Holiday gift guide: The console gamer edition

Holiday gift guide: The console gamer edition

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By: Johnny Big Fudge Marcondes

Christmas is right around the corner! With that being said, there’s no other time of the year where people are waiting last minute to buy something or scrambling for gift ideas. When it comes to gift giving we all know someone or are that person who loves video games and tech to the point of it being a passion. With that in mind, we kind of know how difficult it could be shopping around for gamers or tech lovers.

Around this time of the year there are a lot of great deals being promoted through various outlets, but they’re often far in between that it gets a little hard to keep track of. When shopping for gamers if you aren’t one yourself or are a little less tech savvy we often go with what we see through promotion. Many get gift ideas come from what some stores or websites view as popular options which may or may not be worth the asking price but it’s what gets promoted heavily.

Being a gamer myself and someone who’s a collector of retro titles and tech I know that it can be a little hard to shop for someone like myself. Those who want to find the perfect gift for their gaming buddy, better half or family member might get caught up by all the flashing lights and promotional deals that they may not explore around. Christmas is the time of the year where everyone wants presents and being that it’s the most profitable holiday of the year, you tend to just go with what’s in front of you. However you feel about the holiday itself is up to you, but one thing we can all agree on is how hard it can be to shop around for people who are less vocal about what they want.

Don’t let the holiday gift shopping frustration knock you out like Thanos did to Iron Man in the new Avengers trailer, I have your back. Luckily for you I’ve compiled a list of gaming gift ideas that fit every gamer in your life. Over the course of December we will be updating the list add more gift ideas to each genre so keep an eye out. 

Consoles/tech:

You really can’t bring up gift giving without mentioning the two biggest gifts a gamer can receive, that of course is the Xbox One X and the PlayStation 4 Pro. Both consoles are the two most popular choices and while pretty much similar there are a few factors to keep in mind. While they they both excel the gaming experience with 4K gaming, one is priced cheaper than the other and one also has slightly better specs than the other. For those who are shopping around for gamers and think “so and so already has a PS4 or Xbox One” I encourage you to not overlook this upgrade to their current console.

Even though the person you’re shopping for may already have a modern console the upgraded version of the X or Pro does make a pretty big difference. Outside of the larger hard drive the updated models can be seen as an investment plan for the next couple of years. But what sets the two apart? The Xbox One X has slightly better specs and currently a more impressive list of games that really make the 4K aspect worth it. Both the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro are the two best home console experience a gamer can have. Each come with a larger hard drive than the previous version of the console. 4K gaming isn’t the standard in the industry just yet but the way things are heading we’re going to be seeing a larger focus and emphasis on 4K gaming and improved FPS in 2018. Having the Xbone One X and PS4 Pro will put any gamer in forefront of the inevitable movement in gaming.

PlayStation 4 Pro Base Model & Playstation 4 Pro Star Wars: Battle Front II Edition

$399 on Amazon

standard PS4 Pro comes with one controller, the console, HDMI cable, cords and power source and nothing else in terms of out of the box content. No games included but those who are less tech savvy fear not as both the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro are compatible with all PS4 and Xbox One games currently out and or planned to be released. 

$449 on Amazon

While more expensive PS4 Pro, this bundle is geared right at Star Wars Fans. Having more decals on it than a sports car it’s still a little hard to pass up. Star Wars Battle Front II is by no means a bad game, but those unaware should know that it’s a little controversial as E.A is bleeding the franchise out trying to squeeze money from fans pockets. Looking past the major issues within the game and it’s pay to win/play mentality, the console is still something many Star Wars super fans will want this holiday. Bundled with a game, a custom controller and console this deal is something that even as an upgrade to a current console would make for a solid gift. Even if the game that inspired the console leaves more to be desired. 

PlayStation 4 Slim

$284 on Amazon

For those who have yet to upgrade to a PlayStation 4 the time is now and as the entry price is the lowest it’s been for some time. 4K may be the way of the future in gaming but it’s not the new standard just yet and the PS4 still has plenty of life left in it. As a console alone the PS4 is easily of the best in console history, having a great list of games and an even more impressive amount of content through the PlayStation Network you really can’t go wrong with this entry model. The Slim as the name states is a thinner PS4 and comes with a 1TB hard drive which is a great improvement over the 500GB entry model of PS4 Launch edition. 

