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Today's hottest stories from Tech Digest, Brandish and our pals

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Top PC games of 2012

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xmas-pc-master-race.jpgIt's been another fantastic year for PC gamers. With the current generation of consoles in their twilight years, the PC gaming sphere was the place to be if you wanted to play games looking their very best on top-tier up-to-date hardware.

Though sequels proved as strong as ever, the indie gaming scene on PC continues to make waves, while both the MMO and FPS genres had a handful of standout titles really pushing their respective gaming categories forward.

Cutting this list down to just ten was no mean feat, and we've had to leave out many great PC games. A few notable titles that we also enjoyed were Torchlight 2, Max Payne 3, Kingdoms of Amular: Reckoning, PlanetSide 2, Dear Esther, The Walking Dead, the Black Mesa Half-Life mod and War of the Roses. They didn't make our top PC games of the year list, but are all worth a shout.

Scroll down to find out what did! In no particular order, here are Tech Digest's top 10 PC games of 2012!

We use a PNY GeForce GTX 680 for our PC game reviews. To find out why it's our graphics card of choice, click here.

By Becca Caddy

We've come a long way since the days of the regular old laptop, now there are ultrabooks, tablets and laptops to contend with, as well as a bunch of other devices that straddle those categories, which are often referred to as laptop/tablet hybrids or convertibles.

Some allow you to rip them in two and ditch your keyboard if you'd rather have a tablet for a day and others are flexible, allowing you to bend and twist them into whatever you please (within reason, you can't create a balloon-like sausage dog).

If you're looking to really splash the cash on someone this Christmas and they're after a small laptop or tablet, then take a look at our top pick of bang up-to-date convertible devices running Windows 8 for the style conscious.

By Becca Caddy

Although cool lens dials or handy tripods may seem like strange Christmas presents when the rest of your family are handing out sweaters and chocolates, there are plenty of gadgets and accessories available at the moment that'd make perfect stocking fillers for mobile photography lovers.

Whether you're buying for someone who's serious about their photography or just likes to mess around with Instagram now and again, we've collected together some of our favourite accessories that'll help them get the best results from their phone's camera. Or at least give them something to play around with on Christmas day.


christmas-guide-banner-2011.jpgIt's that time of the year again folks; the central heating is on, jackets are tightly buttoned and we're all tentatively trying to hide the fact that we're wearing granddad's long-johns underneath our jeans.

Okay, so maybe that last one is just me, but one thing's for certain; Christmas is just around the corner and it's time to start sketching out those wishlists for Father Christmas.

To help make your Christmas gift buying and choosing decisions that little bit easier this year, Tech Digest are putting together a ton of gadget, gaming and geek related guides to the best tech presents available this year.

From Blu-ray boxsets to compact cameras, 3D TVs to smartphones, geek chic to the best gear to kit out your man cave with, you'll be sure to find something for even the most discerning tech fan here.

We'll be updating this post pretty much on a daily basis from today right through December, so be sure to bookmark the page and check back every day to see what new goodies we think should be on top of your Christmas list this year. Scroll down to get started!

Best Blu-ray movie boxsets

Take a little bit of cinema magic home with our guide to the best movie boxsets available in the high-definition Blu-ray format. From Star Wars to Toy Story, you'll be gawping at gorgeous movies all winter long with this set.

Best DVD TV boxsets

Settle down this Christmas with a marathon session of your favourite TV shows. We've pulled together ten must see shows in this guide, guaranteed to entertain long after the mince pies have run out.

Best Gaming Chairs

What's Skyrim or Modern Warfare 3 without a comfy chair to play them in? Packed with speakers, rumble packs and butt-caressing cushioning, these gaming chairs will see you sitting merrily right up until the very last boss.

Kitting out the ultimate "Man Cave"

Need to getaway from the festive madness? Kit your spare room out with some of this great geek gear to create the ultimate "Man Cave".

Geek Chic Apparel

Unleash your inner nerd with this collection of nifty t-shirts, bags and accessories in Tech Digest's buying guide to geek chic apparel.

Stupidly Expensive Gifts For The Man That Has It All

What do you buy the man that has everything? His own personal, man-made customised island, a jetpack and Marty McFly's very own motor, that's what! All these gifts and more can be found in this guide, provided you've got a wallet big enough to handle them...

