Gaming is huge. Need proof? Last month, Call of Duty: Black Ops sold 5.6 million copies in North America in 24 hours. You can’t go anywhere without seeing or hearing its influence on popular culture. And when it comes to gift-giving this holiday season, games are certain to be among the top earners. If you’ve got someone on your list this year that’s into games (video, board, mind, etc.) you know how tricky it can be to get them something they’ll actually use. We’ll help take some of the guesswork out of your giving with a list of some of this year’s most popular gift ideas for your favorite players. Game on.
Limited Edition Xbox 360 Silver Wireless Controller
Microsoft may be one of the planet’s largest companies but that doesn’t mean that they don’t listen to their consumers. This year they’ve taken some of their customer’s comments to heart and released a newly-designed Xbox 360 controller. The new Xbox 360 Silver Wireless Controller has a sleek matte silver skin, premium button design, customizable D-pad that transforms from a plus to a disc, and an included plug-and-charge cable for up to 35 hours of continuous game play on a single charge.
1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die
How about giving the gamer on your list a few more things to do before he dies? OK, how about giving them 1001 things to do just in case you want to keep them around a bit longer. Universe Publishing, pushers of some of the greatest “1001” books ever compiled, have just announced the release of their latest edition, 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die, and this one promises to be an invaluable resource to history hounds and gamers alike. This chronological compendium of all things video games covers any game worth covering from the 70’s to today and features reviews and 100’s of screenshots. Now if this isn’t video game porn, I don’t know what is.
Clingo Gaming Wheel
For those of us with smartphones, the experience of gaming with all of that gyroscopic, motion-sensored technology can wear a bit thin after awhile. There’s just something unnatural about twisting and rotating your phone around when you’re playing one of those racing games. There’s this company that makes this really sticky material called Clingo, and said company is looking for ways to use this stickiness. Enter the Clingo Universal Game Wheel. It’s exactly what it looks like; a plastic steering wheel-shaped device into which you place your smartphone of choice. The green sticky adhesive-free gel Clingo pad holds your device firmly in place and increases your chances when attempting those virtual hairpins.
Scene It? Comedy Movies
We all know what a pain in the ass it can be to have someone showing off their movie trivia skills while you’re watching a movie. We get it; you’ve seen a lot of movies. Now shut up. Well, now you can give the gift of a safe haven for these movie mavens with the Scene It? Comedy Movies DVD game. This edition of the insanely popular Scene It? franchise is all about the comedies. It’s packed with clips, puzzles and trivia questions from all of the comedy movies that matter. Save the movie trivia for the games and keep your trap shut during the movies.
iolo System Mechanic
Gaming on your PC is a good thing. That is, when your computer is actually performing at its best. Nothing will cut your gamer’s session short faster than a computer bloated with unnecessary files and incapacitated by misaligned programs and software redundancy. Sounds scary, I know. Even the fastest gaming PC can have its hands tied without proper maintenance and iolo’s System Mechanic software is here to help. Just install version 10, the latest in the System Mechanic software’s long lifetime, and you’ll have that PC purring in no time.
Big Buck Hunter Pro for Wii
So you’ve got a gamer on your gift list that also happens to be into the great outdoors and hunting. I know, wicked combination. How about a game that lets them work on their Wii skills while satisfying their need to kill large antlered animals? The new Big Buck Hunter Pro bundle by JAKKS Pacific, available exclusively for the Nintendo Wii, will do just that. Not only do you get America’s #1 arcade game, you also get the largest shotgun controller available on the market today. Who wouldn’t want that?
Super Mario Brothers All-Stars Limited Edition for Wii
You know it, you love it. Mario Brothers is as iconic as a video game can get. There’s no debating the success of those two plumbing brothers, Mario and Luigi. Mario Brothers hit the streets 25 years ago, and now you can give the gift of everything Super Mario with the 25th Anniversary Super Mario All Stars Limited Edition game for the Nintendo Wii. You get four complete games including the original Super Mario Brothers, Super Mario Brothers: The Lost Levels, Super Mario II, and Super Mario III. Oh yeah, and if that wasn’t enough, you also get a CD soundtrack and history booklet. 1UP!
