If you want the cheapest and best console setup but you’re on a budget, then this guide is for you.
We’ve rounded up the best current deals for a games console, TV, gaming chair, surround sound and headset setup.
(To view the below slides, either click on the arrows or drag the image left and right)
The Console: PS4, Xbox One or Wii U (£195 - £230)
The first and most important item on your budget console gaming setup shopping list is obviously a console.
At time of publishing, the cheapest new consoles (via our own price comparison system) were:
- PS4: £229.99 (500GB console only via eBay: Argos Store)
- Xbox One: £217.99 (500GB Quantum Break bundle via eBay: Currys PC World store)
- Wii U: £194.99 (Basic console only bundle via Amazon)
Which console should you choose?
While this guide is focussed towards a budget setup, it is worth considering a few things when choosing your console. Wii U, for example, may be cheaper, but with rumours of the Nintendo NX potentially being released this year, support will die for the Wii U and you will have to upgrade your console sooner.
Another thing to consider is the rumours of a new PS4 and Xbox One. Should these be released soon, they will drive down the price of the existing versions even further, meaning a little patience may reward you with big savings.
The Visuals: Sharp LC-40CFE5221K 40" 1080p LED TV (£221)
What makes a good gaming TV? We think size matters. Sky are giving away 32-inch TV's for free now, but for a great gaming setup – even a budget one – you deserve at least 40”. You also need a well-reviewed telly from a reputable brand, with at least 3 HDMI ports and 1080p.
Our top pick is the Sharp LC-40CFE5221K 40” 1080p LED TV with Freeview. Not only does it have everything we listed above, it has a slim bezel, good quality sound and excellent reviews. Furthermore, it's extremely energy efficient, meaning less expensive electricity bills; now that's budget efficient. At only £220.99, it’s a fantastic buy.
Alternative: JVC LT-40C750 Smart 40" LED TV (£249.00)
If you want smart features like Netflix and BBC iPlayer apps, while ticking all our other boxes too, you could also check out the JVC LT-40C750 Smart 40" LED TV. It’s a great TV and only lost out to the Sharp LC-40 on price; coming in at £249.00.
Why not 4k?
The premise of 4k is a great idea. The more pixels in an area obviously results in richer, more detailed images. Just look at anything with a Retina display or the latest smartphones.
The problem is, on a standard TV size plus the distance you are away from the screen, it's unlikely you will see any improvement over 1080p.
Additionally, while Xbox and PS4 may be releasing 4k supported consoles, that doesn't mean that games will be 4k. In fact, many current games run at lower resolution than 1080p.
But the reason for waiting is simple, "a cheap 4K TV may (currently) be just a bit more expensive than a decent 1080p TV, but that cheap 4K TV may have worse components or other specifications like a slower refresh rate, higher input lag for gaming, and worse color reproduction" - How to Geek.
The Comfort: IKEA Pello (£35)
There are various types of gaming chair out there. Some for racing games, some have speakers built in, some are inflatable.
We’ve assumed you want a chair that won’t attract ridicule, is comfortable and positions you roughly eye-level with your TV.
The easy winner is the IKEA PELLO. It’s comfy, really affordable, and it’s springy enough for when you start getting animated. Best of all, you can use it as everyday furniture too. There's even a matching foot stool with storage for an extra £30.
Alternative: Bean Bag Bazaar Gaming Beanbag (£41.99)
Our alternate pick is the Water Resistant Gaming Beanbag from Bean Bag Bazaar. It’s another comfy and versatile thing, available in loads of colours, and unlike most beanbags gives great back support.
Dammit, I said a gaming chair!
If you must absolutely have a gaming chair, then the best budget option has to be the X-Rocker Pro Advanced 2.1 Gaming Chair.
For £104.85 (usually £249.99) you get wireless connectivity, pedestal base, two speakers and sub-woofer, gun-stock arms and vibration feedback.
The Sound: Sony DAV-TZ140 5.1 DVD Home Cinema System (£109)
A great gaming setup needs great sound. It’s much more immersive that way.
Surround sound is awesome for gaming and you can pick up a complete system insanely cheap. We found the Sony DAV-TZ140 5.1 DVD Home Cinema System for only £109. The receiver even has an upscaling DVD player built in.
Alternative: LG DH4430P 5.1 Channel 330 W DVD Home Cinema System (£129)
This LG is a lot like the Sony above, but the speakers are slightly bigger and better. You can get it at Amazon for £129.
The Headset - Gioteck HC-4 - £27
At this price, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the Gioteck HC-4 can't be providing quality sound. But you'd be wrong. With a Trusted Reviews 9/10 rating, the HC-4 comes in at a lot less than other headsets, but still packs a punch.
It will work on pretty much anything you can play a game on, and has a built in rechargable battery providing 8-hours of boosted sound. It looks badass too.
Alternative: Turtle Beach Elite 800 (£199)
At quite a considerable price increase, the Turtle Beach Elite 800 is the headset for those who demand perfect audio.
It combines excellently with the PS4, and for your hard-earned sterling returns noise cancellation, 7.1 surround sound, programmable audio and Dynamic Chat Boost.
The total is in…
£587 - £622
So there it is. For just over the cost of the Occulus Rift (and cheaper than a HTC Vive) you can now build a fantastic gaming setup on a budget of only £622. Choose the Wii U or Xbox One, your new gaming setup comes in at less than £600.
Whether you buy the whole lot, or use this guide as a starting point for your own shopping around, we hope it saves you some cash and helps you enjoy gaming even more.
We need your feedback!
In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s inspired by those ‘best budget gaming PC’ guides, but for console players. If you’d like us to keep it updated, or you think we can improve it somehow, tell us with comments, tweets and so on. We really want to hear what you think.
We want to see your gaming setup as well. Did you do it on a budget or did you splash out? Show us; we'll tweet out our favourites so everyone can see.