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The Best games of 2011 for the Holidays!Gamespot's Homer Rabara and CNET's Donald Bell join Brian Tong to finish our Holiday Help Desk coverage with everything gaming. Should you get an Xbox 360 or a Sony PS3? Is Kinect worth it or is it just a gimmic? Plus, we'll tell you Gamespot's top video...
Speaker: It's the Holiday Help Desk train here. Welcome everybody. Brian Tong here in the house. Joining today we have a... some special, special guest. Donald Bell will be here in the house helping us out answering your questions, tablets, MP3 players, everything you wanna know and also in the house today we're gonna have a theme that's a little bit geared towards gaming. What's happening there with consoles and the hot games. (Homer Ravara?), senior producer, he looks like that... Speaker: Crazy. Speaker: I'm not gonna... Speaker: Crazy. Speaker: Let's not cut back to that camera again. Speaker: Thanks for having me guys. I appreciate it. Speaker: We're talking about Game Spot's recent announced best of 2000 awards. Speaker: Absolutely. Speaker: In all the genres game of the year. Also we'll talk about consoles and a lot of you still haven't purchased your console yet and which one fits for you because there's different strokes for different folks. Speaker: Yes. Speaker: So we'll talk all about that. Also, we always have our Cheapskate Extraordinaire, Rick Broida is in the house and he'll be joining us shortly. So yeah we're happy. Speaker: And later. Speaker: Later. Speaker: We also have (Cy Paulson?) joining us from BestBuy New Yprk on the ground telling us the best deals that gonna be... Speaker: He's literally on the floor. Speaker: Literally there right now. Speaker: Fielding hardware questions. Speaker: He actually is. Speaker: ...All about the best deals you can get through BestBuy and bestbuy.com. Speaker: So (Cy?) will be joining us. Also you know that this is a call in show. We don't have too many of those here, so this is your opportunity to talk... talk to us. Talk to us. Speaker: To tuck? Speaker: Tuck us in it? Speaker: All right hey... Speaker: Hey you could do that too if you want. Speaker: Whatever you wanna do. Speaker: It's 1-888-900 CNET. That's 2638. Speaker: All holiday traditions... Speaker: I expect at least 1 phone call and if you guys don't call I'm gonna be pretty upset. This is our last Holiday Help Desk of the year. Speaker: You gotta call in. Speaker: You've gotta call us. Speaker: Can I call in? Just to ask you a question? Speaker: Honestly I don't mind if you do that. I think that's kinda cool. Speaker: All right, all right. Speaker: Okay so we're gonna get things rolling here. We're gonna start off with our very own Cheapskate Rick Broida. You've seen him, you know him, you love him. He brings all the biggest and baddest deals that are out there and there's still are deals going on. Rick what's going on my man? Speaker: Hey everything is going on guys. Let's see, I decided that in honor of the big holiday week, that one deal was not good enough for this Monday. We need 5 deals... Speaker: Spend that money. Speaker: So it's a multi deals Monday. Speaker: Spend it. Speaker: Multi Deal Monday. All right and what do we have Rick? Speaker: All right well let's see, I'm not gonna run through all 5 but I'm gonna hit the... hit the highlights for you and the first... Speaker: Yes. Speaker: Is Wonder Share... Best known probably for DVD rippers and video converters. They actually have a... video editing suite that's called the (V Video?). I'm thinking that's how you pronounce it. Speaker: (V Video?). Speaker: ...And this product normally runs about 40 bucks and you can get it absolutely free today with the coupon code that's listed right on the Cheapskate page and they'll send you a license key and I think a little more powerful than Windows Live Moviemaker. So it's a nice little upgrade if you wanna do some more serious video editing and that program is for Windows and Mac. Speaker: Excellent, excellent and I actually... this one is probably... pretty killer for me. The PlaySport, can you talk about that? I like that one a lot. Speaker: Yeah absolutely even though those, you know, pocket camcorders seem to be dying out on us, Kodak is still making some good products and they have the... the Kodak Zx3 PlaySport which is one of their waterproof, rugged eyes pocket camcorders that shoots 1080p video and it does a pretty nice job of it too. I've actually got one of these and it is on sale today for 69.99 shift and that's through a company called (Ben's?) Outlet and those are really fun cameras. Great for the kids to knock around with or take to the beach or the pool assuming you live at some place where it's not snowing. Speaker: Yeah I mean you don't wanna play with your iPhone 4... Speaker: In the pool? Speaker: In the pool. Speaker: Yeah. Speaker: And this is a great, great solution for that. So yeah I like the Kodak Zx3. You're right about the pocket camcorders kinda going away but this would be nice for that. Speaker: What's the capacity on that thing? Speaker: You know, that takes standard SD card... Speaker: Oh cool. Speaker: So you actually have a... kinda a BYO memory but you can pop in like an 8 gig card and get hours and hours of high def video. Speaker: That's awesome. Speaker: Excellent, and is there any one last deal of your 5 that you'd like to point out Mr. Broida? Speaker: Yes sir. Let's go with the Telltale games sale. Telltale games make some of the really cool adventure games. I know games are big topic today. Speaker: Yes. Speaker: ...And... They made some of the great... They made some of the great adventure games the last few years. Most notably the revival of Sam & Max series. They did Tales of Monkey Island and more recently they did Back to the Future, the game, which I think was really outstanding and all of those games are on sale for 9.99 a piece which is... Speaker: That's a pretty good deal. Speaker: Quite a bit less. They usually sell for about 25 bucks and that gets you a DVD by mail as well. You got to download the game and you get a DVD by mail. So that's a pretty sweet offer. Speaker: Excellent. Speaker: I just like to say real quick. The... the voice actor who plays Marty McFly on that is like spot on. It's not... Speaker: He's been living for that day... Speaker: Oh yeah it's like... Speaker: ...where he could prop it from his Marty McFly impression. Speaker: The guy who... you know, in the school hallways who jus always imitating movies that nobody remembers like he banked them... Speaker: Cashed in. Good. Speaker: Cashed in. Speaker: Well a little bit of Trivia. It is Michael J. Fox in the 5th and final episode... Speaker: Oh Awesome. Speaker: They managed to get him come back for it. Speaker: Sweet. Man we're learning all kinds of tidbits here that I did not expect. Speaker: Trivia... Speaker: All right