While most retailers don't care what games you buy as long as you buy many of them, GameStop has put together a handy gift guide to help folks shop for the gamer in their life.
They've grouped gamers into categories this year, with everyone from "The Hardcore Gamer" to "The Foodie" represented, as well as an extra section with games grouped by ESRB rating, with nary a High School the Musical title in sight.
They've actually managed to put together a nice little list, so much so that I've nary a bone to pick, with the possible exception of Imagine: Ballet Star under the "Gamer on the Go" section, but that might just be bitterness over my abandoned ballet career dreams, cut short due to an unfortunate being a large, hairy male incident. Hit the jump for the full list in all its marketing glory.
Looking for Holiday Gift Ideas...GameStop Offers Its Top Picks
Gaming Specialists Can You Select the Season's Hottest Gifts for Any Age While Staying within Your Budget
GRAPEVINE, TX—(BUSINESS WIRE)—GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME), the world's largest video game and entertainment software retailer, has affordable gift ideas for anyone on your holiday list. With more than 700 new titles due to release before the holidays, GameStop offers something for everyone.
In today's economic climate, the need for more entertainment options at home is ever increasing. With an estimated 65 percent of American households playing computer and video games, GameStop provides a great value for budget-wise consumers with 2,500 game gifts priced at $20 and under.
"A new generation of gamers that includes younger children, older adults and women has emerged, and they are interested in casual, more social gaming experiences," said Bob McKenzie, Senior Vice President of Merchandising, GameStop. "While the traditional racing, sports and shooter games are still in high demand, the video game industry has grown beyond just hardcore enthusiasts."
As the world's leading video game specialty store, GameStop has the widest assortment of titles and an experienced staff to guide gift selection for ages six to 60. GameStop has compiled a list of some of the season's most popular titles to help guide your gift selection:
The Music Enthusiast - Guitar Hero World Tour (Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, PS2), Rock Band 2 (Xbox 360, PS3) and Wii Music (Wii) should be big hits with the music lovers in your circle. Guitar Hero and Rock Band are rated T for Teen and are suitable for the 13 and older crowd. Wii Music is rated for E for Everyone.
The Puzzle Lover - Four new learning and puzzle game are sure to be popular with both children and adults. Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree (Wii), Carnival Games: Mini Golf (Wii) and Brain Quest (DS), are all great picks in this category and appropriate for everyone on your gift list.
The Foodie - For the gourmet on your list, consider Cooking Mama World Kitchen (Wii), Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine (Wii, DS) and Hell's Kitchen (Wii, DS, PC) as recipes for fun. Cooking Mama World Kitchen and Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine are rated E for Everyone, and Hell's Kitchen is rated T for Teen.
The Hardcore Gamer - This holiday, there are a large number of highly-anticipated new titles to choose from, including: Gears of War 2 (Xbox 360), Fallout 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC), Fable 2 (Xbox 360) and Call of Duty: World at War (Xbox 360, PS3, PC). All are rated Mature, so these titles are best for gamers on your list who are 17 or older.
The Fitness Buff - The fitness category is quickly expanding driven by the popularity and physical benefits of games such as Wii Sports and Wii Fit. New offerings in this genre include Jillian Michaels' Fitness Ultimatum (Wii) and My Fitness Coach (Wii). Both titles are rated E for Everyone
The Sportsman - Whether it's a 10-year-old boy or a 40-year-old boy at heart, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 All-Play (Wii), Madden NFL 09 (Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, Wii, DS, PSP), Cabela's Legendary Adventures (Wii, PSP, PS2) and Rapala Fishing Frenzy (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii) will provide hours of fun for any age sports lover. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09, Madden NFL 09 and Rapala's Fishing Frenzy are rated E for Everyone, and Cabela's Legendary Adventures is rated T for Teen.
The Gamer on the Go - Handheld gaming is more popular than ever, and new games offer something for all ages and skill sets. The Nintendo DS and Sony PSP provide hundreds of titles to choose from including Imagine: Ballet Star (DS) and FIFA Soccer 09 (PSP), two of this year's most popular handheld releases that are appropriate for everyone.
The PC Gamer - PC gaming has a strong lineup for the 2008 holiday season. Top PC games include World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, Spore and Warhammer Online. Spore is rated E for Everyone, and World of Warcraft and Warhammer are rated T for Teen.
GameStop's knowledgeable staff can also help adults make informed decisions about selecting the appropriate titles for kids. In partnership with the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), GameStop recommends that parents check the ESRB ratings that appear on every game package.
Using both the rating symbol, which appears on the front and indicates age-appropriateness, and the content descriptors, which appear on the back and provide information about content that may have contributed to the rating assignment or may just be of interest or concern, adults can select the most appropriate game. There are six rating categories in all. Here are some recommendations on choosing games by ESRB rating category:
If the intended gift recipient is a tween, GameStop and ESRB suggest games that have either an E (Everyone) or E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) rating, which are comparable to a PG rating in movies. Sample titles include Little Big Planet (PS3) and Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2 (Wii).
If your gift recipient is in his/her adolescent years a rating of T (Teen) is likely the most suitable. Games that are great for ages 13 and over include Guitar Hero World Tour (Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, PS2) and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, DS).
Games that carry an M (Mature) rating are suitable for gamers over 17 years of age. Favourites in this category include Gears of War 2 (Xbox 360), Fallout 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) and Call of Duty: World at War (Xbox 360, PS3, PC).
For additional information about the ESRB rating system and choosing age-appropriate games, visit www.esrb.org.