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2016 Holiday Gaming Gift Guide
Digital Gift Cards
Digital gift cards are an ideal gift for several reasons:
- They are available for pretty much any system. You can get these cards for any Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo console, as well as PC and mobile devices. If they play games, there is a card for them.
- They also come in various prices. Depending on what system you are buying for, the minimum cost is between $10-$20 or they go as high as $100 on all systems.
- You don't have to know specifics. If you know what system your recipient plays on, that's all information you need.
This gift is an easy go to for anyone who plays games. If you don't want to have to do any extra digging this Holiday to find out what your gamer wants, rest assured that you can't go wrong with one of these.
Another sure fire gift is a controller. This requires slightly more knowledge than a gift card as you have to know the specific system your recipient uses opposed to just what company makes it. However, once you know what system they are sporting, this one is a no brainer. Controllers naturally endure a lot of wear and tear over time, even if they aren't in urgent need of a controller, they will be glad they have it when it comes time to replace their current one.
This gift also gives you some variety as almost all controllers come in several different colors to choose from, as well as wired and wireless options. If those options seem a bit daunting, don't fret, every system also has their own "standard" options as well, making picking the right gift as simple as choosing a color.
Popular games and new releases are a common request at the game store I work at. Some people are very specific on what they want to play, while others simply want to play the newest thing out. Unfortunately, I can't tell you what type of gamer your recipient is in that regard; however I can give you some good jumping off points to pick the right game for this holiday:
- If you know your gamer is playing on an Xbox One or Playstation 4, and is also a fan of Grand Theft Auto, one of the hottest games out right now is Watch Dogs 2. It takes a similar approach to GTA, giving you a full city to explore, as well as plenty of guns, cars, and hacking tools to play with.
- On the other end of the spectrum, there are a lot of people that have the 3DS. The system itself is one of the biggest sellers this holiday. However, the reason it is such a big seller is Pokemon Sun and Moon. Almost everyone who owns a 3DS or 2DS wants this game, and it's the closest thing you will get to a sure fire thing when it comes to games for these systems.
- Sports games such as NBA or Madden are always popular choices if you have a sports fan, and the best thing about these games is that they released on PS3 and 360 as well as the newer systems, making it an accessible gift regardless of system.
- If you have a younger kid at home, Skylanders is a very safe bet. Not only is it a game, it also comes with collectible figures that are used in game. It is exciting for kids, can be engaging for adults, and it's available on all systems, including tablets and PC.
So, you still want to get a big gift this holiday season, but your significant other/child/sibling already has the latest system and all the newest games. Have no fear. VR headsets are the perfect gift for that wow factor even for the person who has everything. These tend to be fairly pricey, anywhere between $400-$1,000 for a quality gaming headset, but if your sole concern is impressing, you can't do much better than this. VR headsets are available for PS4, PC, and to a lesser extend, mobile devices. You may need to do some research into which headset will work best for your recipient. Popular options right now include PS VR, the Oculus Rift, and the HTC Vive.
POP Vinyl figures
POP figures are one of the hottest items out right now. If you have a gamer on your hands, there is a good chance they are also a collector, and there is no better gift than receiving one of your favorite video game/comic book characters ready to be displayed on your shelf.
The best thing about POPs is the huge selection. They have characters from almost anything you can imagine and often in several different styles. On top of vinyls, Funko also makes series of plush toys, bobble heads, and other styles of character figures. The price tag is just one more reason to grab one of these this year with most POP vinyls sitting at $12.99.
Headsets are a another great option for any gamer, especially ones that play online frequently or chat with their friends while in game. This can be one of the more daunting gifts, due to all the different styles headsets come in. I can give you a few simple guidelines to help pick the right headset for your needs:
- If you are looking for a Playstation headset, I rarely ever recommend anything outside of the Playstation Gold Wireless headset. It is one of the most affordable wireless headsets on the market, it is very simple to just plug up and play, and it works for PS3, PS4, PC, and mobile devices. This headset has quality, value, and variety all in one package - it's hard to go wrong with this one.
- If you are looking for an Xbox headset, it can often get pretty tricky. Some headsets require a special adapter, and as there are no true wireless Xbox One headsets, the whole thing can be a pain. I recommend the Xbox One Stereo headset. It generally retails at $60, and it is undeniably the most hassle free Xbox One headset out there without sacrificing sound quality.
- There are tons of other headsets out there, however the prior two are definitely the surest bets if you aren't familiar with gaming. Other popular brands include Turtle Beach, and, if you are really trying to impress, Astro. These headsets can run anywhere between $40-$300, but there are so many features and minute differences, that would be a whole article in itself. Not generally recommended unless you are an avid gamer.
The Hydra Bottle
The Hydra bottle is an excellent gift if you are looking for a unique item to give this year. Many gamers play games in semi-long sessions and this bottle has absolutely everything you need. It is a 20oz container, meaning they won't be running out of Mountain Dew any time soon during that all night Call of Duty session with some friends. On top of that, it has bluetooth connectivity to your phone, so you can use it as a speaker for your music or use it to answer phone calls when you can't take your hands away from the action.
This thing has so many features, it's almost hard to list them all, but aside from the premier feature of the bluetooth connectivity, it also has a:
- bottle opener
- storage compartment
- companion app with light and white noise effects
- FM radio
- headphone jack
- party light setting
- retractable straw!
Easily the most unique gift on this list, and a great choice for anyone from a gamer, to a marathon runner, to an avid gym enthusiast. This bottle is so versatile, anyone will find a use. $60 may be a hefty price tag for a bottle, but for all these features it is a bargain and a half.
No matter if you have a kid gamer in need of a nightlight or an adult gamer who just likes cool decorations, you can't go wrong with a Pixel Pal. They currently come in Mega Man, Mario, and Vault Boy varieties. All 3 run on triple A batteries, which are included in the box. These little guys are incredibly vibrant (I cheated and got myself one before Christmas) and are an awesome stocking stuffer for any gamer in your life. For only 14.99, these unique luminescents are sure to please.