Rick, well you know, we just wanna say thank you so much for digging for all these deals and just being with us for the whole year. You can continue to follow Rick's Cheapskate blog, do you want to pimp it a little bit? Speaker: Of course. It's cnet.com/cheapskate. There's a new deal every single day of the week. Speaker: Every darn day. All right Rick thanks for all your help and we appreciate everything. Okay? Speaker: Thank you guys. Have a great holiday. Speaker: All right. Enjoy it. Speaker: See you Rock. Speaker: All right so we wanna thanks to Rick for helping us out through this whole holiday season. Homer... Speaker: Yes. Speaker: Still here from Game Spot. Speaker: I'm still here. I haven't left. Speaker: All right. We're ready to... games. Speaker: I know you want me to leave. Speaker: We do. I do. We wanna talk games but we're gonna first show off a product (spotlight?). Kind of a comparison between the Xbox 360 and the PS3. Which one is right for you? Jeff Bakalar is gonna help us out a little bit. Speaker: Hey everyone. I'm Jeff Bakalar for CNET.com. The holidays are a great time of the year for gaming and if you don't already own a current generation console. You either gonna wanna pick up an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3. Now if you're only gonna go with 1 console this holiday season, we're gonna make your decision a whole lot easier because we're gonna break down the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360 in this product spotlight. Now in terms of design, both consoles are now super reliable. The new Xbox doesn't overheat and the Playstation 3 slim has a much thinner design. Both have accessible USB ports and easy to use front buttons. Now the Xbox 360 has a great infrared port upfront, but if you wanna use a remote for the PS3, you'll need to buy a separate attachment. We really like both the Xbox and Playstation 3's interface. Both are really intuitive and easy to use but when it comes to online game play, we definitely recommend the 360 over the PS3. Even though the 360 requires a $50 a year membership to Xbox Live, it's definitely worth it. Online play just feels more seamless on the 360. Everything is incorporated very logically and it's a lot easier to keep track of your friends and join online sessions. On the other hand PS3 online game play is free. So if you're not really into online gaming, this shouldn't factor in too much. While most games are available for both systems, each console has exclusive franchises. Xbox has Halo, Gears of War, Forza and Fable while Playstation 3 has Uncharted, Little Big Planet, God of War and Resistance. Both consoles offered tons of content like Netflix but each system has its own exclusive content deals as well. The PS3 has content from Voodoo, NFL, (NENHL?) and it's an overall better media player than the 360. All these not too mention we love the Playstation 3's Blue Ray player. Now you really can't go wrong with choosing either the 360 or the PS3 this holiday season but for the best games to buy for each console make sure you head on over to CNET.com. I'm Jeff Bakalar. Thanks for watching and happy holidays. Speaker: All right. Welcome back to the Holiday Help Desk guys. Jeff Bakalar breaking it down for us. Mr. Homer... Speaker: Yes. Speaker: You know, you're the game guy here. Speaker: I'm the game dude... I game. Speaker: Jeff pointed out a lot of things but... for the consoles... Speaker: Yes. Speaker: Is there a personal favorite of yours? I mean they both have obviously... Speaker: Yeah I mean pros and cons for both but I mean from my... for me I feel like the Playstation 3 gives me more... a broader sense of media, you know, if you're talking about pure gaming, the Xbox 360 I feel like has... a slight advantage in terms of franchises. You got the Gears of War, you got the Halos, you got the Forzas. Speaker: The online community that was really (strong to?)... Speaker: Yeah exactly... The online accessibility. Even though it does cost 50 bucks. It's just... like he said it's pretty seamless and like a lot of my friends typically are playing Xbox versus Playstation 3 but Playstation 3 has a lot of horsepower. So I feel like if you wanna watch movies, you can get on the internet with Bluetooth interface and use it as your web browser. If you wanna compete on a TV but... you know again it's plus and minuses... If you have kids the (Kinect?) certainly... Speaker: Tips the scales for sure. Speaker: Yeah that definitely tips the scales. Even more so than the Wii. Like I think the Wii is kind of taking the backseat this year and... Speaker: Totally. Speaker: The Kinect definitely has a (niche?) there with like kids jumping around playing around, you know, there's Once Upon a Monster which is a really cute game. Speaker: That you play by your self. Speaker: That you play... No. Speaker: You played that game... You played that game on your own I'm pretty sure about it. Yeah. Speaker: Me? Personally I do. Speaker: Yeah you're on that (Sesame?) shoe. Speaker: I'm just like I can't wait until everybody goes to sleep so I can be Elmo. Speaker: Donald as a father... Speaker: Sure. Speaker: You know, do you have a preference of a console? Speaker: I'm afraid to show my kid Kinect because... He's gonna blow his mind so much. He's gonna have the expectation of reality responding to his gestures the rest of his life. Speaker: Yeah. Speaker: I wanna keep that in a bottle for him for a little while. Speaker: Just for the time being. Speaker: He's already ruined with touchscreens, all the tablets I take home. Speaker: Yeah sure. Speaker: He thinks everything is gonna respond to his touch and it's just... sorry guy that's a... that predates the touchscreen. Speaker: That's true. Speaker: That's not gonna work that way. Speaker: That's true. Okay, so we'll talk more about gaming and talk... cover your game of the year picks. Speaker: Yes. Speaker: But we're gonna go hit our phone lines because we care about you guys. We're gonna hit up Bob in San Jose. San Jose is like close to my hometown. Speaker: San Jo. Speaker: San Jo. Bow how you doing today? Speaker: Hello? Speaker: Hey Bob can you turn down your computer volume because... then you'll be able to hear us in real time. Speaker: I just heard you Brian. Speaker: I know. That's awkward. Speaker: (It's Wild?). Speaker: All right Bob are you there? Speaker: Yes. Speaker: Okay excellent. Bob. So you have a question for us. I want you throw that to us and see what the... the (esteemed?) gaming experts think. Speaker: Esteemed. Speaker: I have a question for PS3. I was wondering what game to get regarding Battlefield, Uncharted, (Modern Warfare?) and Saints Row. Speaker: Okay well... I mean that's a breath of genres that you're covering... Speaker: Get them all. Get them all. Speaker: If you got the money get them all. I mean it just depends on what you're looking for. Are