6 Best Video Gaming Console for Kids

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While thirty years ago the main source of entertainment for children was TV, nowadays, kids tend to be very much interested in video games. I mean, who would want to watch a story unfold if you can create one yourself and live it? While there are many ways to play video games, including on smartphones, tablets, and laptops or desktop computers, playing games on video game consoles provides by far the most pleasurable experience.

A video game console is a kind of electronic/computer device, which outputs a video signal or visual image to show a video game that can be played through a game controller by either one or multiple players.

Video gaming consoles can be divided into two main types – home video game consoles and handheld game consoles. The first type of consoles tends to be placed in a permanent location, connected to a television or another display, and controlled with a game controller. The second type (such as Nintendo’s most popular Game Boy) has a built-in display and controller and can be played anywhere. In this article, we will cover the first type and reveal which are the best video gaming console for kids.

What Types Of Video Gaming Console for Kids Are Available?

There are many different types of kid-friendly games available, depending on whether you play them online or offline, depending on genre, and depending on the device used.

Offline gaming

When it comes to video gaming console for kids, most games will work without an internet connection. This is a great advantage as this way parents can have full control over the content shown to their children. If the game itself is kid-friendly, then there is really nothing to worry about. Online gaming, on the other hand, is more unpredictable, as it’s much harder to control all the ads, additional offers, sidebars, etc. to make sure your child doesn’t bump into something inappropriate. However, even offline video game consoles have to be connected to the internet every once in a while, just in order to do all the updates, which enable smooth performance.

Online gaming

Online video gaming console for kids comes with its pros and cons. Something that many parents consider a downside of online gaming is the fact that they have less control over the content and the people their children come in contact with. On the other hand, online gaming also offers a number of great advantages. For example, online gaming enables children to play with other children and thus socialize online. While in the past there were only 1 or 2-player games on the market, nowadays a large percentage of games are multiplayer and able to be played online.

All the major video game console manufacturers, including Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony allow online gaming, but users have to pay a fee to play online. Microsoft’s online service for Xbox One multiplayer games is called Xbox Live Gold and the service fee is $9.99 for 1 month, $24.99 for 3 months, $39.99 for 6 months, and $59.99 for 12 months. Sony’s PlayStation Plus service for PlayStation 4 costs $9.99 a month, $24.99 for 3 months, or $59.99 a year. The online service for Nintendo Switch is called the Nintendo Switch Online Membership and it’s significantly cheaper than the former two online services. It cost $3.99 for 1 month, $7.99 for three months, $19.99 for a year, or $34.99 for a family plan.

Parental control gaming

If you want your child’s gaming experience to be totally safe and really kid-friendly, it’s best to opt for a gaming system that offers parental control. Luckily, all the major video game console systems offer parental control. Microsoft’s Xbox gaming system allows the user to create separate accounts for each family member, personalize each member’s online experience depending on their age, and set gaming and spending limits manually. The system also allows you to set which games can be played, at what time, and for how long. This control system can also be carried over to any Windows 10 device to make sure your child safe there too. PlayStation 4’s parental controls allow users to set spending limits, time limits, and control the content. This option is available on PS4 and the entire PlayStation Network. Nintendo Switch’s parental controls also allow you to control the games, times, and gaming durations. With their app, you can monitor and edit the settings from your smartphone.

Different types of games by genre

Another way to differentiate between games is by genre. Nowadays, there are countless types of video game genres available – action games, adventure games, action-adventure games, strategy games, simulation games, sports games, driving games, arcade games, role-playing games, puzzle games, card games, idle games, etc. However, simply knowing what kind of a game it is, may not be enough to provide a safe gaming experience, as almost every kind can be either very violent or totally innocent. Therefore, it may be best to read the exact description of a game before you allow your child to play it.

Different types of games by device

In addition to all the other types of games mentioned above, games can also be distinguished based on the device. Nowadays, most games are played on one (or more) of the five main devices – smartphones, tablets, laptops/desktop computers, home video game consoles, and handheld game consoles.

Before Buying Video Gaming Console for Kids, Ask Yourself: Does Your Kid Really Need A Game Console?

As nowadays almost every family has a couple of smartphones, a computer or a laptop, and maybe a tablet or two, which are all kinds of portable gaming consoles and fine ways to play almost any kind of game on the go, you may be wondering why would you need a home game console in addition to all those other devices you already own. Well, while some consider purchasing a home video gaming console for kids to be completely unnecessary, others list a number of strong and good reasons why parents may prefer their children to be engaged in console gaming rather than mobile gaming, regardless of the child’s age.

First of all, most mobile games are designed to promote addictive, compulsive gaming. Spending a small amount of money to buy a pack or unlock an additional option may spark the desire to buy more and more additional options and thus spend more and more money. Microtransactions are also available in console games but in general, they tend to avoid this kind of business model.

Secondly, console gaming is a more closed system that allows more parental control and doesn’t offer access to the internet, where your child may encounter inappropriate content.

