So, that whole Christmas thing is next week. Came up quickly didn’t it? While I’d like to think we’d all be super organised and gotten all our gifts wrapped and ready to go so we can just sit back and enjoy the “holiday season”, the introduction of late trading hours (sometimes never even closing) in the lead up to Christmas suggests otherwise. But which came first: consumer demand for last minute shopping options or retailers creating extra time to encourage customer procrastination, resulting in large amounts of sales? The chicken or the egg?!
Anyway, you may still have shopping to do and all you know about the lucky gift recipient is that their parent/friend/closest relation said they’re “into the Nintendoos”. Don’t stress, we’re here to help, and so here are some ideas for cool gifts for your gaming friends/family (assuming they already own their gaming machine of choice).
There’s just been a whole heap of new games released for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One, so if your budget allows for around $60-80 then new releases such as:
- Just Cause 3 (Chaotic action)
- Rainbow Six: Siege (Tactical, team-based shooter)
- Fallout 4 (Post-apocalyptic RPG)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III (The big online shooter for the year)
- Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (PS4 exclusive)
A lot of those examples are aimed at people aged at least 15 and up though, so if you’re looking for a younger Playstation fan then maybe something like Disney Infinity 3.0 or Star Wars: Battlefront would be more appropriate. Disney Infinity 3.0 is the latest in a series of adventure games focusing on Disney properties, utilising action figures to add an in-real-life dimension to playing, and Battlefront is the newest online action game from DICE, containing all the shooting they want to do but without the graphic violence you don’t want them to see.
And of course, anyone keen to play their games with friends on the couch could benefit from another Dual Shock 4 controller, around $85.
Speaking of Disney Infinity 3.0 just above, if the gift recipient already has (or is going to get) the game then the action figure accessories go for around $17 a pop and actually add a bunch of new content to the game. There’s a whole range of Star Wars characters, as well as Marvel and Disney Pixar ones too, so something cool for every Disney fan.
Aside from that, just grab a Playstation Network gift card. There’s heaps of cool games available to download from the store, including soccer-with-monster-trucks game Rocket League, so definitely a great gift idea.
Many of the games listed about in Playstation are also available on Xbox One, so they still apply here. But there have been some big exclusive releases to Xbox One over the past couple of months that would make great additions to a fan’s collection, namely:
- Rise of the Tomb Raider (Indiana Jones-esque adventure game)
- Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox’s flagship sci-fi shooter)
Halo 5 received the first, and so far only, 10/10 review from LoadScreen editor Charlie earlier this year, and is an excellent choice of action game if you’re looking to buy for a younger player. The level of violence is moderate, mainly consisting of shooting aliens and contains nothing really graphic, plus has a super-duper online mode for longevity.
Speaking of online play, headsets can make for a great gift for a gamer. They get to trash talk with their online buddies and you can have some peace and quiet away from all the explosions coming from the TV! Headsets can widely range in price depending on the kind of features desired, but if you’re looking for a decent set for Xbox One a good base point would be the Turtle Beach Recon 50X for around $90.
Want to really spoil them though? The new Astro A40 TR is a massive surround sound headset that can be customised with accessories to be noise cancelling and also comes with a mix amp to allow for better control of audio levels when streaming/recording video. It’ll also set you back around $390…
As well as some of the budget options I suggested for Playstation, Xbox One has a few cool things up its sleeves for lower priced presents. Minecraft, one of the biggest gaming franchises for younger players, only costs around $30. Does the recipient like to use their Xbox as a media device? There’s a Media Remote you can get for around $30 that makes navigating the system so much easier.
Nintendo’s Wii U has always been about its games, so really the best gift to get if you’re cool with splurging a little would be a cool new game to play. A highlight from this year was Splatoon, a competitive online paintball game where players could swap between being kids or squids as they run around splattering paint all over the environment to win.
But really, any of Nintendo’s first party games will make great additions to someone’s Wii U library (all around $70):
- Mario Kart 8 (the best of the best when it comes to go-karting)
- Super Smash Bros for Wii U (multiplayer battles at their finest)
- Super Mario Maker (create your own Mario levels!)
- Mario Party 10 (a digital board game)
Aside from games, Wii U is best played with friends so more controllers would also be a good idea. For around $70, Wii U Remotes and Pro Controllers are a necessity to get the most out of the likes of Smash Bros and Mario Kart.
What if your Nintendo fan has a 3DS instead of a Wii U? Lots of cool games on there too (around $55-65):
- Pokemon Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire
- Super Smash Bros for 3DS
- Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer
Amiibos. All the Amiibos.
For the uninitiated, which you most likely are if you’re buying the gift, an Amiibo is similar to the Disney Infinity figures I was talking about before in that they are little statues that interact with a video game. However, Amiibos are compatible with a wide range of games on the Wii U and 3DS, unlocking features such as new costumes and even creating characters in the games.
An Amiibo will cost around $17, and there zillions to choose from. Find out their favourite Nintendo character and there will most certainly be the corresponding Amiibo!
OK, so PC gamers are the hardest to buy for. They know the ins and outs of how to get the games they want cheap. They most likely built their own computer, so they have all the parts they want. So what kind of awesome gifts can you get? Accessories, that’s what.
The keyboard and mouse are still the staples of PC gaming, so if you’ve got the clams to spend a gaming specific keyboard/mouse would go a long way. Keyboards can range in features such as having mechanical keys, extra buttons for customisation purposes and being backlit with crazy colours. Mice are similar, with extra buttons and colours, as well as being more comfortably shaped.
Some nice mechanical keyboards, each around $250-300:
- Razer Blackwidow Chroma
- Logitech G910 Orion Spark
- Steel Series Apex M800
Those manufacturers also make some kickass mice, with some personal favourites being:
- Razer Deathadder ($140)
- Logitech G502 Proteus Core ($90)
- Steel Series Sensei ($110)
Most things relating to PC gaming are pretty expensive, so the best option for a budget gift would be something like a gift card for a digital store-front like Steam, Origin etc. These places sell some niche games that are pretty cheap and allow the recipient to choose something that appeals to them. Win/win!
So, happy shopping, see you next year if we all survive the chaos…