The tail end of 2020 has been dominated by two major video game consoles: Sony's PS5 and Microsoft's Xbox Series X. But those aren't the only two new consoles in the zeitgeist right now. In fact, there are four others you might want to check out.
Some of these will likely surprise you – they're not all your typical living room game console. They may even be easier to obtain than the aforementioned PlayStations and Xboxes. After all, where to buy a PS5 seems to change almost daily.
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Who better to take on Sony and Microsoft than another memorable gaming company? Atari is looking for a resurgence with the VCS, a hybrid device that's both a console and a PC. It can play those classic Atari games, sure, but it's also an open platform that can run operating systems like Windows, Linux, and Chrome. Atari is looking to offer more than just games, too. The VCS is capable of streaming movies and TV shows in 4K HDR.
Atari VCS pre-orders (opens in new tab) are open now, with an expected shipping date in 2021. The all-in-one bundle – which includes the console, classic joystick controller, and Atari's new modern controller – will cost you $390, or roughly £288. It's marked up a bit in Australia, at AU$850.
GPD Win 3
It's not just Sony and Microsoft who need to watch out: the GPD Win 3 looks like fierce competition for the Nintendo Switch. Mini PC manufacturer GPD is offering things Nintendo doesn't, like a full QWERTY touchpad that slides out of the bottom of the device. Furthermore, the Win 3's dock, as seen on its Indiegogo page (opens in new tab), offers more USB options, including a Type-C port.
The GPD Win 3 is said to be comparable in size to the Switch, but of course it plays PC games instead. Those games have been benchmarked at 60fps and higher, thanks in part to its display resolution of just 720p. Considering the 5.5" size of the screen, basic HD resolution should still look quite slick.
Bud Light BL6
Yes, really. It's more of a novelty item than the previous two entries, but Bud Light's own portable console is very real. As touted on the Bud Light website (opens in new tab), the console has six built-in games intended to be crowd-pleasers: Tekken 7, Soulcalibur 6, RBI 20 Baseball, Broforce, Flashlight Freeze Tag, and Six Puck. The latter two are actually exclusive to the BL6
The console itself is a projector, letting you carry the 'six pack' wherever you wish to set up. The BL6 is battery-powered, and Bud Light promises it'll last "up to two hours." The console has storage for its two included controllers, as well as two slots to hold your beer cans (sold separately, of course). And it wouldn't be a Bud Light product if it didn't keep those beers cold while you played.
You know what goes great with cold beer? Warm chicken. That's where KFC comes into play with its own machine, the KFConsole. After what seemed like a joking teaser trailer, KFC announced that the console is very much real, although we know nothing about price or release date at this time.
As reported by GamesRadar (opens in new tab), the console is a joint effort between KFC and Cooler Master, resulting in a machine capable of 4K resolution and a massive 240fps. It also has a "swappable GPU slot," according to Cooler Master, which makes upgrading the console possible as new cards release. That "warm chicken" comment earlier wasn't a joke either – the KFConsole also includes a warming tray for your fried foods.
These may or may not be the next-gen console competitors you were expecting, but they all offer special features you simply won't get with the PS5 or Xbox Series X. If you're looking for something a bit different from typical Sony and Microsoft fare, you've found it.