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TRICKS OF THE TRADE: TO THE TEST: Games consoles.

10/10

PlayStation 2, pounds 104.99, Sony (www.playstation.co.uk)

THIS super-slim (under 3cm) version of the PS2 is the most popular console and a fantastic all-rounder. There's something for everyone, from gun games to fitness workouts. The pricier and more powerful PS3 will be out in November.

8/10

DS, pounds 89.99, Nin tendo (www.nintendo-europe.com)

THIS 15cm handheld console has two screens, one of which is touch sensitive. This makes for unique, quirky games - from Sudoku puzzles to virtual pet Nintendogs. It also plays old Game Boy games. The DS Lite is due out in summer.

5/10

GameCube, pounds 79.99, Nintendo (www.nintendo-europe.com)

THIS cute little cube (11x15x16cm) is affordable and great for classic family gaming, with franchises like Mario and Pokemon. The parents' favourite as very few violent games are available. Nintendo Revolution out later this year.

7/10

PSP, pounds 14 9.9 9, Sony (www.yourpsp.com)

THIS 17cm handheld console is like having a PS2 in your pocket. It's very cool and the graphics look gorgeous on the big screen. Play favourites like FIFA Football and Grand Theft Auto. You can also play movies, music and surf the net.

6/10

Xbox, pounds 99.99, Microsoft (0800 587 1102 www.xbox.com)

THERE'S a good back catalogue of cheap games for the original Xbox. Games look better than PS2 and multiplayer gaming is great if you have broadband internet at home. But the console is huge (32x10x26cm) and ugly.

8/10

Xbox 360, pounds 279.99, Microsoft (0800 5871102 www.xbox.com)

THE most powerful console.

It's smaller and better looking than the Xbox. Online play is better than ever and games look awesome. It also streams music and pics. Avoid cheaper "Core Pack" - no hard drive and won't play old games.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Apr 9, 2006
Words:305
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