Best Next-Gen Console on a Budget

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

E3 2014 has come and gone, and each console has shown a promising lineup of games for the coming year. If you were holding off from buying a new system, this holiday is gearing up to be the perfect time to invest. That gives you 3 to 4 months to start saving up, but which console should you buy if you’re strapped for cash? You want to make sure to get the most bang for your buck, which means games and features. Check out the breakdown in prices and value.

Barrier to entry

The first question you have to ask your wallet is how much money can you lay down upfront for a system? Microsoft recently decided to give consumers the option to purchase the Xbox One console separately from the Kinect. This change has allowed the console’s base price to shift from $499 to $399 to better compete with the PlayStation 4 (also $399.) However, both systems are beat out by the Wii U’s $299 price tag. While the Wii U does make some sacrifices in terms of graphics, Nintendo has made sure to announce plenty of first-party titles to complement the system.

Winner: Wii U

Why: There’s plenty of features that allow it to go beyond a game system, much like the PS4 and Xbox One, and allow it to be a great asset in the living room as an entertainment unit. Apps like Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Amazon Instant Video are available for all your streaming needs — especially since the Wii U can output 1080p HD video and comes bundled with an HDMI cord. Storage space is considerably less than its PS4 and Xbox One counterparts (8GB flash drive), but it can be supplemented with an SD card or external hard drive. Also, there’s a 32GB model that only costs $50 more.

While other high-end features like voice chat and live streaming aren’t there, this system offers enough of the basics for entertainment and gaming to be a great choice if upfront costs are a concern.