If you are hoping for a game system under your Christmas tree this holiday season, here are some tips to give Santa.
The Xbox 360 ($300 and $400 versions) and PlayStation 3 ($500 and $600 versions) are the systems to get for the most cutting-edge graphics, though it'll be nearly impossible to find a PS3 for a while. While the 360 and PS3 are geared more toward teens and older players, the Nintendo Wii ($250) is aimed at all ages.
The Wii doesn't have super-fancy graphics, but its motion-sensing controller is a lot of fun, and you can download old Nintendo games like the original Legend of Zelda.
The PlayStation 2 ($130) is nearing the end of its life, but it's relatively cheap and has the biggest library of great games. For portable systems, the Nintendo DS Lite's ($130) touch screen and variety of games make up for its relative lack of power. The DS Lite also plays Game Boy Advance games.
The Sony PlayStation Portable ($200) has an enormous screen and terrific graphics, but the games aren't as varied or interesting as the DS Lite's. The PSP also plays music and movies.
Josh Korr can be reached at email@example.com. For more, see his blog at sptimes.com/blogs/videogames.
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More the the wish list
Josh Korr, who writes a game blog for the Times, says there are plenty of other games out there to choose from that are kid-friendly or a little edgier if you are older.
* Super Mario DS (for DS, rated E; $34.99)
* Brain Age and Big Brain Academy (for DS, both rated E and $19.99)
* Loco Roco (for PSP, rated E; $39.99)
* Guitar Hero II (rated T for Teen; $79.99 including plastic guitar controller)