5 best gaming accessories to make a very merry, virtual Christmas

23 Nov 2015

2015 has been a big year in gaming, with many major titles having coinciding releases in the build-up to Christmas, so for the avid gamer who has temporarily suspended sunlight and outdoor activities, here are some accessories to make the most of your games.

Gamers are already struggling to control themselves in the month where we have seen the release of the three biggest titles of the year: Fallout 4, Stars Wars Battlefront and Call of Duty: Black Ops III.

Whether anyone could possibly have the time to actually play three of these games at the same time is another matter, but all three are selling big already, making a number of gamers a lot less sociable than they were last month.

Fallout 4, in particular, has a dedicated fan base for a game that deals with exploring an irradiated wasteland that, according to its developers Bethesda Softworks, has been in development for seven years now.

Ignoring the continued popularity of the Call of Duty franchise that churns out shoot em’ up after shoot em’ up on an annual basis, Star Wars Battlefront couldn’t come at a better time, with people reaching peak hype for the release of the latest film in the franchise next month.

So, if you know a gamer and you feel like getting them something that will help them rack up the virtual kills or, preferably, communicate better with their friends, then here’s a few suggestions.

RC3 Gaming Chair

While not applicable to PC gamers, gaming chairs are the furniture of choice for people with a PS4 or Xbox One, or anything that plugs into a TV for that matter.

One of the most popular at the moment is the RC3 Gaming Chair from Gioteck, which, like many of the gaming chairs on the market, looks pretty futuristic and nothing like anything else you’re likely to have in a house.

Perhaps one of its best features is that it’s capable of being folded up and stored out of the way as, typically, most gaming chairs are large, cumbersome pieces that stick out like a sore thumb in a room.

It’s even got a handy little space underneath the seat to store the gaming console, which is all lit up with LED lights because, well, it looks cool.

Two speakers in the headrest give you surround sound while you play and all the volume controls are kept in a place to the side of the chair.

Currenly selling  Smyths for €65, it is a reasonably priced but neat gift for someone looking to get down to business.

RC3 gaming chair

Razer Blackwidow Tournament Edition keyboard

PC gamers love their keyboards. While console players are limited to one choice only when it comes to what they use to play their games, the customising available to PC gamers is on a whole different level.

And while some are happy to use the standard keyboard they got with the desktop PC, some of the more hardcore gamers like a keyboard that only somewhat resembles what the general public would know as a keyboard.

So step forward the Blackwidow Tournament Edition keyboard from Razer which is aimed at both regular gamers and professional gamers who attend tournaments.

The first thing you’ll notice is the, frankly, cool light show that happens beneath the keys, which is totally customisable.

Not only is it light, but its keys are also able to withstand 60m keystrokes in its life, which should cover even the most ardent gamer.

Logitech G700 wireless USB gaming mouse

Sticking with PC gaming, the mouse is also crucial to getting that perfect headshot or controlling whole armies on the battlefield, and to do that you can’t just use a simple mouse with a scroll wheel.

Gaming mouses look like something that should be in a fighter aircraft, rather than used with a computer, with the Logitech G700 wireless USB gaming mouse having 13 programmable macro buttons that can be pre-programmed.

While PC gamers might scoff at a wireless mouse – as they would feel it would hinder their reaction time – this mouse promises 1,000 data reports per second, which is pretty good.

You can also set it to five different profiles if you have other people wanting to use it, which is handy, although it is priced at more that €100, which may seem steep to some.

Logitech G700 wireless USB gaming mouse

Kingston HyperX Cloud gaming headset

Whether you’re playing online on consoles or PCs, having a really good pair of headphones not only helps you get your message across clearer to your friends (or shout obscenities to people as most seem to do) but it helps you hear what’s going on in the game, too.

One of the most widely-coveted headsets at the moment is the Kingston HyperX Cloud gaming headset, available for around €78, particularly when it comes to sound quality.

There’s not too many fancy gizmos strapped to the headset, but it has got a removable microphone and pretty comfortable ear cushions, which can be interchangeable leatherette or velour ear materials.

Kingston HyperX Cloud gaming headset

Star Wars HP laptop

What better way to contribute to the Star Wars hype machine than with a gaming laptop decked in Star Wars references and with some exclusive content thrown in to boot.

The HP Star Wars Edition features exclusive Star Wars touches throughout, including a Dark Side inspired battleworn design and exclusive Star Wars desktop icons. You can even change the standard Windows notification sounds to Star Wars effects, such as the sound of a lightsaber igniting and R2-D2 probably shouting obscenities through bleeps.

You can even type documents in Aurebesh using the Star Wars font library if you’re a real obsessive of the series.

As for what’s powering the laptop, it has 6GB of RAM, 1TB of hard drive space and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 940M graphics card to play games to a good standard graphically and a 2.3 GHz or 2.8 GHz processor.

Priced at more than €800, including VAT, this is a present for someone you really, really like.

Two men gaming image via Shutterstock

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic