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Worst Christmas Ever For Gadgets? 305

Posted by kdawson
from the please-santa dept.
An anonymous reader writes, "CNet says this will be the most disappointing Christmas ever for gadget-lovers. The Playstation 3 is delayed across most of the world, the Zune MP3 player is cancelled for everyone outside the US, Vista won't be out for home users before the big day, and even Final Fantasy XII won't reach Europe in time. From the article: 'It's enough to make you slit your wrists with the shards of a smashed Christmas tree bauble... Santa fails to deliver on almost all of his Yuletide promises. Most of the major technologies that were supposed to be ready for purchase have been delayed until next year.' The writer goes on to suggest phrases to use over Christmas dinner when the offending companies' products are mentioned. To reduce the pain of a Zune-less party, he suggests remarking: 'Imagine the stability and usability of Windows migrated to an MP3 player. In short, imagine a small portable version of Hell.'"
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Worst Christmas Ever For Gadgets?

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  • Wii! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by skeib (630324) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:01AM (#16765979) Homepage
    In one word - Wii!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Zigg (64962)

      Yeah, holy crap, what's TFA got against Wii? You can point at your TV to play games. Instead, we're going to whine about the incrementalist PS3?

  • by locksmith101 (1017864) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:03AM (#16766003) Homepage
    seems like it's high time for an unplugged Chistmas - how about we all go back a few years back in time and forget about all that never ending search for silly gadgets that have a life time span of 3 minutes...what ever happened to pets? to imagination? to communication skills?
    • A pet is for life, not just for christmas. :-P
    • by krell (896769) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:12AM (#16766075) Journal
      "...what ever happened to pets?"

      Wha.... OH GOD!!! I'd forgotten! Fluffy! Sure enough, I found that skeleton behind the couch. Thanks a lot, way to make my day!
    • by MustardMan (52102) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:42AM (#16766389)
      Pets? Do you have any idea how many animals end up at shelters because some jackass thought "hey a puppy would make a cute christmas present"? Buying (or better yet, adopting) a pet should be an informed decision involving everyone in the household, not a surprise.
      • by Kadin2048 (468275) <slashdot.kadinNO@SPAMxoxy.net> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @10:46AM (#16767481) Homepage Journal
        Mod parent up; seriously.

        Anyone who's thinking about getting somebody a puppy, or any other animal, as a surprise for Christmas ... do them, you, and not least of all the poor animal a favor and get them a Wii instead.

        If you get tired of playing with a video game system, it just sits in the closet. Chances are, if people get tired of that puppy, it'll be sent to a shelter to be slaughtered.
        • by deinol (210478) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @01:05PM (#16770163) Homepage
          do them, you, and not least of all the poor animal a favor and get them a Wii instead.

          Or at the very least, get them Nintendogs if you have to!
      • by Fallon (33975) <Devin...Noel@@@Gmail...com> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @12:12PM (#16769151) Homepage Journal

        Probably the best present my parents ever got me and my brother was our cat, and later over the years hamsters, gerbils & guinea pigs. However they made an informed decision and planned for all the responsibility that went along with it. Pets help build immune systems in growing kids, don't ask me why, google it, there have been studies. It amazes me how much companionship, stress relief and quality of life improvement pets can bring to a family They also provide a good education on responsibility if the parents properly supervise the kids taking care of the pet.

        But remember:

