Game console purchasing advice: how to choose the right product

  • What You Need to Know
  • On the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, you can play at 4K resolution and 120 frames per second.
  • The Nintendo Switch is a home game and handheld console at the same time.
  • All three game consoles also offer cheaper variants: the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition, Xbox Series S and Nintendo Switch Lite.
  • The most important feature for the purchase decision is the exclusive games available for the console.
  • A high-quality and comfortable controller is essential for an enjoyable gaming experience.

The console war: round four

Back in the 1970s, Odyssey, the first home video game console, was launched in America. The evolution of devices since the first game consoles is astonishing. Once upon a time, two-dimensional games with pixels that felt millimetre-sized, like Galaga or Pac-Man, were the latest and greatest the gaming industry had to offer. Nowadays, there are games like The Last of Us or Red Dead Redemption 2 whose characters look so realistic that in some scenes it is not quite clear whether they are real actors or computer-generated characters. Undoubtedly, the fierce competition between game console manufacturers has contributed to the rapid technological development.

War of the consoles
For decades, the leading game console manufacturers have been battling for market dominance.

The competition is so long-lasting and fierce that there has been talk of a console war in the gaming industry for years. Three developers have stood out and form the main fighting forces: Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. Nintendo has the longest tradition, having been producing consoles since the 1980s. Sony entered the battlefield in 1994 with the PlayStation 1. Microsoft came last with the Xbox. So in the early 2000s, the rivalry began on three fronts. Xbox, PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube fought for the top spot. Since then, a new generation of game consoles has appeared roughly every five to seven years. Sony and Microsoft in particular, whose consoles compare well in terms of performance and concept, launch their new consoles almost simultaneously.

This comparison looks at the latest generation of game consoles, the PlayStation 5 (PS5) or Digital Edition, the Nintendo Switch and the Xbox Series X | S. Mobile consoles are not included. The Nintendo Switch Lite is therefore not part of this comparison.

PlayStation 2: the record breaker

With 155 million units, the PlayStation 2 is the best-selling console of all time. Overall, Sony is considered the pioneer of the home video console war, with Nintendo’s mobile devices like the GameBoy also enjoying legendary status. Finding a household without a PS2 or GameBoy gathering dust in drawers, basements or attics is almost impossible these days.

PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition

The fifth PlayStation generation was launched on 19 November 2020. In terms of naming, Sony stuck to the tried and tested formula of simply putting the next number after PlayStation. The English proverb “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies in this case. After all, the logo – PS plus the number, in this case PS5 – has become so iconic that a deviation would undoubtedly irritate the masses.

Playstation 5 versions
Here are the two PlayStation 5 editions © Sony Interactive Entertainment.

Public opinion and reviews from numerous tech media are unanimous in the case of the PS5: the console is convincing in its performance and is already considered a success. After all, the console sold out in record time and is still not available everywhere (as of 19.02.2021). This fact speaks for itself. In this generation, Sony offers the PS5 Digital Edition in addition to the PS5. The latter costs 100 euros less and does not differ from the PS5 in terms of technical specifications. The only difference is that this version has no CD drive. Games can therefore only be downloaded digitally. The absence of a drive also makes this version slightly smaller and lighter.

Technical specifications

In terms of technology, Sony has once again done great things. The console is so powerful that the picture itself is comparable to that of a computer. On the PS5 you can play with a 4K resolution and that with 120 frames per second. Compared to the PS4, this is a huge leap. This only achieved a resolution of 1,080 pixels with 60 frames per second. Even the latest 8K technology is supposed to be possible on the PS5, but only at 60 frames per second and not for every game. One thing is clear, however: If you want to exploit the performance potential of this console, you will need at least a 4K TV. Last but not least, the console has very high audio quality with its 3D Tempest Audio, which makes the sound feel like it comes from all directions.

The PS5’s RAM is 16 gigabytes. With an SSD memory of 825 gigabytes, the console is worlds faster than its predecessor and rightly proclaims minimal loading screen times. Critics say there is still room for improvement in terms of memory. According to Sony, however, this would drive the price of the console too high. Sony, however, intends to address this point of criticism. In the future, it will be possible to expand the console’s internal memory by installing an SSD card in the SSD slot. It is difficult to give a number of games that can be stored, as games vary greatly in size. In terms of technology and performance, the Digital Edition is just as well equipped as the standard version.


