What’s the Best Video Game Platform for Retirees? What to Look for (and How Much it Will Cost You)

So, you’ve read about the benefits of video games for retirees and want to get started, but … what is the best platform for retirees?

The choice is, frankly, bewildering!

Do you want a games console, a gaming PC, or some form of mobile gaming device?

In this post, we’ll take a look at the main contenders and what they have to offer, so that you can make an informed decision as to what will best suit you.

You can then focus on the best part – buying games and playing them!

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1. The Best Video Game Platform for Retirees

OK, let’s begin our consideration of what is the best video game platform for retirees …

There are 2 broad categories of video game platforms:

  • The static ones, using a TV or monitor
  • The mobile ones, that you can carry around with you

The static ones include dedicated game consoles and gaming PCs. The mobile ones include mobile phones and handheld consoles with small screens.

Let’s take a look at what’s on offer.

1.1 Sony PlayStation 5 (PS5)

Sony knows a thing or two about game consoles. The first Sony PlayStation was launched way back in 1994.

And each generation since then has pushed the boundaries of what is possible for video game entertainment.

The PlayStation is the king of video game consoles.




£479.99 / $499.99


  • PlayStation 5 Console
  • Dualsense Wireless Controller
  • Dualsense USB charging cable
  • Astro’s Playroom (preinstalled game)
  • Base
  • HDMI cable
  • AC power cord
  • Printed materials


  • Ultra-High Speed SSD – near-instant load times
  • Ray Tracing – fantastic levels of realism with rays of light individually simulated
  • 4K Display – stunning graphics
  • Tempest 3D Audio Tech – truly immersive levels of sound from all directions
  • Haptic Feedback – feel feedback through the Dualsense controller


This latest incarnation of the PlayStation is stunning.

Jaw-dropping graphics that make you feel a part of the game. Sound that is so detailed you’ll be able to hear which direction your adversary is approaching from.

There are also many console games that are exclusive to the PS5. These include the Gran Turismo series, Ghost of Tsushima, the Uncharted series, Spiderman, and Horizon Forbidden West.

If you buy a PS5 you will not be disappointed.

1.2 Microsoft Xbox (Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S)

Some 7 years after Sony’s first PlayStation, Microsoft entered the console market with the Xbox (fearing that it was losing PC video game sales to the console).

If the PlayStation is the king then the Xbox is the potential usurper. There really is very little between them these days (apart from Sony’s greater range of games).

There are 2 versions currently available:

  1. The Xbox Series X is the direct competitor to the PS5.
  2. The Xbox Series S is an Xbox-lite, if you will, at a cheaper price in order to appeal to a broader range of customers.





£449.00 / $599.00


  • Xbox Series X Console
  • Xbox Wireless Controller
  • Ultra high-speed HDMI cable
  • AC power cord


  • Parallel Cooling Architecture to evenly distribute temperatures inside the console – cool and quiet!
  • Custom SSD for faster load times
  • Play games at up to 120 FPS
  • Direct X Ray-Tracing
  • 3D Spatial Sound


Many people now believe that the Xbox is comparable to the PlayStation – and, in particular, that the Series X is comparable to the PS5.

The key difference these days is the choice of games available on each platform. Games such as the Forza car racing series, the Halo first-person shooter, and Gears.

An Xbox Series X would make a great choice for a games console.





£249.00 / $368.88 (*)

* Fortnite & Rocket League bundle


  • Xbox Series X Console
  • Xbox Wireless Controller
  • Ultra high-speed HDMI cable
  • AC power cord


  • Parallel Cooling Architecture to evenly distribute temperatures inside the console – cool and quiet!
  • Custom SSD for faster load times
  • Play games at up to 120 FPS
  • Direct X Ray-Tracing
  • 3D Spatial Sound


Whilst it is not quite as impressive as its big brother, the Series X, the Series S is still an excellent console.

And it shares the Series X choice of games. Games such as the Forza car racing series, the Halo first-person shooter, and Gears.

An Xbox Series S is a good choice for a games console if you don’t want to spend PS5 / Series X money.

1.3 Nintendo Wii

Nintendo has been producing consoles for a long time (the first was in 1977).

