This Christmas, why be an accessory to family drama fueled murder when you could give an accessory instead?
Like it or not, Christmas is rearing its frost bitten head yet again. I know you're still a day from sitting through fraught Thanksgiving dinners, but I'm here to remind you in advance and offer you a primer for planning your consumerist immolation.
Early in the week we brought you an exhaustive list of the only games you should buy. Seriously. If it wasn't on that list, there is absolutely zero point to owning it ever and your loved ones will hate you for getting them an off-brand, off-list game.
Just a seething, percolating hate that will end in violence next holiday when you're drunkenly pushed into an armoire by your aunt who sure as heck didn't want a copy of BioShock Infinite when all her friends were talking about The Last of Us. Well who looks stupid and out of fashion now? Her, or the loser whose muffled cries barely escape the armoire?
Anyway, here's some hardware and accessories you can buy.
THE NEXT GENERATION OF GIFT GIVING
The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are bound to be hot commodities this holiday season. If you can find them -- they're purportedly sold out -- you can buy an Xbox One for $500 and a PlayStation 4 for $400. If I were to do either, my recommendation is the PlayStation 4. My larger recommendation is you don't need either, yet. But here are some thing that could go with them or serve as gifts for people who have them.
You know what's great? Your Xbox 360 and PS3 controllers are useless with the new systems. Those with friends who have the gall to want to play mulitplayer games will need to re-up on controllers. At least both controllers are quite nice and the PS4 controller will double as a PC controller since PS4 has no games. $60 is steep, though.
Xbox One and PS4 games a very big. Those 500GB packed in hard drives won't last long, especially with disc installs in addition to full downloadable games. You can't freely crack open your One without voiding warranty, but PS4 hard drives are simple to replace with most 2.5", 9.5mm hard drives.
You can double your storage space with reasonably priced 1TB drives or even throw down another bill for this $100, 1TB solid state hybrid drive. Modestly priced compared to a full solid state, but it will indeed shave some load off your PS4 games.
Didn't have a PlayStation 3? A 360? Why plunk down next-gen money when you could get a console you missed at a steal?
At $300, maybe it's not that much more enticing than the shiny, new PlayStation 4, but the Wii U has seen some lovely recent releases like Super Mario 3D World, Pikmin 3, and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. Now might be the time to pick up a Wii U bundle. Amazon seems to be out, but other retailers aren't
Bonus: UK-exclusive Mario Mega Bundle. £299.99. Free delivery. Black 32GB Wii U, New Super Mario Bros. U, New Super Luigi U, Super Mario 3D World, a limited edition Mario Wii Remote Plus, and a Mario hat.
3DS XL, 2DS
The 3DS was rolling this year, from Fire Emblem to Luigi's Mansion to Shin Megami Tensei IV to Animal Crossing to Pokemon. You'll also be able to find them -- even the gold Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds one -- for like $150 this weekend, which you should do.
I got my 3DS XL for $180 last year (not even on a Black Friday sale of any kind), but they're starting at $200 at the moment.
Nintendo 3DS XL (Gold) + The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ($210; $150 on sale)
Nintendo 3DS XL - Black ($200)
Also consider the Nintendo 2DS at $130.
In light of the 3DS' explosion, people aren't perfectly satisfied with the Vita's library. I am not one of those people, however, as my top three games of of the last two years (Gravity Rush, Persona 4 Golden, Tearaway) have been exclusive to the system.
The PS4 might inject some lifeblood into the handheld as well -- consider, perhaps, what appears to be an upcoming PS4 and PS Vita bundle. There's also the PS Vita TV, though it precludes you from playing feature heavy Vita games like Tearaway.
Sony PS Vita 3G/Wi-Fi The Walking Dead: A Telltale Games Series Limited Edition Bundle ($170 on sale right now; normally $200)
Sony PlayStation Vita (3G/Wi-Fi) 8GB Bundle ($170 on sale; extra 4gb card space if you've already played or are disinterested in The Walking Dead)
PlayStation Vita Wi-Fi Assassin's Creed III Liberation Bundle ($200; the white Vita is pretty, if you can find it)
PC MASTER RACE
Gunnar Intercept ($55)
Got to look cool and protect your eyes while PC gaming all night, right? What if a pretty person walks by your window?
Remember to check out the Games Guide and catch our Miscellany Guide coming up soon.