Battle of the Entertainment Systems: Which Should You Pick?

By Jaime Garcia Montes on July 14, 2017

Now that we are fully immersed in the digital age, it has become somewhat of a necessity for us to constantly have at least one form of digital entertainment on at any time during the day. This has been a common trend for people for quite some time, as television, radio, and arcades have served our needs to be entertained by digital media.

However, as time has passed, we have revolutionized the entertainment industry through the introduction of apps, streaming services, and advanced video gaming consoles.

We as a species have come to the realization that commercials kind of suck. Commercials and odd airing times for our favorite shows have ruined cable television, thus applications such as Netflix and Hulu were created. Commercials and the availability to listen to our favorite music have also ruined listening to the radio, so apps like Apple Music and Spotify were made. Advanced video gaming consoles, such as the Xbox One and PS4, have rendered all past digital gaming experiences boring.

As a college student, having access to one of these forms of digital entertainment can make practically any school year’s stress and boredom manageable. The tough part is knowing which ones to choose.

1. Netflix vs. Hulu

These applications allow you to stream movies and TV shows on any tablet or screen you own. Pricing wise, both applications offer a basic subscription of roughly $8 per month and more advanced subscriptions that cost roughly $12 per month. The difference between basic and advanced subscriptions regarding Netflix is the availability to stream in HD, whereas the difference for Hulu dictates whether or not your streaming will include advertisements.

I have used both services, having just canceled my Netflix account in favor of getting a Hulu account. For the past six years, I have really enjoyed my Netflix streaming service; however, as the company is expanding, it is also becoming more independent. Netflix has been cutting its ties with major TV networks in order to produce more original shows such as Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things, and House of Cards.

If you are looking for a streaming service to watch your favorite television shows then Hulu is your best bet. However, if you prefer movies rather than binge watching shows then Netflix is right for you. For the record, Netflix is creating fantastic content, I’ve just had one too many of my favorite shows removed from Netflix.

2. Apple Music vs. Spotify

Apple Music and Spotify are music streaming services that allow you to listen to whatever artist or song at any time. What makes these applications different from what we have had in the past with iPods and other MP3s is that these apps provide live streaming, limitless browsing options, and integrated user connection allowing people to digitally share playlists and songs with others.

As far as pricing goes, Spotify offers a free subscription; however, the subscription includes ads and shuffle play, which essentially makes it a radio app. The standard membership for each is roughly $10 monthly, which can be quite a steep price for us to pay as college students. Luckily, both companies have taken that into consideration and offer student memberships for only half the standard price. As a graduating senior, it kills me that I hadn’t taken more advantage of this discount, as I only started using Apple Music a couple of months ago.

These applications are really similar and it’s difficult to label one as better than the other. My best advice would be to just use Apple Music if you primarily use Apple products for your electronics, as the software is already embedded in your devices through iTunes. Either way, both apps provide free trials, so if you would like to compare them for yourself, feel free to use the free trial and determine which one is better for you, free of cost!

3. PS4 vs. Xbox One 

The console wars are never ending. Although both the Xbox One and PlayStation Four consoles were released several years ago, people still debate which console is better. Even in my own apartment, my roommates and I are split 50/50 in our possession and preference of the two consoles.

The standard Xbox One console is currently listed at roughly $250 on the Xbox official website, while the standard PS4 console is listed at about $300. If you are interested in the newer versions of each console, you can choose between the PS4 Pro or Xbox One S. Both of the standard editions have 500GB hard drives and allow for gaming, TV, music streaming, and more. These consoles are practically the same; most people chose one or the other solely off brand loyalty rather than actual advantages that one console may have over the other.

If you are not sure which console is right for you, your decision should really just come down to the two actually distinct features each console has to provide: the controller and the console exclusive content. The controllers are pretty different for the two consoles (which you can see in the graphic above), and each year a number of video games are developed to be solely playable on either the Xbox One or the PS4. So if either of those features is important enough to make the difference for you, then hopefully the decision will be simpler for you than it is for most people.

Although the decision whether to get one application over the other may seem to be important, it really isn’t. All of the competing systems that I have outlined above are created with one purpose, and that is to entertain you. The minor differences between each of these will not make or break your decision, thus there isn’t a clear favorite for any of them.

Jaime Garcia Montes is graduating from Florida State University with a degree in Editing, Writing and Media in August of 2017. Jaime is from Miami, Florida and enjoys playing sports and producing digital content.

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