What to buy the gamer this holiday

How to please a friend who games without breaking the bank.

Buying gifts for gamers can be tough. The gift depends on how well you know the gamer, what kind of gamer they are, and how addicted they are to gaming. With those factors in mind, here’s an all-purpose guide to shopping for gamers this season!

Gaming System: If you are going to spend the money to buy a person a gaming system, then you are presumably a relative or very close friend. So, before you commit to buying one of the three next-generation consoles currently on the market, try and get the opinion of the gamer for whom you’re buying it. There have been some pretty strong feelings both for and against every one of the consoles currently out, and this is a big purchase.

If you are buying a console for a family or children, then the Wii U wins hands down. It has lots of games for the hardcore gamer and for the family, from Call of Duty to Just Dance. It’s the only console with backwards compatibility, meaning you can play almost everything for the original Wii on it.

If you want to buy a handheld gaming unit, then it’s down to the PlayStation Vita versus the Nintendo 3DS. I recommend the 3DS, especially if you’re buying for a child. The library of games is very kid-friendly, with staples like Kid Icarus, Legend of Zelda and Pokémon.

Games: This is tricky, as you risk getting a duplicate if you don’t know the gamer well enough to get a peek at the games they already have. Conspire with someone who has access to their collection if you must. However, the best way to find out what games the gamer wants is to ask for a list, and select a few to buy.

Other: Games and consoles are expensive, so it’s understandable if you don’t have the money to buy them. Instead, consider gift cards for the gamer. Steam, the reliable download service used by almost everyone in the PC gaming community, offers gift cards, as does the PlayStation Store, Xbox Live, and the Nintendo eShop. They can be found at Best Buys and GameStops, so find out which system your gamer prefers and pick one up for them today.

Good luck to one and all this holiday season!

I'm the daughter of a veteran who spent my childhood in Killeen. As of 2013, I have a degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. I'm a critic of books, films, television, and video games. Find me on Twitter: @rachel_knows

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