        • Pets need constant attention. You can get away with leaving a cat home alone for a day, maybe 2, but dogs, especially some breeds need somebody around all the time. I've seen several neighbors leave their dogs alone all day only for them to spend the whole day howling for attention.
        • Get your pet fixed, or be ready to deal with a lot of puppies/kittens/whatever
        • Puppies and kittens are cute, dogs and cats aren't. Not only do you have to deal with "the new wearing off" like any other toy, but baby pets are always cuter and more adorable than when they grow up. Don't forget you'll be caring for this animal for upwards to 20 years (possibly longer than you'll be responsible for your kids)
        • Make sure your pet is properly cared for. Kids can care for them at certain ages, but parents need to make sure everything is done right.
        • Pets are messy. YOU or possibly your kids will be doing a lot of cleanup after them, especially dogs, and especially when they are young.
        • Dogs in particular needs lots of training (cats not so much, they usually end up training you). Sit, Stay, No, etc. don't come naturally, it will take a lot of time and effort to get your dog to behave properly. And an untrained dog makes a very poor pet.
        • Do some research on the breed or species of pet your going to get. Some are MUCH MUCH harder to train than others. Some may look cool, but just don't have good dispositions for being a pet.

        If your unsure about your ability to care for a pet properly, don't do it. Start small if you need to, goldfish are about as low maintenance as you can get, if you or your kid can't keep one alive, the ASPCA would be after you if you got something furry and four legged. If you can handle a fish, then think about a hamster, they are cute, reasonably easy to care for, and not as longterm of a commitment as a cat or dog.

        My wife and I are in Afghanistan for the year, and leaving our kitty was probably one of the harder things to do. However she is being well cared for by my in-laws who already had a couple cats that our kitty grew up with.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by MustardMan (52102)
          The vast majority of goldfish, are, in fact, not taken care of properly. A goldfish bowl does NOT cut it. In a proper enviroment, the common 10 cent feeder goldfish can live decades and grow to over a foot in length. Most fancy goldfish should have several tens of gallons of water per fish and a MASSIVE filtration system, as they are one of the largest waste-producers of any fish, and more naturally shaped goldfish like comets, shubunkins, or wakins require even more water. The best environment for gol
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by markana (152984)
            >Most fancy goldfish should have several tens of gallons of water per fish and a MASSIVE filtration system...

            Not if you swallow them while they're still fresh from the store.... :-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by dptalia (804960)
      what ever happened to pets?

      Got hungry and ate them!

  • by meringuoid (568297) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:05AM (#16766011)
    The Playstation 3 is delayed across most of the world

    I'd rather have a Wii.

    the Zune MP3 player is cancelled for everyone outside the US

    I'd rather have an iPod (if I wasn't perfectly happy with my Rockbox'd iRiver).

    Vista won't be out for home users before the big day

    I'd rather have a lobotomy.

    and even Final Fantasy XII won't reach Europe in time.

    Never mind that, when's Final Fantasy III coming out for DS?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by fizze (610734)
      I'd rather have a lobotomy
      Reminds me of one of my all-time fortune favorites:
      I'd rather have a bottle in front of me,
      than a frontal lobotomy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by oc255 (218044)
      Insightful indeed, from a consumer standpoint. However your quick run-down hints at the fact that all these things are sequels. Zune is the Ipod II (never mind design differences). I respect the videos I've seen of the Zune, they seem to have done a good job. However, it's not until you play with a MS product all the way through until you see the missing 10%.

      Back on topic, FF12 is absolutely incredible. Star Wars (love it or hate it) is the big-production sci-fi series. LoTR is the big-production fant
  • by Mostly a lurker (634878) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:05AM (#16766015)
    this will be the most disappointing Christmas ever for gadget-lovers
    Unless the archaeologists have missed something, there appear to have been precious few items available for gadget-lovers circa 5 AD.
  • by mrjb (547783) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:07AM (#16766035)
    ...as long as Duke Nukem Forever is released.
  • by cpuh0g (839926) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:07AM (#16766039)
    What kind of person says "I really want Windows Vista for Christmas"?? For that matter, what kind of dork asks for any specific operating system for Christmas anyway? I can see wanting a new computer, but a specific OS, for Christmas?

    Regarding the Zune thing - aren't there already like 50 different MP3 players on the market - not counting the iPod family? So again, who the hell cares? What a stupid article.

