Make it a very interactive holiday
From IGN Entertainment
IGN Entertainment, a division of News Corporation, and the global leader in game technology, released their annual Holiday Buyers Guide, which includes hot ticket items to look for this holiday season from consoles to games to Blu-ray releases. For the first time in 2010, the guide is showing that games go across the board—from the very young, to professionals, and even baby boomers—the majority of households are equipped in some way for gaming.
With the increased popularity of devices like the iPad, iPod, Android devices, and new motion detecting add-ons for the PS3 and XBOX 360, games are more ubiquitous and accessible than ever before, and IGN’s Holiday Buyers Guide shares predictions for this season’s hottest picks for each and every gamer on your list.
Below are specific game/product ideas for different consoles and interests:
The XBOX 360 Kinect
<http://xbox360.ign.com/objects/143/14357198.html> – Microsoft’s $150 entry into the motion controlled gaming revolution of 2010, The Kinect is a camera system that senses player motion and requires no handheld controllers. This is the XBOX’s move towards the mainstream, and with a great titles that are very family friendly, we think it just might work. Sony has also introduced a hand-held motion system called Playstation Move <http://ps3.ign.com/objects/143/14318622.html> , but we think the titles are a bit lacking.
Dance Hero –
The last few holiday seasons have been dominated by instrument-focused games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Now with Kinect, we see a new hot trend emerging around dance games. Dance Central <http://www.ign.com/videos/2010/10/14/dance-central-poison-trailer?objectid=77445> for the XBOX 360 Kinect is sure to be one of the season’s top sellers, and PlayStation Move’s Dance Dance Revolution <http://ps3.ign.com/objects/143/14355659.html> will also do quite well.
Games on the subway –
By now you’re probably playing Angry Birds <http://wireless.ign.com/objects/061/061654.html> in the morning as you head to work, or you’ve noticed someone Cutting the Rope <http://wireless.ign.com/objects/088/088482.html> next to you on the elevator. Mobile games will only get bigger this season as more developers work on games for the iPad and other tablet computers on the way. While you can’t exactly purchase applications for someone else, IGN suggests buying an iTunes Gift card for gamers on your list who are also owners of the iPod Touch, iPhone 4, or iPad.
Also, below are additional games and products that we believe are good picks for a variety of people on your holiday shopping list:
The Frugal Fitness Buff:
XBOX 360 Kinect – Your Shape Fitness Evolved
The first “exer-game” that might actually succeed in keeping you fit, Your Shape Fitness Evolved uses the Kinect’s camera technology to actively give players guidance and corrections on various fitness programs that include yoga, Pilates, martial arts and boxing. It also makes it a lot harder to cheat.
For those who still believe in Santa:
Wii, PC, DS- Sesame Street: Cookie's Counting Carnival and Sesame Street: Elmo's A-to-Zoo Adventure
Both are targeted at the preschool set, with simplified controls that are easy for young players to master, and gameplay that helps reinforce basic numeral and alphabet learning.
Wii, PS3- Disney Sing It: Family Hits
Karaoke game featuring songs from hit Disney animated films.
The Social Butterfly
Wii - Wii Party
If you own a Wii, chances are you’re looking for social games to play with friends and family. On the off chance that you’re absolutely sick of bowling or archery, it might be time to try out Wii Party. Just like Mario Party minus, well, Mario, Wii Party dons a similar presentation to former Mii-centric games like Wii Sports and includes a plethora of mini-games to partake in. From Bingo to a Wheel-of-Fortune copycat, this title supports up to four players, so if you need something to engage the in-laws this holiday, look no further
The Master Chef
Nintendo DS: America’s Test Kitchen: Let’s Get Cooking
Face it: cookbooks are a thing of the past. America’s Test Kitchen: Let’s Get Cooking eliminates the need for such archaic cooking methods as it provides something even better: an interactive cookbook. It features step-by-step instructions for over 300 recipes that aren’t found in the other popular DS cooking title, Personal Trainer: Cooking, and you can also search for recipes based on ingredients, calories or categories. If you know someone that likes to cook, or want a way to impress your friends, America’s Test Kitchen will help you at least make something edible.
For the Serious Gamer:
Xbox 360- Call of Duty: Black Ops
Another year, another Call of Duty game. This one is, once again, lining up to be a monster. The classic Call of Duty formula is intact, but Treyarch isn’t just pumping out another cookie cutter game. For starters, the action has moved to the Vietnam and Cold War era -- putting you in the shoes of special ops forces. Looking for new gameplay options? Full 3D support, a revamped online unlock system, new gameplay modes, and a theater mode to record and share your exploits are just a few of the additions.
Xbox 360- Halo: Reach
Bungie went back to where it all began for the famed studio’s final Halo outing. This game tells the story of the Noble Team, a group of never-say-die Spartans, and the destruction of Planet Reach. It’s a prequel tale that sets the stage for the main Halo trilogy, and one that no fan of the franchise can miss. And then when you’re done with that epic adventure, the fight continues online in true Halo fashion. New modes, armor abilities, and a whole lot more await you. This is one of the most complete games around – it has something for everybody.
