Like it or not, the countdown to the holidays has begun. No sooner were the Halloween cobwebs hung across our front hedges than the warnings started coming that our shopping days until Christmas were numbered. Whether you’re eager to get in line (or online) early, or wondering which companies are positioned to claim the most sales, Minyanville has profiled the most in-demand gadgets this season.
During a year when video game consoles saw their weakest sales since 2006, Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox Kinect was breaking sales records, not just within the gaming industry, but for all electronics devices (according to Guinness) in the two months following its launch. The controller-free device, with full-body tracking technology, beat numbers previously set with the debuts of the iPad, iPhone (AAPL) and Amazon Kindle (AMZN). Consoles start at $300.
9. iPod Touch
Like video game consoles, MP3 players are getting phased out – with some exception given to Apple’s iPod touch – and that’s thanks to its nonmusic-playing capabilities. If kids love anything more than video games, it’s playing them on the go. With games that can be purchased for under a buck (compared with $40-plus), apps are where it’s at. Traditional consoles are clearly no match for portable play. Expect to pay $150 to $200.
Chances are, most people on your holiday list are walking around with substandard earbuds. Indianapolis loudspeaker outfit Klipsch carries one of the highest-rated pairs on the market – noted for their superior sound performance, noise cancelation, bass response, and comfortable oval-shaped ear tips – and they go for about $80. 7. Kodak Playsport
Kodak’s (EK) take on the now-retired Flip camera is this pocket-sized digital minicamcorder that records 1080p HD video and sells for about $150. Its name, reminiscent of the old Sony Sports Walkman, encourages the recording of active pursuits – whether atop a mountain or 10 feet under water.
6. Roku 2 XS
This diminutive box media center, with a small price point to match (the entry level setup is $60), works with your TV to stream content from Netflix (NFLX), Hulu, Amazon, Pandora (P), and dozens of other online media libraries. It includes a dedicated Angry Birds channel, which you can play on the remote that doubles as a Wii-like motion game controller.