Microsoft Xbox One ( without Kinect)
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.
Sony PlayStation Vita Borderlands 2 Bundle ( 2000)
Two years in, the PlayStation Vita has come of age and become a refined piece of hardware and an excellent place to play a lot of games. You don't need one, but it's really fun and worth its price.
Nintendo Wii Mini ( Red)
The bare-bones Wii Mini gets rid of many Wii features to just focus on playing disc games, but the stripped-down experience isn't worth the savings.
Sony PlayStation 4
The PlayStation 4's beautiful graphics, blazing interface, near-perfect controller, and lower price give it a slight edge on the Xbox One -- for now.
Nintendo 2DS ( Red)
At $130, the 2DS offers a huge array of compelling software and makes for a great entry-level gaming system to the uninitiated first-time gamer. Just be sure to buy a protective case along with it, too.
The Nvidia Shield brings console-level quality to portable Android gaming, but it needs a higher quality list of compatible games before it can truly rival the Vita or 3DS.
Ouya Game Console
Despite its low price and free-to-try system, the Ouya fails to reach its potential as a disruptive alternative platform.
Nintendo 3DS XL ( Red)
The supersized Nintendo 3DS XL is a solid portable gaming device that's finally come into its own and should be the first and last 3DS you buy.
Sony PlayStation Vita ( 3G)
Overall, the PlayStation Vita is the most advanced portable gaming system ever made. While the price is deceiving because of a hidden cost, gamers are getting an impressively complete package. Now priced at $200, the Vita makes a compelling case as the ultimate indie portable console.
Nintendo Wii Mario Kart Wii Pack ( White)
For families and lovers of casual games, the even more affordable Wii still represents the best console bundle value in terms of dollars spent, but it's also the system that's first on deck to be outdated. With the announcement of the Wii U, the Wii is a declining console. Still, its sizable and often unique back library of games is still worth playing.