When it comes to the holiday season, trying to pick a gift for that gamer in your life can be a difficult task.
We offered you a look at some of the best games you can buy the Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners in your life. But if picking just the right game seems a risky proposition, here's a great alternative: Buy them a game-related accessory instead.
Here's a look at some of the gaming gadgets and gifts that can make playing more fun, more convenient and just plain more awesome:
Motion controls are all the rage in gaming this year. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo all have gadgets that let you control your video games using the movements of your body. If that gamer in your life doesn't have Sony's Move controls, Microsoft's new Kinect sensor or a MotionPlus controller from Nintendo, then now is the perfect time to fix that. Click this link for an in-depth look at each of these devices and a comparison to help you pick the right one for the gamer on your list. Meanwhile, not only do motion controls make great gifts, they have a way of making it so the entire family can game together — a nice plus during the holidays.
Buying the gamer in your life an extra controller is almost always a good idea. Whether they own a Wii, PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, they'll be happy to have one more controller on hand for playing with friends or, if you're lucky, playing with you. And probably the coolest new game controllers you'll find this year are the Tron controllers. These devices are made with neon blue accents that light up (you know, just like the costumes in the "Tron" movie) and have been given a slightly revamped shape and feel. Tron controllers are available for all three consoles. The Xbox and PS3 Tron controllers are both wired and cost $50. Meanwhile the Tron Remote controller for the Wii is wireless and is also priced at $50. Turn off the lights and enjoy the glow.
Headsets make a fantastic gift for the console or the PC gamer in your life. These devices not only let the player hear the in-game sound effects up close and personal (which can be critical when playing a shooter for example), they also cut down on the noise when that gamer is up into the wee hours of the night playing his or her favorite title. Among our top headphone picks: Turtle Beach's Ear Force DPX21 — a full Dolby digital surround sound headset for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 priced at $150; the Astro A30 Headsetwhich works with mobile, console and PC gaming machines and will run you $130; and the SteelSeries Spectrum 5XBfor Xbox 360 or PC (priced at $90). Also, for the young gamer in your life, check out the Kidz Gear Wired Headphones. They're specially made to fit kid-sized heads and cost only $20.
Every gamer needs controllers that are juiced up and ready to go. Sure, you can chew through disposable batteries or connect your controller to your console when the batteries wear out. But the better option is a charging station. Charging stations not only offer a convenient way to power up your controllers (rechargeable battery packs required), they also offer a tidy place to store your controllers. There are a variety of charging stations out there for all kinds of controllers. Check out the Xbox 360 Quick Charge Kitfrom Microsoft, the PlayStation Move Charge Station Quad from Nyko and the Wii Energizer Flat Panel from PDP. All of them cost $30.
The Wii is an aging game machine. After all, it's been around since 2006. And with Microsoft showing off its wow-inducing new Kinect sensor for the Xbox 360 and Sony showing off their new Move controls for the PS3, the Wii is having a tough time standing out in the crowd like it used to. But THQ's new drawing tablet for the Wii, which comes bundled with the art program called "uDraw Studio" for $70, does a nice job giving the machine a little pick-me-up. You'll use the attached pen to draw on the tablet's surface, creating all kinds of paint, pen and charcoal works. THQ has also released a "Pictionary" game and "Dood's Big Adventure" both of which you play using the uDraw Tablet. It's perfect gift for the budding artist in your household.
Console Access Pro Tool Kit
Oh dear, we wouldn't want to encourage anyone to illegally modify their game console. Because you know what happens when you do that. You nearly end up in prison, that's what. But there are plenty of good (and legal) reasons to want to trick out, fix or futz with your game machines. For that tinkerer in your household, ThinkGeek is offering the Console Access Pro Tool Kit, a sweet kit full of bits, tweezers and tools sized just right for getting to the guts of your Xbox 360, PS3, PSP and even your iPhone. But don't go blaming us if you wind up behind bars. The tool kit will cost you $20 ... but bail will cost you a whole lot more.
Gaming t-shirts not only make for good chuckles, they also make for great stocking stuffers. And speaking of ThinkGeek, they just happen to have some great ones to offer. These shirts reference gaming in-jokes and favorite franchises from "Halo" to "Legend of Zelda." And for the "Portal" fan in your life there's this tee: Look at me still talking when there's Science to do.
For moreholiday video game ideas, be sure to read:
Sing, dance, rock the holidays with music games
Game away those holiday pounds
Kinect vs. Move vs Wii: Fight!
Five great PS3 games for the holidays
Five great Xbox 360 games for the holidays
Five great Wii games for the holidays
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