you looking for a military shooter, you're looking for more action adventure. It's kind of, you know, Uncharted and Saints Row are more sandbox kind of games. Well Saints Row more over than Uncharted. Uncharted 3 is definitely linear but you know if you're looking for a variety of game play, you know, my personal pick would be Uncharted 3. Speaker: Yeah. Speaker: It's just got tremendous visuals. It's got a... it's got a good story but the game play is just fantastic. It's pretty seamless... Speaker: It's a movie you can play. Speaker: Exactly. Speaker: It's a movie you can play. Speaker: If you ever wanted to be Indiana Jones, you could be Indiana Jones, except your name is (Nathan Drape?). So... Battlefield 3... Speaker: What if we added Skyrim to the mix? Speaker: Oh man. Now you're getting crazy. Speaker: Now you just kinda... Speaker: Now you're getting crazy man. Speaker: You tipped the scale. You bumped it to a whole different echelon. I mean RPGs... that RPG alone I think trumps every RPG that's come out this year. I wouldn't even say... I would go... Speaker: What are you gonna say? Don't get crazy... Speaker: I would dare to say. It trumped the RPGs the last 2 or 3 years. Speaker: That's crazy talk man. Speaker: So it's a good... it's a great game. Speaker: It has also abducted more than a few CNET editors from their jobs around here. Speaker: Yes if you're looking to have no life beyond Skyrim, then yes. Skyrim would certainly be my top choice but between those 4, if you keep it limited to those 4, Uncharted certainly would be my pick and you know we have everyone talks about the online game play community. You have that obviously in Modern Warfare and... and with the Battlefield 3 but Uncharted has a... has a big online community as well. Speaker: Yes the multi players one. Speaker: The multi player is super man. Speaker: You know it's... it's not... it's certainly not as seamless to jump in as a (Cob 3?), Modern Warfare 3 or BF 3 but it's like... Speaker: It's good. Speaker: Yeah it's fun. Speaker: Yeah. Speaker: It's a lot of fun. Speaker: If I was you... If I was you I would say Uncharted 3 but that's just me. Speaker: That's where we agree. Speaker: Yeah we do. Speaker: We do agree. Speaker: Bob is that all right with you? Speaker: Yeah. Speaker: Okay cool. Speaker: Cool. Have fun. Speaker: Thanks for calling we appreciate it. All right excellent. So there you go Bob. Say goodbye to Bob. All right we're gonna... we're gonna come back in a moment. We're gonna take a break. When we return our good friend (Cy?)... what was (Cy's?) last name? I knew that. (Cy Paulson?), he's gonna be here from BestBuy to talk about some of the deals BestBuy still has going on and some of the hot sellers over there. So stick with us and we'll be right back in a minute. Speaker: Hey guys. Welcome back to CNET's Holiday Help Desk. Our final episode of the year. Joining us, Donald Bell in the house. Speaker: DB. Speaker: Also (Homer Ravara?) from GameSpot. That's how we do... Steve... Steven (Beecham?). Speaker: I'm here. I'm hiding in the back. Speaker: He's allowed to talk. Speaker: ...show him some love. That's all. Speaker: He's officially allowed to talk... more than a second. Speaker: All right our phone lines are open 1-888-900 CNET. We have a few questions that we're gonna get to also from the chat room but before we do that, we wanna talk to our good buddy in New York City from BestBuy, (Cy Paulson?). He works the floors of the Union Square... New York Store for BestBuy and he's here to join us. (Cy?) you've been here with us before... Thanks for coming out. Speaker: Yeah thank you so much. How's it going? Speaker: See... we told you he's on the floor... Speaker: Look at that man. He's just in the trenches. Speaker: All right (Cy?). We just wanted to talk to you about first of all some of the deals that BestBuy has going on right now that you can talk about. Speaker: Yeah definitely, I mean, you know this holiday season more so than... than ever it's, you know, I really am jealous quite frankly of the... the customer because, you know, we have some many great deals and so many different product categories, but you know, what's really cool is that it's all under one roof. Either in our stores or our website. So if you need anything from... any of the new Amazon Kindle E Readers which started only $80 to a digital camera which is... basically every model is on sale right now on BestBuy.com and you can do in-store pick up... Apple Mac Books, Apple iPads, iPods... Promotions with Xbox 360. There's so many different things you can get... So many great deals that just makes it such a... you know, compelling value for you to come shop here if you are customer looking to get... some things checked off on your technology wishlist. Speaker: Now let's forget about the customer. What about you? If there was one product that you're gonna buy this holiday season, what would you get? Speaker: You mean like socks? No, I mean... Speaker: I don't wanna hear about socks. This is CNET my man. We don't care about socks unless they heat your toes. Speaker: Let's assume you've got the socks. Are they Wi-Fi socks? Speaker: The USB powered ones that I bought? No, I think, as far as what I do really want. I mean I... I love any new technology that, you know, makes my life simpler. There's a really cool product that's called the Jawbone Jambox. Speaker: Yeah. Speaker: It's a Bluetooth. It's small. It's like... you know, about as big as like... a little bit bigger than a candy bar and it gets you... you know, simulated surround sound and base... via Bluetooth, you know, wireless connection between a phone, a iPad... you know, all of which I have that would sound a lot better with a wireless speaker. So Santa, you know, you help me out. Speaker: Yeah that's a good one. Now I looked at your... I'm not gonna, you know, throw you off or anything but I looked at your deals of the day on bestbuy.com and there's one specific product that I'm kinda curious about. Do you guys still have the Happy Nappers play pillows in stock? Speaker: You mean, these? No... Speaker: Nice (Cy?). Speaker: We have... we have... you know, it just (goes?) to show you though what... there are a lot of products believe it or not that BestBuy does carry. Happy Nappers... Pillow Pets, (Snuggies?) even... Speaker: (Snuggies?). Sweet. Speaker: Yeah they have a camouflage (Snuggy?) one time. I thought it was amazing. Speaker: That's so hot. Speaker: Okay (Cy?). We're gonna... yeah those are beautiful. We're looking at some of those beautiful little Happy Nappers. Now we're gonna talk about tech a little more. What are some of the hot sellers this season? We've seen amazing prizes on TVs. Probably the best prizes we've seen on Plasmas and LCDs. What are the hot sellers for you guys that you've seen? Speaker: Yeah I would definitely echo what you said. I mean there's a huge, you