NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT/GTX videocard -
$300-500 State-of-the-art videocard for the ultimate gaming experience
Techspot Review] No holiday PC buying guide would be
complete without a gaming videocard pick. The GeForce 7800
GTX is the fastest graphics solution available in the market
today, and its less pricier sibling the 7800 GT, offers
similar high-performance in pretty much any game you throw
at it. Yes, you can do SLI with these babies, too, however
it's our opinion that one card will be good enough present
=). If you are on a more limited budget, there are still
excellent videocard choices
below the $200 price point, our favourite choice would
then be ATI's Radeon X800 GTO.
Z-5450 Digital 5.1 Speakers -
Wireless surround sound
The Z-5450 Digital is yet another
incredible set of speakers by Logitech. Just about any gamer
would gladly make this 300-watt speaker system the
cornerstone of their PC multimedia experience. Because of
the odd places people tend to have their desks; a wireless
speaker setup is ideal. Don’t worry about the lack of wires;
only the rear speakers are wireless and they sound great.
Continuing the fine tradition of “less is more”, wireless
doesn’t offer the best value unfortunately, but the
convenience may be well worth the premium for some. However,
if you have learned to become one with your cables you can
score the 500 watt corded version for about the same price.
By the way, “the same price” is about $350.
$300-400 Next-generation gaming is now
Not much needs to be said about this
highly anticipated gaming console, but this is the
item to have for just about any console gamer. The
impressive technical (and not so technical) specifications
can be found
here. The only flaw may be the limited list of games at
launch, but sure hits like Call of Duty 2, King Kong, NBA
Live 2K6 and Quake 4 keep the platform a solid investment
before upcoming smashes like Halo 3 peek their heads out
next year. For those already hooked on the original Xbox,
the 360 really is the perfect Yule tide offering, since it
backwards compatible with many existing Xbox “one” games
as well. That makes this possibly the easiest, hottest gift
for the holidays. The only problem will be actually getting
your hands on one.
Sony PSP and
Nintendo DS The portable gaming systems
the bus, in the car, at the office and during squabbles this
Thursday at your family’s dinner table, the PSP delivers all
the power and eye candy of the Playstation/2 smack dab in
your hands. An exciting gift for any gamer on the go, the
PSP supports a wide variety of popular titles and lets you
play them anywhere on a large-but-small widescreen screen
measuring 4.3” (16:9 aspect ratio). Not surprisingly, the
PSP also maintains an impressive feature set worthy of just
more than gaming. Sony’s “PDA-esque” portable gaming system
includes the ability to cruise the net (802.11b), watch
movies (MPEG), listen to music and transfer/display digital
photos. The PSP supports Sony proprietary technologies
(surprise…) such as UMD (Universal Media Drive) and Sony
Memory Sticks, which can enhance the portable media
experience. To make an informed decision of your own, feel
free to visit
Sony and check this awesome device out.
the Sony PSP, the Nintendo DS is a high-end gaming device
that fits in your pocket, but costs much less. More powerful
than a N64, the DS features two three-inch touch screens,
voice recognition and wireless multiplayer. Note that the
wireless multiplayer capability in the DS is proprietary
Nintendo technology, but it is also possible to connect this
unit to 802.11b so you can get tangled up on the web.
Another cool feature is the ability to play Gameboy Advanced
games as well as original DS titles. Nintendo’s portable
doesn’t have the graphics capabilities of the Sony PSP, but
what might set the DS apart from the PSP is Nintendo’s
commitment to a unique gaming experience and the prospect of
some real interesting add-ons.
The choice will be yours. Expect
competition to sizzle as we get closer to Christmas. Sony is
currently offering the “Gigapack” which includes a 1GB
memory stick with the PSP for around $299. Prices may start
dropping since the DS hit the shelves at a paltry $129 (only
$149 for the Mario Kart DS pack). Make sure to check out
Logitech for some great add-ons for both portables and
get ready to surprise someone with a really fun gift.
PC Games The latest and greatest for the PC -
There’s no denying, games make
sensational stocking stuffers. Even if you don’t have
stockings, games are simple, inexpensive, fun gifts. With
this in mind, this holiday will truly be a great time for
anyone that enjoys PC gaming. Some noteworthy shooter titles
include F.E.A.R, Quake 4, Battlefield 2, and Call of Duty 2.
Strategists might prefer the likes of Civilization IV, Black
& White 2 or Age of Empires 3 while sports fans might have
some real fun with Football Manager 2006 and FIFA 2006 (and
most definitely Winning Eleven 9/PES 5 where available). If
simulations are your thing, Movies, Sims 2 – Christmas Party
/ Night life, Zoo Tycoon 2 – Endangered Species might be a
pleasant surprise as well! There’s plenty to choose from,
and a title for pretty much everybody.
If there is a mouse worthy of wrapping
paper, it is definitely the G7. It fits like a glove ((righties
only!), scans with a super accurate laser and there’s no
mouse tail to drag you down. Microsoft’s newest laser mouse
is nice too, but I can’t help feel the difference with the
G7 even over Logitech’s previous masterpiece, the MX1000.
Specs include a rechargeable Li-ion battery and a 2000 dpi
scan resolution and its own recharging cradle. You can’t go
wrong with handing this one out.