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While the Nvidia Shield's 4K video and solid gaming chops make it the most potent Android TV device yet, app shortfalls and a relatively high price limit its appeal.
Here are the absolute best video game consoles to buy for 2015.
The PlayStation TV sounds great on paper, but out of the gate, it underwhelms as both a gaming and an entertainment box.
The Wii U has shaken off some of its initial growing pains to become a superior kid and family console, with a limited but excellent lineup of exclusive games you won't find anywhere else.
The 3DS XL's improved 3D head-tracking is a big step up and its performance boost more makes a noticeable difference. A few head-scratching design choices prevent us from falling for the New 3DS XL, but this is still the best Nintendo portable to get.
While the PS4 remains our overall preferred choice in the next-gen console race, the Xbox One's significant first-year course corrections -- including a welcome holiday price drop -- make it a better deal than ever, and a much better bargain than when it first debuted.
The PlayStation 4's beautiful graphics, smart interface, blazing performance, near-perfect controller and better indie offerings give it an edge over the Xbox One -- though that edge is ever-shrinking.
While it will begin to cede its position to the PS4 in 2015, the PlayStation 3 still delivers impressively strong value for gaming and video entertainment.
Nintendo's New 3DS isn't much improved overall, but that new display alone almost makes the purchase worthwhile -- or will do, once it's available outside of Japan.
The cheaper, no-Kinect version of the Xbox One gives buyers a better deal by eliminating the one part of the console they probably didn't want to begin with -- but the PS4 remains a compelling alternative.
The slimmed-down Sony PlayStation Vita doesn't reinvent portable gaming, but it's a nice refinement of the portable PlayStation platform that comes at a great price for US gamers.