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7 Tips For Being The Best At Giving The Gift Of Gaming

by Mike Futter on Dec 17, 2014 at 05:37 AM

It’s the holiday season, and you may be considering giving someone a gaming gift in the coming days. While we have no doubt a new console and the games to go with it will be big hits, there are some things you can do to make those presents even better.

If you’re giving a gaming console, unbox it early and download the most recent updates.
Updating game consoles right out of the box is a bummer on a normal days. During the holidays, it may very well be a sisyphean task. 

Christmas 2013 and the following days saw major outages across a number of online gaming services. Do your gamer a favor and get those patches downloaded before the holiday unwrapping rush. Yes, this goes for Vita, Nintendo 3DS, and 2DS systems, too.

Whether you put them back in the box after or present them in another way is up to you. And if you don't want to go through these steps in advance, at least get an HDMI cable and make sure you're ready to connect the console to an open port on your television.

Make sure you are buying games for the correct system.
For regular game purchasers, this is a no brainer. For those that aren’t as fluent, you’re going to want to be careful.

Right now, it’s easy to get confused between Xbox One and Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, and Wii U and Wii. Be very clear with the clerks and look for the system name at the top of the box.

Make sure you are buying the correct game.
Bear with us, because we know this seems obvious. Recently, a number of publishers have started annualizing their game franchises.

This year, there were two un-numbered Assassin's Creed games (Rogue for Xbox 360 and PS3, Unity for Xbox One, PS4, and PC), a new Call of Duty title (Advanced Warfare), and another Skylanders game (Trap Team). Additionally, it's important to know that sports titles name themselves with the coming year (NBA 2K15, Madden NFL 15, FIFA 15, etc.). Finally, if your loved one wants an Alien game this holiday, he or she is probably looking for Alien: Isolation (steer clear of Alien: Colonial Marines).   

Buy an extra controller.
If you haven’t purchased a system since the NES days, you might think that consoles still come with two controllers. That’s not the case anymore.

Whether its to ensure that both of your little ones can join in the fun or to simply swap between playing and charging, and extra controller can go a long way. Again, make sure you’re buying one for the correct system. There are differences, but if you aren’t familiar with the devices, be extra careful.

Get a long USB cable for playing while charging.
Even with a second controller, you might need to charge and play at the same time. Be sure you get an extra long USB cable to keep the juice flowing.

For Xbox One (which also has a AA battery option) and PlayStation 4, you’ll need a micro-USB cable. The Wii U gamepad and Pro Controller use mini-USB.

You can also take the time to charge the packed-in controller and any others you purchase. Let your gamer hit the ground running.

Install the games and download the patches.
While it’s great to receive a game wrapped up and pristine, that will likely mean your gift recipient won’t be able to play right away. Most games have at least one update, and some require multiple patches in order to improve performance.

We mentioned that online systems had trouble last year during the holidays. If that repeats in 2014, those games might not be at their best for quite a while. 

Just make sure that your recipient really wants that title and that there are no duplicate gifts coming. It’s exceedingly difficult to return opened software.

Have batteries on-hand.
If you are purchasing a Wii U, know that the system also supports all of the peripherals for the Wii. This includes Wii remotes that take AA batteries.

The age old holiday tip of having batteries in the house holds true in 2014. Rechargeable batteries work great, too.


[Image: Gaderinge]