Ellie writes: Dear readers,
Do they know it's Christmas time at all? So sang Paul Young in 1984. And Lisa Stansfield in 1989. And a Bedingfield in the 2004 version, which featured Dizzee Rascal's marvellous rapping ("Spare a thought this yuletide for the deprived. If the table was turned, would you survive?").
They may not have been singing about videogame hardware shortages, but one thing's for sure - there won't be Wiis in HMV this Christmas time. The greatest gift they'll get this year is a GBP 304.99 PS3 bundle including Black Hawk Down on Blu-ray. The only water flowing will be the bitter sting of tears, the tears of children who don't understand about component manufacturing issues and just want to play golf with a remote control.
But here comes In2Games, the Bob Geldof of third-party software manufacturers, and its RealPlay range for PlayStation 2. The first batch includes golf, pool and racing games, plus something called PuzzleSphere. Each game comes with its own wireless controller shaped like a golf club, pool cue, steering wheel or, er, puzzlesphere. They're priced at GBP 34.99 each.
When I was little, before girls and hair, me and my family used to march to a house full of old people and sing songs at them on Christmas Eve. Interesting creatures, full of stories and sticky toffee sweets, and if you played your cards right you might land your very first kiss. Funny smelling places though, like someone kept forgetting to flush the toilet, but then they are old so maybe it is forgiveable. Soap: another withered person smell. The moral is that old things are not useless and ready to be thrown away; my Grandma used to give me stacks of 20 pence pieces when I saw her. Back of the net.