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Christmas 2015 Gift Guide: Games consoles

We bring you a quick look at the games consoles to consider buying for Christmas this year.

Xbox and PlayStation

There’s less than three weeks to go until Christmas Day so we imagine you’re already thinking of what gifts to buy for family and friends.

If you’re stuck for Christmas gift ideas for a gaming fan this year then you might want to consider treating them to a new games console.

We’ve put together this list of the various consoles that you should be considering. Stay tuned to EF for games gift guides for each of the systems below.

Microsoft Xbox One

Xbox One

Credit: Microsoft

The Xbox One is our top console recommendation for Christmas this year. The console comes in 500GB and 1TB editions and more storage can be added thanks to support for external storage. The Xbox One has a very strong line-up of exclusive titles that you can’t get anywhere else. Just last month the Xbox One was given a dashboard refresh and the addition of free backwards compatibility allows gamers to play a growing library of their Xbox 360 games. If you’re upgrading from an Xbox 360 then the Xbox One is probably the best choice.

Expect to pay under £300 for the 500GB console with a couple of bundled games. Most console bundles now come without the Kinect 2.0 camera but this can be picked up for under £50 if you shop around. The games cost around £20-£45 and there are plenty of cheaper digital games too. To make the most out of the console we suggest picking up a yearly subscription to Xbox Live Gold which can be bought online for around £20 and this will give you new games each month for free. Additional controllers will set you back around £40 each.

For more information on bundles check out the Microsoft Store or GAME. There are also plenty of deals to be had at other retailers.

Sony PlayStation 4

PS4

Credit: Sony

The Sony PlayStation 4 is the best selling console of this generation. This year has seen Sony constantly roll out plenty of new improvements to the PS4. The console has its share of exclusive titles and many cross-platform titles also feature exclusive content. The Remote Play feature that allows you to stream games to a PS Vita remains a favourite feature. There’s no backwards compatibility with PS3 games but Sony is looking doing so for PS2 titles. The PlayStation Now service allows you to stream PS3 games from the Internet at a cost.

It’s had a price cut since last year so expect to pay a shade under £300 this year for the 500GB console bundled with a couple of games. However games take up a lot of space so it’s well worth considering the new 1TB PS4 which has double the space. The games themselves still cost £20-£50 each but there is a growing selection of cheaper digital titles too. It’s well worth checking out the excellent PlayStation Plus subscription service which gives free games monthly for around £40 a year. The optional camera will set you back £40 with additional controllers around £45 each.

For more information on bundles check out GAME or Amazon UK. There are also plenty of deals to be had at other retailers.

Nintendo Wii U

Wii U

Credit: Nintendo

The Nintendo Wii U has struggled to take off this generation but still remains a good choice for families and younger gamers. A great feature of the Wii U Gamepad controller is that it lets you play without needing to takeover the TV. It’s also fully backwards compatible with the Nintendo Wii allowing you to keep your Wii game library. The basic Wii U model starts at around £170 with the 32GB Premium Pack coming in around £240 with a game. Expect to pay between £20-£40 for the games.

Microsoft Xbox 360

New Xbox 360

Credit: Microsoft

The Xbox 360 was the top console of the previous generation and is expected to be around for a couple more years yet. However there is definitely a shift of the big games to the Xbox One and PS4. If you’re on a tighter budget or buying a first console then it’s still a fantastic choice. The 360 has a huge library of awesome games available for all ages. More and more 360 games are becoming compatible with Xbox One allowing you to upgrade later and keep your library.

New titles tend to be a bit cheaper than on Xbox One and PS4 and there are plenty of cheap older games to be had for as little as £5. Preowned games can be even cheaper at just a couple of pounds each. Expect an Xbox 360 console to set you back around £180-£250 depending on which model you pick. We’d recommend going for the 250GB or 500GB hard drive version over the 4GB one as they give far more space.

Sony PlayStation 3

PS3

Credit: Sony

The PlayStation 3 is another good choice for a first console and should be good for a couple more years. It’s far cheaper than the PlayStation 4 and there’s an enormous library of games on offer to suit gamers of all ages. You can grab the 12GB version for around £175 and there are plenty of bundles to choose from.

Look out for our other gaming Christmas Gift Guides for suggestions of titles to buy this year.

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