Top 5 Christmas games and gadgets for family fun

The holiday shopping season is here. This year, instead of trying to buy something for each person in the family, consider buying a whole family gift. One big gift that everyone in the family will have fun using. Do the research and if it’s a must have item, get it now.

Gift Choices for Family Entertainment

Mindflex From Mattel: Mindflex challenges players to test their mind-over-matter skills by levitating a soft foam ball in order to move it through an obstacle course, using only the power of their mind. Kids strap on the included headset that contains sensors for the forehead and earlobes to measure their brainwave activity.

With deep concentration, the ball rises on a stream of air, and when the mind relaxes the ball begins to descend. Players must master these mental maneuvers to guide the ball through an obstacle course. Up to three friends can challenge each other with five unique game modes. 4 “C” batteries and 3 “AAA” batteries required (not included). Ages 8 years and up. The average retail price is $80

Guitar Hero 5: This is a game that keeps growing in popularity. It’s a computer software game designed to be played either on the Wii, Xbox 360, Play Station 2 or Nintendo DS.Players pretend to be rock stars and take complete control as Guitar Hero 5 allows gamers to customize how they experience music by being able to play with any in-game instrument combination — multiple vocalists, guitarists, bassists and drummers, in any game mode.

The game features the widest variety of today’s rock hits and classic tunes from some of the biggest names in music. The game includes 85 songs from 83 different artists. It’s rated for teens and up, but even the younger ones age 8 and up have fun with this. The average retail price is currently $99 for the complete bundle package.

Wii Sports Resort Motion Plus

A few years ago, a campaign was begun to create games and toys that would generate more physical activity among children and families in an effort to stop the epidemic of Obesity. The Wii systems have become the most popular option in physical activity gaming systems, This year, the newest game is the Wii Sports Resort Motion Plus. Players take a virtual vacation to a tropical island and play games on that vacation that require the player to get up and move in a variety of ways.

This game is rated for everyone in the family ages 6 and up. The average price is currently $49. Some additional options and add-ons will cost extra.

Xbox System

Every year, computer software companies compete with each other to create the best gaming system. Microsoft is a leader in this competition. For the older generation, Xbox can be described as the arcade to end all arcades, but it goes beyond games. The Xbox can also play DVD movies.

The Xbox 360 a massive hard drive and a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) port. The console is equipped with three powerful core processors, 16:9 cinematic aspect ratio, anti-aliasing for smooth textures, full surround sound. The 120GB detachable hard drive can save games and store television shows, movies, music and pictures.

The basic Xbox game console retails at around $300 and can be used by everyone in the family. There are numerous game choices from toddler and preschool learning games to adult role-play and adventure games. Games retail on average from $30-$50 each.

Nintendo DS Lite

The Nintendo DS is so popular, families may want to get at least two to allow family members to play against each other and to avoid sibling fights. The new Nintendo DS Lite has built-in Wi-Fi. Players can compete against players in another room – or another country. The backlit touchscreen makes the DS Lite easy to use. Players can navigate games with the touch of a finger (or with the included stylus).

Like the non-portable game versions, Nintendo has a variety of games to choose from. Also, movies, music and TV shows can be downloaded from the family computer and watched or listened to on the DS. Family members as young as 5 and up can enjoy the Nintendo DS. Individual games can start as low as $5 each or cost as much as $60.

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