Specialist Gaming Headset
There isn’t much that can irritate a non-gamer more than having to be subjected to the booming cavalcade of mind-numbing noise that comes from hours of gaming activities. So what about getting the gamer on your list a set of headphones they won’t mind putting on the next time they get ready to join the ultranationalist crisis in Call of Duty. The Specialist gaming headphones from NOX fit the bill. The ear pads are made of memory foam, the electronics are nothing but the best, and they feature a retractable mic for crystal clear in-game interaction. (You’ll need the Negotiator optical audio adapter so you can use it with the Xbox 360 and PS3.)
$79.99 ($99.99 bundled with the adapter)
VisionRacer VR3 Simulator
Got someone on your list with the need for speed? They’ll never play a racing simulation game the same way again. The VisionRacer VR3 simulator
is a gaming rig that consists of a fiberglass racing seat surrounded by a stainless steel frame. The pedal and gearshift mounts are set up just like those in a race car, so once your screen and gaming console are mounted, you’ll swear you’re in the driver’s seat, transported far beyond your living room walls. Without the danger of speeding tickets.
Rapala Pro Bass Fishing
This year you can give them all the joys of fishing without all the ass-crack early rising, banjo-playing mountain-dwellers, and live bait, with the new Pro Bass Fishing gaming bundle from fishing gear makers Rapala. They’ll get to fish head-to-head against virtual representations of real live fishing pros at some of the top freshwater fishing spots in North America. It’s even set up to run like a live fishing tournament with announcers and everything. (That’s got to be some damn exciting commentary.) The bundle comes complete with a wireless fishing rod controller and is available for Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, PSP, Wii and DS. NASCAR bumper sticker and mullet not included.
$69.99 (bundle with controller)
Golden Tee 2011 Home Edition
So then there’s Golden Tee. What guy on your list hasn’t spent most of his retirement savings on beer and Golden Tee? It’s the “other woman” in a lot of relationships, and to some it’s even better than the real deal. The only problem? It’s in the bar. If only he could keep it at home. If there’s a gamer on your list that’s been really nice this year, they deserve the 2011 Golden Tee Home Edition. Yeah, that’s right. Golden Tee for your home. It’s got a 39-inch high cabinet that connects directly to any HDTV, 30 courses – including the 5 new 2011 courses – fully customizable players, and the ability to play skins. It’s the real deal.
$3,495 (tax and freight extra)
Shaun White Skateboarding
If he can stand on it and slide, Shaun White will ride it better than anyone else. And with Shaun White Skateboarding, you can too. While you shred, grind and Ollie your way through a lifeless city, transforming it into your own skating utopia. Without the skinned knees, broken wrists and concussions it would take for you to reach his level.
Xbox 360 USB Flash Drive
As long as the hard drive on your Xbox 360 is rife with space the world is good. But when that day finally comes and you get that oft dreaded message of “no space available” the panic will set in. This holiday you can give the gift of digital space with the official Xbox 360 USB flash drive from the masters of mass storage at Sandisk. These pint-sized drives, designed to work with the Microsoft Xbox, are available in both 16GB and 8GB capacities. They also come with one month of Xbox Live Gold free.
$69.99 (16GB) $34.99 (8GB)
The Ultimate Gamer’s Chair
How about giving your gamer the gift of comfort this year with what I can only describe as the ultimate gaming chair. The Concert Series Chair from Berkline has got it all – easy to clean fabric upholstery, integrated stereo sound that wirelessly connects to your home theater system, a remote control built into the arm of the chair that doesn’t need batteries, and internal motors that vibrate in sync with the games you’re playing. The only downside to giving this pimped out recliner is that you may never get them out of it again.