The perfect coffee table companion

Following on from our review of the superb Game Over, we've got another literary classic to bring to your attention.

The Video Game Manual is published by UK firm Haynes (famed for its automotive help guides) and is penned by João Diniz Sanches, former editor of Future's Edge magazine.

The hardback book contains over 175 pages of vital gaming data, including chapters about collecting games, keeping your hardware in tip-top condition, dabbling in the import market and much, much more. It also devotes plenty of space to detailing 20 different video game machines, including the NES, SNES, GameCube and Wii.

Each entry has a history, technical specifications and recommended games. All of this is supported by over 200 photographs especially taken for use in the book.

Nintendo platforms feature quite heavily

The timing of this publication is ideal as it's bound to find its way into a fair few Christmas stockings, but if you have particularly useless friends and family who won't have a clue what to buy you this festive season then you can cut out the middle man and order a copy from Amazon UK, where the book currently retails for £12.59 - which is quite a saving on the £17.99 recommended retail price. Alternatively, you can grab it direct from Haynes, although you'll have to pay full whack at the moment.

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