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Christmas Gift Guide
Gaming

Hot Xmas deals for Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii

If you're on Santa's bad list this year, you'll need to pay for games consoles with your own dosh. But there are a few choice deals available that can save you money

If you've been as naughty as us Cravers this year -- perhaps riding a stolen lawnmower at midnight while dressed in a kimono in deepest, darkest Sweden -- then it's unlikely that Santa will be bringing you anything as delightful as a games console. Don't fret, though -- we've been trawling the Web for the best deals on Wiis, PlayStation 3s and Xbox 360s, and we think we've found some absolute stonkers that even delinquents such as yourselves can afford.

Microsoft Xbox 360 Elite
Surveys tell us that the 360 may not be the most reliable console of the three, but it's still a CNET UK favourite. The Elite version is the pick of the bunch, as its 120GB of storage offers the most room for music, high-definition movie downloads and -- for those who want to reduce optical-drive noise and decrease load times -- installing games directly to the console.

If you have it on good authority that people will be giving you games and/or cold, hard cash for Christmas, you may consider buying a stand-alone Xbox 360 Elite from Play.com for a ludicrously low £140. If you'd rather not take the risk of being game-less on 25 December, Play.com is also offering an Xbox 360 Elite plus the Wireless Entertainment Pack, which consists of Lego Batman, Pure and an extra wireless controller -- all for £170. If you're £30 richer, you should definitely check out HMV's top bundle. It includes all the above, plus a copy of Mirror's Edge and Fifa 10, so you can leap tall buildings in a single bound and enjoy the spirit of the World Cup a few months early.

Sony PlayStation 3
The world's most expensive games console is also the world's most advanced. It's the only one of the three major consoles to sport an integrated Blu-ray player, which is an absolute must if you've got an HD television. We've always been fans of the PS3, but even more so now that Sony's released the super-skinny PS3 Slim edition, which, unlike the PS3 'Fat', is attractive and lightweight enough to be carried home from the shops without the aid of a forklift truck.

PS3 deals tend to be very pricey, but the one that made the most financial sense to us was Play.com's offer of a 250GB console, plus the X-Men Origins: Wolverine game, The Dark Knight movie on Blu-ray, and a Blu-ray remote control, for £270. Wolverine may not have been the most commercially successful game on the PS3, but superhero fans will find it a solid action romp and a great complement to The Dark Knight, which looks terrific in 1080p.

Nintendo Wii
The least powerful of the three major games consoles, the Wii is also arguably the most engaging, particularly for gaming novices. Its unusual motion-sensing remote control allows even non-gamers to compete on a par with experienced players, so it's easy to involve all members of the family.

Despite its relative lack of power, the Wii doesn't come cheap, so it's just as well that there are several impressive deals on offer. Entry-level gamers should definitely consider an offer that comes courtesy of man-friendly voucher site Voucher King. It's offering a Wii console with Wii Sports from HMV for the super-low price of just £135. If you've got the readies, you can go directly to HMV and pick up a black version of the console, plus Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort, for a very reasonable £150. If casual mini games aren't your thing, then head on over to simplygames.com. It has a £170 bundle that includes both Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort, alongside impressive platform romp Wario Land: Shake It and Mario Strikers Charged. Watch out for the £6 delivery charge, though.

These are just a fraction of the deals available online, but we think they're pretty decent, so you may have to act quickly to avoid disappointment. Don't forget that there are other people reading this. Let us know if you've seen anything that's spectacularly cheap or extremely good value for money by posting in our comments section below.

Merry gaming, folks!