Top Online Digital Services - Spotify, Lovefilm, Dropbox and more!

Who said a Christmas present had to be something you can hold in your hands? Subscriptions to or vouchers for these excellent online digital services are superb, thoughtful gifts too.

Set-top boxes from Sky, Apple, TVonics and more!

Get the most from your new flatscreen TV with these top-notch set-top boxes. From comprehensive televisual nirvana from Sky to Apple's on-take on pay-per-view TV, there's plenty to chose from here.

Top 50 iPad Gaming Apps

You've got Apple's iPad tablet, but what games should you be playing on it? Let Tech Digest guide you through our tips as to the 50 best games on the Cupertino slate.

Best Games Consoles! Xbox 360! PS3! 3DS!

Have yourself a frag-filled Christmas by picking up a top games console. We run down all the usual suspects (PS3, Wii and Xbox 360) and throw some wildcards in for good measure too.

Best Xbox 360 games of 2011

After one of the busiest years in recent gaming history, it can be hard pressed to remember all the great titles that made their way onto the Xbox 360 this year. Tech Digest here guide you through ten of the best to hit Microsoft's console over the past twelve months, each a perfect present for a gaming loved-one.

Best PS3 games of 2011

Despite the PlayStation Network outage hiccup earlier in the year, the PlayStation 3 celebrated one of it's greatest 12 months of pure gaming action, with dozens of great first party titles hitting the console, not to mention stellar multi-platform efforts too. From early winners like LittleBigPlanet 2 through to recent greats like Uncharted 3, it was a great year to be a PS3 owner.

Best Nintendo 3DS games of 2011

Want the very best gaming action in your back pocket? Check out our run down of the best Nintendo 3DS games to hit the console since launch for a slice of Zelda, Mario and Star Fox shaped fun.

Speakers, Docks and Hi-Fi systems

Blast out "A Christmas Gift For You from Phil Spector" in style this holiday season with any one of these ten superb speaker set-ups.

Retro presents

Re-live your childhood with these excellent retro gifts. Our top tips for an old-skool Christmas include everything from Plasma Balls to Space Hoppers.

Stocking fillers for under £10

If you're planning on being a tight-fisted Scrooge this Christmas, check out our guide to cheap-and-cheerful stocking fillers that will give you change back from a tenner.

Best earphones and headphones

"Wow, listen to these crazy new croon-crunk, teen wave sounds! Rad! Dope! Awesome!" That's what your little ones will be saying if they pop a pair of Tech Digest's favourite ear-pieces on this Christmas.

Santa_Music-ear-top.pngThey've unwrapped their iPods, they've activated their iTunes giftcards, they've downloaded the brand new Super Bang Bang Rude Boy Club album and they're ready to get groovy to that new TWeenwAVE sound!

But alas! They've got no decent headphones to enjoy Jusfin Beilbercake's new croon-crunk anthems. Tears, angst, self-loathing and parent-hatred follow!

Don't let this be the scene at your house this Christmas morning! Check out Tech Digest's guide to the best earphones and headphones on the market!

When you're done here, be sure to check out the rest of Tech Digest's 2011 Christmas wishlists too.

scrooge1.jpgBah, humbug! It's just one big money-spinner, the Christmas thing, isn't it? Same old thing every year; packed shops, expensive wrapping paper that just gets torn to pieces anyway, and what do we get in return? Socks.

Well slap a night cap on us and call us all Scrooges, but Tech Digest are doing Christmas this year on the cheap. If you're planning your own festive austerity measures, check out our top tips below for stocking fillers for under a tenner.

When you're done here, be sure to check out the rest of Tech Digest's 2011 Christmas wishlists too.


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retro-presents-banner.jpgiPad this and 3DTV that! Who said Christmas had to be all about high-tech gadgetry?

Well, us probably! But that doesn't mean we don't have a soft spot for simpler times. So why not jump in the back of Tech Digest's Delorean and take a trip down memory lane, as we pick ten of our favourite retro (and retro inspired) gifts to pop on your Christmas wishlist.

When you're done here, be sure to check out the rest of Tech Digest's 2011 Christmas wishlists too.

speaker-banner.jpgChristmas, for me, means just one thing: A Christmas Gift For You from Phil Spector. The wall of sound maestro, for all his horrific lady-killing failings, sure knew how to craft a tight little seasonal ditty.

