The race is on!
Before we even put away our summer clothes, shops bring in the Christmas stock; chocolates in festive colours, sparkly decorations for the tree but most of all, electronics of all sorts, announced with as much fuss as possible.
The gadgets market has undeniably gone beyond the stereotypical young hip man with money to burn. Everyone, man, woman, young and old, has taken a fancy to the iPod or the Nintendogs – it’s just the way it is.
Hitwise’s Heather Hopkins demonstrates that already, between July and September, trends are clearly visible as to which gadgets have won the hearts of consumers.
“Hitwise Search Intelligence reveals that searches for ‘ipod nano’ have overtaken searches for ‘ipod’ for the first time, and are set to overtake searches for ‘psp’ (Sony’s PlayStation Portable) which launched to a fanfare of enthusiasm earlier this month. Since reaching a peak in the week ending 3rd September, searches for ‘PSP’ have since fallen by 34%.”
Meanwhile the E1 ROKR phone, also known as the iTunes phone, has been getting the attention it deserves – None. Or at least, very little. Because it’s completely rubbish and doesn’t come up the ankle of gadgets like the Nano or my very favourite, the Mini.
While the PSP remains quite a popular search term, the Nintendo DS doesn’t seem to register on the radar yet. I’m sure it’ll come, as being an unexpensive unit (£90-100 with Nintendogs game included versus the £180 PSP pre-games and pre-protective case) launched in the Spring, it now has the potential of reaching an otherwise less often targeted group of consumers.
Let’s be honest here, Nintendogs is a game where you teach your virtual pet dog to do tricks at the command of your voice and interact with other virtual dogs. I’m not sure it’ll quite cut the mustard for the usual GTA kill-kill-die-die hardcore gamer. But it’ll certainly suit those too old to own a Tamagochi. Because that’s effectively what it is, a very sophisticated Tamagochi.
As the Hitwise article points out, add the Xbox 360, due in early December, and we have quite an explosive mix racing to be the most awaited present under the Christmas tree.
Have YOU started your shopping yet?