Gamers like gifts just like anyone else. But it’s those special gifts that enhance their gaming enjoyment that are really appreciated. Let’s take a look at some of the hottest gifts for gamers this year.
If you like gaming, or just like chatting with friends while pretending to be gaming, the Turtle Beach Ear Force DPX 21 Dolby 7.1 Surround Universal Gaming Headset Bundle will be a real treat. It’s designed for the PS3, but also works with the Xbox 360 or PC and Mac gaming. The headset features an amplifier and DSS processor that delivers Dolby 7.1 surround sound, and there are independent controls for game audio and chat volumes. Chat Boost turns the chat volume up as the game gets louder.
The DPX 21 is comfortable enough to wear for hours while blocking unwanted noise. And it’s powered through a USB connection, so you don’t need an external power adapter or batteries. Connectors include dual 3.5 mm plugs, an Xbox live cable and an optical digital cable.
One real neat feature of the Logitech Wireless Gaming Headset G930 is that its microphone mutes itself when flipped up out of the way so your opponents don’t have to hear anything you don’t want them to hear. And being wireless means that you’re not tethered to your console all day. If you do play all day you’ll stay comfortable, because the G930 features an adjustable, memory-foam headband and soft, noise-isolating ear pads. All you should be aware of is the Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound as it delights your senses.
Real time voice morphing can be a real-time hoot as your voice is changed to sound like a troll, mutant, alien or other character. Anything wireless needs batteries, but the batteries in these phones are rechargeable, with up to 10 hours of run time per charge. That should be more than enough to outlast your gaming stamina.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to possess an awesome gaming headset. A case in point is Plantronics’ GameCom 367 Closed-Ear Gaming Headset. Ideal for online gaming and VoIP applications such as Skype, the GameCom 367 envelops you in powerful stereo sound as it rests comfortably over your ears while blocking background noise.
Noise-canceling technology built into the microphone ensures that your opponents—and your teammates—will hear you clearly, and in-line volume controls let you quickly adjust or mute the volume directly without touching your computer.
If you’re looking for comfort, you’ll find it in the Creative Labs Fatal1ty Gaming Headset. The headset is designed to provide long-lasting comfort throughout hours of extended game play. It is, in fact, a combination of soft padding and plush velvet that provides exceptional comfort, while the 40mm neodymium driver in each earpiece provides powerful, crystal-clear sound with a frequency response range of 20Hz to 20kHz. The detachable, noise-canceling microphone has a frequency response range of 100Hz to 15kHz.
The Fatal1ty Gaming Headset simply plugs into a computer’s audio and microphone input jacks. It’s compatible with Linux, Mac and Windows systems.
If you’re looking for a game pad that’s compatible with Playstation 2 or Playstation 3 consoles and PC computers, the T-Wireless 3-in-1 Gamepad from Thrustmaster is the ticket. It’s a 2.4 GHz wireless game controller with a dongle that features both USB and PS2 connectors.
The T-Wireless Gamepad has two non-slip rubber coated handgrips that won’t leave your grasp even when your gaming gets hot and heavy. All of the buttons and sticks can be reprogrammed to meet your needs, and an automatic shutdown feature extends the life of the three required AAA batteries.
Logitech’s Extreme 3D Pro Joystick is a quality unit that won’t fold under pressure, and it keeps you in charge of the game for as long as you care to play. The joystick features 12 programmable buttons, an eight-way rubberized hat switch, a rapid-fire trigger and a twist handle for even more controllability.
Gamers always like to have a say in how a controller behaves. Answering their calls, Logitech’s gaming software lets you to create custom profiles for the joystick for different games, so that the controls match the needs of each game you play.
If you’re into driving games you know that driving with a joystick or keyboard controls is a terrible way to play, compared to using an actual steering wheel. The Logitech G27 Racing Wheel is nicer than the steering wheel in many real cars. Wrapped in genuine hand-stitched leather, the G27 Racing Wheel offers 900° of wheel rotation and an 11-inch diameter.
