GamePro 2008 holiday gift guide
- — 19 December, 2008 16:54
Gifts for the Hardcore Gamer (page 1 of 2)
Hardcore gamers don't just play video games-they live and breathe video games. It's not a hobby, it's a lifestyle. So we compiled a list of the essential gear that they'll need to stay on top of their game. A next-gen console is a great place to start but there are tons of other tech and toys that the hardcore gamer in your life will appreciate.
Microsoft Xbox 360
Microsoft's console is going strong with a deep library of games and its full featured online service, Xbox Live where you can battle live human opponents and access amazing downloadable content such as Braid and Castle Crashers. You can also look forward to more high profile titles in the coming months, with games like Halo Wars, Fable 2 and the sequel to Gears of War. Best of all, Microsoft recently instituted a price cut on all Xbox 360 models, making it more affordable to get your game on.
$199.99 (Arcade); $299.99 (Standard); $399.99 (Elite)
Essential Xbox 360 Gear
Don't walk out of the store without adding these Xbox 360 accessories to your shopping cart!
Wireless Controller ($49.99)
Wireless Headset ($59.99)
Quick Charge Kit ($29.99)
The 5 Must Have Holiday 360 Titles
Here is a short but sweet list of the titles that you just have to buy this holiday season; if you own a 360 or are purchasing one, you have to add the following games to your shopping basket.
Sony Playstation 3
Sony's monolithic console had some growing pains but there's never been a better the time to buy a PS3. It finally has some bona fide hits under its belt like the sublime Metal Gear Solid 4 and there are plenty of awesome games finally hitting the store shelves like LittleBigPlanet and Resistance 2. The PS3's budding online service is also going to get a nice upgrade thanks to games like Home and the upcoming Socom. The PS3 might have had a rough launch but the future for Sony's console is definitely looking bright.
Essential PS3 Gear
Before you walk out of the store with your brand new PS3, be sure to take a look at the following accessories, especially the DualShock 3 which is an absolute must.
DualShock 3 ($54.99)
Official PS3 Blu-tooth Headset ($49.99)
Blu-ray Remote Control ($24.99)
The 5 Must Have Holiday PS3 Games
If you own a PS3 or buy one this holiday season, you owe it to yourself to add the following to your shopping list; if you don't, you're going to miss out on some unforgettable gaming experiences.
Here's a bold prediction: the Nintendo Wii will be nearly impossible to find this holiday season. If previous years are any indication, the Wii will be a hot commodity and will fly off store shelves. But if you're lucky enough to get your hands on one, be assured that you are in for some good times. With a huge library of titles and an innovative motion sensing controller, the Wii is the perfect console of gamers of all ages. Just cross your fingers and pray your local store stocks enough of them.
Essential Wii Gear
To truly get the most out of your Wii, you'll definitely extra Wii Remotes and Nunchuks; having enough controllers for friends and family is absolutely key.
Wii Remote ($39.99)
Wii Nunchuk ($19.99)
Wii Classic Controller ($19.99)
The 5 Essential Holiday Wii Games
There are a lot of good Wii games out there but the following five are the best of the recent Wii releases. Add them to your library immediately.
Nintendo DS Lite
Nintendo knows how to produce quality handheld consoles and their Nintendo DS is no exception. With a dizzying library of games and backwards compatibility with the Gameboy Advance, the DS is your one stop shop for on-the-go gaming.
The 5 Essential Holiday DS Games
There were a ton of titles to choose from but the following five DS games won us over with their quality and depth; if you buy a DS this holiday season, you can't go wrong with the following games.
[[xref:http://www.gamepro.com/games/ds/139021/final-fantasy-iv/|Final Fantasy IV
With its full featured media capabilities, the Sony Playstation Portable is more than a gaming system: it's a portable media station. When you're not playing games, you can listen to music, watch movies and even stream live television using the Sony LocationFree wireless base station. Be sure to also keep an eye out for the new Sony PSP-3000, an updated model that promises even more improvements and features.
The 5 Essential Holiday PSP Games
If you do invest in a new PSP this holiday season, be sure to look into the following five PSP titles; you won't be disappointed.
Falcon Northwest Mach V
High end gaming PCs are a lot like cars: everyone dreams of owning a sports car but we all end up driving a budget sedan. Well, if you are a gamer, a high end gaming PC can get your motor revving almost as much as a Ferrari can. Falcon Northwest has been in the gaming PC business for a long time and they know how to put a system together; but what we like about the company is that it's stayed true to their roots. There's nothing fancy about the company, no smoke and mirrors and unnecessary flash: no, all they do is build some of the best gaming systems around. So it's on that long standing reputation that we recommend you look into a Falcon Northwest system if you want to get serious about your PC gaming this holiday season; you'll pay a little more than you would with a no-name vendor but you'll get first-class treatment from beginning to end.
Essential PC Gear
If you play PC games regularly, you need the following to maximize your gaming experience.
22-inch or bigger monitor
5.1 Surround Sound speaker system
The 5 Essential Holiday PC Games
Who says PC gaming is dead? There are some great titles being released onto store shelves soon and these five are the best of the best; don't forget to save some cash for the upcoming titles like Diablo 3 as well!
There's no denying that video games can be expensive and nothing sucks more than investing your meager funds into a game that sucks. That's why we recommend you look into the GameFly service. It's basically a Netflix for video games: pay a monthly fee and they'll mail you a couple of games to play. It's the perfect way to play the games you've always wanted to play; you can also test drive games that you want to buy before you plunk down your cash. And best of all, there are no late fees!
Count us amongst the growing number of fans becoming hooked on Microsoft's upstart Zune music player and download service. Why? The biggest reason by far is the ZunePass which allows unlimited commercial music downloads for $15 per month. That's way better than paying per-track rates on iTunes, despite the downside of having to maintain this monthly subscription to keep the digital rights to your music library. Also high on our list of reasons we love Zune are the new Zune 3.0 operating system, which allows wireless downloads/purchases of music as well as improved wireless synching with your PC via Wi-Fi. You can also download thousands of TV shows and games with the new 3.0 Zune software. And if all this isn't enough for you, Zune just released a 120GB player that can be purchased in an exclusive Gears of War 2 special edition
PS3 HDMI System Selector
You've got the PS3. You've got the Xbox 360. You've got an HD cable box.What you don't have is enough HDMI ports on your HDTV. You've got three options. You can buy a new TV, get a receiver or HDMI switch that will add another unsightly electronic box to your home theater system, or you can get a solution that won't throw off your entire entertainment center's aesthetic. MadCatz's PS3 HDMI system selector attaches to the side of your PS3, matching its design while only adding about three inches to the width of the system. By using just one of the PS3's USB ports, you can add two more HDMI inputs to your TV! An included remote makes changing between the inputs a snap, and the included fan helps keep the system from overheating. For the price, you can't beat this switch.