Game enthusiast in your life? Allow to us to share exactly what we think you should be picking up for them this Christmas.
Believe it or not, Christmas is just around the corner. This year has flown by so fast, and our favourite industry has had what we consider quite the golden year, with an essential purchase dropping nearly every month across all three major platforms. But hey, games are easy to buy, right? Just get a list from the one in your life who you love thy so and just head to Amazon to get it sent to your door. Simple.
And yet, what if they have already picked up the games they want? You know it’s possible, so what could you pick up for your gaming enthusiast that will tickle their nerd bones even more? Well, allow us to share with you some of our top picks across each system, and also some fun accessories.
Disclaimer: All products featured below have either been purchased by our team or sent to us for review purposes. To ensure we can offer an honest opinion we have tried and tested every product we are including in our Gift Guide.
Nintendo’s shiny hybrid has seen a phenomenal first year and is definitely one of the hot ticket items this Christmas, especially seeing as it was the best selling product on the internet on Black Friday (yes, not just console..product), and as such, there’s gonna be a whole heap of new players out there that are looking for ways to make their Switch playing experience even better. We’ve cobbled together our Top 5 accessories for the system that you should consider picking up.
NINTENDO SWITCH PRO CONTROLLER
The Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers are nifty little beasts, packing in a whole bunch of tech into tiny clip-ons for either side of your Switch console, and whilst they almost certainly do the job, if you do prefer a more traditional control setup that you won’t do much better than the fantastic Pro Controller, which is available to buy separately.
The buttons are much bigger, it feels weighty in the hand and has an utterly absurd battery life, putting the standard controllers for PS4 and Xbox One to shame, offering up to 40 hours on a single charge with the included USB-C cable. Pretty much essential.
Where?: Nintendo Switch Pro Controller – Black
VENOM QUAD CHARGING STATION
If sticking to the traditional Joy-Con controllers is more your thing for the time being, you’re gonna want to keep those bad boys charged for your trips. Whilst they automatically charge when connected to the system, the included Joy-Con Grip doesn’t charge them, and who wants to get up and grab a controller? Exactly, you want it right in front of you ready to go, and that’s where the charging stations come in.
We’ve gone for the Venom Quad Station as our station of choice to charge your Joy-Cons, packing four spaces to charge double the amount of Joy-Cons, along with packing in a USB-C cable and LED’s to let you know when they’re fully charged, this one hasn’t let us down yet.
Where?: Venom Switch Quad Charging Station (Nintendo Switch)
NINTENDO SWITCH CARRY CASE
There are a ton of Nintendo Switch cases available, and they all do a pretty good job at protecting the expensive handheld, but this particular one is Rossko’s case of choice, seeing as it doesn’t have anything on the outside that would make anyone suggest there was a Nintendo Switch inside.
A bunch of cases have the Switch logo or Nintendo branding all over them, and this one is far more subtle, along with including screen protectors, cartridge storage and enough room to bundle in a couple extra Joy-Cons. Solid.
Where?: Nintendo Switch Carry Case + Premium Tempered Glass Screen Protector, SHareconn Portable Protective Hard Shell Cover Travel Storage Bag with 10 Game Cartridge for Nintendo Switch Console & Accessories (Black & Red)
MICRO SD CARD
As great as the Nintendo Switch is, its paltry 32 GB of on-board storage isn’t going to ensure you can pack a bunch of games onto the system, particularly if you plan on downloading digital games over physical – and with the high quality of Switch indie games available, this is a distinct possibility – so thankfully Ninty have seen it right to include a Micro SD card slot if you wish to expand the memory.
Rossko has this 64 GB card in his Switch and it does the job just fine, though you’re able to expand far more if that suits your needs. There are also games that require SD Cards, because the Switch just isn’t big enough to house them, so if you’re going to jump for the console, don’t forget about these little miracles.
Price: Will vary depending on storage size. The above 64 GB card is £19.99
Where?: SanDisk Ultra 64 GB MicroSDXC UHS-I Memory Card with SD Adapter – Standard Packaging
SWITCH JOY-CON CHARGING GRIP
If you’re not at home where you can charge up your Joy-Cons, your best bet for on the go charging is the Switch Joy-Con Charging Grip. The grip – which if we’re being honest, should have been included with the console – includes a USB-C input so you’re able to charge your Joy-Cons whilst playing. Handy for on to go and lasts for bloomin’ ages.
Where?: Joy-Con Charging Grip
SUPER MARIO BROS. QUESTION BLOCK LIGHT
So you have everything you need for your Switch-loving family member/friend/loved one but you know they’re big Nintendo fans, so what else could you pick up for them? Well, there’s a metric megaton of Nintendo merch out there in the wild but we only had room for one so we went with this rather special Super Mario Bros. Question Block Light. Simply press down on the Question Block and you’ll hear sounds from the classic Mario titles, and you can either run it on batteries or with the included USB cable. Ya-hoo!
