It’s that time again – time for the GamingShogun.com crew to write up our favorite gift picks. Behold, the Official GamingShogun.com 2011 Holiday Gift Guide! WOOOOoooosh (cue swooshing sound effects)! Also, if any of our loved ones are reading this – feel free to pickup any of these gifts for us… Just sayin’!
Bring on the gifts!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim ($59.99)
I had to include this new game from Bethesda Softworks as it is simply an incredible experience that will give you hundreds of hours of game time if you fully-explore the game world. The game allows players to customize their characters as they like and play the game their way via Bethesda’s “Radiant Story” system as they quest to discover the reason behind the return of the dragons. Featuring eye-popping visuals and brilliant writing, this is an experience not to be missed by console and PC gamers alike. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim retails for $59.99 and is available now on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows PC platforms.
Psyko Audio Carbon ($169.99)
Psyko Audio made some big noise, no pun intended, with their original Psyko 5.1 surround sound headset. The company has taken consumer feedback and crafted a new headset with their Psyko Carbon. Retailing for $169.99, the Carbon features ACTUAL 5.1 surround sound via speakers in the headset band. The sound is then funneled down into the correct position for your ears to pick it up via wave guides in the headset band. The result is some of the best multi-directional audio ever heard in a headset. The Psyko Audio Carbon is available now.
Roxio Game Capture ($99.99)
Roxio’s Game Capture allows gamers to record their Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 play sessions right on their Windows PCs. The best part about this system is that it allows you to record the action in real-time, so you wont have to miss your best frags. Couple this with a very simple-to-use software suite which even allows for some video editing and this thing is a wonder device for those looking to record their matches or play sessions. The Roxio Game Capture retails for $99.99 and is available now.
Kindle Fire ($199)
Amazon has created quite the stir with their new Kindle Fire tablet. Featuring a 7″ I.P.S. LCD display, the tablet has brilliant, crisp visuals and is backed by the large selection of books, magazines, movies, TV shows, and more found on the Amazon Kindle store. Coupled with the fact that you get so much content for a very-reasonable $199 dollars and you can’t beat this tablet for its intended function as a media/entertainment device. The Kindle Fire tablet retails for $199 dollars and is available now.
Frostmourne Latex LARPING Sword ($149.99)
Feel like LARPING with your buddies? Why not rule the battlefield with this World of Warcraft, officially-licensed by Blizzard Entertainment, latex replica of the Lich King’s sword: Frostmourne. The latex sword has a hefty grip for all your play-fighting needs and is 47” inches in length. The sword is usable in both one-handed or two-handed grips and features a very nice blade catcher which is sure to keep your arm safe from those nasty latex burns left by enemy weaponry. Just watch out for magic missiles! The sword is not cheap at $149.99 dollars but it is worth it if you are a collector of WoW memorabilia or just looking for that extra edge on the battlefield. It is available now.
SuperTooth Buddy Speakerphone ($69)
The SuperTooth Buddy bluetooth speakerphone system is an exceptional hands-free solution for your vehicle. Simply charge it up via a mini-USB plug and you have a quality system that provides exceptionally-clear vocal reproduction. I have seen several speakerphone systems on the market, but none have been as easy-to-use or dependable. It even allows you to use the iPhone 4S Siri digital assistant by hitting the “call” button in mid-drive. The SuperTooth Buddy retails for $69 dollars and is available now.
GUNNAR Modern Warfare 3 Gaming Optiks ($99)
I can’t begin to say how many hours I have spent staring into a computer monitor, straining to pick up every detail of the virtual battlefield. It is pwn or be pwned, after all. Thankfully, you can decrease your eye strain and increase your visual acuity with GUNNAR Optiks gaming eyewear. They come in several models, including the new set themed after Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, but they are all very effective at aiding your gaming stamina and efficiency. I am proud to say I have owned a pair of these for a long time and never regretted the purchase. These eyeball-savers are $99 dollars and available now.
YouRock MIDI Guitar ($199.99)
The YouRock MIDI guitar is a versatile instrument which allows musicians to perform multiple tasks that would usually take several devices to pull off. Not only does the MIDI guitar act as a regular guitar (complete with different sound types) by plugging it into a speaker system or headset, it also is usable as a Guitar Hero peripheral! Additionally, you can plug it into your PC or Mac and use it as a MIDI instrument in your favorite audio programs. The YouRock MIDI guitar is a great device for both beginner and veteran musicians. It retails for $199.99 dollars and is available now!
