Nintendo Switch vs PS5: is it worth waiting for the next-gen console?

Can Nintendo rival the next-gen consoles when they arrive? Should you buy a PS5 instead?

by Tom Owen
ps5 vs nintendo switch

2020 will be a big year for historians, but it’s also big for gamers. With the impending arrival of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, there is a shake-up on the console scene.

Whilst there are rumours about a new Nintendo console, the reality is that their Nintendo Switch console will be competing against them. For a short while at least.

They clearly have different approaches to what gaming means and the experience they want to promote. With the PS5 on the horizon, and with what we know about it, should you wait or jump in for a Nintendo Switch?

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Nintendo Switch vs PS5 – Specs

As a direct comparison, this is the trickiest element to reconcile. It’s important to understand the context that the customer at the heart of each of these propositions is slightly different.

Nintendo focuses on those looking for bright, fun games that have addictive gameplay based on simplicity.

A lot of the games that thrive in this format are cartoon based and often don’t require powerful graphics.

Read more: What is a Teraflop?

The PS5 however, will have over 10 Teraflops of power to get behind its graphics. This console is focused on doing some fun games to compete with Nintendo, but also pushing hyper-realism and immersive experiences that transport you into the game.

Also, let’s not forget the Nintendo Switch needs to balance portability with playing at home.

The current Nintendo Switch struggles to compete with the current generation consoles, let alone next-gen. But that’s OK, it doesn’t need to. Some gamers own both as they offer very different experiences.

Nintendo Switch vs PS5 – Price

The Nintendo Switch is currently available on the official store for £279.99 – which is the going rate for a console of its age and steadily declining over time.

As we approach closer to the next-gen launch, it can be expected that this will drop slightly to better price points to allow them to compete over the holiday period.

Read more: Where to buy a Nintendo Switch?

The PS5 doesn’t have a confirmed launch price, but there’s plenty of discussions that Sony has learned from the mistakes they made with the PS3 where it was too high, and it never recovered from a sluggish launch.

With this in mind, if they are aiming to be competitive and maintain the dominance the PS4 delivered it could be lower than you think. Some are claiming it could be as low as £320. If you estimate it to be between £399 and £449, you won’t be far off.

Nintendo Switch vs PS5 – Games & Compatibility

In the next-gen world, launch titles along with backward and forward compatibility seem to be the big battle-grounds. The specs have gotten so ridiculous people can’t tell the difference between 10 Teraflops or 12 anymore.

But launch titles often play a huge part in deciding between consoles. Clearly the Nintendo Switch has already been out for some time, and Nintendo does a great job of maintaining their own exclusives.

Whether it’s Mario Kart or Animal Crossing, you only get it on the Nintendo Switch. These are games that make people want the console in the first place, and then any other games are a plus.

Read more: PS5 backwards compatibility explained

The PS5 has a slightly different challenge. Far more games are made by 3rd party developers which means they are open to both consoles. This seems to be a challenge for Sony to address before launch.

There are a number of confirmed launch games such as Gothic and Outriders. But these are concepts that are not recent exploits that players are familiar with that can hype up the console launch.

In the latest PS5 reveal event, Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Horizon 2: Forbidden West were confirmed for the console. These are the games needed to be able to give fans a reason to spend the £400 or more updating.

Read more: Confirmed next-gen games

In Summary…

If you are looking to game on the go, or you like fun arcade-style gameplay – then you won’t go wrong with a Nintendo Switch.

It’s a well-designed console that knows what it is, and what it isn’t. If you have some friends who also have the console it can also unlock a whole new side to social gaming, with a Mario Kart battle ready-to-go almost anywhere.

If you like the idea of a game that looks so real it’s almost like watching a film, along with immersive first-person shooters – its best to wait for the PS5.

We’re still hoping for a Nintendo Switch Pro to be announced, but until such a time as that happens, Nintendo can’t really compete on the high-end specs side of things.

Read more: PS5 ray tracing explained

Tom Owen