8 Best Social Media Alternatives to Facebook and Twitter

Social media was already a thing (remember Myspace?) before mainstream juggernauts like Facebook and Twitter took over the industry. These days it can feel like you can either use these services or nothing else. However, there are many competing sites that might offer more of what you want or, at least, less of what you don’t want. 

Regardless of what your specific complaints are when it comes to the social media market leaders, you always have a social media alternative to turn to.

Mastodon

Mastodon is an Open Source, decentralized alternative to the Twitter microblogging service. It looks and works a lot like Twitter, so current Twitter users shouldn’t have too hard a time adjusting. Instead of Tweets, you send “toots” which can be up to 500 characters in length.

Under the hood however, Mastodon works very differently from Twitter. Instead of being a traditional hosted web service, Mastodon is spread out over a “federated” network. 

Different Mastodon instances are home to different types of content or different communities. Each has its own rules and policies, but they work together and share data with no issue. Instances can block each other or specific content from other instances, but users can interact with each other across instances without any issues. 

Its federated network design makes it hard if not impossible to shut Mastodon down and so it’s become a home for a diverse and often fringe set of subcultures.

Diaspora*

Major social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are businesses aimed at making profit. Which is one of the reasons they use collected user data to offer more effective advertising to other businesses.

Diaspora* is a non-profit social media platform that’s owned and operated by users. The system is broken up into “pods” that are independently run and owned. Much like Mastodon’s instances, these pods are networked together. Even the initial development of Diaspora* came from crowd-sourcing.

By its very design, Diaspora* can’t be monetized or used to sell advertising. There’s no incentive to collect personal information at all, not to mention that it’s extremely resistant  to attempts to shut it down. The entire system is built around the principles of  decentralization, freedom and privacy. Something that’s built into the DNA of Mastodon’s code.

Ello

Ello started out as a straightforward alternative to Facebook. The main difference was largely that Ello is ad-free and therefore would not collect or sell user information to advertisers. Since then, it’s become a little less like Facebook and more like visually-focused sites such as Pinterest, Deviant Art or Instagram.

Ello has been embraced by artists to such an extent that the site now bills itself as “The Creators Network”. You’ll find a large collection of top artists showcasing their work, as well as many opportunities for up and coming artists to engage with briefs and show off their portfolios.

Ello is notable for its no-ads policy and no enforcement of real names. User data isn’t sold to third-parties either. Which makes it a compelling alternative to the Facebook-owned Instagram, with some aspects of Facebook thrown in for good measure.

The Dots

The Dots is actually more of an alternative to the likes of LinkedIn, but plenty of people use platforms like Facebook or Twitter to build a less formal professional network, so The Dots is still something we need to include in the conversation.

The “professional network for people who don’t wear suits” is pretty much the best description of The Dots you could have. Their copywriter has certainly earned a bonus! 

The Dots plays host to professional people from some of the hottest startups as well as big established brands. It’s a place where companies go to hire talent, but it’s also a good place to find other people who can help you, give advice or even collaborate on projects. It’s easy to set up a detailed profile so that people can see who you’ve worked with, what you’ve done and what sort of work you’re looking to do.

NextDoor

Many people who use Facebook are only really looking to connect to people who are close by, such as those who live in the same neighbourhood. It’s why people set up private Facebook groups for their homeowners associations and schools.

If that’s your primary reason for using social media, you may want to consider NextDoor. This is a social media platform designed specifically to let people who live in the same neighborhood communicate socially without being exposed to a larger social group.You’ll also get access to local resources, such as businesses in your area and nonprofit organizations and programs.

NextDoor requires that every user verify their name and address, but that information isn’t shared with anyone. That ensures the people you get to interact with are really a part of the local community. So you’ll know about events and problems in your own neighbourhood without having to worry about random strangers butting in.

Minds

Referred to as the “anti-Facebook” by Wired magazine, Minds has a unique business model where you can actually earn either tokens or real money for your activity on the site.

It’s a mix of different social media elements. You can publish blog posts, videos, pictures and statuses. There are feeds of trending topics and it has secure group chat as well.

If you create content, you can get paid in US Dollars and cryptocurrency by your fans. So it’s almost a mix of Facebook and the various platforms such as YouTube and Patreon.

Minds uses completely open source code, which means that you can look through their algorithms to know exactly how they work. Their content policy is very open and makes uses of a community jury to determine if something is unsuitable. It’s a platform with strong free speech underpinnings, so be prepared for robust opinions, depending on where you venture.

