Buying videogame stuff for holiday gift-giving can require lots of cash. If you're low on funds, you can visit a used-game store and get a "refurbished" Nintendo DS ($80) for a kid under 10 or for a newbie gamer who likes puzzle games. If you're shopping for a hardcore-gaming teen or adult, you might want to go with a refurbished PlayStation 2 ($80) or handheld PlayStation Portable ($130). Refurbished machines are used but spruced up at factories, as dependable as new.
If you've got money to spare, I'd recommend the new Xbox 360 Elite ($450) for hardcore gamers, if they don't already own an Xbox 360. If you're buying for an online gamer, you can't go wrong with a one-year Xbox Live subscription card ($50).
If you want to get someone a second system, the PlayStation Portable ($170) is my favorite, since it's like holding a PS2 in your fingers. The DS Lite ($130) is great for kids and fans of puzzle games. But the trendy system is the Nintendo Wii ($250, or up to $500 as a multi-game bundle). This season, you should be able to actually get your hands on one in a store.