PS4 vs. Xbox One vs. Nintendo Switch – We’re Breaking Down Each Gaming System!

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More Black Friday

holding Nintendo Switch by Christmas tree

Have a gamer at home? 🎮

Lots of kiddos (and adults!) have gaming consoles on their holiday wish list. We’re breaking down each system to help you decide which one would be best for your family! We’re comparing the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch Lite, Xbox One S, Xbox One X, Playstation 4, and PS4 Pro.

Nintendo Switch / Nintendo Switch Lite

people playing NES games on Nintendo Switch

If your kiddo is a Mario fan like me, then the Nintendo Switch is the system for you with their catalog of Nintendo exclusive games including the popular Mario franchise. It is completely portable and can be taken on the go or docked at home to your TV, making it truly versatile. You can even play games online!

The Nintendo Switch is typically priced around $299.99, but you can score some sweet Black Friday deals to get this gaming system at a discount.

kids wearing Nintendo Switch Labo creations playing video games

Another cool feature of the Switch are the Nintendo LABO Kits that you can add on to your console. Gamers can build their own toy-con creations from the variety kit, robot kit, vehicle kit, or VR kit. Each kit has everything you need to create a fun add on to your system experience.

nintendo switch lite on table outside

If you’re looking for a more affordable version, you might want to consider the Nintendo Switch Lite priced around $199.99. This system is an on the go handheld device and does not dock to your home television like the standard Nintendo Switch.

I like to think of the Lite as the Nintendo Gameboy or 3DS for the younger generation. Not all games from the Switch will play on the Switch Lite as this is a single-player system.

    • Games available for the Nintendo Switch platform: Minecraft, Rocket League, Fortnite, Overwatch, Pokemon, Luigi’s Mansion, Legend of Zelda series, Mario Kart, Mario Bros, Just Dance, Mario Party, LEGO Harry Potter, Jumanji, Animal Crossing, and many many more!
    • Nintendo Switch tech specs: 4GB RAM, console resolution of 1920×1080, portable resolution of 1280×720, 32GB expandable flash storage, 6.3-inch touchscreen, HDMI output, 4.1 Bluetooth, USB-C and headphone port, Custom Nvidia Tegra processor, Wi-Fi connectivity.
    • Nintendo Switch Lite tech specs: 4GB RAM, 1280×720 resolution, 32GB expandable flash storage, 5.5-inch Touchscreen LCD, Bluetooth 4.1, USB-C, Custom Nvidia Tegra processor, Wi-Fi connectivity.

Grab one from Amazon, Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, Best Buy, or GameStop

Xbox One S / Xbox One X

xbox one s 4k console held in store

The Xbox One S offers upscale 4K gaming at an affordable price. The nice thing about the One S is that you CAN play previous released Xbox and Xbox 360 games which is a huge advantage over the PlayStation which mostly does not. The Xbox One S typically starts at $299, however you can currently find it on sale for Black Friday for as low as $199.

You’ll also be happy to hear that this model features a 4K Blu-ray player and streaming so you can watch all your favorite Netflix shows and 4K Blu-ray movies.

If you don’t mind not having physical video games, you can also opt for the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition that is disc-free and starts around $149. Your games and saves travel with you—just sign in on any Xbox One with your Microsoft Account and you’re ready to go.

xbox one x in cabinet at store

The Xbox One X is a powerhouse that offers a heavy-duty processor for faster gaming, Ultra HD Blu-ray player, HDR, and native 4K. It has a whopping 1TB hard drive and has the capability to add on an external drive if you find yourself quickly filling it up. This system is perfect for the hardcore gamer and starts around $499, however, many stores currently have it on sale for as low as $349.99 with Black Friday pricing.

    • Games available for the X-box platform: Fortnite, Minecraft, Rocket League, Halo, Titanfall, Horizon, Gears of War, Gears, Metal Gear, Red Dead Redemption, Call of Duty, Overwatch, Fallout, Star Wars Jedi, Final Fantasy, FIFA, NHL, NBA 2K, and many many more!
    • Xbox One S tech specs: 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, 8-core Jaguar CPU at 1.75GHz processor, HDMI AV output, USB 3.0, 4K UHD Blu Ray, 4K streaming, backward compatible.
    • Xbox One X tech specs: 12GB RAM, Native 4K resolution, 4K Game DVR, 1TB HDD, HDMI AV output, USB 3.0, 2.3GHz 8-core AMD CPU processor, 1.172GHx AMD GPU, 4K UHD Blu Ray, streaming, backward compatible.

Grab one from Amazon, Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, Best Buy, or GameStop

PlayStation 4 / PlayStation 4 Pro 

target playstation 4 video game console in case

The PlayStation 4 features a DVD/Blu-ray optical drive so you can play all of your favorite movies without having to buy a separate player. It has pretty cool exclusive games including Spiderman and the popular Uncharted series. It does not offer 4K gaming and tops out with 1080p, so if that’s a must-have feature, you’ll want to consider the PS4 Pro.

This system offers virtual reality games when you purchase the PlayStation VR Headset (sold separately). It typically starts at $299.99 but currently, you can find great Black Friday deals starting at just $199.99.

Unfortunately, both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro don’t really offer backward compatibility for older games, so if you’re upgrading from a PS2 or PS3 you most likely won’t be able to play your old games on either system.

