Nintendo Switch vs. PS5: Which Is The Best Console for You?

January 10, 2024 • Devin Partida


The Nintendo Switch has an established history of fun times and killer games. The PlayStation 5 hasn’t reached the same peak yet, but many see it as a milestone in gaming technology. So, when it comes to Nintendo Switch vs. PS5, which console reigns supreme?

In any context, “best” largely boils down to personal preference, especially with two consoles as different as the Switch and PS5. So, instead of an overly simplistic answer, here’s a deep dive into how these systems compare across five important categories.

Nintendo Switch vs. PS5: Price

The first thing to weigh in the battle of Nintendo Switch vs. PS5 is the price. Overall, this round goes to the Switch, and here’s why.

The base-model Switch is significantly cheaper than the PS5. It’ll cost you about $300, while the PS5 Digital Edition costs $399. Want a disc drive? Expect to pay another $100 on top of that.

Nintendo has also released two Switch variants for different budgets. The more powerful OLED Switch costs $350, and you can get the budget-friendly Switch Lite for $200 — half the cost of the cheapest PS5.

Sony has also released new PS5 models, but none are cheaper than their predecessors. The PS5 Slim with a disc drive remains at $499, while the PS5 Slim Digital Edition is $449.99. You can still opt for the cheaper older one if you don’t mind a bigger console, but it’s hard to call any PS5 model “affordable.”

Nintendo Switch vs. PS5: Performance

Of course, there’s a reason why the PS5 costs so much more than the Switch. When it comes to graphics and gameplay, the PlayStation performs much better. Here’s a look at the specifics.

Both Digital and Physical editions of the PS5 support 4K resolution at 120 FPS on some titles. You can push that resolution to 8K if you cut your framerate to 60 FPS. The Switch, on the other hand, can only go up to 1080p at 60 FPS.

The PS5’s solid-state drive (SSD) is another point in its favor. If you’ve ever used a computer with an SSD instead of the more traditional hard drive, you’ll know the difference they make. While the Switch also uses flash memory, it offers just 32GB of storage, compared to the PS5’s 825GB. The SSD in the PS5 is also wicked fast, with write speeds up to 5.5GB a second.

The PS5 also supports ray tracing, leading to better in-game lighting, while the Switch doesn’t. Its audio performance is also better, thanks to its 3D audio support, though you may not notice that difference without surround sound or a headset.

Nintendo Switch vs. PS5: Games

You’ll also want to consider available games when deciding between the Nintendo Switch vs. PS5. It’s harder to choose a clear leader here, as both consoles have strong arguments in their favor.

In terms of games volume, the PS5 and Switch are about equal. Because the PS5 is newer, there aren’t as many PS5-specific games as there are for Switch, but the console supports thousands of PS4 titles through backward compatibility. You’ll also see more third-party AAA games on PS5 than Switch.

Both Nintendo and Sony have strong lineups of exclusive content, too. The Switch boasts legendary series like Mario, the Legend of Zelda and Smash Bros. Sony exclusives may not have the same history, but titles like The Last of Us and Insomniac’s Spider-Man games are some of the best in recent years.

The Switch is the way to go if you prefer to play familiar series or casual and party games. If you like bigger, more mature games from major studios, go with the PS5.

Nintendo Switch vs. PS5: Usability

Your console’s user-friendliness is also worth considering. If you’re going to spend hours using a system, you’ll want it to be as seamless an experience as possible. The Switch has a slight edge here, but the PS5 is far from difficult.

Setting up the Switch is a quick, straightforward process. You won’t have to do much aside from plugging in a few wires. If you want online capability or to play old Nintendo titles, you’ll need an Online account and subscription, but creating one doesn’t take long.

The PS5 is similar in terms of setup. It’s straightforward and will walk you through the whole process. Once again, you’ll need a subscription for online functionality.

The Switch is more straightforward when navigating the console and playing games. The PlayStation can do more, but that comes at the cost of a more complex user interface. However, the PS5’s online store is easier to navigate and use than the Switch’s. The Switch also has an infamous stick drift problem, which isn’t as big an issue with the PS5 controller.

Nintendo Switch vs. PS5: Unique Features

Finally, let’s look at each console’s unique features. The PS5 doesn’t have much to set it apart from the crowd, apart from raw power. However, its controller’s haptic feedback — including adaptive triggers — provides an engaging gaming experience few other controllers can rival.

The Switch is more unique. It’s not nearly as powerful, but it’s both a home console and a handheld. You can play on the big screen when you want a more theatrical experience, then pick it up and keep playing on the move. That portability is a big plus if you travel often or want to take the console to a friend’s house.

The Switch’s Joy-cons aren’t as impressive as the PS5’s DualSense controller, but they also offer a unique experience. They have in-depth motion controls, a range sensor and can split one controller into two for multiplayer games. You can also collect Amiibos to scan through the controllers to unlock in-game content.

If you have the PS5 Physical Edition, you can play DVDs and Blu-rays on it, which you can’t do on the Switch. Considering how physical media sales have plummeted as streaming has taken off, though, that’s less of a selling point for some people. 

Which Console Is Best?

So, who’s the winner in Nintendo Switch vs. PS5? For most people, it’s the PS5. The PlayStation is faster, supports better graphics, has more third-party support and is still easy to set up and use.

That said, the Switch is better for casual gamers. It’s far more affordable and its portability is mighty convenient. It’s also a must if you love Nintendo’s long-standing series.

If you’re stuck deciding between consoles, think of what you want to get out of your system. You can then use this comparison to find the best console for your needs.