November 9, 2017
When video games came to popularity, it really only appealed to a certain demographic. Today, everyone from your grandma to your nephew, who can’t even talk yet, plays some type of game, and for that it makes it one of the hottest markets around. As such, there is a game, console, or connected activity for everyone in your life, and that is exactly why we’re kicking off our annual holiday gift series with them.
Over the past few months we’ve scoured the web and critical reviews, accepted a few under the table beer donations, and eventually just did a search on Amazon for what gaming tech, games, and accessories are selling the best. Think we missed something on the list? Leave a comment and we’ll add it in, maybe.
Items with [TechCo Approved] means they have received our seal of approval after use or a review.
Best Video Game Consoles for 2017
Have a gamer in your life? Check out the latest systems they are sure to want:
XBOX One X – $500
The Xbox One X not only just hit the market, but is now the most powerful system from Microsoft (besides PCs). It’s in equivalence a mid-range gaming PC, neatly packaged in an Xbox casing. If you already have the Xbox One S, this won’t be a crazy upgrade, but it will do a number when compared to the original Xbox One. Think better processing, improve graphic support, and a larger price tag.
Nintendo Switch – $300 [TechCo Approved]
While the Wii U was a bit of a hot mess, Nintendo totally redeemed itself with the Nintendo Switch. One part portable game system, two parts traditional plug into your TV system, the Switch pushes out great graphics, a decent battery life, and a very reasonable price tag. The game lineup is still a bit short; however, large game brands are starting to port even their most violent games over, which is a huge shift compared to past systems. Anytime I travel I now take the Switch instead of the iPad.
PS4 PRO – $400 [TechCo Approved]
Much like the Xbox One X, the PS4 Pro is a suped up version of the PS4. Basically the only differences here are in performance that is designed to better support PS VR, and advanced graphic support. If you have a 4K TV, you’ll want the Pro version.
2DS XL – $150 [TechCo Approved]
When Nintendo first released the Nintendo 3DS, it quickly took over in place of the Wii U’s faults. However, not everyone was a big fan of the 3D technology, and as a result Nintendo released a more simple 2D version that works with the same games. If you love Pokemon, this is probably the route to go, but there are plenty of other awesome games on the system, too.
There is no doubt you heard about or were involved with the fiasco tied to the NES Classic and terrible inventory numbers. Well, the SNES Classic did the same thing, and now you’d not only be lucky to even find one of these systems, you’re going to get gouged by third-party sellers.
Playstation VR is listed in our VR guide
Best Video Games of 2017
Once you have the console, you are going to need games. Not sure which game to purchase along with the system? Here are the top games (in no particular order) available now or that will be out before Black Friday. Looking for more game gift ideas? Check the top rated games on Metacritic:
- Call of Duty: WWII (Xbox, PS4, PC)
- Assassin’s Creed Origins (Xbox, PS4, PC)
- Destiny 2 (Xbox, PS4, PC)
- Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (Xbox, PC)
- Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (Xbox, PS4, PC, Switch)
- Madden 18 (Xbox, PS4)
- FIFA 18 (PS4, Xbox, All systems)
- NBA 2K18 (Xbox, PS4, All systems)
- South Park: The Fractured but Whole (Xbox, PS4, PC)
- Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War (Xbox, PS4, PC)
- Super Mario Odyssey [TechCo Approved] (Switch)
- Splatoon 2 (Switch)
- Cuphead (Xbox, PC)
- Hitman GOTY (Xbox, PS4, PC)
- Rocket League [TechCo Approved] (PS4, Xbox, All Systems)
- Overwatch [TechCo Approved] (Xbox, PS4, PC)
Honorable Mention: Zelda breath of the wild (It’s been out a while)
Best Video Game Accessories of 2017
Sure, you can buy a console or download a PC game, but if you’re competitive accessories can make a huge difference. For PC gamers, a wired mouse and customizable keyboard will go a long way. For console players, they mostly just need more power.
Nintendo Switch Pro Controller – $70 [TechCo Approved]
It’s time to ditch the joy-cons and work with a real controller. The Switch Pro controller features motion controls, HD rumble, built-in Amiibo functionality, and isn’t designed for Trump sized hands.