However, it was the release of a number of iconic games that made them a household name in the video game world. Games such as Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros in the early days and then Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, and Animal Crossing.

The Wii was a departure from the traditional console approach in that it introduced different ways of interacting with the games being played:

  • Nunchuck-style controllers as default (with wrist straps to stop you from throwing them through the TV when you get too excited!)
  • Steering wheels for your Mario Kart races
  • Balance board for physical workouts, skiing






£325.00 / $199.00 (*)

* You can find used offerings for much, much less than this


  • Wii Console
  • One ‘nunchuck’ controller
  • Different controllers may be included if bought as a bundle
  • A/V cable and UK power adapter


  • Backwards compatible with games back to the 1980s!
  • Built-in WiFi
  • SD card slot


The Wii is great fun and the different controllers certainly add a new angle. However, keep in mind that it was released in 2006 and so the hardware is nearly 20 years behind the current consoles.

The Wii is a novel approach and is fun to play with. However, it does seem as though it may be coming to the end of its gaming lifetime.

1.4 Gaming PCs

OK, this is going to be a little tricky.

The video game console market is quite narrow, with few manufacturers and few products. The gaming PC market, on the other hand, is huge, with many manufacturers and many products.

And there is a huge variation in price, too. You can get one for under £300 (although you would also then need to buy a monitor). Or you could spend nearly £4,000 (but with a monitor included!).

Oh, and if you are thinking of using that dusty old desktop PC that you bought 20 years ago to do a few spreadsheets with … don’t! It would be like using a Robin Reliant to compete in the 24-hour race at Le Mans – you could drive around the course but it will be nowhere near fast enough!

You need:

  • A fast processor (CPU)
  • A dedicated graphics card (GPU)
  • Lots of memory (RAM)

If this is your first foray into video game platforms I would caution against spending a fortune on a gaming PC at this stage.

Just try searching for Budget Gaming PC Bundle at Amazon and see what set-up appeals to you. You’ll find plenty on offer.

1.5 Nintendo Switch

Nintendo has a second entry in our list – the more recently released Switch.

And its big selling point is … it’s portable!





£303.00 / $347.99


  • Switch Console / Screen
  • Two controllers


  • 7-inch OLED screen
  • Adjustable stand
  • Dock with wired LAN port
  • 64GB storage


The Switch is a portable console (having a built-in screen) that can also be played by connecting it to a TV. How cool is that?

And it comes with some very popular games: Mario Kart, FIFA 23, Minecraft, and Animal Crossing.

The Switch presents an interesting trade-off: it doesn’t have the graphics and sound of the PS5 or the Xbox Series X but … it’s portable! If that appeals then the Switch is for you.

1.6 Mobile ‘phones

Once upon a time, we were incredibly impressed if a mobile ‘phone could simply make and receive calls while we were away from home.

Those days are long gone.

Today’s smartphones are many times more powerful than the computer used on NASA’s Persevarence rover that landed on Mars recently.

So they are more than capable of running video games!

In fact, research by Newzoo shows that mobile gaming is the market leader (see below).

best video game platform for retirees - platform market size

I suspect most people already have a mobile that they can try playing games on. You could try Amazon if you want to buy a budget gaming ‘phone outright but in terms of cash flow, you may be better off going for a monthly contract deal.

2. Chips and Covid-19

No, your chosen video game platform can’t catch Covid-19!

However, the inner workings of these technological boxes of joy include a number of microchips (or just ‘chips’ for short). And Covid-19 has had a 2-fold impact:

  1. Increased demand
    With many of us confined to our own homes during the pandemic there has been an increased demand for various forms of entertainment.
  2. Reduced supply
    What happens when the people that normally produce chips are all at home because of the pandemic? Supplies rapidly decline, that’s what.

So, when you begin looking for your chosen platform hardware, keep in mind that there may be some scarcity.

Covid-19 has resulted in both an increased demand for video game consoles and a reduced supply of the chips needed to make them.

As a result, there can be times when you are more likely to find rocking horse poop than the console of your choice!

Also, when looking at how much you are going to pay, remember your basic economics – supply and demand.

