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Steam Controller

While we've watched as game systems have evolved exponentially over the years, not much monumental has happened to controllers since the invention of the joystick — that is, until the Steam Controller ($TBA). After announcing plans to build an operating system and console based on their popular PC-based gaming platform Steam, the guys at Valve set out to build an input device that would bring the control of a keyboard and mouse into the living room. Based around two circular trackpads that replace the familiar joysticks, it features advanced haptic feedback and a built-in touchscreen that let you play games formerly reserved only for desktop machines.

  • Sony Playstation 4

    Unlike its biggest competitor, the Sony Playstation 4 ($400) isn't a one-room-entertainment system. Sure, it has all the things we expect from a next-generation console: a blazing-fast processor, lots of memory, and killer graphics (thanks to an 8-core x86 chip and 8 GB of GDDR5 RAM). And it has all the video services you'd expect, though it won't connect to your cable, or respond to gestures and voice commands. But it does have something, in addition to the cheaper price point, that Playstation fans and maybe some converts will love. Sony places none of the restrictions on used games that its competitor enforces, and it doesn't require you to be online to play. We like that a lot.

  • Xbox One

    We've been waiting for this generation's offering of consoles, and Microsoft's Xbox One ($TBA) doesn't disappoint. The first gaming system to sit between your cable or satellite box and your TV, the new Xbox makes watching sports as easy as saying "Turn on ESPN." With TV integration, voice-control, multitasking, a rebuilt UI, Skype, fantasy trackers and more, you can do it all while you watch or play. Boasting eight times the graphic performance of its predecessor, it has an eight-core x86 processor that makes lag times and loading a distant memory. New features include a redesigned liquid black shell with clean, horizontal lines, a 1080p kinect, and a totally-rebuilt controller — no more bulky battery packs and clumsy directional pads. Couple that with a host of new games including Call of Duty: Ghosts, Fifa 14 and Madden NFL 25, and all you need is a couch.