GamesBeat’s holiday shopping guide for last-minute gaming gifts
It’s the time of the year when you finally have to stop shopping for yourself and start getting gifts for other people. If you need help with that, I understand. I’m here for ya.
In this guide, I’ve got some last-minute ideas for those of you who are reading this on the drive over to your family’s house on Christmas Day. If you have a bit more time, however, we have some suggestions for the PC, Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 lovers in your life.
Gifts for the literal last minute
OK. Let’s start with this. If you’re reading this on Christmas Eve and can’t think of what to get for someone, try some of these. The best part is that you don’t even have to wrap them. You can gift all of these digitally (or find them at a Walgreens or something).
Xbox Game Pass
Price: $70 (normally $120)
Xbox Game Pass is Microsoft’s Netflix-like service for games. It provides a library of over 100 Xbox One releases that you can download to your system and play whenever you want. For $70 right now, you can get 12 months of Game Pass. This is great because Microsoft also releases all of its first-party games on this service the day they hit retail.
Xbox Design Lab custom controller
Microsoft’s Xbox Design Lab enables you to create your own personalized Xbox One controller. It even has officially licensed NFL logos.
If you know someone is getting a PlayStation 4 for the holidays, PlayStation Now is one of the best services you can get for them. It is Sony’s cloud-gaming program, but it also enables PlayStation 4 owners to download games from a library just like Netflix. For $100, you can get a year pass for PS Now.
New PC from NZXT BLD
Price: Varies, but you can set your budget
NZXT’s BLD is an online service that builds gaming PCs without a lot of the jargon or confusing components. You just tell the BLD system what games you want to play, and it’ll give you the PC you should make. If you have a grandkid or significant other asking for a PC, this is one of the easiest ways to ensure that they get what they want.
What to get for the gamer who has everything
I thought the Atari Speakerhat was dumb before I got one. And I was right, but I also love it. I use it all of the time. It’s a hat with Bluetooth speakers in its bill. Think of it as the fanny pack for the head. And that’s why I love it. Unlike headphones, earbuds, or smart speakers, the Atari Speakerhat enables me to listen to whatever I want without having to disconnect myself from the world. I can simultaneously hear my favorite podcasts and whatever mischief my daughter is getting into. You should get one.
AverMedia Live Gamer Extreme 2 capture card
AverMedia makes some of the best capture cards you can get, and the Live Gamer Extreme 2 is a great deal at $170. It can passthrough a 2160p60 signal without stripping the HDR from something like an Xbox One X. It is also capable of capturing up to 240 frames per second.
Nvidia Shield TV
This is the best set-top-box on the market. It plays 4K HDR video from you personal media library, Netflix, or any other video app you can find. It also streams games from you computer or from Nvidia’s own GeForce Now cloud service. And then it is also excellent as a retro-gaming device because of its support for a wide selection of emulators. I’ve been using one recently, and I love it.
What to get for the PC gaming lover
Echogear Triple Monitor Desk Mount
Price: $90 (with code you get for entering your email address on Echogear’s website)
The Echogear Triple Monitor Desk Mount is one of my favorite things from 2018. It is easy to set up, it’s sturdy, and it is super easy to adjust. And then it also frees up so much desk space. If you are shopping for a PC gamer who has multiple monitors (up to 27 inches), this is an excellent gift. It’s something they may not purchase for themselves, but they will end up loving it.
Crucial MX500 1TB SSD
The price of storage dropped throughout 2018, and it’s still going down. The U.S. trade war with China could disrupt that soon, so now is probably the time to buy. And I don’t think you can get a better all-around great SSD than Crucial’s MX500 in this price range. For $120, you can get 1TB of 3D NAND. That’s enough to run your operating system and to store a ton of games.
What to get for the Switch lover
HyperX 256GB Micro SD
The Nintendo Switch doesn’t have enough storage. If you buy any digital games, you’ll want something more. And my recommendation is to get the biggest micro SD card possible. So if you’re shopping for someone who already has a Switch, consider HyperX’s micro SD with 256GB of storage capacity.
HyperX Cloud Stinger
You don’t need to spend a lot on a set for the Nintendo Switch because only a few games supports voice (like Fortnite), but that’s why the Stinger is so great. It has great sound to go with the microphone, so even if you’re just playing Zelda or Smash, everything will sound great.
Satisfye Pro Gaming Grip
The Switch is a great handheld, but you may find it uncomfortable if you have larger hands. Or, like me, you will injure your hands playing Dead Cells. The Satisfye Pro Gaming Grip solves that by adding holds for your hands.
The Flip Grip enables Switch owners to play their games in a vertical orientation while also in handheld mode. This is great for games that support playing the Switch on its side, which is also known as “tate” mode. That gives you more screen space in games like Ikaruga, SNK 40th Anniversary Collection, and Donkey Kong.
What to get for the Xbox One lover
Samsung T5 SSD
The T5 is an external SSD that can load games faster on the Xbox One. This model stores 500GB, which is about 9-to-12 blockbuster-sized games.
Xbox One Elite Controller
The Xbox One Elite Controller is still the best gamepad you can get for any system. It works wirelessly with Xbox One or a PC with a USB dongle. It has a premium price, but it’s worth it.
Xbox One X Vertical Stand and Charging Station
This stand enables you to keep the Xbox One X safely on its side. It adds 3 USB ports and two controller-charging docks.
What to get the PlayStation 4 lover
Samsung T5 SSD
Same reason as the Xbox One. It’s going to enable you to load games faster. It makes a huge difference.
Pecham Vertical Stand and Charger
With this stand, you can keep your PlayStation 4 securely on its side. It also has two docks for charging the DualShock 4 gamepads.