What is the best Gaming Console for a Beginner in 2019 ?
It depends on what kinds of games they want to play and what kind of temperment they have. You might want to get something from the last generation (Xbox 360 or PS3) because they’re relatively cheap systems (anywhere from $60-$160) and can easily be replaced if anything were to be broken (like if your kid got mad and damaged the console, or if you have a pet that you’re worried might tip over the console), and they also have a sizable library of relatively cheap used games. If they would like to play online multiplayer, the PS3 is the best option because it’s online multiplayer is free so long as you have a WiFi connection, whereas Xbox Live is about $60 for a 12 month subscription and is the only way to play online multiplayer games on Xbox.
On the other hand, if your child wants to play games like Fortnite (which seems to be pretty popular with young kids these days) that game is only available for the current generation of consoles, although they are a bit more pricey ($300 for both Xbox One S and PS4 Slim, although you may be able to find them for slightly cheaper used.) If your child can control their temper playing games and won’t damage the console, this might be a worthwhile investment, although in order to play online both consoles require a subscription service. There is an exception on PS4 for Fortnite and other free-to-play games within the PlayStation Store where you can play them without having to sign up for PlayStation Plus, but Xbox One requires an Xbox Live subscription for all of it’s online multiplayer features. Both PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live cost about $60 for a 12 month subscription.
Another option to consider is the Nintendo Switch, which has some more family friendly titles that might be more appropriate for an 8 year old, and they retail for about $300, with a multiplayer subscription of about $20 for 12 months, however once again your child will have to be fairly careful handling the system as they can be broken if abused, so make sure your child can control their temper. The benefit of the Nintendo Switch is that in addition to functioning on a TV monitor, they can also be played as a portable system, although the battery life when played portable is anywhere from 3-6 hours, with some people reporting they only get 3-4 hours max, but it’s still a good system overall.
Ultimately it comes down to the gaming preferences of your child and your financial situation. If your 8 year old doesn’t care much about which games they can play and which system they get, I would strongly recommend the PS3, as it is cheap, has a fairly large library of games (a decent portion of which are probably age appropriate for your child), and it’s online multiplayer function is free, so as long as they have a WiFi connection they can play online. On the other hand, if your child wants to play a specific title that is only available for the current generation of consoles (and you have the money to afford one), make sure that you research which console will play that title, as some games are exclusive to certain systems (like Halo is an Xbox exclusive, and Super Smash Bros Ultimate is a Nintendo Switch exclusive). However, keep in mind that these newer gaming consoles (PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch) are more expensive than the last gen consoles (PS3/Xbox 360), as are their games (new games are almost universally $60, although used games can come as low as $17-$40), so it may be worth waiting a few months for games to drop in value before buying them if you get a newer console. On the other hand, almost all games for the last gen console can be bought at discount used prices ($10-$30), so if your 8 year old would like to have a lot of games for cheap, a last gen console would be the way to go.