Signal & Telegram

We’ve grouped these two social media alternatives together because they are both alternatives to Facebook Messenger and similar apps like Whatsapp, which is owned by Facebook.

Both Signal and Telegram offer a more privacy-focused service. Although all of these services make use of encryption to protect your messages from prying eyes, Signal and Telegram go the extra mile.

Of the two, Signal is the most strict in terms of privacy. It takes a hard line against storing metadata on its servers and it doesn’t store or share information such as when you were last active. Signal also stores no info about its users at all, but of course that does mean it ends up being a little less convenient to use than Telegram.

We actually recommend that people use both Telegram and Signal. Telegram is great as a more private general-purpose messenger app with fun social features, while Signal is perfect for when you need to communicate with the highest level of privacy and security.

Social Media on Your Own Terms

Different social media platforms have different ways of conducting their business. They have their own policies, outlooks and company structures. Some want to make a profit, others want to build communities. There’s nothing inherently good or bad about any of these choices, but what’s important that you have choices. 

It’s never great for any one service or product to have a total monopoly and these social media alternatives let you decide about which sacrifices you’d like to make.

5 Best Video Converters for Android

When you have applications such as VLC player or sites such as YouTube that can essentially handle any video format, do you really need a converter for your Android device?

In most cases you probably don’t, but when you encounter a video that won’t play on your player of choice or you want to shrink the size of a video before sending it to someone, they can be incredibly useful. 

Besides, modern Android phones are so powerful they can crunch through video conversation jobs with relative ease. We selected five video converters for Android and put them through their paces. 

1. VidSoftLab Video Converter

This video converter is more than just an app to convert video formats. VidSoftlab has packed their software with features. There are several tools to choose from, but they have managed to make the interface easy to navigate. Although we aren’t crazy about the cutesy design language.

Apart from being a video converter, it also has trimming, compression and merging functions along with the basic video editing options. The process of converting our sample video to a new format was snappy.

The big problem is the invasive advertising in the free version. Every time you try to complete an action, you have to see an advert. Before each individual video conversion you have to sit through a lengthy video as well. 

The Pro version of the app ditches adverts and gives you more functions. It gives you access to batch conversion. So while we can heartily recommend the paid version, the ad-supported version is only for the odd once-off conversion or someone who can bear the ads.

Rating: 3/5

2. InverseAI Video Converter

Like the VidSoftLab app, Inverse AI has created a product that does more than just convert file formats. It has a trimmer, compressor and offers the choice to only extract audio. In case you want to make a ringtone, for example.

There’s also a dedicated audio cutter, so if you only want to trim an audio file you can. Most of the mainstream formats are supported as well as a few which are a little less common.

We’re also not too bummed out by the level of advertising in the free version of the app. It’s also got most of the features you want in the free version of the software. If you do want to pay, there are various options. You can choose to only remove ads for a monthly or once-off fee. For a higher price, you can also unlock more features such as additional formats, including the latest HEVC video format. You’ll also gain unlimited batch conversion queue length.

Which brings us to the video conversion experience itself. Good news! You can batch convert using the free version of the app! That immediately moves this app to the top of the list when it comes to free video converters for Android. Both the speed and quality of the conversion was more than satisfactory. InverseAI has done an excellent job here.

Rating: 5/5

3. Antvplayer Media Converter

The word “barebones” comes to mind when first encountering the interface of Media Converter. This is an app that takes you back to the early days of working with an Android phone. It’s a thin interface painted over the conversion engine that’s sure to be off-putting for many users who are used to more modern interface design.

If you give it a chance however, you’ll find a lean and rather powerful video converter application. Although it does contain advertising, it’s easy to ignore. There are no features hidden behind a paywall either.

Using additional options such as trimming the clip or cropping it isn’t as easy as it should be. While the options to crop, rotate, change resolution or trim are easy to set, there’s no preview. So you’re making these changes blindly. If there is a way to see a preview of the changes you’ve made, then we couldn’t find it.

As for the conversion itself, it worked just fine. The quality was great and the video worked as intended. So if you just want to convert videos and not modify them, this is a fantastic free option.

Rating: 3/5

4. Audio Video Factory

After experiencing the stark austerity of Media Converter, Audio Video Factory feels like the furthest thing from that raw, minimal design. It’s colorful, clear and makes it perfectly obvious what you need to do from the second you open the application.

When you hit the big “+” button to start your conversion process, you can choose from videos in your library or from the SD card. You can also add audio files, since this acts as an audio converter as well.

