Sudbury prof offers tips for the gamer on your holiday list

As you get ready for the holiday season, video games and their consoles may be on your shopping list.
Sudbury computer science professor Aaron Langille anticipates Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, available on the Nintendo Switch, and other Switch games will be popular this holiday season. (Nintendo)

As you get ready for the holiday season, video games and their consoles may be on your shopping list.

Aaron Langille, a Laurentian University computer science professor who teaches video game design, says there are lots of options to consider this year.

"You have your veteran consoles that are out there so your XBox One and your PlayStation 4 who are undergoing some minor revisions," he said.

"I think the biggest splash on the console market right now is Nintendo with their Switch that was just released earlier this year."

The Nintendo Switch is a new paradigm in video game consoles.

"They've taken the guts of sort of a regular console and put a screen on top of it," Langille said.

"So what you have is a very portable console which is something that neither of the other two major ones, the PlayStation and XBox, have really attempted to this point."

Aaron Langille is a professor of computer science and game design at Laurentian University in Sudbury. (Aaron Langille/Supplied)

Another option is to purchase games to be played on a computer, although Langille says that results in an interesting debate among gamers.

"Definitely, there are a lot of similarities," he said.

"But, there are gamers who simply believe that the experience is better on dedicated hardware."

If you happen to be new to the video game market, Langille suggests figuring out what kinds of games you or the person you're buying for wants to play.

"Certainly there are the exclusives and if a game you want to play is only available for a particular platform, then that's where you need to go," Langille said.

"You want to decide that first because that's definitely going to have a heavy influence over your decision. Then you can start looking for other features."

As for what's expected to be popular this holiday season, Langille says Nintendo is likely going to be the top pick.

"I think people are going to be shopping for Breath of the Wild which is new this year," he said.

"Definitely the Mario Odyssey games and the Mario Kart for the [Nintendo] Switch."