Holiday Buyer's Guide 2006, Part 4: Gifts for Non-Geeks

Microsoft Xbox 360 Controller

Microsoft just made last minute holiday shopping for gaming enthusiasts a whole lot easier. The Xbox 360 controller can be used with both the Xbox 360 itself, and in any USB port on a Windows PC. Thanks to Microsoft's "Games for Windows" platform, the controller works with most PC games that support controller use - just head over to the Microsoft Gaming website and download the USB drivers, and you're good to go.

We admit that it would be a bit cruel to give the controller as a present and then forget to hand over the Xbox 360 as well, but it is certainly a controller no gamer should miss. It's rugged enough to be dropped and tumbled, yet soft and comfortable on the hands. It isn't clunky like a lot of other controllers on the market, and it responded perfectly to our slices on the back nine of Pebble Beach in Tiger Woods '06.

Whether you're wrapping Oblivion or the newest Tony Hawk on Xbox or PC this Christmas, make sure to include the Xbox 360 controller too. If you're lucky, the gamer in your life plays both PC and Xbox games, and you'll be fighting a two-front war. Feeling really loving? Consider the wireless version as well!