This is it, folks: the Holy Grail of the 2006 holiday season. If you want to get one of these before the end of the year, you've got three choices: chase down rumors and wait in line outside stores, pay extra on eBay orget a high-profile job in the game industry. Even if you manage to find a store that has them in stock, expect to pay at least $500 for the bare-bones model, which features a 20GB hard drive, or $600 for one that packs in a 60GB hard drive, a built-in reader for three types of flash memory cards and the ability to connect to wireless networks.
For all that money, you get one motion-sensing controller, a high-definition Blu-Ray movie player, free access to an online network and the ability to play some of the best-looking games we've ever seen. But while the games look great, too many of them are unfinished, unpolished or flat-out boring - not exactly a good thing when you're spending $60 a pop to buy them for the gamers in your life. But rest easy; we've played the games that get the most out of Sony's new hardware, and we're passing the knowledge along to you.