The main reason why Sony has always been several steps ahead of its competitor Microsoft in the console war is the PlayStations’ exclusive game library, i.e. the games that can only be played on the PlayStation. Most major titles are released on both consoles. However, sometimes titles are only developed for one of the consoles. For many gamers, this is the most important point in the purchase decision and ultimately determines the popularity of the console. Although in terms of performance the two manufacturers are always close and Xbox even has the better controller in universal terms, PlayStation always manages to stand out with its exclusive games.

This generation is seemingly no different. True, none of the consoles have a long list of exclusive titles yet. Still, the PlayStation 5 is expected to have plenty of games in the near future, from popular franchises like God of War and Spider-Man.


In addition, the PS5 is backwards compatible. This means that games from the previous generation, i.e. the PS4, can also be played on the PS5. So you don’t have to give up your old favourite games, nor do you have to have PS4 and PS5 connected at the same time.


Controllers are probably one of the most important features of a game console. After all, they are the link between people and the console. Many gamers gamble for several hours at a time. A bulky, uncomfortable controller is therefore fatal for a console. Of course, it must also be of high quality. The buttons and control sticks must not wear out too quickly. A controller is not exactly cheap. Last but not least, it does no harm if the controller offers various functions, such as a connection for headphones or a share button.

The Sony DualSense controller does not disappoint in any of these respects. It is light and feels comfortable in the hand. The lower part of the grips has a rough surface that provides a better grip. The control sticks are also comfortable to hold. Although the Sony DualSense is the largest controller from PlayStation to date, it still feels good in the hand.

Switched on Playstation DualSense Controller
Sony DualSense Controller © Sony Interactive Entertainment.

The new mute button can be used to mute both the integrated microphone and the TV speakers. Vibration and haptic feedback tuned to the games provides increased immersion. For example, when you shoot a bow, the controller can give a pulse when you tighten the string and release it, making the action a haptic experience as well. If you feel disturbed by this function, you can adjust the strength of the impulses or even switch the function off completely.

Playstation DualSense Controller in charging station
Charging station for two controllers © Sony Interactive Entertainment.

The Sony DualSense has a connection for headphones. It can be used with a cable as well as wirelessly. Worth mentioning is the significantly longer battery life compared to its predecessor. It reached 12.5 hours in the tests, whereas its predecessor only reached 5.0 to 8.0 hours. For charging, it can be connected to the console via USB. If you want to spend a little more money for a fancier option, you can buy a charging station on which two controllers can be charged wirelessly at the same time.

Purchase price

The standard version of the PlayStation 5 costs 499 euros. Sony also offers the PS5 Digital Edition. This costs 399 euros. So if you prefer to buy games digitally anyway and don’t value a physical game collection, you save 100 euros. In addition to some connections and cables, the console comes with a controller. Separately, a controller costs between 60 and 70 euros, depending on the provider. Since the console has just been released, there are no bundles or special offers yet (as of 19.02.2021).

Streaming offers

Through the PlayStation, most major streaming services can be served, including Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and Crunchyroll. Those who own a PlayStation can also get two subscriptions: PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus. The former costs 9.99 euros a month and is basically a kind of Netflix for the game console. Over 800 games can be played on PlayStation Now, some of which you can even download. This applies to games from both the PS4 and the PS3. However, resolution and other technical features of the games are not adapted to the standards of the new generation.

Furthermore, Sony offers PlayStation Plus. This service costs 8.99 euros per month. It allows subscribers to play online multiplayer modes of console games. Those who like to play shooters online or compete against other gamers in FIFA are therefore dependent on this service.


Sony’s new console has the most important connections. At the front, there are two USB ports, one USB-2.0 and one USB-C 3.2. At the back, there is an HDMI 2.1 port, two more USB-C 3.2 ports, an Ethernet port and a power cable port. Bluetooth 5.1 is also present. In addition, there is the 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray drive. Of course, the latter is not available on the PS5 Digital Edition. However, all other connections are present.

