It’s that time of the year again: we’re into December, you’re running out of time, and gamers are weirdly difficult to buy gifts for. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the best gaming-specific gifts for people who aren’t necessarily hardcore gamers for your shopping pleasure.
This is a cruel and unusual inclusion, but any conversation about couch gaming can’t avoid the NES Classic Edition. Nintendo’s $60 throwback console includes the 30 most popular Nintendo games of all time, it’s simple and easy to set up, and it can be a gift for the “kids” that ends up with a lot of “parent-kid bonding time.”
Unfortunately, it’s also out of stock absolutely everywhere. You can pick one up for around $200 on eBay if you’re desperate, or keep your eyes on Amazon this week.
NES Classic Edition Wireless Adapter
The only big problem with the Classic, other than its complete lack of availability, are the stupidly short wires on the controller. You can solve that problem with a wireless controller, which sells in a kit for $40. It’s worth mentioning that the controller is made by a third party, not Nintendo, so long-term compatability isn’t guaranteed.
Speaking of wireless controllers, here’s something perfect for PC gamers who play on their TV. I’ve always been a fan of having a small PC plugged into my TV to stream movies or play games, but controllers are a hassle. For all their benefits, a keyboard and mouse really suck when you’re sitting back on a couch.
That’s what legendary gaming PC company Razer has tried to solve with the Turret, a wireless keyboard and mouse combo that has an integrated mouse pad on the right of the keyboard. It connects using Bluetooth or a wireless dongle, and it lets you play games with close to the same accuracy as a proper gaming keyboard.
The attention to detail justifies the slightly scary pricetag, with a good-looking docking station and magnets in the mouse to help keep it on your lap. It’s not quite perfect — I’d love to see a slightly bigger mousepad that detaches to let you use it at a desk — but it’s definitely the best thing for PC gamers who also like to sink deep into the warm embrace of their couch.
Razer Man O’War
While we’re on the topic of Razer, their latest gaming headset is also well designed for living-room use. In a field of gaming headsets that seem to be trying to out-aggressive each other, the reasonably understated headset with a hidden mic is a good option if you don’t like screaming “I PLAY VIDEO GAMES” across your house. Sound quality is exactly as good as you’d expect when you’re spending that much on headphones.
Playstation Hori Tac Pro
If the lazy gamer in your life is still tied to a console, they’re probably missing out on the benefits of a real keyboard-and-mouse controller setup. Earlier this year, Playstation came out with an official mouse and keypad that lets you take the superior dexterity of PC controls to your PS4. Sadly, you’ll have to deal with wires, but that’s a small price to pay for controls that actually work.
Portal Companion Cube
For the significant gaming other that longs for the feel of a companion that doesn’t run away when you boot up, here’s a snuggly Companion Cube from Portal. I could write another 100 words on the convenient, button-shaped hole this would fill in their hearts, but the steel grey texture and slightly menacing heart tell the story much better.