know, incentive. Especially starting with Black Friday which kicked off our holiday season with a bang. Especially in the home theater department... You know, we got a Sharp TV on sale on the front cover of the ad which, you know, sold it extremely well. There's an extremely high demand, you know, here at my store and certainly across... across BestBuy nationwide and, you know, that really (??) for, you know, some amazing home theater deals. You know, I think what our customers are... really liking is that, you know, Black Friday isn't necessarily the only day to get a great deal on a television. I mean we have... guaranteed in stock 32 inch Dynex which is our house grand TVs that are always gonna be priced in the 250, $200 range... No matter when you come in to buy them and we're always gonna have them in stock which is really cool. Speaker: Now... excellent. Now I do wanna tell a random story about the Dynex TV. I was in Vegas and we wanted a TV to play games and we went to BestBuy and bought a Dynex 32 inch. Speaker: Nice. Speaker: But we did returned it the next day. Speaker: Well, hey, you know, they have that policy. Speaker: But they're good, they're good. Speaker: Maybe that's why they always have them in stock. Speaker: Cy... you guys have an awesome policy and I continue to shop at BestBuy. I really do. Speaker: Yeah... Speaker: And return at BestBuy. Speaker: Yeah, we have hassle free returns. You can buy now, get... you can return it for full credit back or exchange it by January 24th which is really cool. So... I'm glad you took advantage. Speaker: Thank you. Okay (Cy?) I do have one more question for you... I want you to be as candid as you can possibly. 3D TV. Should we care? Do you even care? Speaker: Well I think, you know, what's great about 3D, I mean it did have some novelty, you know what I mean, when it first came out... I guess over a year ago at this point but you know what's cool about it now is that 3D TV, whether you want it or not, that's a feature on a lot of high end television. So if you're buying a high end Plasma or LED TV you're gonna get that 3D feature. So... and we have great deals. We'll give away the glasses, the watch and the 3D Blue Ray players. You know, so you have the whole set up once you go home and I think it's pretty cool. You know, so even if you're not really interested in that feature, we give you the means... with our great pricing on the TV. So that if you do wanna use it, take advantage of it in the future... you know, you have it built it in. So I definitely don't see any issue with it and you know if you're interested in watching movies like that, then by all means, you know, we have a lot of products that definitely take care of you that way. Speaker: All right, I lied. I have one more question. Are there any other deals to look forward to after this Christmas season? Speaker: Well you know we have... our ad is weekly and we always have deals on our website which are... you know, so extremely good. I mean, you know, 1 big season that's upcoming is our... you know, home theater, you know, Superbowl season. I mean, that's always a very good time to buy... You know, televisions and home entertainment equipment but you know, honestly anything is always gonna be... I think extremely fairly priced across all the categories, you know, we have a very good price matching policy if we find it cheaper somewhere else and... you know, let's put it this way. If you gonna get BestBuy gift card under the tree this year, there's gonna be a lot of things, a lot of great deals you can come in and spend that gift card with. Speaker: So you're saying get a BestBuy gift card. Speaker: Yeah you know, if you're not... if... for the tech savy person that maybe doesn't know exactly what they want or they rather come in and pick up the product themselves, get their own demo, get their own hands on... Speaker: Yeah. Speaker: Yeah you know a gift card... it could... it definitely will go a long way. Speaker: All right well thanks a lot (Cy?). Can you get back to work now? Speaker: That'll be awesome. Speaker: No we appreciate all your help (Cy?). Thanks for coming in and you know spending some time on the floor with us at BestBuy. That's pretty awesome. Speaker: Absolutely. Thank you. Speaker: All right. Cool. Thank you buddy. Speaker: See us there. Speaker: All right there goes (Cy?)... Before we get some more calls and our phone lines are still open. We wanted to show you guys a look at this new toy that you can control with your smart phone. So let's check it out. Speaker: It's such a fine line between stupid and clever. Hi, I'm David Carnoy. Executive editor for CNET.com and that's a line from the movie This is spinal tap, but could just as easily apply the Sphero, a high tech, $130 robotic ball, it's well either pretty stupid or pretty clever depending on how you look at it. Let's start with the clever. The concept of wirelessly controlling a ball an steering it around with your smart phone certainly appeals to the inner geek in all of us and I gotta say people's initial reaction to seeing Sphero in action, is usually a mix of curiosity and a bit of awe. Wow that's cool, is a frequent observation. The ball connects via bluetooth your Android or iOS enabled mobile device. It's easy to set up and get going and at launch there are a handful of apps available that allow you to drive it around in various ways and even play a few games with it. Including a variation of golf. You can steer a couple of different ways. There's a standard virtual joystick method but I prefer the tilt mode that allows you to turn and tilt your device to drive. You change Sphero's color and it moves along at a pretty good clip especially when you engage the boost button. As for battery life, it gets about an hour of drive time before you have to charge it using the included induction charger and stand. Sphero is hard to judge as a single unit because it seems like it would be more fun to interact with other Spheros and compete in races and other games. You can certainly have some fun playing with your Sphero alone especially if you have a cat to tease but it will seem to lose some of its novelty pretty quickly if you didn't have any friends to play with. There's some other downsides of the product. It does take some practice to learn to steer it properly and it may frustrate some people who are short on patience. It's also not terribly rugged. It's not designed to be dropped from anything higher than a few feet. You can't kick it around and it doesn't play well with water. In the end it's the Sphero's shape that maybe both its strength and its weakness for it's hard to ignore the fact that is a ball and it's not terribly exciting to see a ball roll around on its own after a while even when it's interactive and lights up. Of course that's something of a technical feat to remotely put a ball in motion