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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Super Slim PlayStation 3

Nintendo Wii U

NHL 13 (360, PS3)

Borderlands 2 (360, PS3, PC)

FIFA 13 (multiplatform)

LittleBigPlanet (Vita)

Resident Evil 6 (360, PS3, PC)

Dishonored (360, PS3, PC)

Assassin's Creed III (360, PS3, PC)

Need For Speed: Most Wanted (360, PS3, PC, Vita)

Halo 4 (360)

Call of Duty: Black Ops II (360, PS3, PC)

Far Cry 3 (360, PS3, PC)

Price: $270 (250GB console, Uncharted 3 pack-in), $300 (500GB console, Assassin's Creed III pack-in)

Availability: Uncharted 3 bundle available now, Assassin's Creed III bundle October 30

The outlook: The latest PS3 slims down to its smallest size ever while retaining everything we like -- and a few things we don't -- about the PlayStation 3 gaming console.

Caption by / Photo by CNET

Price: $299 (Basic Set), $349 (Deluxe Set)

Availability: November 18

The outlook: To call the Wii U Nintendo's hail mary may be premature, but the company is definitely in dire need of a reinvigoration. The Wii U will be the first console to make use of tablet controllers and feature Nintendo TVii, an ambitious universal remote-meets-social TV watching serivce. There's certainly some promise within a number of the titles we've seen and played, but Nintendo must do a lot more to make the Wii U the hottest gift this holiday season.

Caption by / Photo by Nintendo

Price: $60

Availability: September 11

The outlook: Once again running unopposed by any other sort of competing title, NHL 13 is now focused on delivering the most realistic skating experience to date. While hardcore puckheads might appreciate that level of detail, it's not necessarily a selling point casual fans can relate to. Nevertheless, the NHL team has done a fantastic job the last few years, inching ever-closer to the perfect simulation experience.

Caption by / Photo by EA

Price: $60

Availability: September 18

The outlook: Borderlands 2 is the follow-up to the highly successful "shoot and loot" original. More weapons, new environments, unique enemies, and a robust co-op mode all look to add to an already winning formula. Read CNET's first-take of Borderlands 2.

Caption by / Photo by Gearbox Studios

Price: $35-$60

Availability: September 25

The outlook: The hottest football simulation title around is getting some major upgrades in 13. From improved player modeling and animations to more realistic physics, FIFA 13 wants to remain at the top of the football world. Read CNET's first-look at FIFA 13.

Caption by / Photo by EA

Price: $40

Availability: September 25

The outlook: The Vita is about to get some major software support in the form of LittleBigPlanet. Touch-screen controls will change the way we play with our favorite Sackboy characters as well edit levels within the game. Read CNET's in-depth first take.

Caption by / Photo by SCE

Price: $60

Availability: October 2

The outlook: While Resident Evil 6 seems to have gone down a much different path from the survival horror epic we all remember and love, we've been told the latest will offer various modes of game play. Read CNET's in-depth look at the final version of the game.

Caption by / Photo by Capcom

Price: $60

Availability: October 9

The outlook: We love seeing an original piece of software hit game consoles and Dishonored looks like it is sure to be something we've never seen before. Sure, it does seem influenced by BioShock (the same team made BioShock 2), but we can think of a better franchise to borrow from.

Caption by / Photo by Arkane Studios

Price: $60

Availability: October 30

The outlook: We've complained about Assassin's Creed lack of diversity as of late, but this sequel is already making us believers. Set in the American Revolution, the latest tale in the franchise looks to completely reinvent itself.

Caption by / Photo by Ubisoft

Price: $60

Availability: October 30

The outlook: Sure, a Need For Speed game hits us nearly every year, but not with the team behind the Burnout series. In Most Wanted, Criterion Games looks to deliver the open-world racing game we've been asking for.

Caption by / Photo by Criterion Games

Price: $60

Availability: November 6

The outlook: Master Chief can't catch a break. He's back fighting once again in Halo 4 which will introduce us to a brand new enemy spawned from an ancient evil.

Caption by / Photo by 343 Industries

Price: $60

Availability: November 13

The outlook: Another Call of Duty game, what else is there to say? Addictive multiplayer, top-of-the-line production values, and a brand new campaign. Just try and be productive after this one drops -- we dare you.

Caption by / Photo by Treyarch

Price: $60

Availability: December 4

The outlook: While it was bumped from its earlier release date, it still looks like Far Cry 3 will see the light of day before 2013. That's a great thing because judging by what we've seen and played of the game so far, Far Cry 3

Caption by / Photo by Ubisoft