Christmas Gadget Countdown Day 4: Gaming gadgetry

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Nigel Harris
Burton Sweet
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This Christmas everyone in the gaming world is talking about Nintendo's new Wii U. And that's about all most of them will be able to do well into 2013 as the first consignment to arrive in UK stores is long gone.

Yes, Nintendo did manage to beat the Xbox 720 and Sony PlayStation 4 to the market – but only just.

The good news, if you didn't manage to get your hands on a Wii U, is that few games specifically designed to use the new touchscreen gamepad are available yet. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Batman: Arkham City and FIFA 13 have been re-released as Wii U versions, but we're still awaiting some exciting, brand new games.

So we suggest you look elsewhere for gaming fun this Christmas. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox Kinect still have plenty of mileage in them, with good prices on the High Street, while the Nintendo DSI XL seems to be keeping the DS platform alive.

It's probably pointless listing the top games titles here – you'll either own them already, or have no idea what they are. Let's just say that the latest releases tend to cost £40-50 each, so if you need to stock up for Christmas it could quickly get expensive.

Of course, if you have a smartphone you have access to a huge library of the latest games anyway. But how about fusing your smartphone with a laser gun?

That's exactly what the AppTag does. Attach your iPhone or Android smartphone to the gun and either play against friends using the safe infra-red beam, or play solo using an  “augmented reality” display on your phone which overlays opponents and game elements onto a video display of your actual surroundings.

This is a new US gadget that probably won't hit our shores in time for Christmas, but it's on my Christmas 2013 list!  AppToyz AppBlaster does a similar job, and is currently available from a number of UK gadget stores.


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11th Dec 2012 09:58

I'm really curious about the Wii U. I wonder if Nintendo really have done the impossible and made the graphics "on par" with Xbox and PS3 as previously boasted. I'm also interested to see how the tablet integrates with the screen - I was really skeptical when I first heard of the concept, but the more demos I've seen, the more curious I get. 

I'm way behind on the games front too, still in the middle of epic sandbox RPG Skyrim, but the games I'd love this Christmas are Black Ops 2, Halo 4 and Assassin's Creed 3. 

On the smartphone gaming front, it sure has revolutionised how I play over the last year. I recently got an iPhone, so I've been playing level after level of Angry Birds, Cut the Rope and more recently Letter Press, but there are a score of high quality gamers' games you can get on the platform too - such as Halo Waypoint, Call of Duty Elite and Fifa 13. 

What's also very handy for those almost bodily attached to their iPhones are the touchscreen gloves. I've seen pairs from £50 in the Apple store, to a more modest £3 in Primark. 

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11th Dec 2012 16:36

Don't forget the indies!

Indie gaming, especially on PC, has done really well this year. They're not as easy to give as gifts, being largely free or downloadable but there are plenty of quirky and unique titles that, as an added bonus, will likely run on machines more suited to office work than showing off astonishing graphics. Incredipede is a great example that can run in a browser - perfect for quiet December afternoons!

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