It’s hard to draw distinct lines in gaming history, but it certainly feels like we’ve entered a sort of prestigious era. Every new device or console feels exciting upon release, but right now it truly feels as if the top-of-the-line products are facilitating a special, decidedly modern gaming experience. This is likely to be emphasized during the current holiday season, as gaming devices could wind up making for more popular gifts than they have in years.
Because of all this, now seems as good a time as any to delve into the truly essential gaming devices any serious gamer should have as we head into 2019.
1. PlayStation 4 Pro
One could certainly nitpick between the top two gaming consoles on the market: the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One S. Both are incredibly capable, and at this point can deliver shockingly big and beautiful games, sometimes with a 4K display (depending on the game). These are quite simply the most robust and impressive gaming machines ever invented, and really, either one makes for an incredible console moving forward. We’re giving the nod to PlayStation primarily because you get a few more exclusive games through the Sony device. Just recently, a Spider-Man game was dubbed a spectacular PS4 exclusive, and when you think about it, this is a pretty major title to be available only on one console. For this reason alone, it may have a slight edge over Xbox.
2. Nintendo Switch
Over the years Nintendo has become almost like the little brother of major consoles. Really, ever since the GameCube, Nintendo has been on a slightly lower level than Xbox and PlayStation. Rather than simply attempting to catch up however, Nintendo has pursued its own avenue, and has succeeded in carving out a particular place in console gaming. The Nintendo Switch is a unique console in that it can be taken portable, but it’s also unique in that it has access to the countless excellent Nintendo-exclusive games. Case in point, a new Super Smash Bros. is due out this season, and brand new Pokémon games just recently hit shelves.
3. Dell XPS 13
There are other laptops better known for gaming, but the Dell XPS 13 stands out because it’s a powerful laptop in general that also happens to work well for gaming. This matters in part because so many good gaming experiences can still be found via browser. Old arcade sites still host many of the best games that have become popular on mobile platforms, and there are now gaming sites available in New Jersey and elsewhere that gambling is legal that showcase the world’s best in digital casino gaming. The Dell XPS 13 helps all of these games to run smoothly and look beautiful, while the machine also works beautifully with larger games such as the kind you might download via Steam (and some of which are exclusive to Windows devices like this one).
4. iPhone Xs Max
There seems to be a tendency or temptation at some gaming sites to list other phones ahead of the iPhone where gaming prowess is concerned. It’s true that a few phones are specifically built for gaming. Some are meant to fit with special controllers, and some devote disproportional resources to front-facing speakers so that games can be heard particularly well. Even so, the iPhone Xs Max now blows just about every other smartphone out of the water from a visual standpoint, as well as in terms of touch response. It’s an incredibly powerful and beautiful phone with an expansive and flawless display, and therefore the best on the market for mobile games.
5. Oculus Go
To date, the most powerful virtual reality gaming devices have needed to be set up alongside either gaming consoles or very strong PCs in order to work properly. Recognizing that this is both expensive and impractical however, Oculus has released a “Go” model that works independently. Said one review back in May, it’s positioned to be the first true consumer-focused VR system, which is not insignificant. While some of the other headsets that work with consoles and PCs are still arguably more impressive, the Oculus Go is powerful and effective, and represents the future of VR.