Not just a steering wheel, the G27 Racing Wheel includes a six-speed shifter and sturdy steel pedals for gas, brake and clutch. RPM LEDs indicate when to change gears in supported games. A dual-motor force feedback system mimics the effects of traction loss, weight shift and road feel as you race through different games. 16 programmable Buttons, plus a D-Pad, allow you to map game functions as you prefer. Retractable teeth will prevent the pedals from sliding around on carpeting, and all three components can be bolted to a table or other surface if you like. Steel ball bearings ensure precision performance for years to come.
If you want the most realistic flight controls money can buy, except of course, an actual flight simulator, you can do no better than the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog Flight Stick and Throttle. The Warthog package features twin throttles and a joystick with a metal handle, both mounted on weighted bases. The joystick features 19 action buttons and an eight-way POV hat switch. It’s mounted on a detachable metal plate for desktop or cockpit-style use.
The throttles contain 17 action buttons and an eight-way POV hat switch. The throttles can be used independently or ganged together to control two engines at once and they can be switched between idle and afterburner settings. A friction wheel on the control panel lets you adjust the amount of resistance on the throttle controls.
Free software that you can download lets you reprogram all of the controls as well as incorporate keyboard functions into the controls so you can eliminate the need to use a keyboard while gaming. A Script mode even lets you develop your own programming commands.
You may not be able to afford a real Ferrari, but anyone can afford to use a Ferrari steering wheel to navigate their favorite driving games. The Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Italia Racing Wheel for XBox360 is a replica of the Ferrari 458 Italia’s actual steering wheel, officially licensed by Ferrari. The wheel is 70% actual size with a diameter of 11 inches, a rubber textured grip and a turn radius of 270 degrees.
The racing wheel includes long-travel pedals for gas and brake, along with wheel-mounted paddle shifters and a Manettino dial that lets you adjust suspension settings, traction control, and more. A two-position switch is used to adjust game settings while racing and an XBox Guide button indicates the player number.
Most computer mice are just like all the others, but the Logitech G700 Wireless Gaming Mouse is a whole lot more than just a mouse. Compatible with Windows XP, Vista and 7 systems, the wireless mouse connects to a computer—wirelessly—through a USB nano transceiver. It features 13 programmable buttons and adjustable sensitivity switching from 200 dpi up to 5,700 dpi.
The G700 provides 1,000 reports per second for immediate responsiveness with a natural contour that fits your hand comfortably. Onboard memory lets you program up to five profiles for different players and games and a dual-mode scroll wheel gives you precise click-to-click scrolling for weapon selection or hyper-fast scrolling to blast through long Web pages. An LED display indicates battery power, profile settings and dpi sensitivity to give you a competitive edge in gaming.
The Logitech G110 Gaming Keyboard can be used like any other keyboard on PC and Mac computers. But it’s the special features that will enhance your gaming enjoyment. The keyboard lets you configure up to 36 key presses or complex macros per game, and you can record new macros on the fly. The keyboard also features integrated USB audio, with mute buttons and jacks for headphones and microphones into which you can plug any analog headset.
Most keyboards aren’t illuminated at all, but the G110 Gaming Keyboard offers multiple illumination options. Special software lets you light up the keys in red or blue, or enables you to mix the backlighting intensities to create custom colors. The keyboard also houses a USB 2.0 hub so you can plug a USB flash drive or gaming mouse right into the keyboard. A removable palm rest adds comfort when you need it and comes off when you don’t.
Logitech’s G9X Gaming Mouse is specifically made to enhance the enjoyment of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, but it’s also useful for any game or computer task. Compatible with Windows XP, Vista or 7, the G9X is a USB mouse with an adjustable sensitivity range from 200 to 5700 dpi. A dual-mode scroll wheel can be set to a click-to-click mode or a hyper-fast scrolling mode. You can even adjust the mouse’s weight by adding up to 28 grams of extra weights to match your preferences.
The G9X Gaming Mouse can be customized for each game that you play. Onboard memory lets you store up to five profiles for different games and players. Custom-color LEDs and interchangeable grips let you make the G9X you own. Polytetrafluoroethylene feet allow the mouse to glide across any surface like it’s on ice.
The G400 Optical Gaming Mouse from Logitech features a natural sculpted grip and low-friction feet. Compatible with Windows computers, the USB mouse features a 3600 dpi optical engine that allows for pinpoint targeting and accuracy. You can adjust the mouse’s sensitivity in the middle of a game, without pausing, in order to perform fast maneuvers.
