By Jeremy M. Zoss in Features
Friday, December 2, 2011 at 12:00 pm
We gamers tend to love our gear. Maybe because our hobby is so dependent on technology, but whatever the reason, we tend to like our gadgets as much as our games. And below we've got some of our favorite picks for this year's gadgets, gear and other accessory items.
The picks below include small stocking stuffers, big ticket items, and a few other items that are guaranteed to enhance your gaming experience. Enjoy!
A big, comfy beanbag for $200? How can you go wrong? The Sumo Gamer bag is spine-meltingly comfortable, although maybe a bit soft for actual gaming. If you want a firmer beanbag, we wholeheartedly recommend Sumo's smaller, stiffer (and cheaper) Omni bag. But if you want something to lounge around in, you won't find a more comfortable option than the Gamer bag.
PC gamers, this one is for you. The XFX WarPad is a true evolution of the mouse pad. This giant pad clamps onto the side of your desk, giving you more comfort and more playing space. No more quickly lifting your mouse to recenter in a frantic deathmatch - the extra real estate means you shouldn't have to worry about the pad's edge, which can save you precious fractions of a second in your reaction time. And, as PC gamers know, that's all the time it takes to decide the outcome of an online battle.
I thought it was odd to consider this wearable sleeping bag a gaming accessory when I first heard about it. I don't anymore. For most of us in this country, it's getting cold. The Selk'Bag is a great way to stay warm during long gaming sessions without resorting to something like a Snuggie. The arms have slots for your hands so you can hold a controller while keeping the rest of your body warm. Sure, not everyone needs one of these. But if your gaming setup is in a cold room, you really can't find a better solution.
If you want to play Kinect games but your space is too small, the Nyko Zoom is for you. The attachment won't make the Kinect viable in truly cramped spaces, but if your room is just not quite big enough, the Zoom will shave off that last foot or so. It does take a bit of monkeying to get set properly, but once it's calibrated, this $30 device is killer add-on for Kinect.
Want to bring your game console with you while you travel? The G155 Case is the answer. At $300, it's a bit steep, but it works for both PS3 and Xbox and features a 15.5 inch 720p screen, dual headphone jacks and a heavy-duty armored case. For traveling gamers, this is where it's at.
ThinkGeek Star Wars Drink Mixes
Most branded food products are awful, but we're happily sipping Vader's Dark Side Roast as we write this. ThinkGeek's three-pack of Star Wars beverage mixes includes a nice dark coffee, a rich chocolaty cocoa and a lovely green tea. At $30 for the set, we wish the mixes went a little further (you'll only get one full pot out of the Dark Side Roast, for example), but the collectible tins are great and all three beverages honestly taste great. We were especially impressed by the Hoth Cocoa. No matter which beverage you like best, this is a great gift for the Star Wars fan in your life.
Consoles: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Obviously, you can't be a gamer without a console. Microsoft has several bundles available this year depending on what you want. Opt for the solid gamer-centric bundle with Halo: Reach and Fable III for core gaming, or choose the Kinect-centric bundle for more family activities.
For the PlayStation 3, there are several great bundles available. Examples include the Uncharted 3 bundle, the Black Friday bundle with LittleBigPlanet 2 and Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One, the Move bundle and many others. Stay away from the overpriced older bundles on Amazon, such as the Metal Gear Solid 4 bundle - they're for collectors, and they're priced as such.
What, no Nintendo recommendation? Not this year. With the Wii U around the corner, it's a lousy time to buy a Wii if you haven't already, even if there are some great games. As for the 3DS, while nothing is confirmed, all signs point to a new version sooner rather than later. Skip the Nintendo hardware this year.
Read our full review of the monitor in the header image right here.