As with the other better video converters for Android, you can do batch conversions without having to pay. We converted three video clips with no fuss at all.

Setting the desired output settings was a doddle and there are options to crop and trim right in the conversion menu. Yes, unlike Media Converter, AV Factory does offer previews for cropping and trimming. So you can see exactly what you’re doing.

The ad-support isn’t bad at all. Before initializing our batch conversion, we had to watch one short full-screen advert. Other than that, the advertising is pretty light. 

Rating: 4/5

5. KKapps Video Converter

The last app on this list came as quite a surprise. KKapps have managed to create a video conversion app that strikes the perfect balance between simplicity and functionality. The first screen you see straightaway offers you two options. Either choose “new videos to convert” or look at the conversions you’ve already done.

Picking a video is easy, especially since there are three useful basic categories of video to filter your choices. Once you’ve chosen the video you want to convert, it’s an on-rails guided process to get to the conversion itself.

The biggest drawback with this application is that it won’t allow you to select more than one video at a time. So batch conversion isn’t an option. It is however perfectly suited to people who simply want to convert one video in the fastest, most straightforward way possible. Within that niche, it’s a 5-star application. As a general-purpose converter, on the other hand,it’s more in the middle of the pack.

Our sample video conversions were all fine. No obvious quality issues were apparent and we didn’t have to deal with too many adverts to get the job done.

Rating: 3/5

Video Converters for Android Are Handy  

While we think that mobile phone video conversion is a pretty niche app category, it’s good to know that there are so many quality choices for those who need it. Even if you don’t have a regular need to change video formats or otherwise tweak your clips before sending them on, it’s worth keeping at least one of these apps installed. You never know!

How to See Who Unfollowed You on Instagram

Instagram is possibly the hottest social media platform for influencers and would-be influencers. It’s a visually-focused platform that attracts the coolest cats around. If that sounds like you, then you’re probably keenly interested in your follower count. 

Unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t offer a way for you to check who has unfollowed you or even if you’ve been unfollowed. This is standard practice for social media platforms. For example, Twitter won’t tell you when followers leave or block you.

If you suspect that someone who was following you before no longer is, or want to know who unfollows you on Instagram in real time, here’s how to do it.

Manually See Who Unfollowed You on Instagram

While Instagram won’t notify you when someone unfollows you, it’s still possible to check whether someone is currently following you as long as you know their name.

The first method is to simply go to the account page of the person you think has unfollowed you. On Twitter, you would see a piece of text telling you that the person follows you, but not on Instagram. Instead, you’ll have to select “Following” on that person’s page and look for your own name.

Your other option is to go to your own profile page and select your list of followers. Here you can search for people by name. If the person in question’s name doesn’t come up among your followers, that means they don’t follow you.

If you want a complete list of followers and unfollowers, the only way to do it is by using a third-party application. Before you jump in and sign up with one, however, you should know what you’re getting into.

Be Careful of Third-Party Apps

Almost every social media platform offers some sort of interface for third-party applications to help you manage your account. Most of the time this is perfectly fine. After all, it’s not in the interest of the third-party service to harm their customers.

However, giving a third party control over your Instagram account always has some level of risk involved. Read their policies carefully and think twice about the permissions you are required to hand over.

If you’re serious about your Instagram account and want to go professional, consider opting for a paid Instagram follower service. 

Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular and highly-rated Instagram follower apps. 

Followers and Unfollowers

Followers & Unfollowers has nearly 200,000 downloads on Android alone and a 4-star rating. Clearly, the developers are doing something that users like.

The feature set of Followers & Unfollowers is almost exactly what you want from this type of application. It gives you insights into your relationships with other users and lets you quickly use those insights to adjust your own following habits.

You can see at a glance who you’re following but who isn’t following you back. If you want to cultivate mutual relationships, you can unfollow those users in turn.

Another useful feature lets you see exactly who has unfollowed you recently. If you want to know who has unfollowed you by name, that’s the one to use.

Unfollowers 4 Instagram

Another popular application, Unfollowers 4 Instagram, continues the tradition of unimaginative names. However, in terms of doing it’s advertised job, thousands of users seem happy with the software.

The main feature of the application is to show you which of the users you follow aren’t following you back. However, it can also show you recent unfollowers. You can see a list of accounts that follow you, but you don’t follow back as well.

One of the coolest features is that the app supports two different Instagram accounts at the same time. You can also easily follow or unfollow anyone from within the app using the list, which makes follower management a doddle.