    • What kind of person says "I really want Windows Vista for Christmas"?? For that matter, what kind of dork asks for any specific operating system for Christmas anyway? I can see wanting a new computer, but a specific OS, for Christmas?
      Well, I was happy when OS X 10.3 came out on October 25th a few years ago -- my birthday! Yay... I spent the next few days cursing because Xcode 1.0 sucked so hard.
    • by gutnor (872759)
      "What kind of person says "I really want Windows Vista for Christmas"??"

      Thousands of computer shop owners ...

      Being able to display areo on your demo machine and have the salesman proudly talking about the very top most latest new release of Windows during the most important sale period of the year ...

      "So again, who the hell cares?"

      Considering the burden of shopping during Christmas and the insane prices on almost everything related, I say, why do people still care about Christmas at all? Wait January for re
    • and if one of them runs a different os, it's not the "END" of the world for me..

      Someone in a one computer household, that's old and decrepit and up for renewal- will go to someone like me for a reccomendation.

      I'm the one that's going to tell them to wait for vista to be loaded on the machine...
          they are going to hold onto that machine for 2-3 years at least- and it's the only advice I can feel safe giving a neophyte right now.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mrchaotica (681592) *
        I'm the one that's going to tell them to wait for vista to be loaded on the machine... it's the only advice I can feel safe giving a neophyte right now.

        Recommending a Mac would be safe too, you know -- in fact, it's almost certainly safer!

    • by steveo777 (183629)
      What kind of person says "I really want Windows Vista for Christmas"??


      No one. That's why Santa is stuffing stockings of bad children everywhere with the betas.

  • Final Fantasy XII (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Karaman (873136)
    I am from Europe and two of my friends have already done Final Fantasy XII on PS2. The game is yet not playable on emulator, cause you need 2 analogs to navigate the heroes through the terrain. The game is the greatest FF for PS2 so far.
    • The game is the greatest FF for PS2 so far.

      Famitsu believe it to be the best Final Fantasy so far, giving it 40 out of 40 [wikipedia.org], a feat achieved by only 5 other games.
    • by Fred_A (10934)
      two of my friends have already done Final Fantasy XII on PS2
      They're only at XII ?? Aren't you leaving out a few XXs or at least a few IIs ? Not even a V ?
      I feel like this thing has been going on forever...

      (note to self, find someone with a playstation to finally find out what FF is about)
  • Just to add another item that's been pushed out past Dec 25, the WoW expansion won't appear until sometime in Jan 2007, at the earliest.

    --trb
  • the Zune MP3 player is cancelled for everyone outside the US, Vista won't be out for home users before the big day

    And you think it's bad news ? :P
  • " 'It's enough to make you slit your wrists with the shards of a smashed Christmas tree bauble"

    I see someone has yet to discover the amazing simplicity of the Festivus Pole.
  • by debrain (29228)
    Our Pagan [wikipedia.org]-Coca Cola [wikipedia.org] holiday will be ruined! lol
    • by jimicus (737525)
      Meh. It's pretty common for Christian festivals to coincide with pagan festivals.

      A witch I used to know reckons it's because whenever a missionary was trying to convert a bunch of people, the people would say "Well, we've got this festival at this time of year and it's all great fun" and the Church had set festival dates so the missionary would be able to reply with "We have something similar".
  • Face it, the article was written for the /. crowd, not to the average consumer. For the average consumer, there's still a lot.

    1) Wii
    Okay, it's a crappy name, but at $250 it's very affordable to most households.

    2) iPod nano 2nd gen
    One word: colors. No self-respecting geek would buy a pink iPod but every female I know that doesn't have one wants one.

    3) Sansa e200 series players
    There is an alternative to the iPod. SanDisk should step up their marketing.

    • by dptalia (804960)
      One word: colors. No self-respecting geek would buy a pink iPod but every female I know that doesn't have one wants one.

      Hey! I don't want a pink iPod! I want EVERY color so it can coordinate with what I'm wearing each day!