Tetra Power Tower for Nintendo Switch – $25 [TechCo Approved]
Although the Nintendo is a wonderfully designed system, adding on accessories isn’t exactly intuitive. Want to include other players? You need extra joy-cons. However, there is no way to charge them on the system. With the Tetra Power tower you can easily charge four joy-cons at once. Looking to save even more? Nyko has their own version for $20, and it works great.
Nyko Boost Pak for Switch – $30 [TechCo Approved]
A standard full charge on the Nintendo Switch will get you around three hours of game time depending on brightness and if it’s sucking down wifi. If you’re traveling, that’s a good chunk of time, but you won’t want to stray too far from a power source. However, with the Nyko Boost Pak you can squeeze an extra hour of gameplay out of the system, and it only adds a simple, light-weight bar to the bottom of the system.
Bionik Hyper Kit for Xbox One – $25 [TechCo Approved]
Longer play times, faster charing, and a longer cord. That’s what you get with the Bionik Hyper Kit for the Xbox One X. It also includes a magnetic coupling point, making it more durable and likely to survive the wrath of your kids.
From our mini expert: The Bionik Hyper Kit has the feeling of being heavy duty. The battery pack was a little hard to fit in, but has been used frequently over the last couple of days and hasn’t really lost any battery life. The charging cable is plenty long, and the magnetic connector is luxurious. Overall it’s a good product.
Who needs knockoff brands when Amazon has their own version! The AmazonBasics dual charging station allows you to both organize your Xbox One controllers and charge two at once.
Bionik QuickShot Controller Mod for Xbox One – $20 [TechCo Approved]
Sure, the most competitive gamers are playing on PC, but the Xbox One controller is often the weapon of choice. With the Bionik QuickShot controller mod you’ll get dual setting trigger locks that allow for faster shooting and improved accuracy.
Just like the dual charging setup for Xbox One, but prettier.
Mantis Headphones for PS VR – $50 [TechCo Approved]
Not a fan of the included, wired earbuds for the Playstation VR system? Yeah, we’re not either. Bionik improves on that wired mess with attachable headphones that go right on the visor.
Yes, there are still people playing Pokemon Go, fortunately they are no longer aimlessly wandering around through your backyard. For those who are still playing, the Pokemon Go Plus band will be a great, affordable gift to help them up their game.
HyperX Cloud Alpha Gaming Headset – $99.99 [TechCo Approved]
The newest addition to the HyperX line of Cloud Headsets and the first-ever gaming headset featuring dual chamber technology. Cloud Alpha delivers incredible audio distinction and clarity designed to enhance the PC, console and mobile gaming experience. It also works well with console systems as well.
HyperX Pulsefire FPS Gaming Mouse – $47 [TechCo Approved]
This FPS mouse delivers pinpoint accuracy that fits any play style, and an ergonomic, lightweight design that allows gamers to play longer and more comfortably.
One of the more popular gaming mice, the Razer DeathAdder features the standard mouse design with a few added bells and whistles. With a 10,000dpi optical sensor, it’s able to capture even the smallest of movements, which is perfect for high intensity FPS games. Being part of the Chroma line it of course gives you a solid light show with a full spectrum to choose from.
More than just custom colors and an advance, shiftable DPI, this mouse is a mishmosh of customization. It includes 11 programmable buttons with an adjustable scroll wheel.
HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard – $94 [TechCo Approved]
Designed for pro-level gaming, Alloy FPS offers a compact form factor that wastes no desktop area. Dash behind enemy lines, snipe down carries, and finish attack combos at lightning speeds before opponents can react thanks to extra mouse space and accurate CherryMX switches.
The Razer Ornata features a Mecha-Membrane which gives a soft touch, but the clickity clack of a mechanical keyboard. It also has custom, shorter keys for faster reaction time, built-in anti-ghosting tech, in-game effects, and of course custom backlit colors.
Not a fan of mechanical keyboards? The Corsair offers both custom keys perfect for gaming, multi-key anti-ghosting, RGB lighting effects behind the keys, and easy access to multimedia controls.
Side scrollers are back, and emulators never left. With the iBuffalo Classic USB gamepad you can bring back some of that sweet nostalgia without having to track down an SNES Classic.
Stay tuned for the rest of our guide throughout November. We’ll be covering holiday guides for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, the DIYer, cannabis, entrepreneur, and various others.
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