The G400 mouse communicates over USB at 1000 reports per second, which is eight times faster than standard USB mice. Eight programmable buttons combined with downloadable Logitech Gaming software make the mouse work exactly the way you want it to. The only thing you have to worry about, once you have the G400 mouse, is winning.
If you like to have wireless control over your computer, whether for gaming, home theater applications or even just surfing the Web from your easy chair, you need a wireless keyboard. The problem is that nobody wants to keep a full-size keyboard on their coffee table. The Logitech diNovo Mini Palm-Sized Wireless Keyboard solves this problem.
The diNovo keyboard is palm-sized, and a perfect fit for your coffee table. Its Bluetooth connectivity lets you control your computer from up to 30 feet away. The 63-key backlit keyboard features an integrated ClickPad that can be used for pointing and clicking or to navigate menus directionally. A rechargeable Li-ion battery can power the keyboard for up to a month, and it recharges in about four hours.
If you’re into computer gaming, you know there are limitations in what ordinary computers can do for you. The secret behind any powerful gaming system is to start with a gaming motherboard, and ASUS gaming motherboards are a cut above the rest.
Choosing the right motherboard just depends on what your priorities are. For example, the Rampage III Extreme Motherboard is ideal for expansion purposes with its six triple-channel DIMM slots, four PCIe x16 slots and enhanced over-clocking features. The cutting-edge Sabertooth X58 Motherboard supports the Core i7 Extreme, USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps.
If you like AMD processors, the ASUS M4N68T-M V2 Xtreme Design Motherboard supports multi-core AMD Phenom II, Athlon II and Sempron 100 Series processors. If you like integrated graphics, the ASUS P5G41T-M/CSM Motherboard features Intel GMA X4500 graphics. If you want over-the-top graphics performance, the ASUS P8P67 LE Motherboard offers Quad-GPU CrossFireX Support. If you’re worried about excess heat building up in your gaming rig, the ASUS Sabertooth P67 Motherboard features a shroud that directs cooling airflow over every component, and not just a few of them.
When it comes time to add a graphics card to your gaming motherboard, PNY Technologies has you covered. PNY offers graphics cards at various price points and performance levels. Some take up just one slot while others need two, so plan things accordingly.
Not all wireless routers are the same when it comes to gaming and other high-bandwidth applications. When you’re relying on wireless connectivity to support these high-bandwidth applications you need a router that prioritizes applications that need more throughput. Trendnet’s 450 Mbps Wireless N Gaming Adapter supports Wi-Fi Multimedia Quality of Service (QoS) data prioritization to allocate more bandwidth to higher-priority applications, such as gaming, Internet VoIP calls and video streaming, so all you see is smooth video and all you hear is clear audio.
The Trendnet 450 Mbps Wireless N Gaming Adapter features a simple setup wizard and Web browser configuration. It supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), so you can simply press a button on the adapter and your wireless connection will be set up securely. The router also supports 64/128-bit WEP, WPA-PSK and WPA2-PSK wireless security.
A good sound system can contribute more to your gaming experience than you might think. Tinny, low-volume sound just doesn’t cut it. The Logitech Z623 THX-Certified 2.1 Speaker System puts you right in the middle of games, movies, music and more. THX certification is reserved only for sound systems that reproduce sound exactly as it was intended to be heard. The system features a powerful subwoofer and a pair of satellite speakers with 200 watts RMS—enough to deliver thumping bass you can feel.
With RCA and 3.5mm inputs, this speaker system is good not only for computers but also for MP3 players, DVD and Blu-ray players, TVs, gaming systems and more. A 3.5mm headphone jack lets you listen privately when you have to keep things quiet.
If 200 watts just isn’t enough power for you, Logitech aims to satisfy with the Z906 Surround Sound THX-Certified 5.1 Speaker System. This 5.1-channel sound system boasts 500 watts of power, enough to shake the very foundation of your home. Designed to deliver theater-quality surround sound for movies, games and music, the system includes a 165-watt subwoofer, four 67-watt satellites and one 67-watt center channel speaker.
The THX-certified system can decode both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS encoded soundtracks. With six inputs you can connect everything you own, including your TV, computer, Blu-ray or DVD player, MP3 player and more. The system produces a 360° sound field even from two-channel sources.
