On the cheap
Sure, the Nintendo 3DS is the new hotness, but there's an enormous breadth of excellent (and inexpensive) content on Nintendo's final DSi iteration, the XL. With games ranging in price from $1 to $30, the DSi XL is a great choice for kids (and parents), essentially guaranteeing to keep the long-term financial investment low. Also good for kids and parents? It's nigh indestructible. The DSi XL may be hard to find brand-new in stores, but a pre-owned one will cost even less than the $130 (and up) going rate.
Key specs: Dual 4.2-inch LCD screens (256 x 192), SD card slot, rated for three to 12 hours of battery life, weighs 314g (0.7 pound).
Price: From $154 on Amazon
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Give the gift of handheld nostalgia this year with SNK Playmore's Neo Geo X handheld. The gorgeous little machine carries a $130 price tag by itself, or you can pony up another $70 for the special edition (which includes a bevy of sweet peripherals).
Price: $130 from GameStop
Skylanders: Giants Starter Pack
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure took the game industry by surprise and became a breakout hit. This year, Activision and Toys For Bob are upping the ante with Skylanders: Giants and it (thankfully) works with all those toys you bought last year.
Price: $75 on Amazon
The PlayStation Vita may not be in the best place sales-wise, but there's a wealth of content available for Sony's second entry in the portable console market. The 5-inch OLED touchscreen is bright and responsive, the controls and button layout are comfortable and graphics outclass the Nintendo 3DS' performance. Yes, at $250, it's still too expensive, but at this point there are more than enough good reasons to pick one up (Gravity Rush, LittleBigPlanet and Sound Shapes come to mind).
Key specs: 5-inch multi-touch display (960 x 544), ARM Cortex A9 processor, WiFi support, weighs 260g (0.6 pound).
Price: $250 on Amazon
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Nintendo's Wii U may still have work to do in convincing gamers of its worth, but the early adopters among us will assuredly want to snag a first-run system when it launches this November. A huge list of launch games certainly doesn't hurt, either.
Price: From $300 starting on November 18th from Nintendo
Yup, seriously. Here we are, suggesting you get yourself an iPad mini for gaming. There are simply too many good iOS games to overlook Apple's new, smaller tablet. (Have you played Super Hexagon?!) Bonus: it does a bunch of other stuff too.
Price: $329 from Apple
Money's no object
The Alienware X51 is just a touch larger than your average gaming console, but it's considerably more powerful. After all, it packs NVIDIA's GTX 660 graphics chip and an Intel Core i7 processor with 1TB of HDD memory. The X51 can be easily connected to a living room TV for use as a media center and Steam Big Picture Mode game box. Kitting it out all the way comes with a hefty price, of course.
Key specs: Core i7-3770 processor with 16GB of RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 graphics with 1.5GB of dedicated RAM, weighs 12.1 pounds.
Price: $1,200 from Dell
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The Razer Blade laptop is a beautiful, thin, powerful gaming laptop -- with a prohibitively high price. But if the sky's the limit when it comes to your holiday budget, we can't suggest a better way to spend a huge wad of cash on a hardcore gamer.
Price: $2,500 from Razer
Next-gen gaming is already here; you just have to pay a premium for it. The Bolt Gaming PC from Digital Storm is no exception, especially if you shell out for the high-end model equipped with NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 680.
Price: $1,949 from Digital Storm
Ready to take home one of AT&T's hottest smartphones? Today's offering is the LG Optimus G, which packs a beautiful 4.7-inch True HD display and remains one of our top picks on the US carrier's LTE network. To enter for your chance to win, be sure to review our full guidelines, then leave a comment below.
- Leave a comment below. Any comment will do. Duplicate entries will be filtered out and discarded, so adding additional comments won't increase your likelihood of winning.
- Contest is open to all residents of the 50 States and the District of Columbia, 18 or older! Sorry, we don't make this rule (we hate excluding anyone).
- Winners will be chosen randomly. One winner will receive one (1) LG Optimus G.
- If you are chosen, you will be notified by email. Winners must respond within three days of being contacted. If you do not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen. Make sure that the account you use to enter the contest includes a contact email. Social media contact details are not carried over into our system.
- This unit is purely for promotional giveaway. AT&T, LG and Engadget/AOL are not held liable to honor warranties, exchanges or customer service.
- The full list of rules, in all its legalese glory, can be found here.
- Entries can be submitted until December 31st, 2012 at 11:59PM ET. Good luck!