1TB Sony PlayStation 4  Console Bundle on store shelf

What sets the PlayStation 4 Pro apart from the PS4 is its offering of native and upscaled 4K HDR gaming. Games that work with the regular PS4 will also work with the PlayStation Pro, so if you’re upgrading you can use the same games.

This system does not have an Ultra HD Blu-ray player, but it will play standard DVDs and Blu-rays with 4K streaming capability. If you have your eye on the Pro, now is the time to grab one as it’s heavily discounted for Black Friday and priced as low as $299.99 (regularly $399.99).

    • Games available for the PlayStation 4 platform: Fortnite, Minecraft, Rocket League, Overwatch, Unchartered, Titanfall, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Star Wars Jedi, Final Fantasy, Resident Evil, Call of Duty, Fallout, Gran Turismo, NBA 2K, NHL, FIFA, and many many more!
    • PlayStation 4 tech specs: 8GB RAM, 500GB or 1TB HD, x86-64 AMD “Jaguar”, 8 cores CPU, 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon based graphics engine GPU, Blu-ray/DVD Drive, HDMI out port.
    • PlayStation 4 Pro tech specs: 8GB RAM, 1TB HD, x86-64 AMD “Jaguar”, 8 cores CPU, 4.20 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon based graphics engine GPU, Blu-ray/DVD Drive, USB 3.1 USB, Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI out port, 4K streaming.

Grab one from Amazon, Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, Best Buy, or GameStop

kid playing with nintendo switch

So which one should you buy? 

We have each of the consoles at home (my son is a huge gamer) and in my opinion, the Nintendo Switch is the best and I feel like it’s the most family-friendly of the gaming systems. It’s portable and offers all the major gaming titles that kids love including Fortnite and Minecraft.

If you have a gamer who strictly plays at home, the Xbox One S or PlayStation 4 are suitable consoles both with powerful performance in an approachable price range. These are the most popular models for at-home consoles.

Got a hardcore gamer who downloads tons of games and values the most optimal gaming resolution? The Xbox One X or the PlayStation 4 Pro are the top of the line models for advanced gameplay. They’re higher in price but come with additional hard drive storage and upgraded processors.

Want Black Friday deals? We’ve got ’em all!

About the writer:

Angela graduated with a Bachelor's Degree and has 25+ years of experience as a writer and photographer with her work being featured in US Weekly Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, People Magazine, and more.

Join The Discussion

Comments 14

  1. avallet1

    Thank you so much for this! We have an almost 7 year old and he’s dying for an xbox and I wanted to see the difference between everything that you compared. What a helpful post!!!

    • milli

      Hi avallet1. In case that you don’t find any of the deals, we bought the Xbox 1 S. They used one time, because they prefer the Playstation. I’ll be willing to sell that one. Just let me know if interested.

  2. Laura

    My sons, now 9 and 5, have been LOVING the Nintendo Switch for a year now. They even play together (not a small thing, if you know what I mean, lol)! It is definitely better for younger families, with more child-friendly game options, and the portability is awesome. It’s been great for “boring” things away from home like waiting rooms and car trips. Thought I cringed at the price, I’m now glad I bought it.

    • jen s.

      My older teen bought his over a year ago and loves it. So easy to bring along to a friend’s house!

  3. Alejandra

    So a little off topic but I just got the kohls black Friday deal on the nintendo switch on the kohls app! $319 for a bundle and $90 back in kohls cash!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh wow! Thanks for sharing! SO glad you could grab it!

    • tab

      It says out of stock for me 😔

      • Linnfunky

        I believe the deal is live again!

    • Emi Hui

      Isn’t that a door buster that starts on Thur? I tried searching for this deal on website and app and couldn’t find it, how did you get it?

      • Alejandra

        So the bundle maybe a little different in that what I got has nintendo headphones and a carrying case instead of a charging dock is what it showed in the ad. However it was the same price of $319 and I got the $90 kohls cash. I actually saw it around 6 am this morning but then it went out of stock, I have been checking it periodically through the day and it popped back into stock and I quickly ordered it. So I would just keep checking 🙂

  4. milli

    If anyone interested in Xbox 1s, just let me know. My son used just one time. I bought it from Target .

    • Jennifer Johnston

      Hi. How much for the xbox

  5. T

    The nintendo switch is great. But if you think you can enjoy every aspect of it for just the sale price of the switch you will be surprised. The controllers are expensive. Also the 2 side small controllers ot comes with are not comfortable. We got controller type inserts to put them in. Also a skin saver is suggested because the screen can be scratched easily. Buying more controllers is a must to play with other people at the same time. Unless only 2 people will play at all times. A carrying case is also needed. We bought a big one for it to carry almost everything and a smaller one to carry just the portable screen with side controllers. Maybe other things were purchased idr it was more than a year ago. With everything it might have been close to 500 with also games purchased which are very expensive. The same game for the switch compared to a playstation game is more expensive because the way they make the games are more expensive

    • Mik

      Thank you for the tips! Never thought of getting a screen protector! I must go buy one and added as soon as the kiddos open their Christmas gift. Thank you!
      As for the controller, we found them at the Marshalls for 24.99 and they are wireless one. So we bought two of them.

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