The holiday shopping season can be taxing on anyones budget, especially when shopping for that video game player in your family. Thankfully, there are a number of accessories that will enhance any video game system, and usually they can save you a pretty penny. Here are a few of our favorite stocking stuffers for anyone looking to take their game to the next level.
For the audiophile...
If the person you're shopping for wants to really wrap their head around the game (with the added benefit of keeping gaming at a lower volume), we looked at a couple of headsets that could make the holidays a more peaceful one for everyone at home!
First up, we checked out the PlayStation 3 Wireless Stereo Headset made by Sony. These headphones offer 7.1 surround sound wirelessly, and there's an integrated microphone so you can chat easily with your friends while playing multiplayer games like Uncharted 3. The sound quality was better than we expected for a wireless headset, and mute and volume control were naturally placed and accompanied by on-screen messages that made these a blast to use. You cannot go wrong with these, especially if you want an easy way to listen to some great surround sound effects without the expense or hassle of a huge home theater.
If you're shopping for someone who plays Call of Duty and nothing else, you may want to check out the Munitio Call of Duty MW3 Billets. These small earphones provide stereo sound for a variety of devices through rubberized ear buds, and has a microphone that allows you to make phone calls to get your squad together for a session. Included in the package are earhooks and six sets of different sizes that will ensure a comfortable fit.
For the Batman fan...
The folks at Power A have the official Batman Arkham City controllers for both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. While these controllers don't actually enhance the game directly, the first thing you'll notice is they look very cool with their Batarang style, something that any Batman fan would enjoy. The controllers also have a rubberized grip so it's easy to hold onto during those tense moments while your saving the citizens of Gotham, and they even light up with your choice of seven different LED colors to give it a cool glow. And, for the battery conscious, these controllers are rechargeable so don't worry about getting double-As with these!
For the control freak...
While we're on the subject of controllers, we took a couple of regular controllers out for a test drive. Power A has a line of Air Flo controllers that are perfect for those gamers that spend their entire Saturday (and Sunday... and Monday) sitting on the couch, just grinding away at their game. These controllers have a built-in fan that revs to keep your hands cool and dry, keeping you comfortable for your seventeenth hour straight in Skyrim. The controllers also have LED illumination to give off an otherworldly glow, and the soft grips made this the Cadillac of controllers.
We also tried the Power A Pro Pack Mini Plus (that's a mouthful) for the Nintendo Wii. Like the other Power A controllers, they also had a glowing color that is easily changeable as well as a soft touch, and the remote is notably smaller than the Wii remotes that come with Nintendo's system, making it ideal for the smaller gamers in your family.
For the artist...
We have only had a short time with uDraw, but it is perfect for the aspiring artist in your family. uDraw is a drawing tablet accessory that connects with a whole library of separately-sold games that offer a level of artistic precision that isn't offered by your usual controller. The tablet comes with uDraw Studio Instant Artist that allows you to create your own masterpieces, take lessons on various techniques, or just chill out with some activities like coloring books and number drawings.
For the speed demon...
The Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel came out with Forza Motorsport 4, and allows you a chance to grab the virtual wheel while taking your cars out for a spin. The controller has built-in vibration feedback as well as glowing lights at the very top, making your virtual rides one of the more unique experiences you could have. The controls were responsive and setup was a cinch, so if you are looking at getting Forza Motorsport 4, this is a companion worth picking up.
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