Ever since Atari unveiled its simple table-tennis game, Pong, in the 1970s, video gaming has become a staple of contemporary leisure life. From action thrillers to world-building and role-playing, there are seemingly unlimited ways to enter the modern matrix. Among this ever-expanding landscape of game choices, one thing that hasn’t changed is the need for some sort of interface to engage with digital characters and their environment. From VR headsets to motion sensors, the ways to play are as variable as the games themselves, and one of the most common is still the traditional console featuring some array of buttons, toggles, or joy sticks. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a device.

Wireless systems allow you to download whatever you want to play. Microsoft

Most consoles feature proprietary games that may not be compatible with other brands, so it’s important to know the array of available titles and their general categories. Do you primarily enjoy sports competitions and action games, or simulators and puzzlers? Is the console you are considering compatible with older versions of favorite games? Is it disc-operated or fully digital? What games come with the console, and how much are add-ons? Thoroughly compare and contrast brand offerings before committing to a given platform.

This setup projects lifelike graphics. Playstation

All major manufacturers offer both solo play as well as online communities. Most likely, you will need some sort of subscription service for online features like remote multi-user competition and downloadable titles. Think carefully about the games and the connectivity that each brand supports. Also, be sure to find out what system your friends are on so that you can play in their world!

These days, it’s entirely possible to take your gaming with you wherever you go. Nintendo

Video consoles are not just for gaming anymore. Many of today’s consoles allow users to surf the web, watch TV or movies, follow fitness routines, and more. If gaming is not the only activity you are seeking, check out the unit’s other functions, which may range from streaming online content to wireless calling and voice-activated commands.