Shield TV
- RRP: £149.99
The Nvidia Shield TV costs £149.99 for the 16GB variation, which may seem expensive for a media streamer, but the games on the system are fairly cheap. Android games available on the device start at £0.79, while the more advanced games may set you back up to £10.
While the Shield offers all the same features that a standard media streamer would (on-demand TV, etc) it also offers a number of Shield-exclusive games that are pretty power-intensive.
It also has a game streaming service that costs £7.49 a month, but provides you with a vast library of games to play, which is good value for money. You also have the option to buy the latest console games (like The Witcher 3 and Mad Max) to play directly on the Shield too.
Read our Nvidia Shield TV review.
New 3DS and 3DS XL
- RRP: £149.99 for New 3DS, £179.99 for New 3DS XL
The Nintendo 3DS provides gamers with classic Nintendo games including popular Nintendo franchise like Mario & Luigi and Zelda on the go – in 3D. It's still our recommended handseld console.
It's cheaper, of course, than getting a Wii U but you can also opt for the older 3DS model or the 2DS if you're not fussed about playing games in 3D. Nintendo continues to release top games for the platform on a regular basis which makes it a continued attraction in the console market.
Read our Nintendo 3DS review.