PlayStation VR: Gran Turismo Sport Edition 

$299 on Amazon

VR(Virtual Reality) has been really growing in popularity and the PlayStation VR is a great entry device into that world. Most VR headsets require the owner to have a computer that’s good enough to support it, the PlayStation VR on the other hand is a simple plug and play device that you use with your PlayStation 4. You won’t need a PS4 Pro as even the standard PS4 is compatible with the device. This was the cheapest bundle I found which included not only the device and camera but a game as well. We’ve come a long way from the days of the splitting headaches of Nintendo’s Virtual Boy the hyper realistic VR experience in the PSVR. The future is now and anyone would be more than happy to get this gift. At $300 the VR bundle comes with everything you need to play (console not included and required). Sony has big plans for the VR system and compared to some other VR headsets out there it’s honestly pretty impressive and worth the price.

Xbox One X

$499 on Microsoft’s website

Given how expensive the One X is, personally I wouldn’t recommend spending the money if the person you’re getting an Xbox One already owns either the original Xbox One or the S edition. However, for those fortunate enough to splurge the extra cash, the upgrade to 4K gaming on Microsoft’s latest console is beyond worth it if affordable. The Xbox One X much like the Playstation 4 Pro is a great upgrade but not one that’s necessary to enjoy the current gen of games currently out. However, unlike the PS4 Pro the One X has more going for it in the long run. 4K gaming with 60FPS and bigger hard drive not to mention more games currently on the market place that can utilize these features makes the One X a gaming dream for most. While a hefty price tag may put some at bay this upgrade is worth every penny if possible. Coming with one controller, hdmi cables, the console, standard wires and power source Microsoft may be edging out the Kinect but honestly it’s not really vital to the One X.  

Nintendo Switch

$299 on Amazon

When it comes to gaming and gift giving consoles I really couldn’t recommend a better console than the Nintendo Switch. While I’m being fairly biased in my praise as I’m a life long Nintendo fan boy, the truth of the matter is the Nintendo Switch is an extremely fun and solid console. When it comes to gamers we’re often never in one place for too long, especially for older gamers with jobs or students. The Nintendo Switch is the only home console that’s fully portable without lugging around wires, a bulky home console and outlets. With the Switch being playable at 1080p when docked and 720p when mobile through the tablet it’s honestly the ideal gaming console to give anyone. 

The Switch isn’t just another home console by Nintendo where your kids will play for a little while before going back over to other consoles. Nintendo has really stepped up their game when it comes to the Switch, this year alone they have two major game of year candidates and one of the most fun multiplayers currently out. Nintendo is building a better relationship with third party developers and really making the Switch a viable console for gamers of all ages. It’s honestly becoming an incredibly well rounded console that’s filled with potential. 

Games: 

Super Mario Odyssey(Nintendo Switch) $59.99 

Mario Odyssey is easily one of the must have games of 2017. Between Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey Nintendo is having one of their strongest years in recent memory. For the first time we see Mario leave Mushroom Kingdom to explore a world(s) like no other. While short and sweet the game is easily one of the most charming adventures Mario has had to date, plus along with interacting with other humans Mario can also drive scooters and show off his sweet new nipples? Super Mario Odyssey is a surreal experience for Mario players but it’s one that’s worth experiencing over and over again. 

Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy (PS4) $39.99

Those who grew up with the Crash series this is an instant must have while those who were too young (or not born) when the series was at it’s peak then this is your chance. Crash Bandicoot is one of the most fun and quirky platformers around and the HD collection featuring three games is something that’s almost too hard to pass up. Challenging, funny, rewarding and entertaining platform games are one those genres that any type of gamer can get into. Crash Bandicoot has been missed by fans for years so once the the HD collection was announced we all rejoiced, while there were a few issues with the N Sane Trilogy that made things a little more challenging, it’s still ultimately a great bang for your buck and solid series that holds up to today. 

Guilty Gear Rev 2 (PS4) $39.99

Fighting games are my thing, I love fighting games like no other genre in gaming. Trying to narrow down the best fighting games of 2017 for a recommendation is too hard. Honestly, it’s been one of the best years for fighting games in quite some time and any fighting game you choose to gift to someone is a great choice. Street Fighter V, Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite, Injustice 2 and Tekken 7 are all incredible fighting games that both stand out and have amazing amount of content and playability.  Personally speaking, when it comes to fighting games I like something a little more fast paced and no other fighter can quite match the speed of Guilty Gear. 

Guilty Gear Rev 2 is fast paced, hard hitting classic arcade fighting that’s easily the most aesthetically pleasing fighter to date. Graphically the game is on a level of it’s own and gameplay wise the fast paced fun characters and battles make each round feel as exciting as the last. Arc System Works is the dev team working on the new Dragon Ball Fighter Z game so those who are itching to get their hands on it may want to first learn the mechanics of Guilty Gear which are heavily implemented within Dragon Ball Fighter Z.  