  • I'm Jewish, you insensitive clod. Oh - and the 8 presents for Hannukah, one per day, is just an urban myth - at least when I was growing up :-)
  • Because they've been plugging away all year creating Free and Open Source portable MP3 and video players, games for Linux and web-connected refrigerators. Which they're building, documenting and sharing freely with all their friends. Great holiday season ahead for FOSS.
  • I'm after a digital camera. I'm looking for one with a decent optical zoom (at least 6) and I guess something like 6 Megapixels. To make matters worse, I don't want an SLR as I can't stick that in my pocket when I'm snowboarding, and I want it to be under £300.

    I think I'm more likely to find a PS3 lying in the street to be honest.
    • Hmmm, if you'll be wearing it in your pocket while snowboarding, it BETTER be small and cheap -- you don't want a spill to deprive you of either an expensive gadget or un-dented body parts. ;-) I suspect that a 6x optical zoom in and of itself will preclude easy pocketability on account of the optics, regardless of the size of the electronics involved...
  • by mogrify (828588) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:32AM (#16766269) Homepage

    It's enough to make you slit your wrists with the shards of a smashed Christmas tree bauble...

    Is it just me, or is the list of events requiring ritual seppuku getting a little crowded?

  • by MrCopilot (871878) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:32AM (#16766271) Homepage Journal
    Title hould Read: Worst Christmas Ever for Gadgets in the UK

    Here in the US all these gadgets will be here. Good Luck laying your hands on one of those overpriced-ForcednewMedia-PS3s though.

    Speaking of the PS3. I just realized this High Price, Low Volume, pre order only console strategy is a valid strategy. A strategy to sqeeze one more Xmas out of the PS2. Selling at 129 for the slimline/bundle, it is the Wii's only real competition. And they managed to sneak it up on us. And I thought they were Idiots.

  • by mrs clear plastic (229108) <allyn@clearplastic.com> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:33AM (#16766285) Homepage
    Look at this in another way! Take this opportunity to make your own gifts.

    I have not done Christmas 'shopping' for close to 10 years now.

    Every year, I make my own gifts for my family.

    Popular opinion says that it's far better and more deeply personal to hand make your holiday gifts. By making my own gifts, I also give a part of my own self with each family member.

    I have three hobbies that bless me with thie freedome. Sewing, electronics, and glass. I have made a variety of gifts for the family, ranging from unique rainwear; unique clothing crafted from upholstery and drapery fabrics; glass art; and this year, very unique burning mane inspired clear plastic rain bonnets lines with el-wire, or what some of you know of, as glow-wire and cold-neon.

    Surely, all of you must have some creative energy and spirit. Let it flow free. Give it a try!

    Luv
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Throtex (708974)
      Can you make me a PS3?
    • by jimicus (737525)
      Unless you're very talented, that's just not an option for most /.'ers.

      My cat has rather more artistic talent than I do.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      "Look at this in another way! Take this opportunity to make your own gifts."

      My family is well off enough that if they want something, they can pretty much get it on their own. I spent several stressful Christmases trying to find something they'd really respond to. One year I decided instead of trying to find them gifts, I went the charity route instead. There was a Christmas tree at the mall that had several cards on them from kids who were asked to make a Christmas wish. I went through the requests and
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Lumpy (12016)
      I actually do the same thing, but to the horror of my friends and family.
      I spend the first week of December super gluing random crap together from my basement. I spray paint it a color and then wrap it.

      Then I give the gift, wait for them to open it and ask, "do you like It? I spent all year sculpting that for you. The gold leaf was really hard as well. I so hope you like it!"

      then I get the joy of asking for the next month, "hey where did you put my scupture I gave you for christmas? when we show up at the
  • No need to get caught up in the xmas rush. Save your money and just join us mac users for our Christmas at Macworld. Honestly though, so what is Vista/PS3 or the Zune is delayed/restricted? You're only disappointed if you wanted these items in the first place. The Wii is here and that is just one example of a tech product for christmas.
  • Wha? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:34AM (#16766293) Homepage Journal
    What a silly article. Personally, I feel it's high time there stopped being one or two overhyped "must have" gifts every holiday season that everyone suddenly wants, filling the pockets of whoever crapped out the flashiest ads. Whatever happened to getting people thoughtful gifts you know they'd like, out of the large number of things possible to actually get without a second mortgage and a sideline dealing heroin to metal bands?