and kudos to Orbotics for doing that and coming up with an app tying strategy. It should help keep things interesting moving forward. All that's pretty clever or maybe it's stupid. It is such a fine line. I am David Carnoy and that's the Sphero. Thanks for watching. Speaker: Hey guys. Welcome back to Holiday Help Desk. Okay I did not know what we were going to see. That is the stupidest thing I've ever... If someone gave me that as a stocking stuffer I would throw it in their face. Speaker: Would you regift? Speaker: I wouldn't even regift that. Speaker: Is that event... That's not even... Speaker: I wouldn't regift that. Speaker: Oh wow. Speaker: Yeah once you throw it in their face, it breaks, and then you can't regift it. Speaker: ...Then it's over. Speaker: A damn ball. It's a ball. Speaker: You can change colors with your phone. Speaker: How much... did they say how much that thing costs? Speaker: No they didn't. Speaker: You can't even kick it. You can't kick it. Speaker: We were destroying it... Speaker: All right. Speaker: I think it's... You know what... Speaker: Somebody's gonna buy that though... Speaker: (??) their own. Donald you made a great point right while we're watching that video. Speaker: You said you're gonna be at CES reviewing the giant new version of that thing and you're gonna have to pretend like you're really happy to see it. Speaker: CNET's first look on the new Sphero ball gigantic Speaker: 2.0. Speaker: The omega. Speaker: Oh this is just horrible. Speaker: HD. Speaker: I'm seriously gonna throw up. Okay guys. Let's keep on talking... We have Homer here in the house from Game Spot. Speaker: Yes I'm here. Speaker: And we have a question from the chat room and... Speaker: Surely. Speaker: (John Mistletoe?). I think that might be Strickland. He asked, or maybe not. He... this person in the chat room asked us during the course of the show. I really wanna know if a Kinect is a good addition or if it's really stuck in the realm of being a gimmick. Speaker: The question of the year. Speaker: It's always... Speaker: Oh well. I mean, let me put it this way. Like, I bought my Kinect. Used it maybe 4 or 5 times and just got... I started to get really pissed at it because you gotta do Xbox on, Xbox... you know what would be funny is doing like one of those features on like how ridiculous people look trying to talk to that thing 'cause I mean you're talking to your TV dude. You know what I mean? Speaker: Yeah. Speaker: That gets Siri jealous. Speaker: So... yeah. Siri would be... Oh my god. Speaker: Why are you talking to your Xbox? Speaker: Maybe you can have Siri talk to the Kinect and then... I don't know but honestly the technology is cool. Speaker: Yeah. Speaker: In that realm it's really interesting. I mean motion control has always been kind of the elusive gaming thing... Speaker: Elusive. Speaker: But it almost seems like the natural evolution and what we're supposed to be doing you know more (immersiveness?) like... but... Speaker: You really gonna show this? Speaker: Yeah. Speaker: Here we go. There it is. Speaker: Look at these people? Speaker: Well they're having fun. Speaker: Look they're awesome. They're just having a... and that's another thing. Why drive a car with a not physical steering wheel? Speaker: I don't do that. Speaker: Do you do that in real life? Is that... Is that as immersive as you can get? Speaker: I mean I've got a pretty strong arms and... Speaker: Yeah. Speaker: That makes your arms tired. Speaker: It is. Speaker: It's totally lame. Speaker: But I mean I would like to see how developers really use that. Speaker: I was hoping that this year we'd actually see even better games but I feel like all we got was Dance Central 2. Speaker: Yeah Dance Central 2. Speaker: I mean that's... that's the... that was the perfect hardware for that game. Speaker: It's almost... yeah. Speaker: But that's about it. Speaker: That's... I think that's the most practical use of the Kinect but you know it's something that is still in development. I mean you have a lot of publishers that are kinda having to think outside the box with that thing and you know I think in that respect it... it's putting developers in a position where it's like, okay let's take gaming to that next level 'cause the genre is... I'm sorry, were starting to get... they're starting to get a little dry. Speaker: I think we're starting to see game... the gaming community or developers use the Xbox Kinect more as a microphone... Speaker: Yes. Speaker: Than an actual motion controller. Speaker: Yeah. Speaker: You just wanna see that with Mass Effect 3 and some other games. Speaker: Totally. Yeah. Speaker: But that's what it's good for. So you know, it depends on what your kids like. Speaker: Sure. Speaker: If your kids love a Disneyland game... seriously. Speaker: Yeah. Speaker: That one is... Speaker: Disneyland Adventures baby. Speaker: It's for the kids. It's for the kids baby. Speaker: If you don't wanna spend hours and hours in like to ride the Matterhorn, you do it with your Kinect. Speaker: I know some creepy grown ups Disneyland fans... I don't know if I'd still (??) Speaker: I know, that's true... Yeah you have a pretty strong point there. Speaker: (You'll maybe?) go there. Speaker: Yeah you have a pretty strong point there. Okay we wanted to remember... Speaker: Do I? Speaker: Yeah you do... Guys you can call us at hour hotline. We wanna... I wanna talk to a human being okay? 1-888-900 CNET. The people in here are not good enough. Call us. 1-888-900 CNET. We're gonna also jump into some of the e-mails that we received 'cause believe it or not we actually do... read your e-mails and we wanna try to answer them... We have this one from our friend Vladimir Sarmiento and he wrote in to us and said I'm a big fan. I was just wondering which e-reader you could recommend. Nook Simple Touch or Kindle Touch. Thanks, from Vlad. So you know, we have a guy who kinda covers tablets. Speaker: I've played around with both of them. I think that the Barnes & Noble Simple Touch is actually kind of a cooler looking product... but it's not... it's not as inexpensive and then ultimately you also have to consider how you're gonna hold on to those books... I do think that Amazon has more devices out there that's gonna be able to read their Amazon Kindle digital books you can get in more places than you will be able to with Barnes & Noble store but device to device I kinda prefer the Simple Touch. Speaker: Me too. I'm right on the money on that actually. Even with a new Kindle Touch coming out. It's even side by side... I kinda played with it. It feels a little snappier. I mean it's... (E-Inc?) isn't a snappy technology in general but it does feel a little faster to move around. I like the Barnes & Noble experience, I like the product, I just like it better. Speaker: Yeah. Speaker: The good thing though about the Kindle Touch which