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iPads, Tablets Threaten Video Games on Children’s Wish List



The iPad already tops the adult’s holiday wish list, and now it seems that the iPads, and by proxy the consumer tablet category, is also doing the same on kids’ wish list.

According to a Nielsen Company survey, the iPad reigns king of desire on the wish list of kids ages 6-12, being coveted above video game systems like the Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, Smartphones, iPhones, Wii, and other systems.

For kids 13+ the iPad and tablets came in fourth, after a computer, TV, and non-iPhone smartphone.

Traditionally, video game systems have topped the consumer desires of children. However, given the multi-purpose nature of iPads and other consumer tablet systems, along with their afforded portability and usability as gaming systems, it’s not too surprising that the iPad is rising to the top. According to id Software co-creator John Carmack, graphics and gaming power of the iPad rivals some of the best home gaming console available today:

It is great for me to see a lot of people saying this looks better than anything on my Wii and a quarter of the games on my 360, which is about how I would rank the power levels there. You should be able to do something that’s better on an iPad than anything that’s done on the Wii. A 360 or PS3 does have several times integral-multiple more power but there’s certainly some games where developers don’t take much advantage of it. We’re nowhere close to maxing out what could be done on an iPad.

The referenced Nielsen survey tracks what these youth age groups are interested in purchasing over the next six months.



  1. Ron William

    11/25/2010 at 7:25 am

    iPad rules. Interesting to see iPhone lagging behind iPad. The good news is kids moving away from Playstations. The trend is changing. But still Apple is the ruler.

  2. Anonymous

    11/29/2010 at 8:51 pm

    I’m wondering how many of these kids already have consoles or gaming PCs to begin with. The iPad is a relatively new product, not even a year old, while the current generation of consoles has been out for roughly four or five years.I also don’t see the iPad as a typical gaming device. Strategy games, board games, card games, and such work well, but action games and such that were traditionally played with something other than capacitive multi-touch and an accelerometer? The controls are not ideal, not unless it’s jailbroken and someone makes games built around Bluetooth keyboards and mice or gamepads (note that both the Wiimote and Sixaxis/DualShock 3 use Bluetooth as their wireless protocol), and those games certainly aren’t going to be on Apple’s App Store. Perhaps those kids may be enticed more by the multi-purpose nature of the device, not being as ridiculously locked down as a console or dedicated gaming handheld, or any gaming they do doesn’t reflect the tastes of typical core gamers nowadays.Computers are still high on both lists, though, perhaps because of the same multi-purpose nature (and let’s face it, you’re not going to get that iPad started without iTunes, which already means Windows or Mac OS X). It’s a rather vague, catch-all category, though, meaning anything from netbooks to convertible Tablet PCs to high-performance gaming desktops for all I know. Some might even throw the iPad in there if not for the whole locked-down nature and that bit about iTunes I pointed out earlier. (As if anyone’s giving a kid 13 or under anything more expensive than the $500 iPad for Christmas…but that’s what wish lists are for, right?)

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