Pew-pew-pew. Pew-pew-pew... that's the gamer's version of "Jingle Bells." From old-school arcading to the best in bundles, we've all your shoot-'em-up cyber-style needs covered.
PS Vita Bundles, starting at $249
Sony’s latest portable packs one helluva wallop, pumping out incredible graphics and tons of extra functionality for a dual touchscreen mobile gaming console. This holiday brings out the bundles, so you can get a Vita paired with some of the best games out there. Our picks? Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed III, which touts the limited-edition and freaking gorgeous Crystal White Vita, because you’re a unique snowflake and everyone should know it.
[pagebreak]Nintendo Wii U, starting at $299
Nintendo’s new console gives you an option no matter how you like to play. Good ol’ WiiMotes can still be used, but proper gamepads and the new touchscreen controller make this a console for gamers of any age, not just children. Nintendo has wisely targeted the hardcore audience and signed up Activision, Ubisoft, and Warner Bros to deliver killer titles like Black Ops 2, Assassin’s Creed III, and Arkham City for the fledgling rig. Add in DVR functionality and improved online play, and it’s easy to justify taking the step into the next Nintendo generation.
[pagebreak]Halo 4 XBOX 360 Bundle, $349.99
Take the most badass Xbox 360 available, outfit it to look like ancient alien tech, toss in the biggest Xbox game of the year, and include two matching controllers for good measure. Congratulations, you just joined the rest of us in 2012 and you did it in one fell swoop. And if you’re actually buying this for a gamer you love, double congratulations - you’re a gift-giving champion.
[pagebreak]Razer Naga Gaming Mouse, $79.99
Razer understands PC gamers and knows that a PC gamer’s mouse is as important as a soldier’s sidearm (not in the overall scheme of things, but, you know, on a personal level). So they weren’t messing around when they crafted the Naga mouse. Heavy-duty wiring, and uber-customizable buttons and layout make this an essential piece of hardware for any PC gamer.
[pagebreak]Gaming T-Shirts, starting at $19.99
Gamer pride is usually pretty strong, but outside of your handle or gamertag or avatar or whatever, it’s hard to show that pride in an everyday setting. No more! Thinkgeek’s got a huge line of gamer apparel that subtly (or not so subtly, if you’re unashamed of your hobby) conveys your affinity for a certain game to other gamers, who will then nod slightly and affirm your life choices. Or shout a string of poorly-spelled obscenities at you, if our experience of online gaming is anything to go by.
[pagebreak]iCade Mobile Gaming System For iPhone, $16.99
Let’s be honest, touchscreens just don’t satisfy the thumbs like buttons do. Sure, your iPhone makes a great gaming device, but once you’ve exhausted your patience with Angry Birds, the only way you can relieve that pent-up anger is a button-mashing session. Enter the iCade Mobile system: Slap your iPhone into this accessory and get to pressing. You can feel the anger melt away immediately. WE SAID IMMEDIATELY, DAMN IT!
[pagebreak]Playseat A1GP Gaming Seat + Logitech Driving Force GT Steering Wheel, $488
Gaming chairs are kind of lame and, like your still-in-the-box Star Wars figures, require too much explanation when you’re bringing a date back to your place. But driving seats? Driving seats make you a fan of speed and power, and that’s sexy (to other gamers, at least. They’re still completely repellent to women). And if there just happens to be a top of the line Logitech Gaming Wheel attached to it, well, at least that makes it all worthwhile.
[pagebreak]60 Beats iPad Game Controller, $34.99
Taking the quality control scheme of a PS3 and mashing it into an external controller for your iPad isn’t a good idea...it’s a great idea. Boasting a huge list of compatible iOS games, the 60 Beats Controller is a huge leap forward in turning your iPad into a full-fledged console. Pair it with an AppleTV and you’ll never find yourself waiting for a PS3 update ever again.
[pagebreak]Dreamcade Vision 32, $2,599
Has a gamer saved your life? Pulled you out of a burning car or given you mouth to mouth (that you actually needed)? Here’s how you repay them. There’s not a gamer on Earth who doesn’t dream of having a full upright cabinet at their home that doesn't need quarters and never has a line. That’s called gamer heaven, and you could be its St. Peter.
[pagebreak]Roll of Quarters, $10
Arcades might be shutting down across the country, but they’ll never take Street Fighter out of your local pizza place or Galaga out of your favorite dive bar. Sure, it’s sort of a dick move to give somebody a roll of quarters, but sometimes you’re in a pinch and dressing it up the right way can put a smile on the face of any retro gamer. Get creative, cheapskate.
More of the 2012 Maxim Holiday Gift Guide