Price: £15.27 (bargain!)
Where?: Super Mario Bros. Question Block Light
Sony’s box of wonders has gone from strength to strength in 2017, with a barnstorming first half of the year where multiple exclusive titles were coming out almost monthly to ‘Game of the Year’ levels of critical praise, and moving into 2018 shows absolutely no signs of slowing down anytime soon. If you’re on the hunt for some gifts to share with your PS4 owning brethren, look no further than the Top 5 accessories we’ve listed below.
PLAYSTATION VR STARTER PACK + SKYRIM VR
I’m pretty sure whoever bought me this for Christmas would be eternally in my debt, especially if all I got them was another pair of socks but still, if your PS4 owning pal wants to jump into PSVR, there’s absolutely no better way of doing so than with the PSVR Starter Pack along with Skyrim VR, and Amazon have a cracking deal on right now where you can get the lot for less than £300. In the pack you’ll get the PSVR headset, a PS Camera and a copy of the VR showcase title VR Worlds, along with Skyrim, this is the best way to experience VR at a terrific price.
Where?: Sony PlayStation VR Starter Pack + Skyrim VR
PlayStation Move Controllers
Already got PSVR? Then they’re gonna need these bad boys for the optimum experience. The PlayStation Move controllers have been around for many years now, and have seen a huge resurgence thanks to the success of PSVR, and is used in a variety of games for the headset. They are amazingly precise and comfortable, and provide complete control of the VR world.
Price: £69.99 for a pack of 2. £42.99 for a single Move.
Where?: Sony PlayStation Move Pack
VENOM MARAUDER HEADSET
As with a few of these products we’ve included in this guide, there are a ton of different headsets available for your gaming sessions, and they vary from price to quality. For that sweet spot though of quality and value, we’ve picked out the Marauder 7.1 Headset from Venom which delivers pulsating sound, and feels very immersive.
The included microphone is also very good, allowing you to chat online clearly and you’re able to control the level of game audio and chat independently with the attached volume unit. Whilst the virtual surround sound doesn’t really add an awful lot to the experience, for £40 you’re getting a properly great headset with very few issues.
The headset also works on PC and Xbox systems.
Where?: Venom Marauder Headset
EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE
PlayStation 4 has finally allowed users to attach external hard drives for external storage use and we couldn’t be happier, so if you’re not quite ready to upgrade to a PS4 Pro / Slim you can still expand your storage with one of these, provided by Seagate who are more or less the leaders in this particular field. 2 TB is a ton of storage for your digital games, and also comes in 4 TB if you’re fortunate enough to own that many games.
Price: From £74.99
Where? Seagate 2TB Game Drive USB 3.0 Portable 2.5-inch External Hard Drive for PlayStation 4
PLAYSTATION PLUS 12 MONTH SUBSCRIPTION
Perhaps the most essential of all the PS4 gifts we have included in PS Plus. If you’re unaware this is what allows players to play online, so without a subscription they won’t be able to play online with friends across the world. Frustratingly, Sony have seen it right to boost the price from £40 to £50 a year from hereon-in, but for that price you get access to one of gamings best networks, free(ish) games every month and access to exclusive discounts on the PSN digital store, along with much more. You simply have to have it.
Where? PlayStation Plus: 12 Months
ART FOR THE PLAYERS: THE OFFICIAL PLAYSTATION COLOURING BOOK
What do you get the PlayStation gamer who has it all? Why, you get them a colouring book of course. Ensure they’re never bored on the road after their PS Vita battery dies with the official colouring book for PlayStation owners.
The characters are all familiar and will bring a nostalgic tear to the eye as you colour in SackBoy when you should be probably talking to other humans, but who wants to do that? Exactly. Colouring in beats human interaction any day of the week.
Where?: Art for the Players
THE ART OF HORIZON ZERO DAWN
One of PlayStation 4’s very best games of the year was Guerrilla’s Horizon Zero Dawn, and the ultimate companion to the game is this wonderful book, The Art of Horizon Zero Dawn. Featuring some utterly stunning concept art for this brand new world, the book takes a closer look at inspirations behind the art, the world and the characters. A remarkable collection of art that is as essential as the game itself.
Where?: The Art of Horizon Zero Dawn
Xbox has had another stellar year with the release of their brand new Xbox One X, the most powerful games console in the history of mankind, so they keep telling us. With a hardcore following and some great exclusives, the future is bright for Microsoft’s thwacking great big X. Know a fan? Here’s what they need to get the most out of their system.
EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE
This is the same hard drive which we recommended for the PS4, albeit this one is officially licensed with some fancy branding to ensure you know it’s for Xbox – cus it’s green, you see -, with the rise of 4K gaming on Xbox One X and games heading over the 100GB mark, you’re going to want to invest in one of these pretty sharpish lest you run out of space before you can download patches for Crackdown 3.
Price: Beginning at £74.99
Where? Seagate 2TB Game Drive
XBOX LIVE GOLD 12-MONTHS SUBSCRIPTION
Xbox Live Gold, much like PS Plus is another essential yearly subscription service which will allow you to play online with your mates and offers free games to download every month along with digital discounts. The bonus for Xbox players right now is that it’s currently £10 cheaper than PS Plus. Result!
An Xbox without Gold is like Christmas without Santa. Like Ant without Dec. Like marriage without the lingering existential crisis.
Where?: Xbox Live 12 Months
XBOX GAME PASS 1-MONTH SUBSCRIPTION
Another subscription, but this time it’s a bit of a doozy. Xbox Game Pass is a monthly subscription service with will allow access to over 100 games that you can download with no limits. We’ve been playing around with the service and have found it to be terrific value for money. If you can imagine Netflix, but for games, this is what you get with Xbox Game Pass. Pick up this code for a single months access to everything on offer, it’s absolutely worth it.
Where?: Xbox Game Pass | 1 Month Membership
VENOM XBOX ONE PLAY AND CHARGE KIT
For whatever reason, the packed in Xbox One controllers don’t come with lithium batteries like the other two big console players. Instead, you’re still stuck with charging up with AA batteries and as we know, that can get expensive over time. Enter then, the Play and Charge kit and we found that Venom’s pack is not only cheaper than Xbox’s official set, but does the job just as well. It’s also a double pack so if you have more than one controller, you can charge the other one up too. Result.
Where?: Venom Xbox One Rechargeable Battery
MINECRAFT CREEPER XBOX ONE CONTROLLER
It’s fair to say Microsoft are fully embracing the fact they now own Mojang, the creators of Minecraft. Not only have they released one of the best limited edition consoles in years, the controllers are also pretty great that you can use on any Xbox One system.
We particularly like the Creeper controller, which is blazened with the now iconic face of the Creeper, but also has some neat added cosmetic extras which the hardcore Minecraft fan will appreciate. I can imagine this will be under many a tree this Christmas.
Price: £66.99 currently on Amazon, local retailers may stock it cheaper.
Where?: Minecraft Creeper Xbox One Controller
MASTER CHIEF 31-INCH ACTION FIGURE
No character in gaming says Xbox quite like the Master Chief himself, and with this huge 31-inch figure, it will become the centrepoint of your gaming collection. This beast sits on Rossko’s unit right next to Nathan Drake, who stares at him and towers over poor Nate, who just can’t compete with the Chief’s raw magnificence. Or something.
Featuring seven points of articulation, this is an essential purchase for the Halo fan in your family. Or, just get it yourself and stand it outside the front door, nobody is gonna burgle a house with Chief standing in the way now, are they?
Where?: Halo Master Chief 31-Inch Action Figure
BLOOD, SWEAT AND PIXELS
There’s a ton of books out there about video games. Their development, their critical success and popularity are covered in great detail across the swathe of bookshelves around the world. However none have ever captured what it’s like to truly make a game under the intense scrutiny and pressure quite like Blood, Sweat and Pixels.
Written by Kotaku’s own Jason Schreier, the book has interviews with developers from a multitude of games, from indies to blockbusters, from million sellers to cancelled projects, and is a fantastic and often distressing insight into how are games are created.
Price: From £4.99
Where?: Blood, Sweat, and Pixels
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: HYRULE HISTORIA
There’s nothing like a good historical gaming book, and Nintendo’s collaboration with Dark Horse, the Legend of Zelda Hyrule Historia is perhaps one of the best out there. It includes a full history of the series, including placing all the games in chronological order, and how exactly they’re all connected. The book also has a foreword from Shigeru Miyamoto himself. A treasure that no Nintendo fan should be without.
Where?: The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia
8BITDO SF30 PRO CONTROLLER
Of all the third party accessories and controllers that are out there in the wild, there’s not much doubt the 8Bitdo Bluetooth GamePad looks the absolute business. The controller features motion controllers and a USB-C, and is compatible with your Switch, along with your Android phone, Windows, Mac and Steam. Oh, and it feels just so nice.
Where?: 8Bitdo SF30 PRO Bluetooth Gamepad
If you do choose to purchase any of the products above, we’d love it if you used our links that we’ve provided on each description. It just means we get some pennies thrown back our way and won’t cost you any extra! We thank you in advance if you choose to buy any of the above products with the links we’ve provided.