was an issue is that with previous Kindle you have this refresh, we have this black flash every page. They have maxed that up to the Nook Simple Touch which it's more like every 5 or 6 pages which is why I love the Simple Touch in the first place but I would agree. Speaker: As someone who is like a fan of actual book books, this one has kind of more of a personal feel to it. You know, like I would covet it over. Speaker: Okay, well that's good. I wasn't sure which way you're gonna go actually. Speaker: Like with the book book thing? Speaker: Book Book thing. Speaker: Oh no. Not book book thing. Like Simple Touch or Kindle Touch. Speaker: Oh I see. Speaker: You know 'cause sometimes people like get... not yeah, because you're just one of the best reviewers we have here. Speaker: Yeah but sometimes you'll get a little wrapped up in the whole like... oh it's a new things. So it has to be better. Not necessarily. Speaker: Yeah no. I like the... I like Barnes... Sorry, I like Amazon's tablet better for all the media that you can get on it but when it comes to kinda the pure e-book reading experience I think the Simple Touch is the way to go. Speaker: All right excellent. Now... Speaker: I wanna ask you this though... Speaker: Yeah. Speaker: Because it almost seems like these readers are starting to be like, hey, you can check out the internet and all that stuff but it's like why even... what's the advantage of... do you see like... Speaker: Because you can. Because you can. Speaker: It's just over complicating (??). Speaker: We put a man on the moon and now we need to figure out how to browse the web on the cheapest device possible. It doesn't matter if it's good. Speaker: Are you more of a pure... purist in the sense that I want my reader just for books or do you wanna surf the internet and stuff. Speaker: I just really want it for books. Speaker: All right. Speaker: It's really... the device I take around, I don't worry about the battery life running out quickly and I can... Speaker: Totally. Yeah. Speaker: Travel with it and don't worry about it. Speaker: All right. Speaker: Okay we're here... we're talking about gaming and Game Spot released the game of the year award which is quite, you know, everyone's been waiting for this type of stuff. Speaker: Yeah we... every year we do our best of feature and today it literally went live. So, you know, Brian we're talking earlier it's been a banner year for games and... Speaker: Absolutely. Speaker: And there's been so much software that's been released that's just... remarkable that I think, you know, we should... if you want to, we can talk about it some more. Speaker: Yeah that's what we're gonna do. Speaker: Is that what we're gonna do... All right. Speaker: If that was your question. Speaker: All right. Sure. That was my seg way. Speaker: So the breakdown is do we wanna tease them and talk about what you chose for the genres and then get to the game of the year? Let's do that. Speaker: Sure. Yeah let's do that. Speaker: Let's mess with people a little bit. Speaker: Okay I mean, you know, we... we kick things off. We got into our genres here. We have action adventure and... Speaker: So what was the winner for best action adventure game of the year. Speaker: If we scroll down here... This page is... currently refreshing because millions of eyeballs are looking at this feature right now. Let me just say... Speaker: I have it pulled up here. Speaker: Okay let's see. You wanna... (review it?). I lost it. Speaker: Okay well it's actually playing this video but your action adventure winner game of the year was Batman Arkham City. Speaker: Yes. Speaker: I've got to agree. Speaker: Amazing game. If you're... Speaker: I've got to agree. Speaker: If you're a big superhero fan, if you're a big Batman fan, I would say this is the equivalent... the game equivalent to the Dark Knight the movie. Let me just put it that way. I mean the Arkham City is just... Speaker: Let me just put it that way. Speaker: I did the Arkham Asylum one from a few years ago or from last year. Speaker: Yeah that was a really good game too. Speaker: (??) like blows it out. Speaker: Yeah it pretty much takes like how awesome Arkham Asylum was, that one building unlike extended... Speaker: It was... It was one of those that's right on the cusp of causing me nightmares before I went to bed. It was just kind of PG 13 (enough?) that I wasn't freaked out. Speaker: Who? Batman or Joker? Speaker: Yes. Speaker: Was it both? Speaker: The whole thing. I mean... yeah. Speaker: The whole entire thing. Speaker: Okay... go ahead... keep going... Speaker: Let's move on. Speaker: Okay you wanna move on? Okay best driving game. Speaker: Yes, Dirt 3. Speaker: Dirt 3. Speaker: Yeah I mean there's been a lot of driving games I had this year. Notable Forza 4, Gran Turismo 5. That came out Speaker: GT 5 yeah you think it might have been one of those 2 games... Speaker: But I really think it comes down to like that game just did everything... it limited the scope of what you could which was just like a lot of off road type of stuff but it did it really, really, really well. You know, it's... and then they have a new kind of like, their equivalent to Parkour, you know, with driving and that feature surprisingly was really awesome. I mean, you're on these obstacle courses and you have to like do these really cool tricks through tiny spaces and it kinda felt like Tony Hawk's pro skater, but for driving and I think that was what kind of tipped the scale for... for us. I was like, okay, well Forza 4, GT 5 for all the realistic cars and all these cars, crash damage, all of these stuff but when it came down to it, it's like how fun is the driving. You know, on Dirt 3... It just took the (game?). Speaker: How does your community respond to that? Speaker: I think, you know, we polarize some people 'cause there's a lot of franchise fans out there and like you gotta kinda look past that, you know, I mean, GT 5 was in the works for I don't know how many years and it's like it came in and you couldn't help but just... feel disappointed. You know, but, you know, Dirt 3 dude. Speaker: And so it goes. All right. Fighting game. I'm actually pretty upset about this. Speaker: Really. Yes. Speaker: The King of Fighters 13. You're not feeling the King of Fighters the 13th one of them? Speaker: Mortal effing Kombat was amazing this year. Speaker: Yes. It was extremely amazing. Speaker: Mortal effing Kombat. Speaker: Yeah but... Speaker: I'm just saying... I didn't... but you know what I'm not gonna be the guy who says oh it was so great I didn't play King of Fighters. So I'm gonna reserve judgment but... Mortal Kombat... this year. Speaker: I will, you know, I will kind of... let people into the... behind the fort wall a little bit. I mean we do like to go against the (grain?) a little bit. You know what I mean? Speaker: Just to piss of Brian