Nine gifts for the casual gamer
Not all gamers are, you know, gamers.
You’re a casual gamer. Does that mean you’re any less entitled to get hyped about Halo 6 than your neighbor who plays World of Warcraft like it’s his job? Heck no. Casual gamers can pine after a console releases with the same fervor as BlizzCon attendees, and they certainly wear Zelda T-shirts. Below, a gift guide for you and your chill, video game-liking friends.
This console was made for the masses—and in fact Nintendo has sold some 10 million of them in nine months. Its versatility makes it an easy choice for your best friends. They can use it on the road (like an over-sized Nintendo DS) or at home to play party-pleasers like Just Dance 2019 and Super Mario Odyssey. In fact, there are over 200 games ranging from gloriously time-sucking puzzles to the beautiful new Zelda. $299.
The SCUF Vantage wireless PS4 controller is an officially licensed controller that’s more comfortable and customizable than whatever boring sticks your opponents will be using.
You can fine-tune the tension of the trigger system for a quicker response time for more or less resistance depending on whether or not you’ve been doing your finger workouts. All the buttons are customizable, including the removable paddle switches on the back and “SAX” buttons on the sides. Say you hate reaching for the triangle button. You can now remap that button to the back or sides for quicker, more ergonomic experience.
The SCUF Vantage also features a one touch audio bar at the bottom that allows you to mute the microphone or change volume during gameplay. The controller has a gripped texture on the back to help you hold on even if you’re the kind of gamer that sweats during long sessions. You can change the faceplate, add extended trigger lengths, change out the D-pad and thumb sticks, and even remove vibration modules from within the controller. Other noteworthy features include a built-in speaker, 3.5mm audio input, and anti-friction rings that help the thumbtacks glide during playing. It comes with a carrying case and a 10-foot cable, so you can product your precious, rad controller. $170+.
Humble Bundle is like Trunk Club for video games, but with a choose-your-own adventure twist. Opt for the original weekly bundle, and your friends can select the games they’d like (or gift the ones they don’t). If you go monthly, each bundle features little surprises to spice up your giftee’s gaming repertoire, like an early unlock code to access upcoming titles before anyone else. The rest of the box is a complete mystery. ooooo. They even have a bundle for smartphones. Regardless of the bundle you choose, Humble Bundle donates a majority of their proceeds to a variety of charities and have raised over $100 million since 2010. If you go with the monthly bundle, your pal is essentially getting $160 worth of games for $12, which is bonkers. $12.
A shining 8-bit unicorn that appears in the night and disappears at first light. Owning a NES or SNES Classic is a nostalgic pipe dream. But that doesn’t mean it’s not one worth pursuing. $60.
Power up your gameplay, workouts, or street style with these wireless, over-the-ear Cloud Flight gaming headphones from HyperX. The Bluetooth headphones are designed to work wirelessly with PC, PS4, and PS4 Pro, come with a 3.5mm wire to plug into any other gaming console or phone, and comes with a detachable microphone with noise-cancellation. They also feature 30 hours of battery life and have comfortable, rotating ear cushions with have audio controls and decorative LEDs. Ready. Set. Go! $159.
If power is what you desire, you must be willing to travel to the ends of the Earth to find it. Or, in this case, ThinkGeek.com. Luckily, this nearly 7,000mAh Warcraft Horde Power Bank—with two USB 2.0 ports—has the power capacity of nearly four iPhone8s. As a bonus, the Horde symbol on the outside lights up while charging. $25.
Here’s to Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde, the misunderstood antagonists of Pac-Man. These micro-USB-powered Ghost Lamps are light and sound reactive and have two different modes. Turn it on, and the lamp sinks between 16 different colors. In “Party” mode, your favorite tunes dictate how and when the colors change. $29.
Video game soundtracks bring gamers back simpler times, when all life required was a joystick or controller and a free Saturday afternoon. The Namco Museum greatest hits vinyl is a great addition to any gamer’s collection. $20.
The Steam Link and Steam Controller work together to give your friend that big-screen experience for PC games. Steam Link is the brains of the operation, and it allows the user to port their entire library of PC games (bought on Steam) over to the TV. There’s a Steam Controller, too. Steam Controller, $95. Steam Link, $57..
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