Cool consoles Make for hot hardware
A game is nothing without its console. With rapidly progressing technology and a host of competing companies, here are some of the hottest gaming devices around.
The 3DS has dazzled users. It's a portable gaming device which, for the first time, uses glasses-free 3-D technology to fully immerse the gamer into a virtual world. It has something for everyone: the fluffy fun of Pac Man and Zelda, and the brutal beat-downs of Dead or Alive and Resident Evil. Release date: out now.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Play
iPhone games might kill time on the train, but true gamers need a controller. Sony has answered the cry with the Xperia Play. Packing a slide-out controller and the Android OS, as well as all the standard smartphone specs, the device features a mix of PSP and classic PlayStation games. Highlights include Need for Speed and Splinter Cell.
Release date: out now
Sony's new portable gaming device has a five-inch touchscreen, wi-fi and 3G capabilities, and double the processing power of the iPhone. With the entire PSP catalogue behind it, and a number of developer exclusives, it heralds a bright future for the world of portable gaming.
Release date: winter 2011
Nintendo Wii U
This year's E3 video-game conference was hyped for one reason: Nintendo's Wii U. With a new tablet-like touchscreen controller that enhances the multiplayer experience, the company is keeping its light-and-fun market in mind. Rumours say the Wii U will have 50 per cent more processing power than any console on the market, but we'll have to see when it launches next summer.
Release date: summer 2012
Both the Kinect and Move devices have breathed new life into the Xbox 360 and PS3. Neither Microsoft nor Sony have plans to launch new consoles anytime soon. Despite this, rumours still swirl in gamer geek circles: an analyst recently said Microsoft's console 'has peaked in some respects' and expects it to announce the Xbox 720 at next year's E3, with a potential release date of 2015. Sony has said it's 'highly focused on launching Vita' but many predict that its next launch will be an all-in-one entertainment system encompassing TV, music, and photos.