It’s a week until Christmas and as you count down those final few days of work or school, it may have dawned on you that actually need to buy some presents for your friends and loved ones.
For those who’ve had their stockings stuffed for weeks (if not months), good on you, but I’m sure there are plenty of bargain hunters and the odd chancer among us looking to snap up the perfect gift with only seconds left on the clock.
We’d be lying if we told you that none of us here at TSA Towers belong in that category, and so we’ve concocted a list of last minute suggestions for the gamers in your life. Well, the ones who haven’t ended up on Santa’s naughty list…
Starting off with a bit of a gaming novelty, the Cable Guys range from Exquisite Gaming has only continued to grow in 2019. Their premium controller holders do exactly what you’d expect, with a lineup of popular gaming, movies, and other pop culture icons on standby, waiting to cradle your smartphone or gamepad. With characters such as Crash Bandicoot, Sonic, Ezio, Pip Boy, and Captain Price, there are plenty of options available and the figures themselves are surprisingly large and robust, slotting nicely into an existing display.
Good video game movies actually exist, believe it or not. Pokémon Detective Pikachu is easily one of the best film adaptations we’ve ever seen and actually takes some pretty big risks when you consider how touchy Nintendo and the Pokémon Company can be about their world-beating franchise.
Why not pick up an adorable Detective Pikachu plush while you’re at it?
An absolute essential, headsets are needed to communicate with friends and teammates whenever hopping into your favourite online game. In truth, they all perform the same basic function (even the pack-in microphones you get with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4) though, as with most things, the more you spend, the better the overall quality. Here’s a list of the newest gaming headsets we’ve reviewed in 2019:
- Plantronics RIG 700HS
- Logitech Pro X
- HyperX Cloud Mix Rose Gold Edition
- Victrix Pro AF 2019
- Roccat Noz
- Sennheiser GSP 370 Wireless Headset
- Sennheiser GSP 670 Wireless Headset
Similarly, those who take their gaming seriously may be looking to replace their worn out controller or perhaps swap it for something bigger and better. For the Xbox crowd, look no further than the official Elite series while PlayStation owners may want to investigate the Thrustmaster eSwap, Nacon Revolution, or Scuf Gaming’s range of pro controllers, where a gift card will let them build a controller customised to their desires.
If you’re on a budget then there are still good options available – it’s always handy to have a backup pad available! We’d recommend picking up the latest models from Gioteck, the WX-4 and VX-4 wireless controllers for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Both make for affordable alternatives.
With Skylanders, Disney Infinity, and LEGO Dimensions no longer active, this year there’s a gap where these “toys to life” games and their reliability as stocking fillers. Luckily for Nintendo fans, the Amiibo range is very much alive and kicking with a new wave of figures having arrived this year. A good tip is to buy Amiibo figures that are compatible with the games someone already owns as they can unlock extra bonuses.
They may not offer the same interactivity as “toys to life” figures but there’s a similar collectability to the Totaku range. Currently there are around 50 to snap up, featuring characters from various video game franchises whether you’re an Xbox or PlayStation fan. From Aloy and Atreus to Marcus Fenix and Master Chief, they’ll stack up nicely on shelves with a few rare variants to chase down.
Unlike home consoles, handhelds really push open the door when it comes to accessories. Needless to say, you can plenty of Nintendo Switch add-ons if you go looking – here are a few of our top recommendations.
Unless your Switch has somehow melded to its charging dock, you’ll be taking it out on the go on a fairly regular basis (or at least ferrying it between the lounge and bedroom). There’s plenty of decent cases out there, but the tough and skinny tomtoc Slim Case is our recommendation for storing your Switch console and its library of game carts, with a versions available for both Switch (from £16.99) and Switch Lite (£15.99).
For those Pokemon die-hards, a fun, if pricey stocking filler might be the Poké Ball Plus Controller (sadly only usable as a controller with last year’s Let’s Go games, but with a few other fun features for Pokémon Go). Alongside that it might be worth investing in one of Yosou’s Poke Ball Plus Controller protectors, too.
Speaking of controllers, the Switch’s finicky little remotes aren’t great for everyone, but there are plenty of accessories and upgrades out there. Up top we have the official Switch Pro Controller (currently £53), though a cheaper alternative would be the 8bitdo SN30 Pro+ (currently £35.60), a modern take on the classic SNES design with analogue sticks, triggers and handgrips. For handheld players, the Hori Split Pad Pro (£45) cleverly dissects a traditional style controller into two attachable halves.
Grabbing a pair of FastSnail (or similar brand) Joy-Con grips will also win you some points. These wrap around the tiny remote to help better simulate a proper gamepad.
Finally, if you’re planning on gifting a Switch this Christmas, it may be worth investing in a hefty MicroSD card. This will be used to store any downloaded games as well as other data, the system’s built in storage being a measly 32GB. A 128GB SanDisck Ultra can be had for just £13, while a 256GB Samsung EVO Select for £38. You can get bigger, but it starts to get pretty pricey.
PSN/ Xbox Live/ Nintendo eShop gift cards
Gifts cards can often be looked down upon as the ultimate cop out. Sure, in most circumstances popping a few extra quid into someone’s digital wallet may lack imagination, but that money will get put to good use whether snapping up games in a discount, pre-ordering upcoming titles, or renewing subscriptions to online services. From personal experience, I’d often prefer receiving a card/credit than having friends and relatives attempt to pick out a game for me.