Operation and user interface

he PlayStation 5 is also convincing in its operation and user-friendliness. The user interface has been redesigned. It is now easier to share videos. Voice recognition is also possible. This makes it possible to send a message quickly without having to torture oneself for a long time with a display keyboard via controller. Although the voice recognition cannot be compared with voice recognition systems such as Alexa or Google Assistant, it certainly serves its purpose. Last but not least, certain settings can be configured across the system. This means that you can adjust the preferred difficulty level for games or the graphics setting. Your settings are then automatically applied to every game.

Anatomical features

The futuristic-looking design of the PlayStation 5 screams “next generation”. The console has a sleek curvy design that may catch the eye of minimalists a little too much. The white colour is a departure from the last generations, which all came in black after the grey PS1. Moreover, the console is not exactly small. Its dimensions are 39.0 centimetres in height, 10.4 centimetres in width and 26.0 centimetres in depth. The console weighs an impressive 4.5 kilograms. Although it is visually more striking compared to its predecessor, the opposite is true for its volume: it is much quieter.

PlayStation 5 with DualSense Controller
PlayStation 5 © Sony Interactive Entertainment.

Since the Digital Edition does not have a drive, it is also a little more space-saving. Although its height and depth are the same, its width is only 9.2 centimetres. In addition, the console weighs 3.9 instead of 4.5 kilograms.

Our conclusion on the PlayStation 5

There is no other way to put it: Sony has delivered quality again. The performance and technical features are enormous, especially in terms of resolution and refresh rate. Those who own a 4K or even an 8K TV are in for new worlds as far as console gaming is concerned. Loyal Sony customers have also been satisfied by the backwards compatibility with the PS4. Last but not least, a number of exclusive next-gen games are on the horizon, which will undoubtedly steer the buying decision towards the PS5 for many.

Pro points

  • 4K and 8K resolution respectively
  • 120 frames per second
  • Controller with haptic feedback and share function
  • Promising future exclusive games
  • Backwards compatibility with PS4
  • Digital Edition cheaper with almost identical specifications


  • Heavy
  • 4K TV recommended
  • Few PS5 games at present

Xbox Series X and S

Unlike last generation, where Microsoft universally scared off core gamers with the Kinect craze, this generation is a true head-to-head race. After all, Microsoft has delivered a top product. Performance is now clearly the focus. The Xbox Series X was released on 10 November 2020 and, similar to the PS5, sold out in no time. Microsoft also offers the Xbox Series S, which has no drive and is technically inferior to the X by quite a bit. On the other hand, the S version costs 200 euros less.

Xbox Series S and X
The Xbox Series X | S © Microsoft Corporation.

Technical specifications

If there is a performance winner in the new generation, it is the Xbox Series X. Its specifications are similar to those of the PS5. Its specifications are very similar to those of the PS5, but with two significant differences: The Xbox has a more powerful graphics processor with 12.0 TeraFLOPS (Floating Point Operations Per Second) compared to the PS5’s 10.3 TeraFLOPS. In addition, its hard disk has a larger storage capacity, 1 terabyte compared to 825 gigabytes of the PlayStation. This can already be expanded by1 terabyte with an external SSD, simply by using a suitable input. However, this is not exactly cheap at a price of over 200 euros.

The memory of the Series X is 16 gigabytes. Like the PlayStation, the Xbox Series X achieves a resolution of 4K and 120 frames per second when gaming. 8K is also possible, although there are no games for it yet. So the new generation consoles are designed with foresight. The device has 3D sound compatible with Dolby Atmos and virtual surround sound with headphones.

Xbox Storage Expansion
1 Terabyte SSD Expansion © Microsoft Corporation.

It is true that, apart from the absence of a CD drive, the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition is equipped in the same way as the standard version. However, the Xbox Series S is considerably less powerful than Microsoft’s flagship. On the other hand, it costs 200 euros less instead of 100. Its graphics processor has 4 TeraFLOPS. The RAM is 10 gigabytes and the hard disk only 512 gigabytes. The latter, however, can be expanded just like the Series X. For games, a resolution of 1,440 pixels with 120 frames per second is possible. Outside of gaming, a 4K resolution is achievable.