Basically, suppliers are more willing to make supplies at a higher price (more profit for them) and less so at a lower price and so the supply line runs from the top left to the bottom right.

Conversely, customers are more willing to make purchases at a lower price (saving money for them) and less so at a higher price and so the demand line runs from the bottom left to the top right.

The intersection of the 2 lines is where the deal is made, with both parties finding the price acceptable.

best video game platform for retirees - supply and demand graph

At the moment, each of the lines has shifted and so in a perfect market, we would be paying more for these products.

However, fortunately for us consumers, most retailers are sticking with the manufacturers’ Recommended Retail Price (RRP).

Unfortunately, you will find that there are console scalpers about. These individuals buy consoles not because they want to use them but because they want to take advantage of the supply difficulties and charge a higher price. Boo!!

Whether you choose to go this route is up to you but I would make 2 observations:

  1. If you have any issues with your purchased console, good luck getting a refund from the scalper!
  2. If you use a scalper you are rewarding their behaviour and perpetuating the problem.

3. FAQ

What gaming system is best for seniors?

Start by thinking about where you want to play your chosen games. If you want to play:
* On your TV – look at consoles
* On a monitor – look at gaming PCs
* On the move – look at mobile ‘phones or the Nintendo Switch

In terms of video game consoles, there are 2 main contenders; the Sony PlayStation 5 (PS5) and the Microsoft Xbox Series X. Either one would make a fine choice but some people believe that the PS5 has the edge for its greater range of games.

Is it beneficial for retirees to play video games?


Numerous studies have shown that there are many benefits of video games for retirees. These include; improved memory, social interaction, mental well-being, cognitive improvement, prevention of Alzheimer’s, and mobility and balance.

And it’s fun!

4. Conclusion

So, there we have it, a quick outline of the potential candidates for the best video game platform for retirees.

Which one should you choose?

Well, give some thought to where you would like to be playing your games.

If you want to be able to play at places other than your home then you need to use either a mobile ‘phone or the Nintendo Switch. Personally, I always find it a bit fiddly playing on a ‘phone so that would make me inclined to choose the Switch.

If you want to play on a computer monitor rather than a TV screen then you will want a gaming PC. Note that if you want a high-spec PC then a gaming PC is likely to be, by some considerable margin, the most expensive of all of the options.

And finally, if you want to enjoy your gaming experience with the video and sound capabilities of your TV then a traditional games console is your best option.

Which console is best for gaming?

Of the two main contenders, the PlayStation 5 (PS5) and Xbox Series X, the PS5 probably has the slight edge because of its choice of games but there really is very little between them.

If you are on a budget and the PS5 and Series X are too pricey then the Xbox Series S would be a good choice. Or you could look for second-hand options like the Nintendo Wii – I wouldn’t be inclined to buy one new at a price that exceeds the Series S!

Which one would I choose?

I wanted impressive graphics, immersive sound, and a traditional controller, so I narrowed it down to the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

In the end, and after a considerable delay due to the aforementioned chip shortages, for this particular (nearly) retiree, the best video game platform was a game console in the form of a …. PS5. And I’ve been extremely happy with it!

And once you’ve chosen your platform – take a look at some recommended games to get you started.

About Richie Sills

Richie is the owner of the Retiring Richie blog. An economics graduate and chartered taxation adviser, he has worked in the tax industry for over 30 years. By day he saves tax for his clients - by night he helps people plan for a happy retirement. Why not join them?

10 thoughts on “What’s the Best Video Game Platform for Retirees? What to Look for (and How Much it Will Cost You)”

  1. I gave up on PlayStation after owning the PS4. I could never get into the Xbox because the controllers just feels to unnatural for me. But I do love the Switch so I can play while still watching TV. It’s also a great handheld console that is easy to get into and has plenty of options to play with your grandkids or other extended family

    • I know what you mean – the controllers mean that it is difficult going from one console to another. Thanks for the positive feedback regarding the Switch.

  2. We are not retirees yet but we are big PlayStation fans here so that will definitely be on our lists. Also Nintendo switch takes points for its portability 🙂


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