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The original PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were released three years ago this November. They’ve just had their mid-cycle refresh. The PlayStation Slim PS4 Pro & PS4 Slim: Are They Worth the Money? PS4 Pro & PS4 Slim: Are They Worth the Money? Sony has announced their new PS4 Pro and PS4 Slim! But are either of them worth the money? Here are all the details you need to know! Read More and Xbox One S Xbox One S Gears of War 4 Limited Edition Review and Giveaway Xbox One S Gears of War 4 Limited Edition Review and Giveaway The big pitch behind the One S is support for 4K streaming and Blu-Ray, with HDR in games and movies. Can you tell the difference though, and is it worth the upgrade? Read More are thinner versions of the original consoles while the PlayStation Pro and the forthcoming Xbox One “Project Scorpio” have souped up hardware.

Consoles are popular for a good reason, but if you’ve been holding off on buying one, right now is the best time to do it. Let’s look at why.

1. Consoles Are the Simplest Way to Game

Consoles are, by far, the simplest way to play video games. I’d go so far as to say they’re the best way to play games, but I fear what PC gamers would say in the comments!

For a few hundred dollars, you can get a console system that’s capable of playing all the latest games. They are way cheaper than an equivalent PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One Are Cheaper Than PC for Gamers in 2017 PlayStation 4 and Xbox One Are Cheaper Than PC for Gamers in 2017 So you want to invest in a new gaming set-up, and you want to choose between a PC or a new console. Here's how your options compare! Read More  have a far less finicky control system Switching From Console To PC Gaming: 8 Big Differences Explained Switching From Console To PC Gaming: 8 Big Differences Explained PCs and consoles may be closer than ever -- after all, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are basically just gaming PCs -- but there are still huge differences. Read More , and plug straight into your TV with no hassle. Even Rachel Kaser, our Gaming editor and PC-lover, has realized that games consoles have a place How A PC Gamer Learned To Love the PS4 How A PC Gamer Learned To Love the PS4 When the time came for me to upgrade my gaming rig, a console was the most viable option. But could I make the transition from keyboard to controller? Let the comedy of errors begin. Read More .

The other big advantage is that publishers design and optimize their games for consoles. Game developers know what resources they’ve got on the PS4 and Xbox One and work with them. This does two things. First, they make games that consoles can handle; you can be rocking the most ridiculous custom PC rig, but, for the most part, you’re just playing console games with a slightly shinier lick of paint. Second, they’re good at getting every last CPU cycle out of the console — a game on a console looks way better than on a PC with similar specs.

But that all just explains why you should buy a console. Let’s consider why now is the perfect time.

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2. There’s a Great Back Catalog

When a new console system drops, there’s always a year or two where there’s only a small supply of good games. One or two of the launch titles will be great, and the first Christmas will bring some major third-party games, but there isn’t much depth there. Now, three years into this generation, there are more great games than you’ll ever get to.

For me, the landmark game was Uncharted 4: Thief’s End [CA]. That was the first game that I had to play and couldn’t do it on anything other than a PS4. Since then, games like Hitman [CA] and Dishonored 2 [CAhave also been released. Have a look through the back catalog, and you’re guaranteed to find enough games to satisfy all your needs.

3. With More Awesome Games on the Horizon

It takes a few years for developers to get a handle on each console generation. The best games always come towards the end of its life cycle. Just look at the difference between The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion released for the PS3 and Xbox in 2006 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim released for the same consoles in 2011.

Skyrim has much better graphics and AI on the same hardware. In the five years between the two games releases, the developers learnt how to get so much more from the systems.

Now, three years into this generation, we’re starting to see developers get to grip with the hardware they’ve got to play with. Over the next year or two, we’ll start to see the really awesome games get released — the classics that everyone remembers defining the generation. My pick for the first of them? Red Dead Redemption 2, which is out next fall.

4. 4K Is Here

Until this year, 4K TVs were pretty much a waste of money Why Buying A 4K TV Right Now Is A Waste Of Money Why Buying A 4K TV Right Now Is A Waste Of Money With an obvious price difference between the new generation of 4K TVs, and older Full HD models - do you really need 4K? We think not, and here's why. Read More . There just wasn’t enough content available to justify the extra expense. Now, there’s more 4K stuff to watch What Can You Actually Watch On a 4k TV? What Can You Actually Watch On a 4k TV? 4K TVs were definitely a hot gift this past Christmas—but what can you actually watch on one? Read More and the cost has come down. You can pick up a good 4K TV for less than $500.