And lastly, console games offer a higher level of quality and complexity, excellent 3D graphics, advanced challenging problem solving, and programs designed for shorter and more immersive gaming sessions.

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The Top 6 Best Video Gaming Console for Kids

Many people wonder which is the best video gaming console for kids. As the answer depends largely on the user’s preferences, it’s impossible to pick the sole winner. Therefore, we have created a list of the top 6 best video gaming console for kids and if you read the descriptions below each one you will definitely be able to find the best match for you and your child.

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1. Nintendo Switch – Neon Red and Neon Blue Joy-Con

Description:

Nintendo is a reputable brand known for creating a family and kid-friendly games. Their immensely popular Nintendo Switch video game console offers a large variety of highly entertaining games and advanced safety features that allow parents to control their child’s activity. One of its best characteristics is that you can use it as a home video game console and connect it with a screen or you can remove it from the switch and use it as a portable console (in this case you may want to buy a travel case). It can be played by two players simultaneously. In addition, it has the most affordable online membership.

Nintendo Switch – Neon Red and Neon Blue Joy-Con

Audience and age:

This console is suitable for children of every age, but it was voted the best game console for 9-year-olds. However, their online age restriction is 13 years.

Why do children love it?

Children love this console because it doesn’t require an internet connection, can be played anywhere, offers great immersive games, and features fun controllers that scan your movement.

PROS

  • It can be stationary and portable
  • Parental control
  • A huge variety of games
  • Very kid and family-friendly
  • Easy to use

CONS

  • Can’t run high-end games with its limited power

2. PlayStation 4 Pro – Video Gaming Console for Kids

Description:

PlayStation 4 Pro comes with a variety of kid-friendly games and a number of amazing features, such as 4K TV gaming and HDR technology. These advanced features enable users to play the latest and most complicated games. The popular stationary gaming device also offers great security and parental control features, that enable parents to set time limits, age limits, web browsing disability, and much more.

PlayStation 4 Pro

Audience and age:

This video gaming console is the best for 7-year-old children. Pre-teen and teenage boys are the main customers.

Why do children love it?

Children tend to love the console mostly due to its great performance and powerful technology that can run a huge variety of high-end games.

PROS

  • High processing power
  • 4K video option for movies
  • Parental control
  • A large variety of games
  • Easy to use

CONS

  • Playing online requires a subscription fee
  • Can’t run previous generation games

3. Microsoft Xbox One X – Video Gaming Console for Kids

Description:

This stationary home video game console by Microsoft is a relatively affordable and high-quality video gaming console for kids. It can be paid off in 24 low monthly installments. It offers 100 high-quality games and Alexa voice control. The design is very stylish and durable.

Microsoft Xbox One X

Audience and age:

The audience and age restriction in this case depends greatly on the individual games. Some games are recommended for 4 to 6-year-olds, others are best fitted for much older users.

Why do children love it?

This console is great for action, adventure, and sports games. It is also known as the best console for football and its controllers are very user-friendly and suitable for all kinds of games.

PROS

  • Great graphics and vivid colors
  • 4K video option for movies and video streaming
  • Enables playing live games through a multiplayer gaming network
  • Parental control
  • A large variety of games

CONS

  • Doesn’t work very well with the gear 5 console
  • Confusing home screen
  • Occasional controller durability issues

4. Nintendo Switch Lite – Video Gaming Console for Kids

Description:

This is a portable, small, and lightweight video game console by Nintendo. The small, durable, and sleek design makes it perfect to carry around and to use anywhere. It is compatible with digital and physical Nintendo switch games that support handheld mode. It supports a large variety of fun games and it’s suitable for all age groups.

Nintendo Switch Lite

Audience and age:

The device is suitable for a wide audience, however, the most frequent users are 7 to 9-year-old children.

Why do children love it?

Children love their games because they are highly immersive and suitable for a large variety of users. With Nintendo, each user will certainly find his or her perfect match.

PROS

  • Pocket-sized and highly portable
  • Small and lightweight
  • Attractive yet sturdy design with four color choices
  • Affordable
  • Supports a large variety of games

CONS

  • No parental control mode
  • Can’t connect to the TV

5. EASEGMER Handheld – Video Gaming Console for Kids

Description:

This is one of the best handheld video gaming console for kids. It has a sturdy scratch and impact-resistant design. It offers an immersive gaming experience and great eye protection. As it is small and light, it is suitable for on-the-road use. It comes with high-quality speakers for amazing sound effects, volume control, multiplayer options, TV connectivity, and a convenient handle.

EASEGMER Handheld Game Console for kids

Audience and age:

It may be best suited for children 10 years old and older.

Why do children love it?

This retro gaming system comes with a large variety (over 500) of the most in-demand old-school classical games that are still very popular among children.

