We’re at a midway point in the lifecycle of the current console generation, and that means we’re getting some new, slimmer, and upgraded versions of our favourite systems, while also being treated to some fancy-pants new tech; and with Christmas rolling around shortly, it’s the perfect time to tell your loved ones about these sexy gadgets. Being a gamer isn’t cheap, ya’ know!
Xbox One S
The Xbox One S will touch down in South Africa in Q1 2017, just in time for you to get your pre-order in for Christmas. But what exactly does the Xbox One S offer? To be blunt, existing Xbox One owners won’t need to upgrade unless they’re desperate to own an Ultra 4K HD blu-ray player, or really want that tiny boost in the power the Xbox One S provides. But the most most striking and attractive aspect to the Xbox One S is its design. Microsoft has done a superb job of repackaging the Xbox One into a far more compact and attractive chassis that is nearly 40% smaller than the standard version, and has the power brick built-in, rather than the bulky add-on with the original.
Microsoft hasn’t announced the local pricing of the Xbox One S just yet, but based on the US listing ($399), we’re expecting it to come in at around R5,700.
Since the days of bad, mid-90s envisions of the future, we’ve been craving real, working virtual reality. Finally, it’s arriving. Playstation’s VR headset is a very capable and comparatively affordable headset that has the arduous task of completely immersing you in a video game by producing two images simultaneously and then sending them to a headset a few feet away. But unlike the competition who require expensive graphics cards to get the job done, PS VR can do it using only the Playstation 4’s built-in GPU. Playstation’s VR headset will launch in January 2017 for R6,499.99 alongside a bunch of VR-specific games; a PS VR bundle that includes a camera will retail for R7,299.99.
If you don’t already own the PlayStation Camera or Move Motion Controllers, the Launch Day bundle is the better bet here – especially considering that you’ll get one of the new games, PlayStation VR Worlds, for free.
Formerly codenamed PlayStation Neo, Sony ‘s PlayStation 4 Pro, which will launch in November R6,999, is an exciting prospect for those who have been sitting on the fence about getting a gaming console. The PS4 Pro will complement the standard PS4, rather than replace it. The name was picked to show that it is part of the current version of the console, but aimed at the higher-end gamers. It is not an entirely new architecture and thus not a new generation of PlayStation hardware.
Among the hardware upgrades in the PS4 Pro are a 1TB hard drive, doubled GPU power, and technology adapted from AMD Polaris graphical architecture. These allow the PS4 Pro to reach resolutions “not thought possible on consoles” in 2016. The CPU clockspeed has also been boosted. The Pro will not have a 4K Blu-ray drive.
NES Classic console
If you’re desperate for some cross-legged action this holiday, Nintendo are tickling our nostalgia bones with the NES Classic, a miniaturised version of the groundbreaking NES, originally released in 1985. Of course, the redesigned throwback does have some new-world charm – most notably that of HDMI and 30 pre-loaded games. So, just plug the NES Classic Edition into your TV, pick up that gray controller, and rediscover the heart-breaking joy of how difficult some of those darn games actually were.
The NES Classic console is available now and priced at R999.
What gaming hardware will be on your Christmas list this year? Let us know by tweeting @MenStuffZA and commenting below.