Nielson Report Ranks Most-Wanted Tech Gifts for Kids

Dennis Faas's picture

Analysts from Nielson have put together the most-wanted gifts for kids this holiday season. The top-ranked item shows just how far the little tykes have come since I was eight years old, when G.I. Joe and He-Man action figures were all the rage.

According to Nielson, among children aged six to twelve, the Apple iPad is the most-desired tech device. Almost one in every three kids interviewed responded that they wanted the popular tablet computer sometime within the next six-month period. (Source:

Touch, iPad Beat Out Video Game Consoles

Also high on Santa's list: a computer (reports haven't specified if this means Mac or PC) and the iPod Touch. Both items were desirable amongst 29 per cent of the interviewees.

Coming in third position was the Nintendo DS handheld video game system, to date the most widely sold video game device ever built. About one in four kids said they wanted it.

PS3, Smartphones Tie Fourth Place

Fourth place was again a tie between the Sony PlayStation 3 (or PS3 slim, a lighter, thinner version of the very powerful game console), smartphone, or "other" mobile phone device. Just over one in five respondents said they wanted these items.

Nielson notes several important findings in their study -- for one, the iPod Touch, which fuses music playback with games and other applications, finished higher than devices from more traditional gaming companies Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft.

"Of note, the iPod touch outpaces the perennial handheld gaming favorites Nintendo DS and Sony PlayStation Portable – though look for the Nintendo 3DS to make a splash with young gamers when it releases in spring 2011," Nielson said. (Source:

2010 to be "Solid" Holiday for Game Companies

Not all is dark for the Big 3 video game hardware makers.

Nielson expects Christmas 2010 to be a "solid holiday showing" for repeated favorite the Nintendo Wii, followed in popularity by the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It should be noted that Nielson compiled its data before Microsoft made its recent big push for the controller-free Xbox 360 peripheral Kinect, which sold 1 million units in just a ten-day window.

As is tradition, Black Friday and Cyber Monday will open the holiday shopping season. The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates that 88.2 per cent of retailers will offer substantial Cyber Monday bargains. At the same time, the NRF believes brick-and-mortar stores will also see substantial traffic: an estimated 138 million shoppers, rising from 134 million last year.

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