If you’re into gaming, choosing the right console is an important decision.

Let’s look at the Playstation 4, Xbox (and Xbox One X), and Wii U.

As per The Guardian, as far as the technology and hardware is concerned, “In terms of power consumption, Xbox One and PS4 have both been criticized for the amount of juice they get through, especially if you’re leaving them in standby mode, or using one of the sleep modes to allow seamless downloads of game updates. A report last year found that the Xbox One can use up to 253 kWh per year, with PS4 on 184 kWh per year. Although Sony’s machine consumes more power while gaming, Xbox One is more greedy in standby mode. Both companies say they are addressing power consumption in firmware updates. Wii U is much more power efficient, on 37 kWh/year.

All three machines have proved reliable so far, with Microsoft particularly determined to make up for the technical issues that plagued the Xbox 360, providing vastly improved cooling systems.

PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Sony and Microsoft’s machines are essentially moderately powerful desktop computers with very similar technical specifications – the only real difference being the type of RAM, or memory, they use, and the rendering power of the graphics processors (PS4 has more teraflops). For a while, developers were getting better performance out of the PlayStation 4 and many still think it has the superior architecture, though Xbox One titles are catching up. The important thing is that both machines are considered to be around 8-10 times more powerful than the PS3 and Xbox 360. You can expect to get true high definition (1080p) performance out of most games – and, on a big full-HD display, titles like The Witcher 3 and Metal Gear Solid V look gorgeous.

Wii U

Nintendo never competes on technology, so Wii U is much less powerful than the other consoles and games don’t look quite as beautiful as their Xbox One and PS4 counterparts. However, if you’re buying this thing, you aren’t getting it for flashy multi-platform titles like FIFA, you’re getting it for exclusive Nintendo games, which have a visual charm of their own – and many run in full 1080p HD.

Both PS4 and Xbox One come with chat headsets so you can talk to friends online, and both have features that let you record and share video online, either streaming live or uploading to YouTube (though it takes time to figure out). All have wireless controllers.

PlayStation 4

The DualShock 4 controller offers an innovative touchpad (which hardly any developers use, apart from as an extra button), as well as the usual analogue sticks, six-axis motion controls (again, hardly used), shoulder buttons and all that. There’s also a share button for uploading videos and screenshots of your gaming, a headphone socket and a built-in speaker which allows certain game noises to pop out at you unexpectedly. It’s comfortable and familiar to PlayStation veterans.

A PlayStation Camera is available separately, offering voice control, facial recognition and picture-in-picture video footage of yourself if you like streaming games. The camera will also be an essential component in Sony’s virtual reality plans. Its PlayStation VR headset (previously known as Project Morpheus) is due out next year.

Wii U

The biggest unique selling point of the Wii U is its GamePad, essentially a sort of tablet computer, with its own touchscreen display and joypad controls. This allows you to continue playing your games even if someone else is hogging the TV. It is also used by certain titles as an extra display, perhaps showing a game map or inventory.

Xbox One

The machine used to come with a new version of its Kinect motion tracking camera as standard, but it was expensive, games didn’t use it much and everyone was fed up with it, so now Microsoft has largely ditched it – you can still buy it if you want to use facial recognition and voice commands to control your console though. The controller is a refined version of the familiar Xbox pad. It’s chunkier than the PS4 equivalent, but has super comfortable analogue sticks and really accurate rumble effects so you get excellent tactile feedback.”

As you can see, the Wii U technology is a little bit less powerful. This means it gets left out of some of the largest AAA titles that are available on other consoles, but it does have a big selling point in terms of its unique hardware. Its gamepad works almost like a tablet computer with a series of joypad controls and, as such, one has the ability to play games without needing a TV — games such as Super Smash Bros, Mario Tennis, The Legend of Zelda, Mario KartMario Party, Rayman Legends, Resident Evil: Revelations, and more. If you’re a fan of nostalgia, it’s easy to see why this would be a top pick.

As far as the PS4 and XBox is concerned, TechRadar writes, “It’s also worth noting that the next generation of consoles – the Xbox Scarlett and PS5 – could be with us as early as 2020. Right now, there are two separate versions of the PS4, the standard slim version that’s capable of HDR playback and is slightly cheaper and the more expensive 4K-capable PS4 Pro. On the other side of the fence is the Xbox One, now available in the 4K HDR-ready Xbox One S and the ultra-powerful Xbox One X that not only does 4K HDR native gameplay but, in some cases, plays games at 60 frames per second. What that means is if you already own a 4K HDR TV, you should probably opt for a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X to really get the highest visual fidelity from your console. But if you’re gaming on a 1080p TV, an Xbox One S or PS4 Slim make more sense.

Both the PS4 and PS4 Pro have a distinct advantage with faster 8GB GDDR5 memory, while both the original Xbox One and the Xbox One S went with the slower bandwidth of the 8GB DDR3 variety. But, wait, there’s more to it. Neither system allocates all of that RAM to game developers – some is reserved to run their operating systems. PS4 reserves up to 3.5GB for its operating system, leaving developers with 4.5GB, according to documentation. They can sometimes access an extra 1GB of “flexible” memory when it’s available, but that’s not guaranteed. Xbox One’s “guaranteed memory” amounts to a slightly higher 5GB for developers, as Microsoft’s multi-layered operating system takes up a steady 3GB. It eeks out a 0.5GB win with more developer-accessible memory than PS4, unless you factor in Sony’s 1GB of “flexible” memory at times. Then it’s 0.5GB less. Then, you get to the Xbox One X, which blows away the other consoles by offering a drastically higher 12GB of RAM, which means that game developers have access to a whopping 9GB of RAM for games, which is necessary when playing in native 4K.”

If you’re still on the fence, read this, this, and this.

There you have it. Good luck with your decision.

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