Two thousand and ten is, give or take, the midpoint of all the current consoles' lifespan. This means they're all rolling out new peripherals and new gimmicks to attract gamers. It also means lots of gift ideas.
1. Splitfish FragFX mouse controllers for PS3, $US50 to $US80. Studies show that mouse + keyboard gamers fare better against console gamers, so why not bring a mouse to a virtual gunfight? Splitfish plugs into your PS3 and gives you the ability to dominate your opponents with better firepower. Sorry Xboxers, it's unlikely Microsoft will let you use this anytime soon, so make sure your giftee has a PS3. [Splitfish]
2. Sony Move, $US100. As I said in the Sony Move review, the games now might be Wii-esque, but the fact that the PS3 is a console for core gamers means there's going to be plenty of hardcore titles coming in the future. If your friend wants a Wii but wishes it had more killing and shooting and violence, this is it. [Amazon]
3. Xbox 360 Kinect, $US150. As for your Xbox 360-owning friends, you'll want to get Kinect, which is a controllerless, full-body solution to the motion gaming puzzle. Controlling your Xbox with your arms and your voice is cool, but the real hype comes from games like Dance Central, which really takes motion gaming into another realm. But make sure to get Dance Central for them too. [Amazon]
4. OnLive MicroConsole, $US100. They might lack a huge library of games to choose from, but the fact that everything you need is in this little box—no downloading, no going out to buy games—just streaming. Explain to your friend that this is like Netflix Watch Now, except for games. This $US100 box will keep him set for a long time, and plus, if you get one you can watch him play games in real time from your own TV. (AU: Not available down under just yet. Sad face. - NB) [OnLive]
5. Rock Band 3, $US60 for the game, more for peripherals. Those Guitar Hero and Rock Band friends of yours now have no excuse to actually learn those instruments they've been virtually playing. The latest game lets you use a real guitar and a real keyboard, with all the complexities of each, to power through songs. Be warned though: The real peripherals are expensive, so you might want to let them pick up the tab for those. [Amazon]
6. iPod Touch, $US230 to $US400. All of the iOS games and apps, but none of the AT&T monthly fees. The touch might be a slightly more expensive gift than a Nintendo DS or a Sony PSP, but they've got access to a lot more titles in return. Plus, FaceTime. [Apple]