Razer Battlefield 3 Collection ($ Vary)
Razer has long-been known for its quality PC gaming peripherals and, recently, they have begun releasing themed peripheral lines based on AAA games. One of their newer lines is themed after Electronic Arts new Battlefield 3. This collection features an Onza Xbox 360 controller, Scarab gaming surface, Imperator gaming mouse, silicon mobile phone case, Black Widow Ultimate keyboard, and even a messenger bag. All feature the excellent performance of the base peripheral along with some cool graphic design elements to boot. Additionally, the peripherals come with a code to unlock a special Battlefield 3 dog tag for your player avatar. The collection has multiple price points depending on the product but all are available now.
A320 Pocket Retro Game Emulator ($69.99)
The Pocket Retro Game Emulator is an exceptional purchase for those of you who are not looking for simply a handheld game console like the Nintendo 3DS. Not only is it a lot cheaper, but it also allows you to play just about any classic arcade or console game you can find a ROM for. Please note, ROMs are not legal unless you own the original game. Just saying. You have been warned. Seriously. The A320 Pocket Retro Game Emulator also plays video files as well as MP3s, making it one of the most versatile handheld systems ever made. It retails for a very reasonable $69.99 and is available now.
Midnight Shot NV1 Night Vision Camera ($129.99)
The Midnight Shot NV1 allows you to take both still images as well as video in either regular light or night vision. The video files are only 640×480 but it is VERY cool to be able to bust a camera out when others can’t stand up to the darkness. The still image quality is good but it won’t completely replace a more mainstream camera. Where the NV1 shines on its own is in its night vision capabilities. The Midnight Shot NV1 retails for $129.99 and is available now.
OnLive Gaming System ($ Vary)
Voted one of the “Top 50 Websites of 2011” by Time Magazine, OnLive is to video games what Netflix is to movies (without the ever-increasing prices). For a $10 membership you get access to over 180 games through cloud gaming, meaning your rig doesn’t have to be state-of-the-art to play them, all you need is a strong Internet connection. It can also be played on most smart phones and tablets. New games are competitively priced and all cloud stored and there is often a deal to get a free console with a game pre-order. You can play your games on PC, portable device and their console which is literally just slightly larger than a deck of cards and can handle up to four players. Whichever platform you decide to play, you can pick up your same game on any platform! If you are concerned about latency, it has been tested and is very reliable. If you are worried about losing your game because you don’t have a copy of it on your system, OnLive has deals with just about every big video game developer and publisher out there… they aren’t going anywhere. This is the future of PC gaming and you can get started at just $10 a month.
Cyborg R.A.T. 7 Gaming Mouse-The Albino Edition ($99.99)
If you are a gamer, odds are you have heard of the R.A.T. 7 at one time or another. The mouse not only can be adjusted for the right or left hand, but it can be customized 1,344 different ways which won it a spot in the 2011 Gamer’s Edition of The Guinness World Records Book as the “World’s Most Customizable Mouse”. Also, just about every PC gaming magazine out there gave it their top honors. It comes with multiple pinky and palm rests, a 6400 DPI “twin eye” laser sensor, 5 command buttons with 3 Cyborg modes giving a total of 15 programmable commands, Precision Aim mode, and a sturdy but lightweight metal chassis makes it perfect for the casual MMO player or the hardcore gamer. It retails for $99.99 dollars and is available now.
Thrustmaster H.O.T.A.S. Warthog Flight Control System ($499.99)
Thrustmaster made a huge splash in flight simulation circles with their HOTAS Warthog flight control system. It is the pinnacle of consumer PC flight simulation peripherals and earned a place on our holiday gift list. The flight stick and throttle feature all-metal construction and are designed as replicas of the controls found in the United States Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II (affectionately called the “Warthog”). The Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog retails for $499.99 dollars and is available now.
There you have it, our picks for this year’s Holiday Gift Guide. Some will agree with our choices and some won’t, feel free to tell us about your picks in the comments below!