Console gamers across the world are rejoicing this week as both Microsoft and Sony are releasing brand new, next-generation consoles that they promise will take your gaming experience to the next level. Both offer increased processing power, more storage space, native 4K gaming and a slew of brand new games designed to make the most of the new consoles’ improved hardware. They also come with a price tag -- the companies’ top-end models, Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5, retail at $499.
With more people staying inside and going fewer places during the coronavirus pandemic, gaming has seen an uptick this year. The marketing research firm Nielsen reported in June that in the U.S., 46 percent of people surveyed say they’re gaming more due to the pandemic.
That same report showed a big uptick in viewing numbers of the streaming platform Twitch, where many gamers live stream themselves playing while interacting with people in their chat. And while some people who may never have thought about gaming as a hobby but want to try it out might be willing to spend half a grand on a new next-gen console this holiday season, there are also those out there who might want to get involved at a slightly lower price point.
The good news is, while you might think this limits you to games like Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, or other free-to-play mobile games, the reality is there are lots of ways to play some of the best, most beloved games out there and to do so without breaking the bank.
Today on AirTalk, we’ll use the release new gaming consoles as a springboard to enter the world of video games. Whether you’re game to pay or a new console or just want to hear some suggestions of popular video games that are available on your phone or tablet.
Jason Schreier, video games reporter for Bloomberg News, co-host of the “Triple Click Podcast” on video games and author of the forthcoming book “Press Reset: Ruin and Recovery in the Video Game Industry” (Hachette, May 2021); he tweets @jasonschreier