Five Last-Second Gifts For Your Gamer Friends
Finding the perfect gift for a gamer friend can be difficult, especially if they stay on top of their games and play just about everything. With the holidays fast approaching, and few shopping days remaining between now and most gift-giving parties, I compiled a list of gifts that will always hold great value to a gamer, or will likely be viewed as a cool addition to their collectibles. Yes, you may luck out with a game you purchase on a whim, but these items are mostly guarantees that won't be returned.
System-based gift cards aren't the most personal items you can buy, but they hold incredible value to gamers, and I've often found they are used on the day they are gifted to purchase a new game through PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, Steam, or Nintendo eShop. Most game stores are fully stocked with points cards that can be purchased for $20, $50, or $100.
Xbox Live & PlayStation Plus Memberships
If you know for certain that your friend owns a PlayStation or Xbox console, you can't go wrong with a year subscription for PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live. Again, both of these cards can be found in most stores for around $50.
If you don't want to spend a lot of money and are looking to gift your friend with something smaller, there are a variety of smaller video game collectibles on the market. Blind-box action figures for Fallout, Assassin's Creed, Five Nights at Freddy's, and Blizzard software were recently released, and they make excellent gifts. Most of these collectibles retail for between $4 and $8, and they're fun gifts to open, as you don't know which characters are in the boxes.
This gift will take a little investigative work on your part, but if you know for certain that your friend is using the default storage offered for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or Wii U, a giant two- to five-terabyte hard drive makes a great gift. While most external hard drives are compatible with Wii U and Xbox One, do your research before purchasing one. PlayStation 4 brings additional troubles as you'll want to track down specific models that must be installed into the console. Thankfully, our own Jeff Marchiafava created a handy guide that walks you through the options and process.
Rechargeable Batteries Or New Controller
If your friend is gaming on Xbox One, there's a good chance they don't have a controller with built-in rechargeable batteries. A good gift for this person is Microsoft's official rechargeable batteries kit ($20), or a docking station with rechargeable batteries. If your friend has been playing PlayStation 4 since launch, the rubber on the analog sticks may be wearing thin. A new controller could be just what they need, and Sony is offering them in a variety of colors. Think of your friend and pick the design that best fits him or her.
Bonus Gift Idea: The Minecraft Fan
Stores are overflowing with cool Minecraft collectibles and toys, but one item in particular stands above them all: Lego's 8 in 1 Crafting Box. Retailing for $60, this set allows Minecraft fans to build their own worlds with pieces modeled after the items from the game.
For even more gift ideas for gamers, check out Game Informer's Holiday Buying Guide for 2015.