Tong. Speaker: What's up with that? Not just to... Speaker: Come on. What do you... Do you think CNET goes against (grain?). We pick the iPhone every time. No, I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. I'm kidding. I'm kidding. Speaker: So you know... Speaker: iPad, what else is there? Mac Book Pro. Mac Book Air. I'm just kidding. Speaker: It almost fell like the theme of this year was like let's just go back to the simple pure... element of fun game play and mastering, you know, a few things really well as opposed to let's give this gamer the gamut of options but do him kind of... Speaker: Mortal Kombat is definitely qualified for all these... Next one platformer. What a jerk. Speaker: Brian... Speaker: Yeah thanks for coming... Speaker: All right, Rayman Origins dude. Speaker: Hey nice. Nice. Speaker: You know, we're kind of... Speaker: You're arguing against the grain. Speaker: A little bit... but this game is super fun man. I mean you... Rayman definitely a character in gaming that... has a lot fans but as of late until now it has disappointed to a certain degree but this kinda went back to like... the hearkening to the old school... Speaker: The old school. Speaker: Like super difficult freaking platforming games but... with a lot of charm and beautiful art designs. So... Speaker: No Super Mario 3D. That was starting to get some buzz towards the end of the year. Speaker: Yes. A little bit. You know... Speaker: Not enough. Speaker: Not enough to dethrone the Rayman though. Speaker: Okay excellent and Little Big Planet. Been there done that or... Speaker: You know what, the funny thing is that like I think it had the disadvantage of coming out earlier in the year. Speaker: Yeah. Speaker: You know, so the novelty of it kinda wore off and then it was just... not that it's a bad thing but it was... it was more of the same and then obviously took platforming to a different level but I think for the gamer to just grasp the scope of what that game is trying to do was a little daunting. Especially for me, you know, you get in to the level creation and it's like you can do so much and like... Speaker: Yeah it's crazy. Speaker: It kinda scared me. I'm not gonna lie. Speaker: Well you know what that's okay. I'll... we'll keep it simple for you Homer. Speaker: All right. Speaker: Let's go on to the next one. Best puzzle games. Speaker: Yes best puzzle game. We gave it to Portal 2 and I don't think there's any... I don't think there's any argument. Speaker: It should have been Mortal Kombat... Speaker: For everything. Speaker: It should have been Mortal Kombat. They have puzzles. Speaker: Best children's game. Mortal Kombat. Why didn't that... Speaker: Because you can rip hearts out of dudes. Speaker: Best sound track. Speaker: Mortal Kombat. Speaker: I don't disagree with that. That sound track is awesome. Speaker: Yeah it's got (??). Speaker: All right, best puzzle game, definitely Portal 2. Speaker: Okay excellent and then I guess, do we have to talk about this, the best RPG game? Speaker: I don't know. I mean we could. Speaker: Who cares. Speaker: But you're just beating... Speaker: Who really cares. Speaker: You're just beating a dead horse. Speaker: Skyrim. Speaker: (Elder Scrolls?). Speaker: Yes the 5th one and... yeah like we spoke earlier with that caller. It's just... it's such a huge game, you know, and it's an experience that kinda goes unmatched in the RPG genre. You've got so much to explore in the world of Skyrim. You got... Speaker: I gotta avoid that thing like heroin. Speaker: My friend... Speaker: That's just a life suck with no... Speaker: My friend messaged me. Speaker: You can't play that game without destroying your life. Speaker: My friend messaged me during the show saying... Speaker: Skyrim equals heroin that's probably the quote of the day. Speaker: Yeah. Speaker: My friend messaged me saying you should only talk about Skyrim. Speaker: Zero... Yeah well you know I will say this I kinda got roped in to doing a bunch of Skyrim walk throughs this year towards the end of the year and like... like I've said it's a game that if you do... if you start it, you won't finish for months and months and months. So it's certainly is one of those games that... you get lost and you get lost in that world. You get lost in your character and it's fantastic. Speaker: To be honest with all the things going on this world it's okay to get lost in that video game. Speaker: Yeah it's okay. There's a lot of things going... Speaker: I'm gonna... right now start investing in a 12 step program to get people off their addiction to Skyrim. I will make more money than the actual manufacturer did... Speaker: You know what I know that you do have addiction... I don't wanna say addiction centers... Speaker: Gaming addiction? Speaker: Yeah there's like they treat it. Speaker: Well, kids die sometimes from playing games. Speaker: Yeah... they stay up for 3 days straight and then die in those little cafes what... Who does that? Speaker: I think it's (selling point exposure?)... hey you wanna die? Speaker: Let's get back on the holiday cheer here fellows. Speaker: Yeah what's going on? Speaker: Game... you know, we have a lot of other genres. Speaker: Yes. Speaker: You know, we have shoot... let's just say it really quickly. Shooter. Speaker: Shooters. (Gears of War?) 3... Yeah. Speaker: Sports. Speaker: Sports, NBA 2K12. I think you can agree with that. Speaker: Thank you. It's about time someone chose the right answer and strategy. Speaker: Strategy, Shogun. Speaker: Shogun. Nice. Speaker: Total War Shogun 2. Honestly I'm not a big strategy good. Speaker: Neither am I. I just said nice because I don't play it. Speaker: If you are a strategy dude, this game is your game. Speaker: Okay and game of the year. Everyone... you know this one is... this one could be tricky. I think I know the answer, Mortal Kombat. Mortal effing Kombat. Speaker: Brian Tong's game of the year. Speaker: It's Skyrim. Speaker: Yeah. Absolutely. Speaker: We'd beat that thing to death. So... it's just, yeah it's a really good game but some notable games that didn't make our list, Elena War. Speaker: Yeah that was great. Speaker: That was certainly a game that kind flipped... Speaker: Shift things up a little. Speaker: Yeah it's like a choose your own adventure kind of game. You know, dialog heavy, a lot of investigation. If you wanna be a gumpshun in... Speaker: A gumpshun? Speaker: In LA. Speaker: What child's dream today does not involve growing up and be a (??) champion. Speaker: To be honest I don't even know the last time I heard someone say the word gumpshun. Speaker: Just now. Speaker: That's why I'm just like wow. Speaker: Yeah, we totally did that. Speaker: I'm kinda blown away right now. Speaker: One... piece of hardware that didn't perform extremely well but I think it's still a big bargain for folks is the Nintendo 3 DS. I mean for Nintendo. Speaker: Yeah I'm not gonna buy it but... Speaker: Didn't necessarily... Speaker: They cut that price pretty deep didn't they (??) of this show. Speaker: Yeah but I mean you still have games like... if Mario Kart fans, you know Mario Kart (starting on there?) probably the best Mario Kart thus far. You got Super Mario 3D Land. Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, classic, brought back to the 3 DS and you know... Speaker: And so far... Speaker: It's all on sale. Speaker: No reports yet that anyone's eyeballs had fallen out of their head playing that thing. Speaker: Yeah exactly. No addictions. Speaker: Okay here we go. Let's just get a quick question and then we're gonna wrap this show up. Speaker: All right. Speaker: (D Dog?) asked us in the chat room. I already own a PS 3. Speaker: Yes. Speaker: I just recently picked up an Xbox 360. Speaker: Good. Speaker: What are some Xbox 360, Xbox Live exclusive games worth getting. Speaker: Gears of War 3. Speaker: I'm just gonna say it flat out. Gears of War 3 is excellent title for that box... Speaker: Shadow Complex. Speaker: Shadow Complex. Speaker: Which was (hearkens?) back to the (metroid?) days which is an Xbox Live arcade game. Awesome... Speaker: Yeah and that was actually made by those same dudes that made Gears of War 3. So... Speaker: Yeah that's right. Speaker: So they know their video games. Speaker: Also... come on, why is it not... (hitting?) the top of my hit, the black and white really mysterious on Xbox Live with the little kid. Speaker: Gosh. Yeah that was kinda creepy. Speaker: Come on. Speaker: Dude I don't even know. Speaker: Just really... sorry. Speaker: Don't say that. Speaker: You didn't say enough for me to do a Google search on that. Speaker: You didn't say that. Speaker: Why... if can some... if can someone... It's slipping my mind. I own it. It's not (Braid?). It's not (Braid?). Speaker: Come on Brian, but it's kinda... it's in the same band as that though. Speaker: It's a really... There's no sound track to it. It just gets really... Speaker: It's really creepy. Speaker: ...caught up in the moment. It's really... It's pretty powerful. It's cool. It's very simple. Okay someone's gonna say it. Chat room... Someone... Limbo. Speaker: There you go. Limbo. All right. Speaker: Thank you. Thank you. Limbo. Awesome game. Worth getting. Speaker: Sure. Speaker: So (D Dog?) I hope that helps you. We're just gonna go around the table and... on the show with... it could be anything. Speaker: Yes. Speaker: You top choice for a gift this year. Let's say somewhere around $200 range. Let's not get too crazy. Speaker: Dude. Speaker: What? You're gonna say iPad 2? I thought so Donald. Speaker: No. Speaker: I knew it. I'm just kidding. What do you think? Speaker: What? Me? Speaker: Yeah anything. Gift of the year. Speaker: Gift of the year that makes someone smile. Speaker: Oh my gosh dude. That's a really tough question. Speaker: Okay fine I'll get back to you. Speaker: All right yeah let me think about it for a second. Speaker: Donald? Speaker: I'll throw Roku at there and that would be (??) over and over and over again but the cable cutter cheapskate that... that is in my heart. I want Roku on everything. Speaker: I'm there with you. Speaker: And I want... I want my cable built to go that way. Speaker: My gift of the year iPad 2. Speaker: iPad 2? Speaker: Seriously. Speaker: Is that a surprise? Speaker: Who... I know I created all these restrictions that you guys gonna do but who's not gonna love an iPad 2 for Christmas? Speaker: I really appreciate... Speaker: Almost one half of an iPad 2 I guess using your rules a down payment (??) lay away paid off right in time for the iPad 3 to come out. Great suggestion Brian. Speaker: I'm kidding. I've said I was with you in Roku. Absolutely. Speaker: I'm gonna agree with Roku. Speaker: Oh my gosh. Speaker: That's... I'm capping out dude. Speaker: This episode brought to you by... Speaker: Roku. Speaker: Roku. Speaker: What about a game... how about something gaming? Speaker: Something gaming? Speaker: Just throw me a bone? Speaker: Say Mortal Kombat dude. Speaker: No not Mortal Kombat. Speaker: I was gonna say Mortal Kombat. Speaker: Software or hardware? Speaker: Whatever you want. Speaker: All right well I'm just gonna... I'll play with the Cheapskate man 4 gigabyte Xbox 360 199... Comes in $1 short of the $200 limit, you know, that's like the internet in a box and games in a box. Speaker: I've got a... you know what, what's also good about that is although I hate the new Xbox update, they did add Cloud storage for game sales. Speaker: Yes that's crucial. Speaker: So having a 4 gig Xbox and you can save some of your games. Speaker: You can go anywhere with that. Speaker: Yeah you can go with that. Speaker: Yeah that's cool. You know, cheap. Whatever. Speaker: Okay. Speaker: A (bevy?) of titles to play. Speaker: Also chat room is saying iPad 2S a good Christmas gift. I've heard that joke a lot. I know you guys have and you laughed. Speaker: I did. Speaker: Just kidding. Okay. All right thanks for hanging out with us and thanks for calling us guys. Speaker: Yeah. Speaker: Thanks for calling us. Speaker: All one of you. Speaker: All of you... We had a good time here at Holiday Help Desk. We're wrapping up. This is our final episode... Thanks for coming out Donald and helping us out there. Speaker: Absolutely. Speaker: Homer? Awesome with the game stuff. We'll have you back next year maybe. Speaker: Please. Speaker: Maybe if you still have your job. Speaker: Oh wow. Speaker: All right but we... You guys... Speaker: Mortal Kombat. I mean come on. Speaker: Yeah happy holidays to you Brian. Happy New Year buddy. Wow. Hopefully we'll see you next year if you still have a job. What a statement dude. Speaker: I love it. I love you man. You know... Speaker: Yeah I know. Speaker: And also... and he's like damn I'm never coming on... Speaker: Holiday cheers. Speaker: I hate you man. This sucks. This show sucks. I hate you. All right guys. Thanks for hanging out with us... and for those of you sticking with us still, thanks for being here... We're gonna wrap it up and have... Speaker: Shout out to Steve though, look at the decorations. We need to mention this. Steve did this up. Speaker: He has new presents every... new presents every day. This aren't the same boxes you see for every 5 guest. Speaker: I'm dying here. I'm dying here. All right guys thanks a lot for tuning in and we'll see you guys next year in the Holiday Help Desk and remember all of our coverage here at CNET Live you can see that continuing through the weekend. We'll be... when is the last day we'll be wrapping up everything... on Thursday I believe? Speaker: Thursday. Speaker: Thursday will be our last day of coverage then you guys will be without us. So thanks for hanging out and have a great day. Speaker: See you. Speaker: See you.