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News   - 12/24/2006

Electronics spur holiday shopping season

Some people were born to shop and have a flair for always getting the perfect gift.

Then there are those that, well, don't.

And what might be the hot gift one year, could clutter landfills the next.

To help readers with their gift buying this holiday season, The Journal breaks down some of the electronics and keepsakes that are making news this year.

Frisco Best Buy operations manager Kelly Courter said electronics are huge this year as usual. The recent releases of the Sony PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii game consoles have whipped consumers into a frenzy.

The PlayStation3 gives gamers not only what they expect - entertaining games - but also a built-in Blu-ray Disc drive, the first device on a game console capable of delivering high-definition gaming and unparalleled media storage.

Sony is billing the PlayStation3, or PS3, as an entertainment center. The new system will still play thousands of PlayStation and PlayStation 2 titles as well as DVDs and CDs. Sony released two different configurations of the PlayStation 3, one with 20 gigabytes of storage and one with 60 gigabytes that includes Memory Stick/SD/Compact Flash slots.

Nintendo's newest entry, and definitely the quirkiest, in the console wars is the Wii, pronounced "we." The Wii has a significantly lower price tag than the PlayStation 3 and promises just as much fun.

The Wii's remote controller is what sets it apart. The Wii controller is as close to virtual reality as a gamer can get. Forget about pushing buttons for a swing of a bat or a sword, the Wii lets a gamer actually swing for the fences or hack away at a monster! The graphics of the Wii do not match those of the PlayStation 3, but it more than makes up for it in functionality. Nintendo's aim with the new design was to capture the interest of non-gamers averse to the button-mashing, joystick-maneuvering video game experience.

For the gamer on the go, the Nintendo DS is a popular choice this year. Its touch- screen functionality and graphics are light years ahead of the Game Boy Advance.

Choosing the gaming system is only half the battle. The games have just as much, if not more, draw than the systems themselves. Sales of games such as Legend of Zelda, NBA 2K7, Madden NFL 07 and others are keeping stockers busy.

Apple's iPod franchise is still setting the tone in portable music. The iPod, Nano, and new clip on Shuffle are major attractions this season.

"We can't keep the green iPod Nano and the Shuffle in stock," Courter said.

Another hot purchase this year is the Garmin GPS system. One of the systems includes 700 megabytes of internal memory and preloaded City Navigator North America version 7 NT map system, which contains detailed road maps of the entire United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

Source: The Little Elm Journal    
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