Tech toys for the holidays

The Kindle Fire is one of the popular tech gifts this year.

Tess Vigeland: So maybe a hand-cranked MP3 player isn't your thing. I wonder why... But if you'd like to get a little more sophisticated with your technology gifts, John Moe is here to help. Host of the Marketplace Tech Report. John, thanks for stopping by.

John Moe: Hey Tess.

Vigeland: I have a lot of shopping I've still gotta do.

Moe: Mmhmm.

Vigeland: I'm hopin' you can help me out. I've been looking at what's been going on out there in techland, which you follow ever so closely. And it seems like there's all this hype bubbling up around readers. But there are lots of options; help me make a decision here.

Moe: Well, when you talk about e-readers, the conversation starts with Kindle. Because it's one of those chicken-and-egg things. It is incredibly popular and it's always screaming at you from the front page of Amazon.com.

Vigeland: Right.

Moe: So is it popular because Amazon screams at you? Or does Amazon scream at you, because it's popular? I don't really know. Right now, you can get a Kindle for $79. The $79 version you will have to look at some ads once in a while, which is kind of a bummer for something that you own. But it's pretty inconspicuous -- and you know, hey, it's $79 for a gadget with which you can download and read books and has this massive massive library.

Vigeland: And then I've been hearing all about the new Kindle Fire. But apparently there are problems with this one?

Moe: Well, it's first generation and like any first generation product, it's got some bumps that didn't really see the light of day until it was out in the world.

Vigeland: Don't they have product testers?

Moe: Well, they do. But it's like the first draft of anything. Like, would you buy the first model of a certain car that comes out or would you want to wait until they get it out into the world and tweak it a little bit?

Vigeland: No, but I bought the first model of the iPad.

Moe: Oh, so there you go.

Vigeland: D'oh. OK, so I wanna get to the games. What is on offer out there right now?

Moe: Well, right now, everyone's kinda holding their breath. Because with the Wii, you can get a pretty good price on it, but Nintendo has what they're calling the "Wii U " coming out later on in the spring.

Vigeland: Oh now I'm confused.

Moe: OK, it's the new version of the Wii. And it will still play Wii games, but if I was buying a Wii right now, I'd be a little nervous that it was just a few months away from obsolescence.

Vigeland: So if they spell the Wii with a W-I-I, what's the "U" gonna be?

Moe: It's just W-I-I-U, which is really the shortest way I know of the way to spell the sound a fire engine makes.

Vigeland: All right, so that's the Wii U, me, our whatever. What about the XBox and PlayStation?

Moe: Well the XBox is kind of top of the heap in terms of popularity, in terms of all the cool games always get built for XBox. The XBox 360 has been out for a while now and there's beginning to be some rumors that the next XBox is around the corner. I'm not worrying about this so much, because with Microsoft they tend to announce something and then there's a lot of lag time before it actually hits the stores.

Vigeland: OK. John Moe of the Marketplace Tech Report. Thanks so much.

Moe: Thanks Tess.

About the author

John Moe is the host of Marketplace Tech Report, where he provides an insightful overview of the latest tech news.

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