With the Holiday shopping season fast approaching, a handful of the writers have come together to bring you this Holiday gift list! We’ve decided that limiting the list to just games would be a tragedy, so we’ve branched out into many areas of gaming and nerd culture. There’s something here for everyone, whether you’ve only got a few dollars to spend, or a small fortune. Each category features a handful of items, listed from least to most expensive. All prices subject to change.
FOR THE 360 OWNER:
- Rechargeable Battery Packs
If you’re still using AA batteries to power your wireless controllers, then you need to wise up and invest in some new rechargeable battery packs. If you’ve already got a cable, then the packs themselves can be had for less than $15 in both black and white. You can also pick up a Quick Charge Kit from Microsoft for a little more. Our managing editor Scott diMonda points out that you can’t go wrong with an extra battery pack. He’s usually always right.
- Halo RC Vehicles
Everybody knows that radio controlled helicopters are cool; but why settle for those crappy foam ones that they sell at the mall when you could have an RC Hornet from the Halo franchise? Of course, if you’d prefer to keep things on the ground, you can always opt instead for the RC Warthog or Mongoose.
- Modern Warfare 2
This mind-blowing first person shooter has skyrocketed to the top of the sales charts for good reason. A fun campaign, awesome co-op mode, and die-hard multiplayer component make this an all-around winner for any gamer. Also available for the PS3.
- Tritton AX 180 Headset
For those looking for stereo gaming headphones at an affordable price, look no further than Tritton’s AX 180. We reviewed this headset earlier this month, and were so impressed with the quality and affordability that we decided it deserved a place on or list. Available exclusively at Best Buy; also compatible with the PS3, Wii, PC, and Mac.
- Wireless N Adapter
Before last month, Microsoft didn’t offer a solution for adapting an Xbox 360 to Wireless N connections. However, that has finally changed… so if you don’t like having to jam CAT-5 cables under your baseboards just to connect your 360 to an Internet connection, then the Wireless N Adapter is for you. A, B, G, and N protocols are now all supported in this dual-antenna device, so cut the cords, fork over the cash, and go wireless.
FOR THE PS3 OWNER
- Real Triggers
P*N writer Vincent Lynch brought these to my attention, and for good reason. Not long after the PS3 released, the good people at Gioteck realized that the Sixaxis and Dualshock controllers had a bit of a problem: the triggers sucked. The Gioteck Real Triggers rectify this issue by securely snapping onto the L2 and R2 buttons, giving you and actual concave trigger surface that reduces slippage and improves ergonomics. The best part is the price; this is one gaming accessory that anyone can afford.
- Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut Blu-Ray
The PS3 is well known as a gaming console, but for many it’s also the high-def media player of choice for Blu-ray movies. There have been a ton of great nerd films that have released over the last year, but perhaps the most infamous is Watchmen. The “ultimate cut” of the film (complete with Tales of the Black Freighter) has just released on the format, and for a short time it can be found for as low as
- The God of War Collection
This one comes to us courtesy of writer Rane Pollock. For those who missed out on the PS2 bandwagon, the God of War Collection takes the award-winning PS2 games God of War and God of War 2, upscales them to high-def, and throws in a download code for the God of War 3 demo for good measure. Oh, and the price tag doesn’t hurt either:
- Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Nathan Hardisty, Rane Pollock and I all agree on this one. Hands-down the best PS3 exclusive of the year, Uncharted 2 puts players back into the shoes of snarky adventurer Nathan Drake as he searches the globe for the lost city of Shambhala. Mind-blowing graphics and an interesting story combine with fast-paced gunplay and challenging puzzles to make Uncharted 2 a must-own for any PS3 owner. According to Nathan, you should pick this up even if you don’t have a PS3: “Just stare at the box in jealousy.”