Follower Analyzer for Instagram

This app has a ton of users and is actively maintained by its developer. While it will show you who has unfollowed you or what your mutual following relationship is with various users, this app does a few more interesting things as well.

One really cool function will show you a list of people who either always or never like or comment on your post. That’s one way to find ghosts, bots and lurkers.

If you’re an Instagram Maven with many different accounts, you can also log in as multiple users at once. We also have to know that Follower Analyzer has one of the best designed interfaces for this class of app. Many of its competitors look a little cheap, even if they work just fine. Here it both works like a charm and is easy on the eyes.

Unfollowers for Instagram +

We were surprised to find that there are hardly any good Instagram unfollower tracking applications available for iOS. Yes, despite spending an afternoon looking for a good one, we only feel that Unfollowers for Instagram + is worth your time.

While not as good as some of the better apps on Android, this app is one that any iPhone or iPad user should consider. It looks a little old-fashioned, but it’s being actively maintained and the lite version of the app is free to use. If you find that it does work well for you, there’s an in-app purchase to unlock the fully-featured version of the software.

With this iOS app you can of course track people who have recently unfollowed you. You can also see new followers, see non-mutual users and generally get good insight into what your follower population is up to.

Paying the $4.99 a month removes all advertising, offers additional lists, shows you who has blocked you and lets you follow/unfollow directly from within the app. Yes, the free version of the app requires that you go to Instagram itself to actually follow or unfollow someone. Not a big deal if you have a small account, but big accounts will want to pay.

It’s Not a Big Deal

While it can feel like a personal insult when someone unfollows you on social media, it’s important not to jump to conclusions. There are many reasons why someone might unfollow you on Instagram and not all of them have anything to do with you personally.

Even if someone has unfollowed you because of something you’ve done, so what? Are you staying true to your brand? Are you getting a net increase in followers instead of losing them? Then the loss of followers in general is no big deal.

If you’re concerned about specific individuals no longer following you, well what can you really do with that information? If it’s someone important to you and the unfollowing is upsetting, the only real choice you have is to ask them about it or ignore it.

Each person has their own style of conduct on social media, so we’re not going to tell you what to do. If policing specific people who choose to unfollow you is valuable information to you, then that’s your choice. It’s just worth keeping some perspective, since social media has a tendency to make us take it more seriously than it deserves.

Using a PC Gaming Monitor on a Console: Pros and Cons

Modern gaming consoles have standard HDMI ports on the back. Modern computer monitors also have the same ports. So what’s stopping you from hooking up your console to a computer monitor instead of a TV? 

The answer is “nothing”, but choosing a computer monitor does involve a few sacrifices you should be aware of. We’ll look at the pros and cons of each option to help you pick the console gaming monitor that’s right for you.

What’s the Difference Between a Monitor and a TV?

Fundamentally there’s no difference between an LCD computer monitor and TV. OLED TVs are their own thing, but OLED computer monitors do exist, although they are rare.If you plug your console into either, you’ll get a picture. Job done, right? Not quite.

TVs are built for a different purpose than monitors. They don’t focus on the same image quality aspects as a computer monitor does. The most important difference is that modern televisions tend to do quite a lot of image post-processing.

This means that the hardware inside the TV looks at the incoming image signal and tries to enhance it. Often to make up for poor native panel performance. However, any processing takes up time. This creates time lag (latency) between the point the signal arrives at the TV’s input and its display on screen.

This doesn’t matter at all when it comes to watching Netflix or a BluRay movie. Since you passively consume it. Video games are different, you send commands via a controller and the game world responds on-screen. Any delay between those two things happening can seriously affect gameplay. Making the game feel sluggish and unresponsive.

To combat this, most modern TVs have some sort of PC or game mode, which strips away post-processing in order to reduce lag. Of course, without that processing the image doesn’t look as nice!

In the end, there are so many TV and monitor models and so much overlap in their features and technology, that it’s hard to make a universal comparison. However, you should know that monitors are not just small TVs. They really are different.

The Advantages of Using a TV With Your Console

Using a TV as a console gaming monitor comes with a whole host of advantages. First of all, this is what the console manufacturer wants you to do. The latest consoles do take monitors into account as well, but they are mainly designed for TV use. So why would you use a TV with your console? Here’s our main list of reasons:

  • TVs have larger screens.
  • All TVs have built-in sound.
  • Offer an effortless plug-and-play solution.
  • Gaming from the couch in the living room is more comfortable.
  • High-end TVs such as OLEDs are unmatched for gaming experience.
  • You probably already have a TV, so it represents no additional cost.