Harman Kardon has for years made some of the best sound systems you can buy, and its Soundsticks III 2.1 Channel Multimedia Sound System is no exception. As a conversation piece, the speaker system stands out like no other with its transparent casing, elegant black accents, and glow of white LED light. It’s ideal for gaming, but also excels at blasting out sound from an MP3 player, computer, CD player, DVD or Blu-ray player and any other device that has a 3.5 mm line-level stereo output.
The Soundsticks III sound system features a six-inch down-firing subwoofer that spreads sound out consistently in all directions, and two space-saving satellite speakers that each contains eight one-inch, full-range drivers. Touch controls provide a means for elegantly raising, lowering or muting the volume.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive speaker system that still pumps up the volume, the Altec Lansing VS2621 2.1 Stereo Computer Speaker System fits the bill on both accounts. Designed with computers in mind, this sound system pumps life into gaming, movies, music and more, and allows your piggy bank to remain intact.
The VS2621 sound system consists of a pair of two-inch drivers and a four-inch subwoofer, all housed in attractive black and silver enclosures with an elegant and tapered design. Volume, tone and power controls on the front of the right-channel speaker are easy to access and simple to use. An auxiliary input lets you connect an MP3 player or other device.
The Octane 7 Computer Speaker System from Altec Lansing is all you need to put forth amazing sound from gaming systems, computers, MP3 players, CD players and more. The 2.1-channel system includes two satellite speakers and one subwoofer, along with an auxiliary input that lets you connect an MP3 player or other accessory and handy treble, bass and volume controls.
The unusual satellite speakers look that way for a reason: the bottom of each satellite contains a hidden, down-firing mid-range driver that spreads sound out by bouncing it off the surface on which it sits. Each satellite speaker also contains two high frequency micro drivers for crisp, clear highs. The powered side-firing subwoofer offers 13 watts of room-thumping power and the satellites output 7.5 watts apiece.
Most speaker systems are fairly straightforward in how they work, but the Inspire T3130 2.1 Speaker System from Creative Labs uses some tricky technology to get the sound out. For example, each satellite speaker uses an Image Focusing Plate, or set of flares that extends outward around the drivers, directing the sound as it radiates outward. The subwoofer also features a flared port tube to produce powerful bass response.
Controls on the sound system are easy to use. The subwoofer features a bass level and the satellites have a wired remote control that’s used to turn the power on and off and to adjust the volume. The satellite speakers are magnetically shielded so they can be placed close to a CRT monitor without causing distortion to the image.
If you like the unusual, the bold, the daring, you need not look any further for speakers than Harman Kardon’s GLA-55 Premium Speaker System. This most unusual pair of speakers features cut-glass casing and chrome tubing, yielding a futuristic crystalline appearance that’s sure to get attention no matter where you put them. These powerful speakers output 56 watts apiece.
The GLA-55 Premium Speaker System is far from inexpensive, but you’ll be sure to own a pair of the most unusual speakers anyone has ever seen. They are clearly meant to be seen as well as heard.
Sometimes it’s what you don’t see that’s more impressive than what you do see. Though UltraLink’s UCube Compact USB Digital Speakers are little, they are fierce. The lightweight, 3.25" speaker system is ideal for use on the road or on vacation, but they will also please at home with their brushed-aluminum stands and elegant black finish.
The plug and play, USB-powered speakers work great with a notebook computer, but they’re just as happy on the desktop. Sound and power is sent through one USB cable, which eliminates all the wires and heavy power brick. The system offers an impressive 30 watts total RMS output.
If you have to wear 3D glasses, you may as well wear ones that look and work great. The nVIDIA 3D Vision Wireless Glasses Kit includes everything you need to enjoy 3D content. You get one pair of wireless 3D glasses, all the accessories needed to use them and adjustable nose pieces for a comfortable fit. You can wear the 3D wireless glasses alone or over a pair of prescription glasses.
Designed to work with select nVIDIA graphics cards, the glasses also require a display that supports a 120 Hz refresh rate. The active shutter glasses deliver twice the resolution per eye of conventional 3D glasses, along with ultra-wide viewing angles. The wireless glasses work for more than sixty hours on a single charge, and they are recharged via a standard USB cable.
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