Historically, the Xbox’s exclusive games library has always been a little weaker than the PlayStation’s. To begin with, it doesn’t seem to be any different this generation. However, that doesn’t mean Series X owners have nothing to look forward to. For example, 2021 sees the release of Halo Infinite, the latest game in the Halo series, one of the most popular gaming franchises ever. A new Fable game is also expected. This will also be released on the PC, but not on the PS5. However, it would be a bit premature to claim that one of the two competitors is too far ahead of the other in this area. After all, the race has only just begun.

In terms of backwards compatibility, the new Xbox does not disappoint. Not only Xbox One games can be played on the console, but also some titles from the Xbox 360 and the original Xbox, provided they can be found online. Moreover, these games even run better on the Series X. The same is true for the Series S, but the latter has no CD drive. So you can only play your old Xbox One games if you have them in digital form.


The Xbox has always had the more popular controller. That’s why even users who use a controller on a PC prefer it. The Xbox Series X controller is very similar to the one of the last generation. However, it is supposed to have fewer latency problems. It also has a new matte finish and rough grips to prevent it from slipping when your hands get sweaty. The only new feature is the Share button, which Microsoft probably copied from Sony. Apart from the D-pad, the rest of the buttons remain unchanged. This now combines the traditional D-pad with the new disc-shaped D-pad of the Elite Wireless Controller Series 2.

Close-up view of an Xbox Series X controller
Xbox Series X Controller © Microsoft Corporation.

The controller is wirelessly powered by AA batteries. Alternatively, it can be connected to the Xbox via a USB-C cable. In addition, for a price of about 30 euros, you can buy an Xbox battery that you can connect to the controller to charge it while playing.

In contrast to the PS5, the previous generation controller can also be used for the Xbox Series X. A new controller is always included with the purchase of the Xbox. However, this way, if you want to play with friends, you can also use your old controllers instead of having to buy new ones. Last but not least, the controller is compatible with iOS, Android and PC.

Purchase price

While the purchase price of the Xbox Series X is a hefty 499 euros, the Series S only costs 299 euros. Those who do not attach great importance to performance and simply want to play the games of the new generation will therefore pay considerably less. The Series S is also a good option for those who don’t own a 4K TV, as the more expensive Series X cannot unfold its full performance capacity without such a TV. The new controller is available for 50 to 60 euros. There are no bundles or offers yet, as the console has just been released (as of 19.02.2021).

Streaming offers

The Xbox gives you access to major online streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime. For 9.99 euros a month, you can subscribe to the Xbox Game Pass and play numerous titles from all generations. Just like with movie streaming services, new titles are often added, but some also disappear again. You can also subscribe to Xbox Live Gold for 6.99 euros a month to play online multiplayer versions of games. If you want to use both services, the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is the best option. For 12.99 a month, you get the services in combination.


Like the PS5, the Xbox Series X has all the important connections. On the front, the game console is equipped with a USB-A 3.1 port and a 4K Ultra HD Blue-Ray drive. On the back, there is an HDMI 2.1 port as well as two ports for USB-A 3.1. One port each for Ethernet and power cable is also included. Last but not least, there is an input for the external SSD memory card. Apart from the CD drive, the Series S has all the essential connections.

Connectors of the Xbox Series X
Xbox Series X back © Microsoft Corporation.

Operation and user interface

The user interface of the new Xbox is criticised by some users: it is hardly distinguishable from the user interface of the Xbox One. For others, it is popular precisely because they are already familiar with it and do not have to relearn how to use the console. The biggest news regarding the operation of the Xbox Series X is the Quick Resume function. This allows gamers to quickly switch from game to game without having to save and reload the games each time.

Anatomical features

The game consoles from Sony and Microsoft are very similar in their technical specifications. However, their design could not be more different. The Xbox Series X has a very unobtrusive design. In fact, it is nothing more than a black cuboid. The Xbox sign at the top left and the slot of the CD drive are barely visible. At first glance, the console looks more like a loudspeaker than a stand-alone device. Whether the minimalist design is pleasing or not is a matter of taste. In any case, the console is easier to integrate into living spaces because it is hardly noticeable thanks to its colour and shape, even though it is not much smaller than the PS5. The console is also more discreet than its predecessor in terms of noise.

