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The Best Gaming Consoles for the Workplace

Video games are a pastime that have surged in popularity over the last few years. Previously seen as childish, video games have made inroads with older segments of the population. These days, everyone from college students to business professionals are able to find a game that they can enjoy. Given their broad appeal, video game consoles can be incorporated into the workplace to create a more laid back and enjoyable environment for employees. However, not all video game consoles are created equally. Here are some of the best consoles that can be utilized in the workplace.


Why Consoles Are Useful

To understand which consoles are the most work appropriate, you must first understand what you’re trying to accomplish by installing them. Perhaps you’re looking to change the attributes of culture that exist within your workplace. You may want your employees reporting that their opinion of the office environment is that it is a fun, lighthearted, or relaxing place to conduct business. You may want to instill some friendly competition or cooperation as a method of building team cohesion. You may want to create a simple hangout space to encourage interoffice mingling. Installing video game consoles into the workplace is an excellent, low-cost way to accomplish all these goals. Think through what you hope to accomplish as you determine the pros and cons of each console listed below.


Nintendo Switch

The Switch is Nintendo’s best-selling modern console. It is a portable device that can be docked to a TV to provide a larger screen on which to play. It comes with two controllers that are detachable from the console itself, with support for up to four controllers at one time. It has a small form factor and is simple to operate. Multiple accounts can be created on the same device to allow for unique profiles for individual staff members. The size and ease of operability make it an excellent choice for casual gamers to enjoy without being overwhelmed by complexity.

The Nintendo Switch is a console that is geared more toward casual gaming experiences, but some of its dominant titles are highly competitive. On the competitive end of the game selection, Super Smash Bros is an exciting title for some friendly fighting. Super Smash Bros is an up-to-four player fighting game that includes a wide range of popular characters that fall under Nintendo’s ownership, such as Mario, Pikachu, and Zelda. It has a low barrier to entry and a high skill cap, making it a game that staff can battle in repeatedly without growing bored.

On the more casual side of Switch titles, there are party games such as Super Mario Party. This is an up-to-four player game that feels a bit like a board game. Players play cooperatively and competitively to collect stars by rolling dice, playing minigames, and making situational decisions. This is a game that anyone can pick up and start playing immediately. Mario Kart is another casual competitive title in which players race around in go-karts trying to finish in first place. Generous driving mechanics and intuitive motion controls make this another game that anyone at any skill level can pick up and have fun.

Don’t forget about the individual profiles available on the Switch. These make individual progression possible in single player games, and there is no shortage of excellent, casual single player titles available on the Switch. Pokémon, Super Mario, Animal Crossing, and The Legend of Zelda are all franchises in which new and veteran gamers alike will find something to love. With its blend of cooperative and competitive games, low barrier to entry, and full selection of beginner friendly games, the Switch is a fantastic console to incorporate into your workplace.


Nintendo Wii

Nintendo is a company that makes high quality games that all can enjoy, which is why a second console of theirs is recommended for the workplace. The Wii is an older Nintendo console, originally released in 2006. Despite its age, it is still a blast to play. What makes the Wii unique is that it is primarily a movement-based console. The Wii’s controllers are motion controllers which allow for the capture of grand gameplay movements. The Wii supports up to four players simultaneously, with the option to add more players via pass-and-play. It has a small form factor, and it must be connected to an external display. It also requires an included motion sensor bar to be installed above or below the display.

The Wii really shines in its games that utilize the innovative motion controls. One of the system’s most beloved series of party games is the Wii Sports series. Wii Sports consists of five of sports games – tennis, baseball, boxing, golf, and bowling - packaged onto a single disk. Wii Sports Resorts, a sequel, includes such activities as disc golf, archery, table tennis, and parachuting. What makes all of these sports games perfect in an office environment is that each game is short, simple to learn, and self-contained, meaning that no new game depends on what happened in a previous game. Coworkers will love competing in these simple but surprisingly difficult sports games while using a full range of motion, via the motion controllers, to do so. The Wii Sports series alone makes for a great addition to the workplace, but other games like Just Dance, Mario Party, and Mario Kart Wii will also add to the fun.


Arcade Machines

An honorable mention goes to arcade machines. The retro games included on arcade machines are simple enough for most people to pick up and play right away, and it can be very fun to compete with coworkers for a coveted high score. Nowadays, arcade machines can be easily emulated with a Raspberry Pi and can include thousands of games. An arcade cabinet with a Raspberry Pi emulator is relatively inexpensive, and its presence will serve to create a more casual office atmosphere. Ultimately, the humble arcade machine only gets an honorable mention because it is largely a solo experience. Certain games can have two players, but most games involve competing in a solo session for a high score. While still very fun, this can be less conducive to team building than consoles like the Switch and the Wii.

Video games are a great way to promote team bonding through fun cooperation or friendly competition. The Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Wii stand out as the two best game consoles to incorporate into a workplace due to their casual game library, low barrier to entry, high-ceiling competitive options, and simultaneous four player maximums. No matter what system is selected, adding video games into the workplace is sure to be a hit with many employees!


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