Xbox 360, PS3, PC- Assassin's Creed Brotherhood
The critically acclaimed single-player experience of Assassin's Creed is back and better than ever as Ezio returns in an epic struggle against the powerful Templar Order.
The Nostalgia Lover
PS3 - 3D Dot Game Heroes
If you’ve been longing for the days of old-school Triforces and hidden dungeons, 3D Dot Game Heroes has your number. A loving throwback to the original Legend of Zelda, 3D Dot takes the 2D game you know and love, reassembles it in three-dimensional blocks, and tosses in a heaping dose of in-jokes, powered-up weapons and charm. Grab your shield and sword – a blade that you can make wider and longer – and get out there so that you can mow down skeletons, bushes and any evil force that gets in your way, hero.
iPhone - Oregon Trail
Anyone older than the age of 20 doesn't need to be told how significant a release Oregon Trail is for the iPhone. It manages to pack all of the classic gameplay perfectly onto the handheld and even includes new interactions with nomadic travelers and more towns to visit. Not only that, but the release also packs updated graphics and mini-games for classic tasks such as hunting and fishing. If you're looking for a great update to Oregon Trail or want to show the game to someone for the first time, this is the download for you.
Blu-ray - Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy
Sit back, relax and relive some truly wonderful movie magic – '80s style – with the Back to the Future Trilogy on Blu-ray. This terrific special edition box set comes complete with fully remastered high-res audio and high-def video, in addition to hours of brand-new extras including picture-in-picture tracks, documentaries and more. Fans can even check out a quick glimpse of Eric Stolz in the role of Marty McFly – a role he held for five weeks before being let go and replaced with Michael J. Fox. And if you haven't watched any of the older features from the previous DVD releases, fear not – they're here, too. This is one set any Back to the Future fan should definitely consider purchasing, and if you do, buy the Blu-ray – the exclusives make it totally worth it.
PS1- Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip
For years, the Hot Shots cast has kept its portable focus firmly on the golf course, but that changed this year with the debut of Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip. Here, you could unlock the dozens of shirts, hairstyles, characters and items you'd expect from a cutesy Hot Shots game, but now you were doing it on the court instead of the course. Still, Hot Shots Tennis changed up the "collect everything" formula by tossing in some free roaming stuff. For the first time on the PSP, you could move your character around environments to meet folks, collect items and accept challenges.
DS- Picross 3D
The original Picross is one of the very best games on the DS, and after three years Nintendo has finally delivered a sequel. This isn't just more Picross, though, as the number puzzles we know and love have now been brought into the third dimension, requiring us to tap into a completely different area of our brain. The experiment was a success and Picross 3D is another addictive collection of challengingmind games. It's very satisfying to reveal each stage's hidden object and you'll find yourself returning to many puzzles in order to get a perfect rating.
Drop7 is a brilliant puzzle game that you can figure out in about three minutes, but mastering it? Good luck on that front, friend. You drop colorful, numbered tokens into a game field. When one of the tokens matches the total number of tokens in its column or row, it vanishes. This sets up some pretty slick chain reactions. The game's zen-like, minimalist approach lets you concentrate solely on the task at hand. Some have called it the iPhone's Tetris. It's not. But does it ever come close.
PS3- MLB 10: The Show
Every year, The Show comes out and every year we declare it all sorts of awesome. This year is no different. MLB 10: The Show continues the franchise tradition of packing in the tiny details to make the most realistic baseball game on the market. From the bench players to recording your own taunts to the solid pitch and swing gameplay, MLB 10 is great. Toss in online leagues, a career, and animations up the wazoo (like giving up a homerun and watching your catcher hurl his mask), and you can curl up with MLB 10: The Show for your next nine innings.
PS3- NBA 2K11
Haven’t watched the NBA since His Airness left? It’s OK, a lot of people haven’t, and that’s why NBA 2K11 has brought Michael Jordan back. From the moment you start the game, you’re reliving Jordan’s greatest games -- I mean, there’s not even a start screen; turn the game on and you’re in Chicago Stadium for Game 1 of the 1991 NBA Championship. From there, you keep chasing those NBA championships. If you’re down for the current NBA, that’s here, too – the mechanics are great, the teams are here, and the stars you love shine. Grab your cheap Air Jordans and hit the court.
Xbox 360- Alan Wake
When the famous author Alan Wake hits a serious case of writer’s block, he heads to Bright Falls for a bit of R&R. And that’s when things start getting weird. A strange darkness falls over the city, Wake’s wife disappears, and possessed people and objects begin to attack. To make matters worse, it appears that a book Alan Wake doesn’t remember writing is coming to life before his very eyes. And it is not a happy book. This psychological thriller from the makers of Max Payne is one of the moodiest games around.