Forza Motorsport 7(Xbox One/X) $39.99

If you’re shopping for a gamer who loves cars then there’s really no other option other than Forza Motorsport 7, especially of they own an Xbox One X. For those fortunate souls who own a One X, Forza Motorsport 7 is playable in gorgeous 4K and 60 FPS(frames per second) making it one of the most visually impressive racers to ever hit a home console. Even for those who may not have a 4K TV and Xbox One X, the game still runs at an impressive 1080p and 60FPS on standard Xbox Ones. Forza has always been a series dedicated to bringing racing fans some of the content in racing games giving them an abundance of cars, tracks, music and a strong online community. For racing fans this is one of those game that has to be on your wishlist.  

Skyrim VR (PSVR) $59.99

Skyrim may be a game that seems like it’s been around for a decade already but bringing the Skyrim universe into VR is one thing everyone allows. How can you not? Who doesn’t want to be the dragon born roaming around stealing everything they can get their hands on and pick every lock they see? When it comes to RPG titles no other really quite captivated gamers quite like Skyrim. Even after it’s initial release the game is still solid and fun. The open world aspect, the choices you can make and the customization you’re able to have over your character really helps make each play through unique and fun. It may be a game that’s been updated and released more times than it should have but bringing to the VR world makes the most sense. New and old fans of the series will love being explore the vast map the game has and even take an arrow to the knee first handed.

Collectibles (posters, toys, books, etc)

Kingdom Hearts POP Figures $9.99 each

Who doesn’t love Kingdom Hearts? Disney meets Square Enix/Final Fantasy in an adorably magical crossover. Fans of the series love anything Kingdom Hearts and POP figures are one of the most collected items in any fandom. How can they not be? I mean just look at Donald, look how adorably angry he is that he has to actually try and ignore your cries for healing. 

Nathan Drake Nendoroid Figure $51.99

While incredibly cute is it just me or is Drake giving us the serious bedroom eyes in this adorable Nendoroid figure? Either way, I’m sold. Nedoroid figures perfectly capture a “chibi” version of famous characters and this Nathan Drake one is no exception. With changeable faces and props that perfectly capture the personality of Drake in the Uncharted series this is one little figure any collector would love to own. 

Mega Man X Chogokin Mega Man X(Giga Armor) Figure. $124.99 

I mean there’s really not much more I need to say other than holy crap this figure is gorgeous. Fans of the blue bomber everywhere are all collectively picking up their jaws as this is one great looking figure. Including the armor pieces, the Mega Man X figure and his robotic dog companion Rush, this is a pretty good deal all things considering. Mega Man X is one of the best aspects of the entire Mega Man Universe and this figure is something collectors worldwide would love to have in their display case. I know I would. 

Mario Pixel Poster $11

This Mario poster is a perfect reminder of where everyone’s favorite little plumber came from. Pixelated broken Mario is great minimalist poster that’s simple and stands out instantly as recognizable. 

Cuphead Poster $20

The art in Cuphead is simply beautiful, combining old school rubber hose animation with surrealistic inspiration Cuphead has become of gamings most precious gems. With that said, this poster is just as beautiful as the game featuring all the vivid characters that make the game stand out. You won’t have to make a deal with the devil get this gorgeous poster, any fan of the series would be more than happy to hang this bad boy on their wall.  

Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice poster/art print $15.00

Hellbade Senua’s Sacrifice for the lack of better words was one hell of an experience. This gorgeous poster captures a lot of the emotional strain the game puts you through as Senua’s expression of being lost, filled with doubt and sadness is perfectly rendered. I love this poster, the mood and tone of the game are perfectly represented in a gorgeous art style that works hand in hand with the games theme. A poster any fan would love to have.

Gear:

Street Fighter V M.Bison varsity jacket. $99

Let me tell you something I own this jacket and it’s easily my favorite. Any fan of Street Fighter and M.Bison will go head over heels for his jacket. It’s lightweight with a gorgeous portrait of Capcoms most famous dictator M.Bison. On the back of the jacket there is a barely visible Shadaloo symbol on the center that perfectly adds a subtle nod to the fandom. This jacket may not scream “I’m a gamer!” but it doesn’t have too, in fact it’s better off for it. There’s subtle nods to gaming and the series but ultimately it’s a just a really cool and fashionable jacket. 

Playstation Logo Snapback hat. $15

Sometimes less is more and this snapback hat featuring a silver PlayStation logo is a great example of that. This hat has a simple and clean design that’s recognizable by fans and subtle enough for those who do want to advertise their gaming passion to wear publicly.

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