2010 Video Game Buying Guide

Overview and Xbox 360

As you may have noticed, we previously covered our hottest video games picks of 2010 as well as the new motion accessories offered for the Xbox 360 and PS3 this year, the Kinect and the Move, respectively. This article is going to focus solely on gaming systems that are sold without any motion sensor accessories. If you're interested in picking up the Move or Kinect this season, check out our other guide for more info.

This guide takes a look at the best bundles offered for each major console. We will be covering our picks for the best deals on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, DS, and PSP systems.

Xbox 360

Microsoft has two models of the 360 currently available on the market. Both come with a wireless controller and composite video cable. The $299.99 version of the console also includes a headset. The biggest difference in the two systems is that the 4GB model (retailing for $199.99) only uses on-board memory, meaning the system does not have the ability to play old Xbox games. The $299.99 model comes with an on-board 250GB Hard Drive, allowing it to be backwards compatible (the extra space should also give you a ton of room to download games and movies from the marketplace). While you can buy the hard drive separately, it will cost you an extra $30 to do so - it retails for $129 - when compared to buying it at the time of purchase.

The 360 is also a system with a few popular exclusives: the Halo series, the Forza Motorsport series and the Gears of War series can only be found on Xbox systems. In addition, if you're a fan of first-person shooters, there are many more players on the 360 than the PlayStation 3 at any given point in time. However, it'll cost you anywhere from $9.99 a month to $60 a year to purchase an Xbox Live subscription to play those games online.

One potential downside for some consumers is the lack of Blu-ray support on the 360 when compared to the PS3. While this may not matter to some, since Blu-ray player costs have recently plummeted, it is still an added value to the PlayStation 3 system.

Our Picks
Xbox 360 4GB
Xbox 360 Arcade bundles this year are pretty amazing. While the bundles are still clocking in at the base $199 price, each store is bundling some sort of game with the system.

The first option is from K-Mart and includes the new Call of Duty game, Black Ops. This game is still retailing for $60 and is immensely popular. However, it isn't for everyone, which is why we also recommend the Best Buy Bundle as a family friendly option – it includes three games from the popular LEGO series. Finally, as an honorable mention, Target tosses out the idea of including a game completely, giving you a $50 gift card with purchase of a 4GB Xbox console, essentially allowing you to create your own game bundle (or, if you want, an accessory).

Xbox 360 250GB
Unfortunately, there are no 250GB bundles available this season.

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Next Page - Sony PS3 and PSP

November 20, 2010
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