From new releases to eSports competitions, it’s almost impossible not to be pulled into playing video games. As the global gaming industry is projected to be worth $321 billion by 2026, its future expansions and developments are guaranteed to pick up more and more players along the way.
Whether you are looking for a new way to connect with friends or simply want to alleviate your boredom, it’s never too late to join the growing community of gamers. Before you embark on your gaming journey, here is a beginner’s guide to gaming platforms.
Handheld gaming consoles
Nintendo remains one of the key players in portable play, starting out with the rectangular Game Boy unit in the 1990s which used video game cartridges. But recent developments in handheld gaming consoles now allow games to be downloaded directly to devices. These consoles include the Nintendo Switch, which is reported to be releasing multiplayer puzzle game It Takes Two on its eShop later this year.
Handheld gaming consoles fit perfectly into your pocket or bag, but you’ll have to be mindful of the battery life if you spend the entire day traveling. If you choose to download the cloud version of games, you’ll also have to monitor your storage use or upgrade your SD card. Still, by virtue of their built-in screens and controllers, they’re a suitable choice whether you prefer to play at home or outside.
While there are pre-built gaming computers in the market, a major advantage of owning a gaming PC is that it allows you to customize the hardware depending on your needs. In terms of gaming PC components like the display monitor, you can opt for the Samsung Odyssey Ark with its curved monitor and Ultra 4K HD definition for immersive and detailed graphics. Meanwhile, the BenQ MOBIUZ EX240 utilizes brightness intelligence and low blue light so your eyes can adjust and relax despite consecutive hours of gaming. High-tech accessories like wireless mice and keyboards also have ergonomic features to enhance your overall gaming experience.
The other components that PC gamers typically invest in are the graphics card for rendering and displaying images smoothly; the RAM for loading and retrieving game data quickly; and the hard drive or solid state drive for permanent data storage. Keep in mind, however, that these upgrades come with significant costs because of the complex manufacturing and supply chain for PC components. As such, it helps to factor in not just performance, but also your budget when building and customizing your gaming PC.
Home video game consoles
While a home video game console is designed to be connected to an external display and power source, the setup is beginner-friendly and also less costly than gaming PCs. It allows for an easier and smoother multiplayer experience if your friends own the same console as you do. On top of wireless controllers and console-exclusive games like Red Dead Redemption, owning a home video game console also provides you with the benefit of not worrying about constant hardware upgrades.
While some of the best-selling home video game consoles are earlier releases like the Sony PlayStation 2 (2000) and Microsoft Xbox 360 (2005), their respective latest editions PS5 (2020) and Xbox Series X (2020) allow you to do more than just play games. With built-in entertainment systems, you can even use these consoles to play music and watch videos on various streaming apps.
No matter which gaming platform or console you end up choosing, remember that the hardware is not the be-all and end-all of gaming. What improves the overall quality of your gaming experience is your ability to make the most out of every video game you play, and to enjoy them at your own pace.