    There are pantloads of gadgets and non-gadgets out there I'd love to receive this holiday season, chances are you've never seen a television commercial for any of them, none of them will cost you a week's pay, and if you know me you can guess what they are. And I hope whatever I give you is just as appreciated.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      "What a silly article."

      Amen to that. Not only does it not saying anything new or interesting, it fails in even coming close to evaluating the thesis of the piece. Is it the worst gadget Christmas ever? Who knows, they've done nothing to put the situation into historical perspective.

      If you're going to say something is the worst ever, it's important to actually describe how you are judging and why other entries are so much worse. For instance, did they consider the dredded gadget year of 1998? Let me take a

  • Who gives: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Upaut (670171) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:34AM (#16766299) Homepage Journal
    Who gives gifts of several hundreds of dollars in electronics? One can geek out in holiday shopping without breaking the bank. Thinkgeek sells fine geeky gifs at a great range, for example.

    Or a good book? "The Ascent of Science" by Brian Silver is quite a nice read. Buying for an eight year old? May I reccomend a reprint of "the Golden Book of Chemistry" (Go to LuLu books. Several versions of differing quality. Some are very good labors of love, others not so much, yet still useful.).

    Or a subscription to MAKE, CRAFT, National Geographic, or some other magazine?



    Or if you are going to break the bank on a gift, how about something not obsolete in a couple of years. How about a chemistry set? The CHEM C3000 doesn't suck. And given todays "chemistry sets", that is high praise. Or go all out if its a son/grandson/daughter/granddaughter. Buy a nice shed, build a chemistry workbench. Cover it in bronze sheeting (or copper. or brass). Buy some surplus glassware and an inkwell burner at American Science Surplus. And a lot of mason jars of varying sizes. A golden book of chemistry. A pack of three moleskin notebooks for their notes, and to top it off, privacy if they want it. Or get involved in their lives. Make it fun. Bond.
    • by xtracto (837672)
      Or a subscription to MAKE, CRAFT, National Geographic, or some other magazine?

      I asked "santa" for a subscription of WoW.

      In the letter I stated "If you bring me the subscription to WoW I wont do anything [bad] for one year". And of course next year I would ask for another subscription.

  • Best Christmas ever? (Score:2, Informative)

    by krell (896769)
    Check this site [worlddominationtoys.com]. Way cool gadgets for a fun Christmas.
  • Slashdot: News for consumers.
    • by mgblst (80109)
      Slashdot: News for consumers. Stuff you can buy.

      And the european version:

      Slashdot: News for consumers. Stuff you can't buy this christmas.

      Ha. I love in Europe, but I care for nothing on this list.
  • "Playstation 3 is delayed across most of the world, the Zune MP3 player is cancelled for everyone outside the US, Vista won't be out for home users before the big day, and even Final Fantasy XII won't reach Europe in time."

    That just means it sucks if you are a european. Thats not exactly news. Vista not coming out is hardly bad news.

    There is nothing on this list that make it seem like a bad x-mas. FFXII is europe's own damn fault with several different languages and PAL,SECAM and other TV standards.
    • by jonwil (467024)
      With the way todays consoles work (high definition and all that stuff), there is no reason the console manufacturer couldnt put the intelligence in the hardware or the libraries/BIOS/whatever so that the game doesnt care if its playing on PAL, NTSC, SECAM or whatever else.
      The game draws graphics using OpenGL, Direct3D or whatever other graphics API is available and then the graphics library or hardware (TV output chip for example) handles all the differences between PAL, NTSC etc.
  • C|Net left that big one out.
    But hey! Neverwinter Nights 2 is out!
  • Along with the Tickle Me Elmo rush, sneaks in a little gadget called 'Test Tube Aliens' which actually comes out of the UK. They are freaky little things that I haven't quite figured out, partly because they are all still in the package and I haven't had the chance to tear one apart yet.