Big is beautiful! If you’re lucky enough to have one of the latest OLED or high-end LCD 4K TV sets it can make your gaming experience something else. Even if you’re a lifelong PC gamer you can hook up your PC to that big old TV and benefit from the immersion. Sometimes, quantity has a quality all its own.

The Disadvantages of Using a TV With Your Console

Going the traditional route and using a TV as a console gaming monitor does have some drawbacks. Although most people will probably be just fine with a TV setup alongside their console, here are some reasons you might consider choosing the alternative:

  • TVs take up a ton of space.
  • Large format TVs are expensive.
  • TVs with high-end features such as variable refresh rates and high frame rates are even more expensive.
  • Gaming in a shared family space isn’t always ideal.
  • Usually TVs are shared with other family members.
  • TVs can suffer from severe input lag if you buy the wrong model or look bad when running in game mode.
  • You’re paying for a bunch of hardware and inputs you don’t need if you only want to play games.

The biggest weakness of TVs comes from the fact that they are built to be general-purpose displays. A jack of all trades, but master of none. Unless you’re willing to pay a large amount of money to get something that is exceptional at everything.

The Advantages of Using a Monitor With Your Console

If you’re wondering what’s so great about using a PC monitor as your console gaming monitor, we’ve got a few key things for you to consider:

  • It allows for a private and compact gaming space in your bedroom, dorm or study.
  • If your monitor has multiple inputs, you can share the screen between a console and PC.
  • If you’re interested in high refresh rate gaming at resolutions lower than 4K, a monitor is the cheapest way to achieve that.
  • Sitting close to a monitor mitigates the size difference compared to a TV.
  • Modern consoles support a mouse and keyboard on some games, a desk is a much better solution in that case.
  • You can use your controller wired to the console. No more battery anxiety!
  • Offers lagless gaming with lower response times.

PC gamers are perfectly happy with the experience sitting at a desk and if you’re OK with playing your console in such a space then a monitor is a good option.

The Disadvantages of Using a Monitor With Your Console

The list of cons for monitors are displays for gaming consoles is perhaps a little longer than the pros, but not all of these will apply to every gaming monitor, so make sure you know whether your specific monitor will run into some of the problems mentioned here:

  • Gaming consoles aren’t currently compatible with any monitor which doesn’t have a 16:9 aspect ratio. It will probably work, but you’ll have significant black bars on the tops or sides of the image.
  • Some consoles, such as the PlayStation 5, don’t currently support a 1440p resolution while the Xbox does. This might change in a future PlayStation firmware update.
  • If you want 4K and 120Hz support, you’ll have to find a computer monitor with HDMI 2.1. TVs face the same problem.
  • Most monitors do not have built-in speakers. So you’ll have to connect speakers to their audio-out if they have one. Of course, Many consoles support Bluetooth audio or let you plug headphones in the controllers.

If you go along with these limitations, then you’ll probably be happy using a monitor with your console.

Which Choice is Right For You?

Neither a TV or monitor as a console gaming monitor is objectively better than the other. Each is just fit for another purpose. Work according to your budget and the amount of space you have available. Try to balance your need for image quality, screen size and refresh rate. Then decide whether a monitor or television best serves your needs.

Is Buying the Most Expensive Game Consoles Worth It?

In these economically trying times we all have a need for entertainment, but also a need to be frugal. With the release of a new generation of rather expensive game consoles, it’s fair to ask what you get for your hard-earned money.

Should you buy a next-generation console or stick with something older and more affordable? Is buying the most expensive game consoles worth it?

Putting All the Options on the Table

Which consoles are we talking about here? The “most expensive” consoles mentioned in the title of this article are the PlayStation 5 (with disc drive) and the Xbox Series X. Both of these consoles cost $500. At least they do in key territories before sales tax is added. That’s a lot of moolah!

Then there are cheaper options from the same generation of consoles. There’s the PlayStation Digital Edition, which lacks a disc drive, for $399. On the Xbox side of things there’s the Xbox Series S for $299. The Series S also lacks a disc drive and has a much less powerful graphics chip than its more expensive brother, the Series X.

Next, we have the (now) last-generation console choices. The PlayStation 4, Playstation 4 Pro, Xbox One S and Xbox One X. The PS4 Pro and Xbox One X are mid-generation upgrades to these older consoles that improved the graphical power somewhat.