- Logitech Harmony Remote and PS3 Adapter
If you’re a true gamer, then chances are that you have an HD TV, a surround sound receiver, a game console, and a digital cable/satellite box. If keeping up with 4-5 remotes isn’t exactly your thing, consider the Logitech Harmony 510, a programmable universal remote that can do anything with the touch of a single button. For the longest time, the Harmony was incompatible with the PlayStation 3… but not anymore! Logitech now sells a converter box that will transform the infrared signals from your remote to Bluetooth signals that the PS3 can read.
FOR THE WII OWNER:
- Wii Motion Plus
This $20 add-on promises to deliver more precise control to the Wii remote by allowing for 1 to 1 motion tracking. While only a handful of games support Wii Motion Plus right now, Nintendo is sure to shove out at least a few more titles before abandoning the technology.
- Nyko Charge Base IC
This technological marvel from Nyko uses induction to charge your Wii remotes. What does that mean exactly? It means that you don’t have to take off your silicone controller sleeves or Wii Motion plus attachments to juice up your controllers. If this weren’t cool enough, the damn thing looks incredible as well.
- New Super Mario Brothers Wii
If you don’t know who Mario is, then you’ve been living under a rock since 1981. Mario’s latest and greatest adventure is New Super Mario Brothers, a Wii exclusive that has old-school fanboys across the world begging for more. Four player co-op makes this 2D platformer a fun choice for the whole family. Staff writer Bobby Gonzalez feels that this title is just hard enough for a seasoned player, but still easy enough to draw in the casual crowd.
- Wii Fit Plus
For many, Wii Fit was the must-have game/peripheral of the Holiday 2008 season. Now, Nintendo has released Wii Fit Plus, an enhanced version of the original that adds new game modes to help you get into shape while still playing video games. IF you’re still a little skeptical about this title, consider this: it’s ranked #1 on Amazon.com in the video game sales category.
- An Xbox 360
If you think the Wii is great, you should see how awesome an actual high-def console is! And hey, the Xbox isn’t too different from the Wii. Both have avatars… but on the 360 you can actually change the color of pants that it wears! Oh, and you know how much you love using motion control with that Wii remote? Well, in less than a year, Project Natal will be out and you’ll be able to control the 360 with just your body! While there are a number of 360 configurations to choose from, I recommend the $299.99 Elite model, which comes with a 120 GB hard drive and two games.
FOR THE ALL-AROUND GEEK:
- “It Came Out of Nowhere” T-Shirt
When you bend the rules of time and space, weird things begin to happen. Unusual objects pop out of nowhere, and awkward situations can quickly arise. This amazing T-shirt from Woot demonstrates one such phenomenon: the real question is which one came first, the TARDIS or the DeLorean.
- Signed Print From XKCD.com
Randall Munroe isn’t a household name… unless you’re a geek. XKCD is one of the web’s most popular internet comics, and Randall is the man behind it all. The simple animations, witty dialogue, and diverse range of nerdy topics make XKCD one of the only self –sufficient comic strips on the web. The XKCD web store is full of funny and unique gifts, but for a mere $15, you can purchase a print of one of the strips signed by Randall himself. Might I recommend #231, titled “Cat Proximity.”
- NERF N-Strike Vulcan
Everybody loves NERF guns, whether they’re preteen children or nursing home patients. While most NERF guns require you to pump a piston to fire a single round, the N-Strike Vulcan uses a battery operated mechanism to fire 25 belt-fed rounds at up to three darts per second! Your pets will cower in fear when this foam-firing machine gun comes out to play.
- Slingbox Pro-HD
P*N Writer Patrick Talbert brings this addition to the list. The Slingbox is a digital device that will stream live television to you anytime, anywhere. The Pro-HD model allows for connection of up to three home theater devices, which can then be streamed via an internet connection to your laptop, Mac, or cell phone in 1080i high-def resolution. Very cool indeed.
- Movie Props
Nerds love movie props, plain and simple. More often than not, we shell out big bucks for licensed, nonfunctional metal or epoxy replicas of something actually used in a film. So why settle for a copy when you can have the real thing? The Prop Store of London sells a number of original movie props from films such as Serenity, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones. Prices can range from just a few dollars to well over $30,000.