The Xbox Series X is 15.1 centimetres deep and wide. Its length is 30.1 centimetres. Similar to the PlayStation, the new Xbox is not exactly light. It weighs 4.46 kilograms.

The Xbox Series S has a similar shape to the X, but looks completely different. Here, Microsoft has opted for a black and white design. The console is therefore a white cuboid with a black circle on the left side, which serves as a ventilation opening. Although this Xbox version is considerably smaller than the Series X, it stands out more.

Since the Series S does not have a CD drive, it takes up less space. The unit is 15.1 centimetres deep, 27.5 centimetres deep and 6.5 centimetres wide. The biggest difference, however, is the weight. At 1.93 kilograms less, the cheaper version weighs only half as much as its corpulent generation companion.

Our conclusion on the Xbox Series X | S

With the Xbox Series X, Microsoft has delivered the most powerful games console to date. Accordingly, there is hardly anything to complain about in terms of technical features. The controller has also been improved somewhat: it is ergonomic, fits well in the hand and reacts faster than its predecessor. The console’s game library is still very limited, but access to games from all previous generations ensures that many popular titles can already be played.

The most interesting difference between the PS and the Xbox is its cheaper version. In contrast to the PlayStation, Microsoft decided to scale down the Series S’s specification. In return, it costs 100 euros less than the direct competition, i.e. the PS5 Digital Edition. Some would classify this as a clear victory for Sony, since Sony offers the more powerful product. But that is not necessarily the case. Some users do not have particularly high demands in terms of graphics or storage space. They just want to play new games. So they simply save 100 euros with the Series S. There are also many users who do not own a 4K TV and do not plan to get one in the near future. They can’t take advantage of the resolution and frame rate of the new Series X anyway. So why not buy the cheaper product? So the Xbox Series S bridges the barrier to entry that a 4K TV represents for many.

Pro points

  • 4K or 8K resolution
  • 120 frames per second
  • Ergonomic controller
  • Backwards compatibility with Xbox One
  • Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
  • Xbox Series S as the cheapest next-gen console


  • Exclusive games offer still very limited

Nintendo Switch

There is still no concrete information from Nintendo about the possible release of a Nintendo Switch 2 or Pro, or a new Nintendo console (as of 19.02.2021). Thus, the Nintendo Switch, which was released in 2017, has to compete with the next-gen consoles – but somehow not. The console is based on a fundamentally different concept than traditional home game console gaming with a controller on the TV. Hardly anyone is wrestling with the decision between a Nintendo Switch and a PS5 or Xbox Series X. The latter focus on technical features like resolution, frame rate and realistic graphics, while Nintendo tries to deliver a completely new experience and console concept with each generation. Realistic graphics are not Nintendo’s goal, instead relying on their own distinctive cartoon style.

Docked Nintendo Switch
The entire console with JoyCon mounted on the docking station.

Strictly speaking, the Nintendo Switch is not a home game console, but a hybrid. After all, it can also be used as a handheld or tabletop console. Thus, Nintendo manages to combine its game console with its probably most popular product line of all time, the GameBoy. The console’s hardware is housed in a kind of tablet. To connect the Switch to the TV, you have to mount it on a docking station. Then the console is traditionally used with a controller. If you want to play on the go, you can attach the two detachable parts of the controller to the sides of the console and use the Switch as a handheld console. With the help of a folding stand, you can also use it in tabletop mode. However, not every game can be played in every mode. In addition to the Nintendo Switch, there is also the Nintendo Switch Lite. However, this cheaper version can only be used as a handheld console and is therefore not considered further in this comparison.

The Nintendo Switch appeared between the last (2013) and new (2020) generation of consoles from Sony and Microsoft. Thus, it is technically inferior to the PS5 and Series X. However, technology is not a particularly important purchase criterion for most Nintendo customers. It’s more about the numerous game franchises that are only available for Nintendo consoles. Although the console is also very popular among adults, its game library is much more child-friendly than that of the competition.

