Almost everyone has a gamer on their list this holiday season, and there is no short supply of great games that you can get for them, but sometimes you want something a little more thoughtful (or useful) than a game. Luckily there are dozens of terrific devices out there designed to fit the needs of any particular gamer, regardless of system.
After a few days of voting (and arguing), a group of the editors have listed a few off the best options from the categories below, so you can start shopping for the gamer in your life.
Headsets: Steelseries Siberia Elite Gaming Headset $199 (available at amazon.com)
We named the Steelseries Siberia Elite the best headset of 2013, and it comes back to our gift-guide because of a few standout features. We recommend the headset as a gift because of its versatility first and foremost; it works with PC, Mac, tablets and phones thanks to swappable connector-cables and inputs, and it’s easily one of the most comfortable and high-performance headsets you can buy.
If you are looking for a PS3 or Xbox 360 headset, we really liked the Ear Force PX5 by Turtle Beach. The wireless option comes in at $229 at amazon.com.
Keyboards: Razer DeathStalker $59 (available at amazon.com)
The Deathstalker from Razer is part of the company’s ‘SMART’ keyboard line, and again we chose it because it works with both PC and Mac and has a terrific price-point of under $100 for the holidays. Razer makes some of the best equipment that you can find, and we have always enjoyed their products in the past. If you are looking for something a little more high-end, we also enjoyed the Razer DeathStalker Ultimate, coming at $249 that just has some amazing features overall but for a higher price.
Monitors: Dell UltraSharp 24 Monitor: U2414H, or the Dell UltraSharp 27 Monitor: U2713HM
Monitors really depend on the size you want, so if you want to start big then we suggest this 27″ monitor from Dell. With a 2560×1440 WQHD resolution (3.6 million pixels) the monitor also features a 27″ LED-backlit display. The U2713HM monitor features more than 99-percent sRGB color space for impressive color from the moment you set it up with a viewing angle of 178°/178°. It has an MSRP of $799 (Currently on sale for $584 at amazon)
On the smaller (and far less expansive) the 24″ model offers full HD resolution with more than 96% sRGB color space with a range of 16.77 million colors. The monitor also features one of the thinnest borders you can find on a monitor, making it an ideal monitor to offer multiple displays side-by-side, at $349 MSRP (currently on sale for $309) it’s also possible to afford multiple monitors to do so down the road.
Gaming Mouse: Steelseries Sensei $75 (now $48 at amazon) or Razer Adder $69 (now $52 at amazon)
This came down to a tie amongst the editors, and naturally it came down between two of the best brands in the industry. Both brands offer PC-Mac compatibility, with the mouse itself and the software engine used to customize it. Each mouse offers a ton of customizable options, laser precision and the software engines that run the peripherals are the best in the industry. The frost-blue sensei is shown on the right.
Even the price makes it too close to call, with the Sensei at $75 MSRP and the Adder at $69 MSRP, it’s a win either way you choose to go.
Console: Sony PS4 ($399 at amazon, Xbox One $499 at amazon)
With the console race in full sprint for the holidays, it’s best to pick one they are asking for, and not just surprise them with your choice of console. With that said you may be finding it hard to find the console that you they are wishing for this holiday season.
We will help you as best we can. Since the launch of the PS4 and the Xbox One they have been available online at several places, but only for a short periods of time. The Xbox One has consistently been available at Amazon almost every other day (for a few hours) in the standard version of the console bundle. It was even available as I wrote this article.
The PS4 has proven to be harder to find. Best Buy and Amazon both have offered the console 3x since the launch, Amazon even offering a Kindle Fire HDX bundle tied to the PS4 console bundle. Though Amazon has a few available through third-party sellers, it’s not advised to pay the extra money just for the console.
You can add yourself to be alerted via Amazon when more are available, but we also suggest just buying an Amazon gift card in the amount of the bundle to give on Xmas morning, as more will most likely be available later that day, or most likely the end of the week.
Credit, Gift Cards, Online Services: PSN+, Xbox Live, STEAM
So you went through our list and you couldn’t find one thing that you know your gamer would love, we understand it can be hard. In a last ditch effort there are still a few gifts that will be perfect for them, and that’s credit at major online-stores.
For the PS3, PS4, PS VITA player, you can buy PS+ subscriptions. This is perfect since the store constantly offers free games, DLC and other goodies for its members. If they are a PS4 player than they will need PS+ subscription to play online anyway, so you will be doing them a huge favor.
The same can be said for Xbox Live Gold Subscriptions, which is the same idea but for players of the Xbox One or Xbox 360. If they don’t play games on either of those console, and play on a PC or Mac, then the STEAM store is probably the best place to go. Valve’s online distribution is the epicenter of all PC gaming and credit at this store will allow them to buy the game of their choosing in just moments.