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Lycos reminds us why Google became a verb

You know, we usually ignore those generic, "here's all the top toys kids want this year" lists that seem to sprout from every morning TV show, newspaper, and - least trustworthy of all - retailer. However, sometimes we get a list that can't be ignored because it just doesn't make any damn sense. This morning, search engine Lycos distributed its list of the top ten most searched for toys and video games this season:

The Top 10 Most Searched Toys this holiday season

1. Poker
2. Pokemon
3. iPod
4. Neopets
5. Barbie
6. Harry Potter
7. Blackjack
8. Baccarat
9. Bratz
10. PlayStation 3

The Top 10 Most Searched Video Games this holiday season

1. RuneScape
2. Naruto
3. Grand Theft Auto Vice City
4. WWE Smackdown
5. EverQuest
6. Gundam
7. World of Warcraft
8. Kingdom Hearts 2
9. Halo 2
10. Mortal Kombat

Let's just take a moment to admire the majesty of these lists, starting right at number one. We get that it's popular, but are you sure that typing "poker" or "iPod" into the search bar qualifies as shopping for a toy? We don't think so. And we can guarantee you that there are not millions of kids asking their parents for a Baccarat table instead of a PS3 or Wii. And where the hell is that new Tickle-Me-Elmo that we're hearing is the hottest thing since the last Tickle-Me-Elmo, anyhow?

Moving on to the video games list, the number one is actually a low-tech online RPG, but it is hella popular, so that might actually be right. However, it's crazy-cheap, so it's unlikely anyone's actually shopping for it. And we're sorry, but we just don't believe that more people are looking for the original EverQuest than WoW, or for Gundam games instead of Final Fantasy or Zelda. You're just counting the clicks wrong, somehow.



Above: According to the Lycos definition, buying poker chips online - real ones - counts as shopping for a toy. How is that, exactly?

Wii Virtual Console makes up for weak launch lineup

When we sat down a couple weeks ago and compared the Wii launch list to PS3's, we laughed - a lot. Something like half of Wii's early games are licensed cartoon crap. But today, the tables are turned, with help coming from an unlikely source: the past.

Yes, Bonk's Adventure and Bomberman 93 - originally released on TurboGrafx-16 in the early '90s - are now available for download on the Wii virtual console. They'll run you about six bucks each, but they're better than 90% of the stuff you'll play now. What other game lets you miss a jump, but catch yourself and gnaw your way up the cliff side using your teeth?

PSP and big brother play nice

So, you're one of the chosen few who shivered and shoved (or possibly eBayed) your way to a new PlayStation 3, eh? Why not try using your PSP as a remote? With the latest firmware upgrades, your PSP should be able to see most everything your PS3 has, including your friends list, music, pictures, and so on. You can even download PSone games. Legally, we mean.

There are some stipulations, as outlined by this news story. And it's still more novel than functional. But overall, it's a step in the cool direction.

It's like electric horse racing

Forget the games, the technology, and the controllers. What everyone really wants to know in today's world is, "Have I, in my quest to be loved and accepted by other slug-brains, chosen the most popular gaming console of this generation, so that I might bandwagon onto the majority and declare the owners of other consoles inferior and unworthy and frankly, stupid? Or did I pick the less popular system, thereby condemning myself to five years of shame and ridicule, or possibly snobby, anti-establishment hardcore-itude, depending upon how I look at it?"

Luckily, we have the answer. And it is this website: www.nexgenwars.com. It'll tell you the estimated sales of PS3, Wii, and 360 at this point in time, so you'll know if you bet on the right pony. We don't know how one comes up with a rough "estimate" of 715,354, but whatever. It'll be fun to watch all the chicken littles out there flip out as the numbers move.

New screens

Dead Or Alive Xtreme 2 (360)
Halo 3 (360)
Infernal (PC)
Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth II: Rise of the Witch King (PC)
Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle (PC)
Star Wars Lethal Alliance (DSPSP)
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (PC)
Wii Sports (Wii)
The Witcher (PC)

New videos

City of Heroes (PC)
Dead Or Alive Xtreme 2 (360)
Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (PC)
Lost Planet (360)
Madden NFL 07 (Wii)
Need for Speed: Carbon (WiiPS3)
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas (360)
Runaway: The Dream of the Turtle (PC)
Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam (Wii)

November 21, 2006

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