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Top Christmas items you should have given your teen by Perkal

Do you have one of those hard-to-buy-for teens that never seems to be happy with what you give to them for Christmas? Well, here are some ideas for what to get your teen that they are guaranteed to love.

1. Xbox 360

Some people already have them, but for those that are stuck with their Gamecubes, PS2s, and Xboxs, the Xbox 360 is the best choice for the next generation of gaming systems.

Pros: Three symmetrical cores running at 3.2GHz each; 512MB GDDR3 Ram; 3 USB 2.0 ports; Stream music from your Windows XP PC to your Xbox 360; A 20GB or 160GB Hard drive to store all of your files AND SO MUCH MORE!!

Cons: It is a little loud when first turned on and the external power supply makes the Xbox 360 seem very bulky, so find a place to hide it. But, don't hide it in a corner that has no circulation. Keep the system and the power supply in a well-ventilated area to avoid overheating.

At $279 for the Arcade version, $349 for the Premium version, $399 for the Halo 3 edition and the Elite edition, the Xbox 360 can meet anyone's tight budget. The system is well worth the money, and if you can deal with a little noise, you'll love the thing!

2. Halo 3

Yes, I'm sure you have all heard of it by now. The thrilling conclusion to Microsoft's Halo series is out on the Xbox 360. Unlike its predecessors, it is only available on the 360, while Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 are only available on the Xbox.

From the Halo 3 Website, here is just a part of the story:

"It is the year 2552. Humanity has long been at war with the terrifying alien civilization that collectively calls itself the Covenant. This monstrous conglomerate of warlike species sees Humanity as a form of heresy against their religion - a faith based in the single minded belief that a Great Journey awaits its faithful. The truth was these Halos would not take the Covenant on a Great Journey, but rather eradicate all sentient life in the Galaxy. The cataclysmic structures were built by the ancient Forerunners as a last resort defense against the most terrifying menace the galaxy has ever known - a menace the deluded Covenant has reawakened for the second time in a hundred thousand years."

Did this description from the Halo 3 website leave you drooling? Well, the price tag might make you stop drooling for a moment. The average price around here is about $60. But, for the hardcore gamer, the $60 is very much worth it.

3. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

It's out. The newest addition to the Call of Duty series is now available in stores! Here's a description straight from the website: "The new action-thriller from the award-winning team at Infinity Ward, the creators of the Call of Duty(R) series, delivers the most intense and cinematic action experience ever. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare arms gamer's wit an arsenal of advanced and powerful modern day firepower and transports them to the most treacherous hotspots around the globe to take on a rogue enemy group threatening the world. As both a U.S Marine and British S.A.S. soldier fighting through an unfolding story full of twists and turns, players use sophisticated technology, superior firepower and coordinated land and air strikes on a battlefield where speed, accuracy and communication are essential to victory. The epic title also delivers an added depth of multiplayer action providing online fans an all- new community of persistence, additive and customizable game play." The game is available for the Xbox 360 Console, the Playstation 3 Console, Windows PC's, and the Nintendo DS. It will run you about $60.

4. iPod Touch

Ever since the iPhone, touch screen electronics have been hot in the market. For all those people who cannot afford the iPhone, Apple released the new iPod Touch. It has some new features like Web Browsing, YouTube, and of course, the touch screen interface. Users can just tap the screen and select their songs. No more buttons and click wheels to mess with. Apple has also come up with the iTunes Wi- fi Music Store, specifically made for the iPod touch. Owners can now download music straight to their iPod without a need for a computer. Users will also be happy with the 3.5" screen. It is great for watching videos and sharing pictures.

Pros: 3.5" Screen; Video/Photo capability; Wi-fi web browsing; iTunes Wi-fi Music Store and much more...

Cons: Some of the iPods have shipped without OS X installed on them; Some of the iPods have displayed iPhone error message and Some people claim that the screen has a bad contrast ratio.

Ultimately, the iPod is a good buy. The touch screen make the iPod fun to use, and easy as well. The Wi-Fi beats that of the Zune, which only allows the Zune to connect to other Zunes. If you are looking for an All-in-One music player, this is definitely the way to go.

5. Playstation 3 Gaming Console

The PlayStation 3 is the third home video game console produced by Sony Computer Entertainment and successor to the PlayStation 2 as part of the PlayStation series. It is the first console with next- gen primary storage media, Blu-ray Disc, though it also supports DVDs, CDs, HDDs, and with some models SACDs. It is capable of playing back content from Blu-ray Disc at a bit rate of multiplex 48Mbps, the maximum bit rate defined in DVD standards. The Playstation 3 does have its down side, too. X-Box 360 currently has more titles of video games out at the moment. Also, the PS3 is a little pricier than the X-Box, but most say it's all worth it in the end. The limited edition Spider-Man 3 pack comes with the PS3 gaming console, other accessories and the Spiderman 3 Blue-Ray DVD. The cost of the Spider-Man 3 pack usually costs around $399. Another choice has more gigabyte space to offer, which means more space to store saved games, videos, pictures and also music. The Motorstorm special edition PS3 includes the best-selling PS3 game, Motorstorm. The Motorstorm PS3 pack usually costs around $499.

6. The Nintendo Wii

The Nintendo Wii (pronounced we) is the fifth home video game console released by Nintendo. The console is the direct successor to the Nintendo GameCube. The Wii isn't designed for a certain age group, which is why it is becoming so popular. The Wii has it's name for a reason. The Wii has amazingly realistic next-generation graphics and many unique gaming titles to chose from. A distinguishing feature of the console is its wireless controller, the Wii Remote, which can be used as a handheld pointing device and can detect acceleration in three dimensions. Another is WiiConnect24, which enables it to receive messages and updates over the Internet while in standby mode. The Wii console is backward compatible with all official Nintendo GameCube software, as well as Nintendo GameCube Memory Cards and controllers. The price of the Nintendo Wii is usually around $249.00 and that does include the gaming remote.

7. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is a music video game and the third full installment in the Guitar Hero series. The game is published by Activision and RedOctane. The game is available for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii consoles. Also, the game for the first time is available for the PC and Macintosh computers. The game features over 60 total songs, many of which, in contrast to previous games, are master tracks. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is available both individually and in bundles packaged with wireless controllers. Previous Guitar Hero controllers are compatible with this title. But the new controller for this game is called the Gibson Kramer. Guitar

Hero III: Legends of Rock is the first game in the series to feature online play, in addition to existing game modes. Guitar Hero 3 is widely known and that's because when you play, you feel like a rock star! Especially when you beat expert mode, which the highest you level you can beat. GH3 has different costs for each different gaming console. The

PS2 version costs $49.99. The X-Box 360 version is $59.00. (Both of those do not include the Gibson Kramer Guitar Controller.)

8. Rock Band

Rock Band is a music video game developed by Harmonix Music Systems and published by MTV Games. The video game is available for the PS3 and X-Box 360.Rock Band allows players to perform in virtual "bands" by providing up to four players with the ability to play three different instrument-based peripherals (a guitar peripheral for guitar and bass guitar sequences, a drum peripheral, and a microphone). These instruments are used to simulate the playing of rock music by hitting scrolling notes on-screen. Players using next- generation consoles can interact through both online and offline multiplayer capabilities. In addition to the songs shipping on the game disc, potentially hundreds of new tracks will be made available as downloadable content. Rock band does have many similarities to the Guitar Hero games. The cost for Rock Band is usually around $169.00.

This article was published on Friday 18 January, 2008.

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