Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Engadget's back to school guide 2012: gaming

Welcome to Engadget's back to school guide! The end of summer vacation isn't nearly as much fun as the weeks that come before, but a chance to update your tech tools likely helps to ease the pain. Today, we're getting our game on -- and you can head to the back to school hub to see the rest of the product guides as they're added throughout the month. Be sure to keep checking back -- at the end of the month we'll be giving away a ton of the gear featured in our guides -- and hit up the hub page right here!

DNP Engadget's back to school guide 2012 gaming

It's time to balance out that daily grind at school with some well-deserved leisure. Fortunately, many of our choices walk that fine line between work and play -- if you're willing to stump up some more cash beyond a normal laptop, you could get something capable of handling the latest PC titles. Some of our other choices may be a harder sell in the education stakes, but we all need some stress relief, right? And with bigger consoles nearing the end of their life cycles, there's never been a more wallet-friendly time to get involved. Jump in after the break for our favorite gaming choices. If all your money's been earmarked for learnin', then you should certainly enter our sweepstakes. Leave a comment after the break for a chance to win, and visit our giveaway page for all the details.

On the cheap

Engadget's back to school guide 2012 gaming

Nintendo DSi

While we've already reached the second generation of 3DS hardware, there has been more good news from Nintendo since last year's guide. Yes, this time, the camera-toting DSi got a substantial price cut -- down to around $100, depending on your color preferences. There's still a raft of respectable games for the elder statesman of Nintendo handhelds and the DSi was also the first to connect to Nintendo's online store, with an increasing selection of mini-games and retro titles available for download over WiFi.
Key specs: Dual 3.25-inch displays, two cameras, SD card slot, WiFi.
Price: $119 on Amazon
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Engadget's back to school guide 2012 gaming

Nyko Power grip for Vita
Nyko says its Power Grip will double your handheld play time -- a boon for the otherwise precarious battery life of the PS Vita. The extended handles should also make those longer gaming sessions a cinch, though the rig's unlikely to fit in your pocket anymore.

From $30 on Amazon

Engadget's back to school guide 2012 gaming

XBox 360 two-year subscription bundle
Granted, you'll have to be willing to pay an additional $15 per month for the two-year term, but for a lot of us, that's a pretty manageable price for the best-selling console in recent history. Rounded out by a Kinect, it's a very solid package for a $100 entry fee.
$100 at Microsoft