NEW YORK (CBS 2) — There are so many tech toys out there, and there’s so little time to figure out what’s hot and what’s not.
CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson has done the legwork for you, so here is your holiday tech gift guide.
The Microsoft Kinect may be the hottest of the hot new gadgets for the holidays. It literally puts you in control – but there’s no controller!
A small camera plugs into your game console and tracks your hand and body movements as you control what happens on the screen, with no complicated buttons to master.
“If it’s just you and no controls, you just put your hands up and move stuff around, then it seems a lot less intimidating,” Dan Ackerman, of CNet, said.
The PlayStation Move for Sony’s PlayStation Wii is similar to the Nintendo Wii. It’s controllers are very fast, and very responsive to movement.
“With the PlayStation Move, you really feel you’re controlling what is happening on the screen,” Ackerman said.
There are also new versions of older products. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, an iPad lookalike, has some features the iPad does not, like a video camera.
Seeing it for the first time, shopper Danny Adams was impressed.
“It’s clean, it’s smooth, it’s fast – I like it so far,” he said.
Apple’s MacBook Air is also smaller and thinner than its counterpart, the MacBook Pro.
“I’m kind of surprised at how small it is,” shopper Jason Mei said. “I kind of want it, I’m not going to lie.”
The OnLive MicroConsole delivers blockbuster video games without blockbuster hardware. If you have a TV, the OnLive controller, and the Internet, you’re good to go.
If you’re serious about music games, the Mad Catz Rock Band 3 guitar has more than 100 buttons and plays actual guitar chords. Ackerman said it’s a much-welcome upgrade on an old favorite.
“[Music games] were kind of getting a little stale, they all seemed the same,” Ackerman said. “Now that you add some real music skills, I think that gives it a second life.”
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the choices, or you’re just not sure what that certain comeone wants, there’s plenty of help available from the professionals.
“We help the customer pick the right product that’s best for the person they are giving it to as a gift,” Sy Paulson, of Best Buy, said.
Experts say you should make sure to keep your receipts and be familiar with return policies, as some stores charge a restocking fee on electronics.