Holiday Buyers' Guide 2006 - PS3

The most powerful - and costly - console ever is finally here. We'll help you make sure all that money doesn't go to waste

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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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.

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