We still have another year to wait for the next generation of Microsoft and Sony consoles, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave your gamer empty-handed this holiday season. There are a ton of great games, accessories, swag, and experiences on the market.
Give the gamer on your gift list something that’s sure to power up and take their play to the next level.
1. Seagate Firecuda SSD
Seagate makes HDDs and SSDs for any application, from everyday users to high-end enterprise servers. The 510 series is their latest line of Firecuda gaming Solid State Drives. I installed the 1TB in my system this past summer, and it seriously turbo-charged things, giving 3450/3200 MB/s sequential read/write speeds. I couldn’t believe how much faster it was than the Western Digital HDDs I had been using. I mean seriously, if you’re still using SATA HDDs or SSDs, do yourself a favor and install one of these NVMe drives to experience real gaming performance in your PC.
2. Bloody Gaming Keyboard and Mouse
Bloody is one of the premiere gaming keyboard and mouse brands. I have the B945 above, and it’s a great keyboard, although no longer available. It has the same optical switches as the B930, but with the 10-key that keyboard lacks. My particular model is a left-handed keyboard Bloody sent me by mistake, but it still works fine.
As for mice, I don’t like wireless (PC gaming requires wired stability everywhere possible). My gaming go-to is Bloody’s AL90, a superb laser mouse that’s blazing fast, especially when paired with the SSD above.
3. Razer Phone 2
Razer‘s flagship gaming phone is a great portable for those Hardcore Android gamers out there. It has a Qualcomm Dragon 845 chip, 8GB RAM, vapor chamber cooling, and a top-of-the-line 5.7-inch IGZO display that makes it much easier to make lightning-quick decisions in popular games like Fortnight and PUBG. If you stick to gaming on this phone and everything else on your Galaxy or iPhone, you’ll be set.
4. Windows VR Headset
Windows VR is a great way to get acclimated to a new world of computing. While it doesn’t have the gaming collection Oculus Rift, PSVR, and Steam VR do, Windows in VR is pretty fun. I’ve mostly used it to turn my laptop into a much bigger virtual workspace, and on that end, it’s more of a productivity tool than anything. But anything VR is gamified, and Windows is a big step up from Android-based virtual reality. Check out Windows VR headsets from Hewlett Packard, Lenovo, and Acer.
5. Xbox Game Pass/Nintendo Online/PlayStation Plus Subscription
If your gamer already has a console, chances are they’re paying money for a streaming subscription. Make things easier by gifting them a free year (or some cash) for their favorite online game streaming service.
6. Tickets to E3
E3 is the hottest gaming event of the year, with developers, distributors, and esports leagues from around the world gathering to take part. Most of it can be streamed live (especially press conferences), but don’t be fooled by the media. E3 is still a crowded event, no matter how many people refuse to take part. These “protesters” always have an auxiliary event in the vicinity, so L.A. is still the place to be in the summer.
7. Scuf Pro Gaming Controllers
I’m a snob about first-party controllers only. But I did get a chance to play with some Scuf Gaming controllers. They’re not the worst generics, and definitely cool with all the high-end customization possibilities.
8. LG Smart TV
If you don’t already have a smart TV, it’s time to get one, and LG makes one of the best. Alexa is built-in, and you can play a lot of games without the need of a console. In fact, you can pair most Xbox/PS4/Nintendo controllers, so long as it has Bluetooth. Check out games directly on a TV and you may even care about Google’s Stadia platform.
9. Audio Technica Open Air Headphones
Audio Technica makes the best gaming headsets on the planet for audiophiles like me. I gave the Closed-Air set to a podcaster friend who could appreciate them, but the AT Open Air headphones are my favorite. Not only is every sound hyper-realistic, but the open-air design means I can still hear the doorbell and get out of the game, should the need arise.
10. Nintendo + Sugarfina Gummies
And finally we have the coolest collection of candy this side of Willy Wonka’s factory. Nintendo teamed up with luxury candymaker Sugarfina for this collection of Super Mario-themed sweets. Get a bento box to treat the gamer you love.