But you know what I hate at Christmas? Crap stereos. The one time a year I get to indulge my love of sleigh bells backing 60s bubblegum pop, and it's trashed by rubbish bass, disc scratching CD decks and tinny iPhone speakers.

But not this year. This year I'm sorting myself out a decent stereo system. One of these babies from Bose, Onkyo, Sony and others will be mine. And then Santa will come to town, and I will be nestled all snug in my bed, while whispers from The Ronettes dance in my head.

Scroll down to see Tech Digest's top tips for which speakers, docks and Hi-Fi systems to pop on your Christmas list this festive season.

When you're done here, be sure to check out the rest of Tech Digest's 2011 Christmas wishlists too.

3ds-banner.jpgThis year saw Nintendo release their 3DS handheld console, aiming to bring 3D to the masses with it's glasses-free 3D display and a host of recognisable gaming stars leading the charge.

Sceptics were wary of the 3D gamble Nintendo had made when developing their Nintendo DS follow-up, but were suitably impressed when they came up close and personal with the device. Letting you adjust the intensity of the depth effect with a handy slider, it added a whole new level of immersion to handheld gaming.

It hasn't been plain sailing for the console though, with poor sales forcing a massive price cut on the hardware, and some gamers complaining of headaches caused by the 3D visuals on show.

However, as the games industry enters the lucrative run-up to Christmas, Nintendo have unleashed a handful of heavy-hitting titles for the system, representing some of the best gaming action on any console all year. From Mario to Zelda, the Nintendo elite are finally out in full force on the 3DS.

So, without further ado, Tech Digest's top ten best games for the Nintendo 3DS of 2011!

When you're done here, be sure to check out the rest of Tech Digest's 2011 Christmas wishlists too.

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE: Best PS3 games of 2011

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ps3-christmas-banner.jpgNow before we get started here, we have to stand up and note that, for PS3 owners, it's been a roller-coaster year. While the PlayStation Network online gaming service has many fans thanks to Sony generously making it free, Sony lost a lot of gamers' trust this year when the network was hacked, compromising users personal details and causing online play to go down for many weeks. Sony appropriately compensated those affected, but it was a PR disaster that should never have happened.

It's a real pity, because the quality of games released on the PS3 this year was incredible. Take a look at our list below. Of the the ten we've picked there's not one, not two, but six AAA first party exclusives that can't be found on any other console. That's before you even tap into the reams of great games that can be found on the Xbox 360 and PC too. PlayStation 3 owners were truly spoilt for choice this year.

Which is why it's all the more important to check out our Christmas Gift Guide to 2011's best PS3 games! We'll hold your hand as we go through the very best Sony's box had to offer this year.

When you're done here, be sure to check out the rest of Tech Digest's 2011 Christmas wishlists too.

Christmas-xbox360-banner.jpgEvery cultural phenomenon has its "golden age" and this year Microsoft's Xbox 360 console had its. Tons of great games were released this year, from Xbox exclusives like Gears of War 3 to multi-platform brain teasers like Portal 2. One of the busiest holiday seasons in the history of gaming saw a string of console-defining releases hit stores, meaning this run-down could easily have been twice as long.

Whether you're a sports fan, a gun-toting Chuck Norris wannabe or a puzzle-solving genius, there's a game for every gamer on the Xbox 360 this year. Below, Tech Digest run you through 10 of our favourite Xbox 360 titles of 2011.

When you're done here, be sure to check out the rest of Tech Digest's 2011 Christmas wishlists too.

games-consoles-banner.jpgThere was once a time when little Jane and Jimmy Christmas wanted nothing more than a rocking horse, an Action Man and a giant Toblerone sitting wrapped beneath their Christmas trees. Now, for better or worse, they want videogames like Gears of War, Modern Warfare and The Legend of Zelda instead. Oh, and that giant Toberlone too.

So to save tears come Christmas morning, what games consoles are they going to need to play all this year's best titles on? And which ones go that extra mile to offer multimedia fun for all the family too? PS3 or Xbox 360? PlayStation Vita or Nintendo 3DS? Read on to find out!

When you're done here, be sure to check out the rest of Tech Digest's 2011 Christmas wishlists too.

set-top-box-banner.jpgWhat good is a brand new TV sitting wrapped underneath your Christmas tree this goodwill season if you've got nothing to watch on it? While plenty of TVs have built in digital tuners, only the most expensive have web connected features, and fewer still have storage space for recorded shows.

That's where these set-top boxes come in. With features ranging from dual tuners for multi-channel recording, massive hard drives to store your shows on and a wealth of web-connected apps and movie download platforms, these set-top boxes will bring out the best from your flatscreen TV.

When you're done here, be sure to check out the rest of Tech Digest's 2011 Christmas wishlists too.

digital-services.jpgTech gifts don't have to be about screen sizes or processing capabilities these days. In fact, they don't have to be physical gifts at all. You can put a smile on a loved one's face just by setting them up with one of the many ace online digital services and subscription packages that are tied into apps, download and streaming sites too.

From music packages like Spotify to productivity programs like Dropbox, there's something here for everyone.

When you're done here, be sure to check out the rest of Tech Digest's 2011 Christmas wishlists too.

duck-tales.jpgMrs Branson, Mrs Gates, Mrs Buffet; this Christmas Gift Guide is tailor-made for you. Christmas is just around the corner, your mega-rich spouse is expecting something extra-special, but he's already snagged that island, the custom built jet with swimming pool and solid gold golf set that you planned on getting him.

But don't despair! We've got plenty of inventive ways to spend your billions in Tech Digest's Christmas Gift Guide to "Stupidly Expensive Gifts For The Man That Has It All".

Just don't forget to slip a tenner (or ten thousand) in the post to us for all our hard work once you've browsed our suggestions.

When you're done here, be sure to check out the rest of Tech Digest's 2011 Christmas wishlists too.



geek-chic-banner.JPGThe Geek shall inherit the Earth!

Far too long have we sat in the shadows, pouring over our alphabetised VHS collection of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, plotting our rise while caressing a handful of D&D 12 sided dice!

Now the rest of the world seems to be catching up with our nerdy style, with plenty of stars trying to ape our inimitable fashion sense.

Show them how its done by grabbing some of our favourite clothes and accessories this Christmas from Tech Digest's gift guide to getting the geek-chic look!

When you're done here, be sure to check out the rest of Tech Digest's 2011 Christmas wishlists too.

mancave-banner.JPGThe relatives are chatting non-stop, the kids are running around like E'ed up mentalists and Nan's suffering the inevitably stinky after effects of a sprout-filled roast. It can only mean one thing: it's Christmas Day.

If you're lucky enough to have a spare room to get away from all the madness, why not kit it out with some of these gadgets and furnishings? Add these gifts to the top of your Christmas wishlist and you'll be relaxing in the ultimate "Man Cave" come the holidays.

When you're done here, be sure to check out the rest of Tech Digest's 2011 Christmas wishlists too.


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gaming-chair-gift-guide.JPGChristmas morning arrives, you've unwrapped a brand spanking new copy of Modern Warfare 3 and are just settling down for a marathon session of Skyrim.

But alas! With all the family around, the sofas are full, and the room is full of chatter! You're cross legged in a yoga position trying to comfortably waggle Link through the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and can't hear a damn thing Drake is saying in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception.

Then it dawns on you; you forgot to put a gaming chair on your Christmas wishlist. But fear not! Tech Digest are on hand to offer some nifty furniture to keep your butt comfortable while your thumbs waggle away during the holidays in our Christmas gift guide to the best gaming chairs below.

When you're done here, be sure to check out the rest of Tech Digest's 2011 Christmas wishlists too.


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dvd-gift-guide-banner.jpgThe Christmas holidays; for most of us it's the one time of the year when we've got enough free time to sit down, crack open a beer and stare at the TV for a few hours straight. But what to watch? With so much Christmas TV scheduling devoted to re-runs and kids films, finding exactly what you want to see may be tough.

That's where Tech Digest's Christmas Gift Guide to DVD TV boxsets comes in. Here's our selection of the best shows to put on your DVD wishlist, ready for an epic marathon in front of the gogglebox.

When you're done here, be sure to check out the rest of Tech Digest's 2011 Christmas wishlists too.

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