Technical specifications

Since the Switch console resembles a small tablet in size and shape, it is to be expected that it will have limited performance compared to the competition. In console mode, the Switch achieves a resolution of 1,080 pixels at 60 frames per second. However, this is not possible for all games. The handheld version usually has a resolution of 720 pixels and 60 frames per second. The graphics processor has 256 GigaFLOPS. The console is also equipped with 4 gigabytes of RAM and 32 gigabytes of internal memory. If you own a lot of digital games, you cannot avoid an external memory expansion. With expansions, the storage capacity can reach 2 terabytes. Last but not least, the console’s battery life, when used on the move, is 4.5 to 9.0 hours.


Nintendo is not only a console manufacturer but also a game developer. Some of the most popular franchises of all time were developed and published by Nintendo. Thus, Nintendo’s consoles enjoy a certain guarantee of exclusivity from titles with very loyal fans. In this respect, the Nintendo Switch stands out from the competition: anyone who wants to play Mario, Zelda, Monster Hunter, Bayonetta or Pokémon games has to rely on the Japanese company’s products. Of course, there are also titles for the game console that are not exclusive and can be played on the competitor consoles. However, if your main interest lies in such games, it is advisable to reach for a console from Sony or Microsoft, as such games usually run smoother and with higher graphics settings there.

Since the Switch has been on the market since 2017, there are already numerous games available for the console. Some titles are already considered classics and enjoy enormous success. These include Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Pokémon Sword and Shield. After all, these games are among the most popular franchises of all time and are therefore guaranteed bestsellers.

Game is plugged into Switch

However, the Switch does not allow backwards compatibility. Since the game console is considered the combined successor to Nintendo’s handheld and home game consoles, backwards compatibility with the Wii U or 3DS would be desirable. However, this is not possible. There are Switch versions for some Wii U games, but these have to be bought again. Those who subscribe to Nintendo Online can play digital versions of old games from the 8-bit game console NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) or the 16-bit game console SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System), which were released in the 1980s and 1990s respectively.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Game of the Year 2017

Many gaming journalists and websites crowned the Zelda game as Game of the Year 2017, saying that the beautiful landscapes, the open world, and the freedom and creativity the game allows make for one of the best games of all time. Many users even bought – some still do – a Nintendo Switch just to play Breath of the Wild.


The Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con controller is the Switch’s most creative and transformable component. It consists of two separate parts, the Joy-Con L and the Joy-Con R. In the handheld version, the two parts of the controller are mounted on the sides of the console. For home game console mode, they are mounted on a controller-shaped module and function like a normal controller. This is very similar in shape to the controller on the Xbox. Last but not least, the Joy-Con can become two separate controllers. These are reminiscent of the old NES controller and are often used in the digital game versions of the retro console. For users with large hands, however, the controller might be a little small. The Joy-Con also comes in different colour combinations.

The Joy-Con controller works wirelessly. To charge it, the two controller parts have to be mounted on the console. This way, the Joy-Con automatically starts charging, regardless of whether the device is currently running or also charging.

Those who long for the classic controller feel can buy the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. Unlike the Joy-Con, this is a single unit. It can be used on the TV as well as for handheld mode. You can also connect it to your PC. The controller is wireless, but can also be connected and charged via USB-C.

Joy Cons with charging holder

Purchase price

The current version of the Nintendo Switch costs around 330 euros new, making it the cheapest current home gaming console – apart from the slimmed-down Xbox Series S. The offer includes the Switch, a docking station and a Joy-Con controller. Since the console has been on the market for several years and has many successful games, there are also numerous bundles, for example with popular games or additional accessories. If you have certain games in mind, it makes sense to ask about a bundle with these games.

With a purchase price of around 70 euros, the Joy-Con is not exactly cheap. For about half the price, only one side of the controller can be purchased. The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller costs around 55 euros new. Alternatively, there are cheaper products from other manufacturers.

Switch in tabletop mode

Nintendo Switch Online

Those who do not want to buy the console can subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online for 3.99 euros per month. The service allows users to play online. In addition, subscribers have access to numerous retro games from the NES and SNES. Other features include a storage data cloud and an app for the smartphone, via which voice chat is accessible.


