Man, 2017 has been … I mean … wow. Let’s just say a lot of people are happy for it to end. But gamers? Gamers had a great year. From the launch of Nintendo’s Switch, to the surprise smash hit “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” 2017 gave us an abundance of fantastic games.
That makes buying games for your friends and family members, and let’s face it, yourself, both incredibly easy and difficult. That’s because, while there are tons of titles worth purchasing, deciding which to pick up can be surprisingly tough.
So to help make it a bit easier on you, I’m breaking down the best deals and options for buying the top games, consoles and accessories this holiday season.
Let’s hit it.
The biggest console release of the year was easily Nintendo’s (NTDOY) Switch. A revelation of a device, the $299 Switch allows you to play console games on your TV and on-the-go via its tablet-style design.
Every major retailer is selling the Switch this year, but the closer we get to Christmas, the greater the chances are it will sell out. So you’ll want to get one early while you still can. Unfortunately, since the system is brand-new, Nintendo isn’t offering any holiday discounts. So, you’ll have to pay full price.
Microsoft (MSFT) and Sony (SNE) also released new versions of their own consoles this year in the forms of the Xbox One X and the PlayStation 4 Pro. Both systems are designed to take advantage of improved colors and higher resolutions available with 4K, HDR-capable televisions. They also cost a pretty penny. The One X is priced at $499, while the PS4 Pro costs $399.
I’d only suggest picking up these consoles if the person you’re buying them for has a compatible set. If your gamer doesn’t have such a TV and you’re looking for something a bit less expensive, you can pick up a standard PS4 with a 1TB hard drive for $199 and the Xbox One S with a 500GB drive for $229.
2017 had some great games. Whether you’re shopping for a console player, or someone who prefers to game on their PC, you can find plenty of deals.
If the gamer in your life is a fan of horror, “Resident Evil 7” will likely quench their thirst for fear. But, if they’re more interested in burning rubber and putting the pedal to the medal, “Forza Motorsport 7,” available for the Xbox One, is the game to get.
Have a PC gamer on your wishlist? Then you’ll want to get them a gift card for the popular Steam platform where they can download a seemingly endless number of games. The most popular title, though, is “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” or “PUBG.”
The game, which is also coming to the Xbox One on Dec. 12, pits 100 players against each other in a deathmatch that takes place across an enormous island. It’s equal parts thrilling, infuriating and suspenseful, and well worth getting.
If you’re looking for some of the best of the best, though, you’ll want to snag “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” and “Super Mario Odyssey” for the Switch and “Horizon: Zero Dawn” for the PS4. Those three titles are absolute must-plays for anyone who has even an inkling of interest in games. And if you can give them to someone this year, you’ll be their hero.
If your favorite gamer, or you, already have all of the above games and systems, then your next best bet is to snag some sweet accessories for them. Console controllers usually cost about $60 for the Xbox One and PS4, but will be on sale for $39 on Black Friday, which is a huge discount.
Nintendo’s Joy-Con and Pro controllers for the Switch, however, don’t seem to be on sale anywhere this holiday season. That’s a bummer, as Joy-Cons cost $80 for a pair, while the Pro controller costs $70.
If you can snag any of these consoles, games or controllers for your special gamer, or yourself, they’re sure to have a heck of a great start to 2018. Not to mention zero free time.
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Email Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley .