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Pictures: Games and gadgets of Christmas past

While some were innovative, not all were all big sellers

We take a look back at some games and gadgets of Christmas past. While some were innovative, not all were all big sellers

Another big seller in the 1990s was Furby, the electronic toy that looked like a cuddly gremlin and reacted to motion. The toy, released by Tiger Electronics, ignited a 1998 Christmas season buying frenzy.

Each Furby initially spoke only 'Furbish' and gradually learned English. It communicated with other nearby Furbies using an infrared port between its eyes.

"The Furby was big, but I don't think it was in the same league as Pong," Spicer said. "Of course if you look at Gameboys, Playstations and Xboxes, they sold tens of millions of units sold, too. And, the iPod is a blockbuster product as well."

Photo: Mark Richards

Along with Furby, animatronics were big near the end of the 20th century. Sony came out with AIBO the robotic dog, appropriately named 'Sony', in 1999. The robotic pet was designed to learn by interacting with its environment, its owners and other AIBOs. The toy responded to more than 10 voice commands and also talked back to you in a tonal language.

After the turn of the century, the pace of innovation quickened. In October 2001, Apple Computer came out with its iPod music player, which popularised digitised music just as Sony's 1979 Walkman had popularised portable music players. That same year, Microsoft released the wildly popular Xbox Video Game System. The device initially shipped with the game Halo, and quickly overtook Nintendo for second place in the home console market, behind Sony's PlayStation.

See also:  Sony's 10 biggest tech disasters

  1. Innovative but not big sellers
  2. Kitchen computer
  3. More 1990s big-sellers

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