The shape and size of the Switch don’t leave much room for connections. Therefore, there is only a port for a 3.5-millimetre audio cable, a USB-C interface and an input for the game card, i.e. the material copy of a game that looks something like an SSD or a 3DS game. There is also a port for an external memory card under the folding stand. To compensate for the limited number of ports, the console comes with a docking station that is equipped with more ports.

 Main connections on Switch

Docking station

The Switch is connected to the TV by mounting it on its docking station. The latter is a box-shaped object with a slot into which the console is inserted. As soon as the console is connected to the docking station, it starts charging. Besides the option of using the console on the TV, the station offers a few other connections: On the outside, it has two USB 2.0 ports. On the inside, there is a USB 2.0, a USB-C and an HDMI port to connect the console to the TV for video and audio. The USB-C port is used for the power cable.

Operation and user interface

The user interface of the Nintendo Switch is the same for all modes. Users therefore do not have to learn to use the home game and handheld versions separately. Since it is also used for the console’s small screen, it remains very simple. The games are in the foreground as the largest display. Below that, other functions can be operated, such as the settings. It is also possible to see directly on the home screen how many friends are currently online. In addition, the Switch has very short loading times during operation.

 Home screen of the Switch on the TV

Anatomical features

The console is 18.2 centimetres wide, 10.2 centimetres high and 1.4 centimetres deep. That’s pretty impressive considering that all the technology is inside this tablet. The screen diameter is 6.2 inches. The console weighs 297 grams. Last but not least, it comes with a folding stand to set up the console for tabletop mode. With the Joy-Con connected, i.e. in handheld mode, about 3.6 centimetres are added to each side. In addition, the controller increases the weight to 398 grams.

Another important dimension is the size of the docking station. The station is 17.3 centimetres wide, 10.4 centimetres high and 5.4 centimetres deep and weighs 327 grams.

Our conclusion on the Nintendo Switch

Between the three home game console giants, the Nintendo Switch is undoubtedly the least powerful device. Those who want the most realistic games possible in 4K resolution at 120 frames per second should look to the competition. Nintendo, however, has never gone for realistic graphics. After all, the flagships of their game library are almost all colourful cartoon games.

 Switch in handheld mode with base

Over the past four years, one thing has become clear, both commercially and in the eyes of consumers: The Switch is a huge success. Nintendo has managed a smooth transition between home gaming and handheld console. Together with the tabletop mode, the console offers three devices in one, so to speak. In addition, the Switch has by far the most extensive game library with exclusive titles that legitimise the purchase of the console for many gamers. There are also numerous bundles and special offers. On the negative side, however, there is no backwards compatibility with the Wii U or the 3DS.

Pro points

  • Mobile use without a TV
  • Innovative, changeable, creative concept
  • Extensive games library
  • Inexpensive online service
  • Many bundles and other offers
  • Versatile controller
  • Straightforward user interface


  • No 4K or 120 frames per second possible
  • Not backwards compatible

So which console is the best?

When it comes to home gaming consoles, it doesn’t make much sense to talk about the best console. Of course, consoles can be compared on the basis of objective features such as technical specifications or price. However, the decision to buy almost always relates to individual preferences. Whether it is a certain loyalty to a manufacturer, the financial framework or the range of games, gamers often know before the new consoles appear which one they will reach for. Features such as performance also factor into the purchase decision, of course, but are often considered secondary.

Technical specificationsPS5 and PS5 Digital EditionXbox Series XXbox Series SNintendo Switch
Graphics processor10.3 TeraFLOPS12 TeraFLOPS4 TeraFLOPS256 GigaFLOPS
Resolution 4K and 8K4K and 8K1,440 Pixel1,080 Pixel
Frame rate120 frames per second120 frames per second120 frames per second60 frames per second
Memory16 gigabytes 16 gigabytes 10 gigabytes 4 gigabytes
Hard disk825 gigabytes 1 terabytes512 gigabytes 32 gigabytes
This table summarises and compares the technical specifications of the consoles.

Ideally, take a look at all the exclusive titles released for each console and make your decision based on these. All three consoles are high-quality products. If you are not convinced by the current game line-up, you can simply wait a little longer. After all, the consoles will be around for many years to come, and most games will initially be released for the old generations as well. At least this is the case for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. With the Nintendo Switch, the decision to buy is easier because numerous titles are already known.