Nintendo Switch vs PS4 vs Xbox One: Game Console Comparison

Nintendo has finally revealed the Switch, with the console now going on general sale. As Nintendo attempts to recover from the disappointing performance of the Wii U, it will be monitoring the early success of the Switch very closely. The Nintendo Switch must now prove that it can perform against the established PS4 and Xbox One. If you're wondering which game console is right for you, here's how the Switch stacks up to the Xbox One and PS4.

Nintendo Switch vs PS4 vs Xbox One

Nintendo Switch vs PS4 vs Xbox One - Key Features

The Switch stands out from the Xbox One and PS4 with its ability to switch. You can place the tablet-esque console on a dock and use it through your TV, attach controllers to the sides of it and use it as a handheld system, or prop it up on your desk and use it with a wireless gamepad. The heart of the Switch lies in its Joy-Con controllers, which allow for motion controls, can be used sideways as mini-controllers and pack an "HD rumble" feature that mimics the feel of actual objects.

In contrast, the PS4 and Xbox One are traditional living room gaming consoles, though they're not without any distinguishing features. Both systems play Blu-rays, and the higher-end Xbox One S and PS4 Pro models can even stream 4K content. (The Xbox One S also supports 4K Blu-rays.) The Xbox One is the only backward-compatible console of the three, with support for over 300 Xbox 360 games.

Game Library

The Switch is shaping up to be a vessel for great Nintendo games, fun indie titles and wacky multiplayer experiences. The system's marquee launch game is the epic Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (which is already getting rave reviews) and upcoming titles such as Splatoon 2, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Super Mario Odyssey should round out the lineup nicely. Local multiplayer games such as 1-2 Switch, Super Bomberman R and Snipperclips will likely make the Switch a hit at parties, and the system already has a healthy lineup of promising indie games.

While the Switch will get a handful of third-party games including Minecraft, FIFA and Skyrim, this is a console designed for Nintendo titles first and foremost. Don't expect to play the latest Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed or Final Fantasy titles on this thing.

Nintendo Switch Gameplay

If that's a dealbreaker for you, go with the Xbox One or PS4. Both consoles support just about every major blockbuster franchise from Doom to Dark Souls, and are both home to a treasure trove of digital indie favorites including Inside and The Witness. They also have their fair share of compelling exclusives, including Uncharted 4 and Horizon: Zero Dawn on PS4 versus Xbox's Gears of War, Halo and Forza franchises.

It's extremely unlikely that the Switch will catch up to the sheer volume of the Xbox One and PS4's game libraries. But if you live and die by franchises such as Zelda and Mario, the Switch is the only place to play them.

Hardware and Specs

In terms of nuts and bolts, the Switch favors versatility over raw power. The system is powered by a custom Nvidia Tegra processor, which Nvidia says is "based on the same architecture as the world's top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards."

The Switch's 6.2-inch touch screen sports a 1280 x 720 resolution, though the system can output to full 1080p when docked to your TV. The console sports 32GB of onboard storage that you can expand with microSDXC cards, and it charges over USB Type-C. As for battery life, Nintendo says to expect 2.5 to 6 hours depending on what you're playing. The Switch will allow you to capture and share screenshots, with video support to follow.

PS4 and xBox One

The Xbox One and PS4 are capable of much higher graphics fidelity, both packing powerful AMD Radeon graphics cards and 8GB of RAM (the Switch reportedly has 4GB). Both systems start with 500GB of storage, which you can expand with external hard drives on Xbox One and internal ones on PS4.

The PS4 and Xbox One S offer High Dynamic Range for better color and brightness on supported TVs, and the PS4 Pro can even output games in 4K. Both consoles allow you to take screenshots, capture videos and broadcast live.

Nintendo Switch vs PS4 vs Xbox One - Availability

Both the Xbox One S and PS4, in both its new and PS4 Pro guises, are readily available. The Nintendo Switch is now on sale but stock is thin and you might have to wait to get your order shipped. Some report that it is only the neon red/blue version that is out of stock though.

Conclusion

It is clear to see that the Nintendo Switch is a very different games console to PS4 and Xbox One. In many ways, it could be seen as an ideal second machine for hardcore gamers. If anything, from what we've seen so far, it could be a Nintendo 3DS or PS Vita replacement as much as a home console alternative.

The motion gaming aspects could be a big draw too, especially if plenty of family-oriented games are made available. This is an area where Nintendo excelled with the Wii and it therefore offered something different to the Xbox 360 and PS3 of the time. The same could be true again. Check Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One comparison chart below.


Nintendo SwitchXbox OnePlayStation 4
CPU: Cores4*ARM Cortex A578*ADM Jaguar8*ADM Jaguar
CPU: Clock Speed1,020 MHZ1,750 MHZ1,600 MHZ
GPU: Cores256 Nvidia CUDA786 * AMD Shaders1152 * AMD Shaders
GPU: Docked Speed768 MHZ853 MHZ800 MHZ
GPU: Unlocked Speed307.2 MHZ853 MHZ800 MHZ
HDRNONOYES
Memory4 GB8 GB8 GB
Storage32 GB + Micro SD500 GB HDD500 GB HDD
Physical Game FormatGmae CardDiscDisc
USB Ports2*USB 2 + 1* USB 3.03* USB 3.02* USB 3.1
Audio PortsNoneOpticalOptical
Networking PortsNoneGigabit EthenetGigabit Ethenet
Price$299$249 (Xbox One S $299)$299 (PS4 Pro $399)
Special FeaturesPortable Mode, Joy-Con Motion ControllersBackwards compatibility,
4K streaming and Blu-ray Support(Xbox One S)
VR Support, 4K streaming (PS4 Pro)

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