    They are a cross between those slimy grow things that you put in water, and a little robot, because there are sensors popping out of them (they are electronic). There is a little trick in how they respond to their own we
  • by Hamster Lover (558288) * on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:59AM (#16766631) Journal
    So there isn't any compelling must have Christmas gadget this year, well, that is readily available (I am talking to you PS3). Boo hoo. How about sitting around the Christmas dinner table with your family and friends and give thanks for your good health, good friends, a place to live, a job and a full stomach?

    Since I became an adult I am far less worried about what gifts I receive at Christmas and far more thankful for the gifts I already have. Not all gifts come wrapped in pretty paper and bows.

    Merry Christmas!
  • The gadgets of 1492 were pretty simple....

    But more seriously, I had to settle for a plastic JAWS and a Tonka fire engine. What are they whining about?
  • What the hell are they talking about???

    There are a crapload of cool gadgets coming out. Want an example??? sure...

    Mediagate MG-35 or the MG-350HD is a extrnal hard drive that acts as a movie player/server that has wowed everyone I have shown it to. It will play DVD's as a normal dvd with menu and extras from iso files. I have a demo unit with about 40 movies on it that blows away everyone thta asees it on the small 42" plasma we demo with.

    Granted it's not a gadget for the techie that has no skills at a
  • "It's enough to make you slit your wrists with the shards of a smashed Christmas tree bauble."

    Clearly Chris Stevens has far bigger problems than suffering production delays from Microsoft or Sony. Who really ASKS for Vista as a Christmas present? (or any kind of holiday present, actually) How bizarre. It's an insult to suicidal people everywhere.

  • > this will be the most disappointing Christmas ever for gadget-lovers

    I think that's putting it a bit strong.
    Most of the dark ages pretty much sucked
    for gadget lovers [in Europe at least].
  • The article talks about the delays for the new FF game and questions why its taking so long to release in europe. The answer probobly has to do with the various national ratings boards and the need to make sure that the european release will meet the (generally more conservative than the US on violence) standards set by those various boards. (either so they can release it at all or so they can get the rating they want)
  • by GooberToo (74388) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @10:23AM (#16767041)
    Vista won't be out for home users before the big day

    Sounds like it will be a good Christmas after all!
  • back a while back i made 3 predictions.. 2 of which i remember and 1 so far has come true. the first was that SGI would file bankruptcy, the 2nd would be the PS3 would not be released this year. again this was at the beginning of the year. where can i go and look and comments made by me beyond the first 50? i would love to give that link.. thanks.
  • that good gifts come in smaller and less expensive packages?
  • It's time now to make the calendar more flexible than ever.
    Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Independence, Mom's and Dad's days are to be adujsted accordingly to product release dates.
    This way we all have a better year experience than ever.
  • I have a hard time believing this is the worst Christmas for gadgest ever. Ever is a strong word. I can't help but think Christmas used to be a bit more boring. Take 2006 years ago for instance. Aside from the fact that only a handful of people knew it was Christmas, there were no great gadgets to give each other anyway. I mean, sure we got the Son of God that year, but does that really count as a technical advance?
  • CNet is absolutely right about this being the worst Christmas for gadgets - hell, this year will even beat the Christmas I spent alone in a snowy foxhole somewhere in the Ardennes, my buddies dead around me, with nothing but a few clips of ammo for my rifle, a can of corned beef hash and a broken can opener.
  • But... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tsa (15680) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @10:54AM (#16767605) Homepage
    I thought Christmas was about being together en caring about other people. We must be happy that all these gadgets are delayed and/or cancelled, because that leaves us more time to spend with our loved ones!
  • ...compared with, say, Christmas 1347 (or 1918)? Which is worse - no "Zune" or the Black Death?

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