My Touch 3G
First came the G1. Now we get the next smartphone to utilize Google's open-source Android platform. Beyond hundreds of downloadable apps, adding a range of functionality from social networking to restaurant recommendations, bonuses include a sharp 3.2-inch touchscreen display and 3.2mp camera. Speedy Internet surfing is also a given, as is WiFi capability and video playback/recording, with support for enjoying music and photos integrated, too. Slightly above-average feature readout aside, extensive third-party support really makes it worth keeping on speed dial.
www.t-mobile.com / $199.99
Half the size and 40% as chunky as the original, this slick revamp of the popular portable gaming system also stashes the device's d-pad and buttons on a slider located beneath its 3.8-inch screen. More poignantly, however, models additionally ditch the disastrous Universal Media Disc (UMD) format for digitally downloadable amusements. The console's 16 gb of internal memory readily await music, videos and photos, plus new episodes of Gran Turismo and LittleBigPlanet. Our only complaint: Price, as, ergonomics aside, there's presently scant reason to upgrade.
www.playstation.com / $249
Ask Apple, and the "S" represents "speed." We'll go with "sucker" instead. Not that the multimedia-friendly mobile handset-which now loads applications/websites twice as fast and adds an enhanced 3mp camera, better battery life and video recording capability-fails to deliver. But from a digital compass (which rotates maps to the direction you're facing) to multimedia messaging and laptop tethering, upgrades are mostly iterative. As such, you're paying a needless premium. Nevertheless, rocking a feature set this dope, we'll take two, natch.
www.apple.com / $199.99 (16GB), $299.99 (32GB)
After having its ass handed to it by the iPod in the portable media player space, Microsoft is doing what any respectable mega-corp would do-responding with a ridiculously over-the-top alternative. Check the technical specs, enough to make geeks weep: Widescreen OLED display, WiFi connectivity, built-in Internet browser, HD radio receiver, high-definition HDMI output, etc. Offering over five million streaming tunes to boot, who knows . . . It could give Steve Jobs a little cardiac arrest to go with his liver transplant.
www.zune.net / $TBD
Ballin' on a budget? Check this 42-inch 1080p LCD television, custom-engineered for use with fast-moving scenes and designed to offer premium picture contrast, making it well-suited to summer blockbusters and sporting events. We also dig the TV's four HDMI inputs (great for hooking up your Blu-ray player and PlayStation 3) and ability to pull photos off SD cards via a built-in slot. But the crowning feature? A garden-variety USB port, which practically begs BitTorrent lovers to download the hell out of some True Blood.
www.regza.com / $1299.99
Of all the FPS games that have come to market, Borderlands is the first to take the term "shooter" to heart. What with its millions-as in seven digits-of available weapons ranging from guns, rockets, grenades, flame throwers, chemical warfare and everything in between, you can mutilate to your inner sadist's delight. Sign us up! For all you Comic-Con types, there's an RPG element allowing your character to level up, and the game boasts fresh graphics with a graphic novel appeal to it, giving you another reason to come out of your mom's basement, other than dressing up as Chewbacca at the San Diego Convention Center once a year. That is, unless you decide to buy Borderlands online and have UPS keep your pasty-white ass from seeing the light of day.
www.borderlandsthegame.com / PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Behold the finest disc jockey simulator ever to rock a custom turntable controller, allowing even rhythm-deprived white kids to master electrifying musical mash-ups. Granted, basement raves may lack the sweaty charm of real-world cousins, but high-energy play sessions don't disappoint, as you spastically synchronize movements with funky crossovers pairing artists like Rick James with Gwen Stefani. Guaranteed to get you up and swaying, options to remix tracks with custom effects or pit turntable vs. guitar only prove an ecstasy-inducing bonus.
www.activision.com / PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii
An off-road racer that loves its tire-shredding action down and dirty. Cranking up the cock-rock soundtrack; featuring famed wheelmen like Ken Block and Travis Pastrana; and offering 100+ international events on some of the largest virtual landscapes ever created, what's not to love? Well, apart from a little big, dumb fun that is, given the title's sweet damage modeling and seemingly endless sprays of gravel and mud. While its testosterone-drenched approach won't please all, the arcade-style rubber-burner still offers crazy miles to the gallon.
www.codemasters.com / PC, PS3, Xbox 360
The BIGS 2
For as American as baseball is, it's not exactly the most exciting sport to watch. Sure, if you're at the stadium with your pals and pitchers of beer, it's a blast, but then again, so is pretty much everything else in life. The Bigs 2 knows that, which is why they've arcade-ified baseball, giving players the ability to leap over barns to catch a pop fly, throw a ball quicker than greased lightning and run faster than a sober Paula Abdul would a happy hour. Realistic? No. But then again, is shooting your way out of a dungeon full of zombies? That's what we thought. A little bit of embellishing is fun, especially with a sport requiring a "seventh-inning stretch".
www.2ksports.com / PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS
10 If ever you needed an excuse to justify torching two Gs on a 60-inch plasma, try popping this stunningly cinematic run-n-gun romp in and watching neighbors' jaws drop. Whether rappelling up windswept cliffs, barreling down powder-choked passes on roaring snowmobiles or taking the battle against terrorism to Rio de Janeiro's sun-baked streets, the excitement never lets up. Highlights like extensive online connectivity and co-op play (via Special Forces scenarios) prove paramount to its arsenal though, extending shelf-life (and value) nigh infinitely.
www.activision.com / PC, PS3, Xbox 360