The Ultimate Gaming MachinesPC Magazine,
by Brian Bennett
Playing video games is an often
overlooked but absolutely essential part of living a stress-free life,
at least in my opinion. And in today''s pressure cooker of a modern
world, nothing eases tension quite like a few rounds of grinding
virtual opponents into the dust. Whether you prefer to get your game on
using the hottest fire-breathing PC money can buy or on your cell while
waiting for the bus, these sweet products are sure to slap a big grin
on your fun-loving face.Sorry all you console jockeys out there, no consumer game machine
can offer the sheer earth-quaking power of a serious gaming PC. What''s
more, the new HP Blackbird 002, with its liquid-cooled overclocked
Intel Core 2 Extreme processor and robust graphics, eats other gaming
rigs for breakfast. Of course, the latest consoles do pack a punch. The
Xbox 360 Elite, the top-of-the-line Xbox system, features a big 120GB
hard drive with plenty of room for downloadable HD movies, TV shows,
music, and, oh yeah, games too. Don''t forget to grab a copy the hottest
new title for the Xbox, Halo 3. It''s sure to feed your inherent need
for saving the planet by fragging aliens and blowing lots of things up.
Sony''s PlayStation 3 has got game as well. Powered by Sony''s vaunted
Cell CPU, RSX graphics system, and integrated Blu-ray drive, the PS3
satisfies as both a hard-core gaming console and a delivery system for
hi-def video and audio.
Still, sometimes the simplest games are the most maddeningly
addictive. Nintendo''s Wii is a perfect example of this and proves
destruction isn''t necessary for having a good time. Great for just
about everyone from little kids to seniors, the Wii serves up barrels
of fun with smash hits such as Wii Sports—Tennis is my personal
favorite, though Bowling is a close second. Upcoming titles like Wii
Fit , announced at E3 this year, further wet the appetite for cutesy,
friendly, wholesome gaming.
To get your fix during your downtime, it''s hard to beat playing
killer mobile games on your cell. Helio''s Ocean taps into the wireless
service provider''s large library of titles, and has the power to run
them with authority. The device also has a properly placed D-pad and
extra action buttons for greater control. There''s no disputing,
however, that the new Sony PSP provides the best portable mobile gaming
experience, period. Slimmed down and pumped up with extra memory, the
PSP now outputs to TVs and features a less complicated UMD drive.
For more information on the products mentioned in this story and
links to corresponding in-depth reviews, check out the list below.
Products in this roundup:
Xbox 360 Elite
Even though the Xbox 360 Elite won''t sway current owners to upgrade,
its impressive feature set and strong online community make it the
high-powered console to own.
Halo 3 (Xbox 360)
Great multiplayer modes, new weapons and vehicles, and superb graphics
make Halo 3 one of the best gaming experiences available for the Xbox
360—as well as a shining example of how a trilogy can go out with a
HP Blackbird 002
Sleek like its reconnaissance-plane namesake, the HP Blackbird 002 is
poised to excel on a specialized mission: ruling the game grid.
Sony PlayStation 3
By combining a great gaming platform with a high-definition Blu-ray
player and a host of other features, the Sony PlayStation 3 makes a
welcome addition to any living room.
Sony PSP (model 2000)
Sony''s "enhanced" new PSP (model 2000) is a no-brainer for all gaming
enthusiasts who seek exciting entertainment on the go. The portable
gaming device features a few improvements over the original that make
it a win-win proposition for new adopters.
The Nintendo Wii is a fun, engaging, wildly innovative game console
that''s dramatically and the PlayStation 3,
and way more affordable, too.
Helio Ocean (Pantech PN-810)
The best current social-networking device, the Helio Ocean, takes the
T-Mobile Sidekick concept to the next level. It also gets gaming
controls right, with a well-positioned D-pad and action buttons plus
ties into Helio''s service that lets you buy, rent, or even give games
to your friends.
Copyright © 2007 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in PC Magazine.