We summarize the progress in whole-genome sequencing and analyses of primate genomes. These emerging genome datasets have broadened our understanding of primate genome evolution revealing unexpected and complex patterns of evolutionary change. This includes the characterization of genome structural variation, episodic changes in the repeat landscape, differences in gene expression, new models regarding speciation, and the ephemeral nature of the recombination landscape. The functional characterization of genomic differences important in primate speciation and adaptation remains a significant challenge. Limited access to biological materials, the lack of detailed phenotypic data and the endangered status of many critical primate species have significantly attenuated research into the genetic basis of primate evolution. Next-generation sequencing technologies promise to greatly expand the number of available primate genome sequences; however, such draft genome sequences will likely miss critical genetic differences within complex genomic regions unless dedicated efforts are put forward to understand the full spectrum of genetic variation.