We're not here to judge you, because we've all had at least one holiday season that required a last-minute dash to our PCs to place an order and hope that overnight shipping was available. With the world still reeling from the effects of last year's pandemic which saw big disruptions in the global supply chain of just about everything, some items sold out quicker than usual and predictably made their way into the hands of scalpers.
Fear not though! While you may not be able to get your hands on some gifts thanks to the age-old law of supply and demand, there are still some stellar options available that will arrive before Christmas. We've rounded up a few ideas that you can check out below, ranging from gaming subscriptions and controllers to nifty tech products and nostalgic gifts for gamers.
For more gift ideas, make sure to check out our gift guide hub, which is filled with suggestions for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox, and much more.
If you're shopping for a console gamer, one of the safest and most useful gifts you can get them is an online subscription. Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony each have subscription services that offer great perks. Best of all? Even if they already have a subscription, the codes stack and can simply be added to their current account or replace their recurring monthly charge.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is arguably the best value in gaming. It includes access to online multiplayer as well as a library of hundreds of games, including every first-party Xbox game on launch day. Game Pass Ultimate is great whether you own an Xbox One or the new Xbox Series X|S. You can grab a three-month subscription for $45.
PlayStation Plus is compatible with PS4 and PS5. On PS5, you get access to online multiplayer, cloud saves, two free games each month, and a collection of great PS4 games to play whenever you want. PS Plus includes all of the same perks on PS4 except for the library of free PS4 hits.
Nintendo Switch Online opens up access to online multiplayer for popular games, such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons. You also get cloud saves for your library and a collection of classic SNES and NES games. Nintendo Switch Online only costs $20 per year for an individual subscription. A family subscription is ideal for those who have multiple Nintendo Switch consoles under one roof, as up to eight users can share the subscription.
Every gamer can put a gift card to use. You can easily purchase gift cards for digital gaming storefronts that can be used to buy and download games. A gift card is a great idea if you don't know exactly which game they want or what they already have--let them make the decision.
It's never a bad idea to have an extra controller around. Whether for multiplayer or simply as a backup (controllers wear down, after all), you can buy it safely knowing that it will eventually be used. For Nintendo Switch, you can grab an extra set of Joy-Con or a Pro Controller, the latter of which is a more traditional gamepad. Every first-party Xbox controller works with Xbox One and Xbox Series X. For PlayStation, you have to know whether they have a PS5 or PS4. PS5 controllers only work on PS5; PS4 controllers work on both platforms but only for PS4 games.
Disney+ is one of our favorite streaming services, and Disney makes it easy to gift a one-year subscription to the Disney fan in your life. It's an ideal streaming service for fans of Marvel and Star Wars, especially since The Mandalorian Season 2 is currently airing. Unsurprisingly, it's also wonderful for kids thanks to its huge library of animated films, including the upcoming Pixar movie Soul, which releases on Christmas Day.
The Sega Genesis Mini would make for a wonderful gift for the nostalgic gamer in your life. This pint-sized version of the iconic home gaming console comes with two Genesis controllers and 42 games. It's a plug-and-play system that oozes style and authenticity thanks to stellar emulation.
Nintendo released a really cool-looking "new" Game & Watch last month to celebrate Super Mario's 35th anniversary. Despite its small size, it's a fantastic piece of hardware that feels sturdy and looks great. The Game & Watch comes loaded with the original Super Mario Bros. in full color as well as the juggling game Ball and a digital clock.
If you're shopping for a big reader, a Kindle is a great option. The latest model (released in 2019) comes with a 6-inch display. The selling point of Kindle devices is that they have screens that are far less harsh on your eyes than traditional tablet or phone screens, which makes reading on an electronic device more manageable for some people. Alternatively, you could opt for the Kindle Paperwhite, which has a crisper resolution.
The Fire TV Stick 4K is one of our favorite streaming devices. Chances are you know someone who doesn't have a smart TV, and this plug-and-play device alleviates the downfalls of that immediately. The Fire Stick 4K features thousands of apps, including all of the most popular services such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and HBO Max. After plugging it into an HDMI port, you're good to start browsing with the handy remote, which includes nifty shortcut buttons and Alexa voice commands.
An Echo Dot is an interesting last-minute gift idea, as it may be something they never even knew they wanted but wind up using every day. It's an Amazon smart speaker with full voice controls. In addition to being capable of asking random questions, it plays music on command and can serve as a hub for future smart home devices. The new 4th gen model has a spherical design that helps sound travel better.
Gaming headsets can help you pinpoint sounds and generally provide a more immersive experience. They are also extremely useful for multiplayer games and as a way to keep the noise down if you don't want to bother other people in your home. SteelSeries makes some of the best gaming headsets around, and the budget-friendly Arctis 1 wired headset is an excellent choice. Not only does it feature great sound quality for the price, but it's compatible with PS5/PS4, Xbox Series X|S/Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, and mobile devices (with the Lightning to 3.5mm audio adapter on iPhone).
Released as part of Super Mario's 35th anniversary celebration, the aptly named Celebration edition of Super Mario Monopoly is a great gift idea for the whole family to enjoy this holiday. Each space is named after a Mario level or fixture, from World 1-1 of the first game to Bowser's Kingdom. Player icons include a Yoshi Egg, Super Star, Koopa Shell, and more, while houses are now Toad homes and hotels are castles. Though Mario Monopoly generally plays the same as the classic board game, it does have an interactive Question Block, which replaces the traditional Chance cards. Overall, it's a charming new rendition of Monopoly that's fun for all ages.
You can't go wrong with Baby Yoda, the ridiculously cute co-star of The Mandalorian. Mattel's 11-inch Baby Yoda plush is predictably adorable and would likely make anyone smile this holiday.
A portable battery pack is a practical gift idea that almost anyone would appreciate. The Anker PowerCore Essential is a high-quality portable charger that's available for a reasonable price. Capable of providing 20,000mAh of juice, this battery pack can charge your phone, Nintendo Switch, or tablet several times over. It has a pair of USB ports as well as microUSB and USB-C inputs that allow you to charge two devices at once.
If you're shopping for someone who is jumping into PC gaming, GameStop has a solid holiday bundle that will help them get started. The Sniper Edition PC Holiday Bundle comes with a mechanical gaming keyboard, gaming mouse, and mousepad for a great price. The keyboard and mouse both have RGB lighting as well. The keyboard has tactile switches to promote fast and responsive movements, while the mouse has nine buttons, making it great for virtually all genres of games.
Portable hard drives are useful for gamers, whether they play on Xbox Series X|S/Xbox One, PS5/PS4, or PC. Game file sizes have only grown larger over the years, which makes hard drive space a precious commodity. This Western Digital 2TB hard drive is reliable, fast, and works with all three platforms. We should note that portable hard drives work with Xbox Series X|S and PS5 but in a limited capacity. You can store Series X|S games on the hard drive, but you need to transfer them back to the internal storage to play them. PS5 games cannot be transferred to an external drive. Xbox One and PS4 games can be stored and played from the external hard drive on the new consoles, which helps save space.
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