Ask any mall Santa how many times kids asked him for “Black Ops 2” and he’ll likely roll his eyes at you. It’s no surprise that America’s most popular “Call of Duty” release is the top of every kid’s list and will probably be one of the most common video game-related gifts under the tree this year. Most parents are content with the average, some can’t settle for just a video game (if you’re a child of the latter, consider yourself either very lucky or very spoiled). Fortunately, for the parent that wants to go the distance, the industry has put together some of the best gifts in gaming.
Valve’s popular PC gaming platform Steam is already riding a media high after CEO Gabe Newell announced Valve is developing a “Steam Box” to compete with Sony and Microsoft. Now that we’ve hit the month of December, Steam Gifts is a great spot to gift digital game downloads to your friends and family and even great communities for giveaways.
One of the new trends in gaming, for better or worse, is downloadable content. DLC is often paid content you can buy for your game whether that game cost money or free. For games like “Halo 4” and “Black Ops 2”, you can purchase a “season pass” which will automatically download any new maps or weapons the game has added. Almost every console game has content like this to be purchased.
Playstation Plus & Xbox Live
This one may be more of a stocking stuffer, but it’s just as important as any game or console you could possibly cover with wrapping paper. You don’t just buy a Ferrari and only drive it in the neighborhood, just like you don’t play “Halo 4” without going online. Playstation caught some very bad press when its network was hacked and users’ credit card info was leaked on the Internet, so if you can’t take your gaming online without peace of mine, an identity theft service like Lifelock should keep the digital thieves at bay.
Special edition consoles have become a collectors item for those who can afford it, and at the very least, a great way to a bundle a game and console when you’re starting from scratch. The Limited Edition Halo 4 Console is a perfect example of a bundle for a new gamer. The price is steep at $400, but considering you get two controllers, the game, and decked out console that no one else on the block probably owns, some will take that as a pretty sweet trade-off.
Special Edition Games
Alright, so you already have an Xbox or a Playstation 3, which leaves the console bundles out of the question. So what do you do? Stick with just the basic edition of a game? That’s for amateurs. You wouldn’t believe some of the special edition versions of games out there. Take the Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Care Package, for example, it comes with a collectible book, exclusive maps, and a freakin’ remote-controlled helicopter! That’s right, games these days are coming packaged with helicopters.