I’m excited to bring you my hubby again for a gift guide geared toward the gamers in your life. Once again, thanks to our connection with Ubisoft, we did have complimentary games to try and I’m pumped that John is able to tell you a bit more about them… as well as offer you our extra copy of South Park! Take a read through the gamer post and be sure to enter the giveaway for your chance to win that game for the gamer in your life! Disclosure: Some Amazon affiliate links are included in this post. Now here’s John!
This guide will cover some great ideas for the gamer in your life, including . Some of the items are pretty high cost but are sure to bring a smile to someone’s face.
1. 4k gaming console. For this holiday season, one thing at the top of many nerd/gamers wish lists will be gaming consoles that can output video in ultra HD (4k resolution) with a high dynamic range (HDR). Two of the major console companies sell products that can do this (Sony Playstation Slim and Microscoft Xbox One S). However there is another higher tier of console that can now do more with the games you enjoy. The Playstation 4 Pro and Xbox One X have much more graphical and computing power to render games and movies in native 4K with HDR10 capability. Currently the pinnacle of console gaming, the PS4 Pro and One X can create truly breathtaking experiences and show picturesque vistas that are larger than life. Also if you take your gaming seriously like I do, the standard controller just won’t do. For both the Playstation and Xbox there are high end controllers that also have additional rear buttons for better ergonomics. For the PS4, the Nacon Pro Revolution controller works exceptionally well. For the Xbox, The Xbox Elite controller was designed together with Scuf to make a controller that not only feels comfortable in your hands, but can take your gaming to the next level.
2. Of course having a 4K/HDR console doesn’t do any good if you don’t have games that are designed to take advantage of the greater fidelity. Many development studios have been pushing to release games that can utilize the full potential of these systems. From Ubisoft, Assassin’s Creed: Origins looks stunning and is a bit of a departure from the other Assassin’s Creed games in terms of gameplay. We were gifted a review copy and it’s loads of fun. Another great Ubisoft game is the recently released South Park: The Fractured But Whole (see our previous review here). Other recent AAA titles that are a lot of fun and enhanced with 4K/HDR include Dice’s Star Wars Battlefront 2, Bungie’s Destiny 2, The Coalition’s Gears of War 4, Square Enix’s Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Monolith Production’s Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, among many others. **Major Caveat: You also have to have a display that will do 4K and/or HDR to take full advantage of these games. In many cases they will still be improved on 1080p TVs. I just would not plug these consoles into you 30 year old CRT TV and expect the picture to be better**
3. Maybe you don’t need ultra-high fidelity and the hefty price tag that comes with the PS4 and Xbox but still want to enjoy games with your kids. In that case, the Nintendo Switch has got you covered. As it has been for decades, Nintendo specializes in family-friendly gaming and this holiday is no exception. The Nintendo Switch is an amazing piece of hardware that is made to let you game anywhere in the house (or in the car or the bus or the train…). It seamlessly swaps from your TV to a handheld. My only gripe is that the Joy-Con controllers that can be detached from the main console unit are pretty small for adult-sized hands. I strongly recommend getting a Switch Pro Controller. It is much larger and easier to use for when you are gaming from the couch.
4. Not only has Nintendo hit a home run with its new console, but their games this holiday season are also amazing and several are strong candidates for game of the year, like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Super Mario Odyssey. The Switch also has some great games that are better with friends like Mario Kart 8, Splatoon 2, Mario+Rabbids, and Just Dance. No matter your age, Nintendo has definitely got you covered this holiday season.
5. Maybe you’re feeling nostalgic this holiday and don’t want to spend $300+ on a new video game console. If you have a little bit of coding knowledge and are skilled at Google-Fu, a Raspberry Pi is a fantastic gift. Great for the techy hubby/wife or the kiddo twho wants to learn programming; you can do so many things with the Pi. This thing is basically a computer running on Linux for $35. Everything about the Pi is open source, meaning passionate hobbyists have written thousands upon thousands of lines of code to make this little wonder do anything you want. The community around the Pi also provides endless sources of help. We received a Raspberry Pi 3 last Christmas and within a day (once all the necessary parts arrived) it was loaded up with tons of classic games (while making sure to follow the legal requirements of your state or country).
6. Finally, if your video game nerd is really interested in the industry, a recently published book called Blood, Sweat, and Pixels is a must-have gift. It is written by a games journalist who deep dives into how several big name games were made. Going through all the technical and political machinations of the industry, the author reveals under-appreciated aspects of making your favorite game. It is absolutely a great read for games and non-gamers alike who wonder what goes on behind the scenes.
Now, if you’d like to get your hands on a copy of South Park: The Fractured But Whole (read our South Park FBW review here), you have your chance! Read the directions below and have fun! 🙂 Good luck!