? Buying a games console is no longer as clear-cut as it once was. The arrival of three next-generation consoles, each offering a unique entertainment proposition, has broadened choice for the consumer, but has made choosing new hardware more difficult. Communicating the differences between each console is crucial for supermarkets - particularly as this is an area where, traditionally, they've tended not to be so strong. With more than a million units sold in the UK, Nintendo's Wii is leading the charge in terms of installed base. Driving this success has been its "games for everyone" mentality - offering a wide range of accessible, family orientated software at a relatively low price. For a retail sector that's primarily family focused, the Wii is a good fit for most shoppers, with an abundance of software that's equally appealing to girls as well as non-gamers. The Wii has expanded the market beyond teenage boys, and so the problem won't be whether the console will sell - but rather, will there be enough units to meet demand? Stock is likely to be in short supply come Christmas. This is in stark contrast to Sony's Playstation 3 - whose sales have been sluggish. This is due in part to a lack of high quality software - something that's doing little to convince consumers to part with the £425 asking price. Change is on the way, however, with the recent introduction of a £299, 40Gb model and the price tag of the current 60Gb model being cut by £75. Supermarkets have the opportunity to sweeten the deal by bundling the PS3 with Blu-Ray titles, highlighting the console's high definition movie playback capabilities. In this respect, Microsoft's 360 is having something of a golden period - proving itself the home of the big-budget blockbusters that appeal to an older demographic. Critical successes such as Bioshock have led the way for a series of exceptional software, including Halo 3 and racing sequel Project Gotham 4. This has been backed up by some key pricing decisions, as well as the introduction of the 360 Elite, which boasts a larger storage capacity and downloadable games. With its impressive catalogue of titles and easy to use online functionality, for the 'hardcore' gamer at least, it's difficult to recommend anything other than the 360 this Christmas.