Today is December 10th. You’re running around making sure that everyone on your holiday shopping list has something that will make them smile when – GASP! – you’ve forgotten a certain someone in your mad rush to get your hands on other gifts! Whatever will you do?!
Never fear! I’ve got five last-minute gift ideas that are A) sure to still be on the shelves or available online and B) sure to make whoever receives the gifts smile!
For the Hardcore Gamer (NOTE: The following games are rated M for Mature gamers only): God of War: Collection (PS3)/God of War III or Fable III/Call of Duty: Black Ops (Xbox 360)
The God of War series is known for it’s ridiculous amount of gore, surprisingly decent puzzles and epic boss battles. Quite possibly my favorite series on the Playstation 3 next to Final Fantasy, I thoroughly enjoyed playing through all three of the games (which took me about 12-14 hours apiece per playthrough). The replay value is inherent as well, as each game gives the player the opportunity to unlock different kinds of media like new Kratos costumes, movies from production and in-game goodies. You can get God of War: Collection (1 and 2) from Amazon for $20 and God of War III from Amazon for about $43.
For the Xbox, I’d recommend either Fable III or CoD: Black Ops. Fable is one of the best RPGs on the 360 (heck, how many other good RPGs can you name on the Xbox?) and has immense replay value. In Fable III, you’re tasked with raising an army and going against the King to claim the throne for yourself. However, after you claim the throne, you must save the world from an oncoming threat against your kingdom. It’s rather epic towards the end, actually, and I highly recommend it for any kind of gamer. Fable III is $48 on Amazon. Call of Duty is the hottest shooter to cross your game console since Modern Warfare 2 – it’s action packed, and the multiplayer is stunningly good. If your gift-receiver already has MW2, I highly recommend picking up Black Ops – they’ll love you for it. $55 on Amazon.
For the Casual Gamer: Donkey Kong Country Returns!
Nostalgia can play a huge factor in sequel games, and Donkey Kong is an old favorite that will make you reminisce about good times on the Nintendo 64. However, Nintendo has really outdone themselves this time. I had the chance to play Donkey Kong Country Returns on the Wii, and I must say, I’m extremely impressed. The gameplay is on-par with what you saw back on the N64 and it’s the best pick-up-and-play game I’ve seen so far for the holiday season. I plan on getting some gaming done before my upcoming Top 5 Gaming Gifts article in a week or so here, but DKC will be taking up a lot of my free time! DKCR is $50 on Amazon.
For the Photographer: Flip UltraHD Video Camera
If you’re any sort of photography/video fanatic, you’ll have heard of the FlipHD. Well, it’s my recommendation for anybody who has last year’s model or none at all. It’s a stealthy little thing that holds a solid amount of video (depending on what device you buy) and has the extremely cool option to customize the device with whatever design you’d like (a picture of your dog, for example). The FlipHD comes in a few different models, but for most people the $199 model will work fine – it takes two hours of video and has lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. Available from the Flip website.
For the Media Lover: iPod Touch (4th Generation)
It doesn’t get much better than this. Whether you’re looking for a gaming device, a movie player or a simple MP3 player, if you want it all, go big or don’t go at all. The newest generation iPod Touch (Read: the iPhone 4 without the phone) does it all. It has tons of games including old favorites like Pac Man and Tetris, as well as newer favorites like Bejeweled Blitz and big name titles like Assassin’s Creed and Metal Gear Solid. It has the iTunes video/music store, which holds EVERYTHING you could ever possibly want (besides free music – and it even has a small assortment of that!). The only question is how much storage space you’ll need! Models priced from $215-$369 on Amazon ($15-$30 cheaper than the Apple store!).
For the Person-Who-Has-Everything: Google TV
Finally, if you have someone who has everything, I bet he/she doesn’t have this yet: Google TV – the TV experience that will supposedly revolutionize television as we know it. Think of it as a combination of WebTV (internet on your television) with an app system like an iPhone/Android phone mixed into a Mac-like interface. It sounds complicated, but the end result is actually really cool. Logitech’s Revue system is powered by Google TV, and includes apps likes Pandora and Netflix to help you get started off the right way. The Logitech Revue is $299 from Amazon/Logitech, but you can also get Google TV through high-end, far more expensive flat-panel Internet LCD televisions from companies like Sony.
So what do you think? Not a bad list, right? Or am I way off on something that you think constitutes itself as one of the best last-minute technology gift items? Post in the comments!