PROS

  • Pocket-sized and highly portable
  • Small and lightweight
  • Rechargeable battery with smart battery signal
  • Affordable
  • A large variety of games

CONS

  • No parental control mode
  • No two players mode

6. My Arcade Gamer V Portable – Handheld Gaming System

Description:

This small, light, and portable handheld video gaming console comes with a wide selection of games of all kinds and genres. The device is powered by three AAA batteries, which takes away the trouble of constant recharging, however, it is less sustainable. It features a handy volume control button, a large colorful display, and 220 built-in games.

My Arcade Gamer V Portable – Handheld Gaming System

Audience and age:

This handheld video console is suitable for younger children with simpler tastes. The manufacturer recommended age is 5 to 10 years old.

Why do children love it?

It comes with 220 kid-friendly games, including puzzles, arcades, racing, adventure, and sports games.

PROS

  • Pocket-sized and highly portable
  • Small and lightweight
  • A large variety of games
  • Easy to use
  • Battery-powered (can be a pro or a con)

CONS

  • Average built quality
  • No parental control mode

Features To Consider Before Buying Video Gaming Console for Kids

Before you buy the best video gaming console for kids, make sure to consider the important factors listed below, as these considerations will help you decide which console may best fit your needs.

Parental Control

If you wish to supervise and control your child’s activity, the games they play, and the duration of gaming sessions, then you should opt for a video game console that provides the kind of parental control that best fits your needs. Choosing a device with parental control will prevent your child to experience eye strain from too much playing and access games that are not age-appropriate.

Stationary or Portable

This is an important consideration. Do you want to buy a stationary video game console that can only be played at home or do you want your child to have more freedom and play a portable gaming console at grandparents’ house, on vacations, and on the go? If you decide to choose a portable console, also make sure to opt for a durable one that can withstand constant moving and potential occasional damage.

Options for Entertainment

Depending on what you are planning to use the console for and who is going to use it, you may also want to consider whether you want the device to provide any other form of entertainment, such as streaming YouTube, Netflix, or Hulu videos, or is it enough that it only plays games.

Recommended Exclusive Games

Every video gaming console comes with a list of games they offer. Make sure to carefully review the list of games and to choose the one that comes with a set of games that are kid-friendly and suitable for children of a certain age. Try to avoid the games with graphic, violent, and PG18+ content and the highly addictive ones, as those games may harm your child.

Connectivity

If you are planning to buy a gaming console that can be connected to your TV or another displaying device, make sure it features the right kind of connectivity.

Guarantee and price

Different brands offer different guarantee policies for their products. You may want to check both how long does the guarantee lasts as well as the company’s return policy. When it comes to price, make sure to compare it according to its specifications.

Multiple players playing option

In case you have more than one child that wants to play video games if they invite some friends over, or if sometimes you decide to join them in a gaming session, it’s highly convenient if your gaming console has ports for multiple players.

Performance

Performance is obviously of utmost importance. For one, your child won’t have any interest to play the game if it doesn’t perform well. Make sure to get a video gaming console that offers high-quality graphics and no lagging. Smooth and fast performance is key for an immersive gaming experience.

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Important Question And Answer You Need To Knew

What is a gaming console?

A gaming console or a video game console is a gaming box that outputs a video signal or visual image to show a video game on an in-build or external display, such as a TV. It is designed to play games with the use of a game controller. Some of the most popular gaming consoles include Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Wii, and Famicom.

Why have gaming consoles become a dire need?

Nowadays, gaming is a big part of every child’s life. It’s not only a source of fun and entertainment, it has also been found to increase the children’s cognitive abilities and physical reflexes. Games also boost analytical thinking, imagination, and problem-solving abilities and teach children about different concepts, languages, and perspectives. To find out why some parents prefer console gaming over mobile gaming, check out chapter 2.

At what age should a child have a game console?

Children tend to play their first mobile games very early on. Nowadays, the average 3-year-old already knows how to access a phone and play a game on it. Studies have shown that most parents become frustrated with mobile games after a while and they recommend using console gaming over mobile gaming for children of ages 3, 5, 7, and 9.

Which game console has the most kid-friendly games?

All the major three gaming consoles (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch) offer a large selection of family and kid-friendly games. Some of these games, like Lego video games, appear on all three consoles. However, Nintendo Switch comes with a wide variety of its own exclusive E and E 10+ rated games, including Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Pokémon Shield, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, etc. As such, Nintendo Switch’s games are sometimes considered the most kid-friendly.

Do video games rot your brain?

No. Playing video games in moderation helps develop many skills and thus has a positive effect on your brain. The many benefits of playing video games in moderation include relaxation and stress reduction, boosted problem-solving ability, and increased analytical thinking. The key is to select the right kind of games and to exercise moderation.

Which is more kid-friendly Xbox One or PS4?

Both video gaming consoles are appropriate for children. Overall, however, PlayStation 4 offers more games that are suitable for and popular among young children.

Why is the Xbox One cheaper than PS4?

Xbox One is considerably cheaper simply because its manufacturer – Microsoft decided to keep the price affordable. They make the majority of their earnings by selling downloadable content, game passes, and other services, instead of by selling the console itself.