SLIDESHOW: 8 Hottest Holiday Toys of 2012
7. Wii U
Wii U is the follow-up to Nintendo's hit Wii console, which stormed onto the scene six years ago and sold out at toy stores across the country. The new console finally brings HD gaming to Nintendo fans, and its big innovation is an oversized, touch-screen remote that doubles as a portable gaming device. It starts at $300, though your best bet is the deluxe edition at $350.
While the Wii U sold 400,000 units in its first week of availability, Microsoft's Xbox 360 -- which has been out for seven years -- sold 750,000 units in the same period, fueled by its lower price, doorbuster deals, and a constant flow of new games. But don't let the numbers fool you into thinking the Wii U isn't hot -- in fact, they are selling as fast as Nintendo can make them and ship them. So presumably, its sales numbers would have been higher if more were available.
If your kid still doesn't have the Xbox 360, it's possible he or she may prefer it to the Wii U (a couple of popular new games for the system, Halo 4 Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, were just released last month). But if you're looking for the latest in console tech, the Wii U is the only new kid on the block right now.