LG Electronics 43UH6100 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2016 Model) LG Electronics 43UH6100 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2016 Model) Refresh Rate: 120Hz (Effective) Buy Now At Amazon Too low to display

While the launch systems didn’t, the PlayStation 4 Pro, Xbox One S, and, as of next year, Xbox One “Project Scorpio” all support 4K gaming Should You Buy an HDR 4K TV for Gaming? Should You Buy an HDR 4K TV for Gaming? With console compatibility with 4K & HDR becoming more common, should you buy an HDR 4K television for gaming yet? Here's an overview of how HDR 4K TVs currently work with gaming. Read More . Lots of games will look way better Here's a List of Games That Will Run Better on the PS4 Pro Here's a List of Games That Will Run Better on the PS4 Pro The PS4 Pro arrives this week and features support for 4K gaming. Here are the games you can play with enhanced graphics on the new console. Read More on your fancy new TV.

Even if you don’t have a 4K TV yet, the cost is only going to continue to drop. In a few more years, they’ll be as cheap as regular HDTVs are now. It makes sense to buy a console that’s going to stay relevant for the next few years.

5. And VR Is on the Way

4K isn’t the only big advance in gaming visuals. Virtual reality is almost here Virtual Reality Still Has 5 Big Problems to Overcome Virtual Reality Still Has 5 Big Problems to Overcome Despite all of the hype surrounding the recent surge in virtual reality products, there are many challenges that still need to be addressed before VR goes mainstream. Read More . Of the consoles, the PlayStation 4, with the $400 PlayStation VR headset, has the best VR support so far. It’s not as good as the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive vs. Playstation VR: Which Should You Buy? Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive vs. Playstation VR: Which Should You Buy? Virtual reality is right around the corner and there are three systems to choose from. Here's what you need to know to make an informed, smart decision. Read More running on a powerful PC, but it shows a lot of promise PlayStation VR Review and Massive Giveaway PlayStation VR Review and Massive Giveaway Sony has finally released their low-cost headset to the world, along with a slew of Playstation games that support the device. Is it worth it? Read More . It’s pretty safe to assume that part of the Xbox One “Project Scorpio” will be a heavy bet on VR as well.

Although VR gaming isn’t quite here yet, it is definitely coming soon. This generation of consoles is the first to support it properly. If you want to get into VR on the ground floor, now is the time to buy.

The Wii U Is Dead, Long Live… the Nintendo Switch?

Nintendo fans will have noticed that I haven’t mentioned the Wii U, or upcoming Nintendo Switch Nintendo Switch: What We Know and What We Don't Nintendo Switch: What We Know and What We Don't Nintendo has announced their latest console: The Switch! They've released some information, but not a lot. Here's what we know, and what Nintendo still has to tell us. Read More . Put simply, although Nintendo has released some great games 10 Must-Play Wii U Games in 2016 10 Must-Play Wii U Games in 2016 Want to see what games you can play on your Nintendo console this year? Here are ten Wii U console exclusives you can play in 2016. Read More there’s been almost no support from third-party developers. It was kind of dead on arrival How the Wii U's Failures Can Make Nintendo's NX a Success How the Wii U's Failures Can Make Nintendo's NX a Success Nintendo's next console, codenamed the NX, is going to be huge. Potentially. But every company has stumbles. If Nintendo has another one, could it be The End? Read More . Unless you really want to play Legend of Zelda and Mario games, the Wii U isn’t worth picking up.

The Nintendo Switch, which is due out next year, looks more interesting but I’m still skeptical. It doesn’t support 4K, isn’t likely to support VR, and Nintendo will need to do a lot to bring third-party developers back. We’ll cover it in detail when we know more.

Wrapping Up

If you’ve been considering buying a games console, right now is the time to do it. The updated PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One S are awesome and support 4K. The PS4 supports VR and the Xbox One will probably support it properly by next year. There’s a great back catalog and even more awesome games on the horizon.

Even better, with the holidays coming up, you can get great deals on games and consoles Black Friday & Cyber Monday: A Gamer’s Complete Guide Black Friday & Cyber Monday: A Gamer’s Complete Guide Gamers can get huge sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday! Here's everything you need to know to get the best deals on games, consoles, and PCs at the end of November! Read More . So what are you waiting for?

Have you bought a console recently? What made you buy it now? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credits: Indypendenz/Shutterstock

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