We’re not going to include the Nintendo Switch here, because it’s not really competing in the same space as the other two consoles. If you’re wondering whether to get the Switch or the Switch Lite, check out the Biggest Differences Between Nintendo Switch Lite and Nintendo Switch.

Understanding the Benefits of the Latest Consoles

What’s the big deal with these new expensive consoles anyway? Here’s a summary:

  • Super-fast solid-state storage for short load times and new game design possibilities.
  • Much faster CPUs. making 60 frames per second the new norm, with 120 frames per second possible in some titles (with a compatible TV!).
  • Significantly better GPUs, allowing for 4K or near-4K image quality and ray tracing.
  • Backwards compatibility with previous generation games, as well as significant enhancements to those older titles.

If you buy one of these new top-end consoles, you’re getting crisper graphics, much smoother motion and improvements to games you already own and love. Apart from the cost, it’s all positive from a gaming perspective!

Now that all the options are on the table and you know what splashing some cash will get you, let’s go through each major decision in turn.

Xbox or PlayStation?

Both Sony and Microsoft have pretty compelling gaming platforms and there’s no such thing as a universally better choice. For an in-depth comparison between these two console brands, have a look at Playstation vs Xbox: How To Choose What’s Right For You.

In the end, this is a personal choice that depends on what types of games you like to play, what your friends are playing, which online service you like more and which brand speaks to you. It also matters whether you care about taking your existing game collection into the next generation or not. 

For most people, comparing the two brands of consoles isn’t all that useful since you’re unlikely to be choosing from a neutral position. What’s more important is the choice of making the jump to the most expensive model for your chosen brand or not.

Our Recommendation: Listen to your heart.

PlayStation 5 Digital vs Playstation 5 With Disc Drive?

When it comes to the PlayStation 5, there are two models to choose from. Both are identical in every way, except that the Digital Edition lacks a BluRay drive and costs $100 less, so you make no sacrifices in terms of game fidelity or next-generation performance.

Sounds like a good deal, right? Well that $100 “saving” might actually be a bad deal for you and a great deal for Sony. By saying no thanks to the drive, you give Sony total control over video game pricing. 

You lose access to retail price competition, used games, PS4 disc-based games and the ability to play 4K BluRay movies. We don’t think these sacrifices are worth the $100 saving. One could easily make that money back and more through price savings. However, if you’re sure that these specific sacrifices are ones you can live with, then the Digital Edition is a more affordable option in the short term.

Our Recommendation: Buy the standard PlayStation 5

Series S or Series X?

The Series S is a full $200 less expensive than the Series X flagship console. However, unlike the two PS5 models, you’re giving up much more than just a disc drive. The Series S has a (slightly) slower CPU and only one third of the GPU power. However, the Series S targets (up to) a 1440p rendering resolution. It’s best to think of it as a 1080p console to avoid disappointment. 

If you have a 1080p television and aren’t planning on upgrading to 4K any time soon, the Series S is a fine choice. Losing disc access creates similar issues as it does on the discless PS5. However, Microsoft does have its Game Pass service, which goes a long way to making up for that.

You can play all the same games as the Series S. You get the same backwards compatibility support as well. Games should play at the same frame rates as the Series X as well. The main differences will be a lower resolution and perhaps slightly dialled-back graphical settings.

The choice here really is based on budget. The Series X is clearly and objectively superior. The difference is undoubtedly worth $200. So if your budget allows for it, get the more expensive device.

Our Recommendation: Buy the Series X if you have the choice.

Sticking With the Last Generation

If you own a PS4, PS4 Pro, One S or One X you shouldn’t feel too much pressure to upgrade. If you’re happy with the resolution and frame rates of these consoles you can still expect new games to be available on your console for a year or two.

If you don’t own any of these more expensive game consoles, the choice becomes harder. It’s better to buy the latest generation console now if you’re a new buyer. Since you’ll be set for the next five years. If you buy one of the outgoing consoles, even at a good price, you’re going to want a replacement much sooner.

Thanks to the backwards compatibility of both the PS5 and Xbox Series consoles, it makes less sense to hold onto their predecessors. While visual quality on the outgoing machines is still fine, they suffer from poor framerates. Which is perhaps the largest and most immediate quality of life improvement.

Are the most expensive game consoles worth the asking price? Absolutely. Are they worth it to you? That’s a different question. We think the long list of gameplay experience improvements over the cheaper generation of consoles is substantial. Not to mention that you’ll have a hard time building a gaming PC with these specifications. Then again, a gaming PC might actually not be that much more expensive if you factor in lifetime costs!