TA's Holiday Gift Guide and Contests: Hardware

By Perpalicious, 5 years ago
Before we start, I want to announce yesterday's winners:
First Prize - Dj Rick Joyce
Runner up 1 - Shrpsh0oter
Runner up 2 - lucas1987
Stocking Filler - BOB002, Fallen Primarch

Congratulations to the winners! Don't give up if you haven't won. We have today's competition and two more coming up.

Yesterday, we recommended our favourite arcade games, and we also gave away some awesome games.

Today, we're going to tell you our favourite hardware gifts. We have everything from equipment to record gameplay to storage units. Also, we have two, sleek prizes to giveaway. Enough talk. Let's get this guide rolling.

Note: Prices can vary depending on where you purchase specific items from.

Amazon Kindle - $109.99 / £89.00

Next to my smartphone, my Amazon Kindle is one device I very rarely ever leave home without. Finally the written word has caught up with the 21st century. With more and more game-related books becoming available in electronic format, it’s easy to build up a small library on the device. The font size and style can be adjusted to the readers preference. The text is clear, crisp, and easy to read on electronic ink pages. There’s a built-in dictionary and thesaurus that are only a button click away. The battery lasts for weeks without charging. In short, a simply fantastic device for any bookworms out there - Nexus Grunt
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Blackmagic Design: Intensity Pro or Intensity Shuttle - $189.05 / £152.00

"What did you use to record that video?" This is arguably one of the most common questions asked in the gaming community. One of the most popular options is Blackmagic Design's Intensity Pro. The quality is incredible, but the price is quite steep to get 1080p recording. Before going out to buy one, make sure that your computer meets the minimum specifications - Perpalicious

Pinnacle Systems' Dazzle - price varies

High-end capturing devices from Blackmagic Design and Hauppauge are incredible but the entry price is simply too steep for most gamers. The alternative is the Dazzle by Pinnacle Systems. The device can be purchased for under $60 and it provides decent 480p recording. The Dazzle is a great way for some gamers to record gameplay videos without having to resort to digital cameras or cellphones - Perpalicious

Gears of War Limited Edition Console - $399.99 / £279.00

Sure, one can go on about how great this Gears-branded console looks and sounds, but the real sell here is everything that's included in this $399.99 bundle. Along with the console and its 320GB hard drive, the bundle also includes two Gears-skinned controllers. What's even better is that they're based on the transforming d-pad design. All of that plus a copy of the game and DLC for the title make this a great purchase for Gears fans looking to upgrade their HD. The Gears console appears to be unavailable online at the moment from GameStop, so check out the similarly styled Modern Warfare 3 bundle. For those of you looking to the future, a similarly-packaged Kinect Star Wars bundle will arrive some time next year - Matrarch
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Hauppauge HD-PVR: Gaming Edition - $199.99 / £177.00

An alternative to Blackmagic's product line, Hauppauge's HD-PVR line has grown in popularity amongst gamers. The recording is crisp, smooth, and looks fantastic. The only downside is that it records in 1080i/720p and the entry price is pretty steep. Before buying this, just like Blackmagic's line, make sure your computer meets the minimum specifications - Perpalicious

HTC Pro 7

Apprehensive about WP7? Don’t be. The system is gorgeously smooth and simple, and with Xbox LIVE integration, what more could you want!? With an ever growing library of games and applications, the format is growing day by day. And, if you’re like me and not a fan of touch screen only phones, the slide out QWERTY keypad will keep you more than happy. Go pop those achievements on the move! - ButterflyEdge
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Kinect - $149.99 / £109.99

I’m more than happy to sit with a controller for hours, and my Wii barely gets used, but Kinect is just too much fun to ignore and comes bundled with Kinect Adventures to get you started. Those of you who have waited for the non-casual games to arrive may now want to pay attention too. With games like The Gunstringer, Rise of Nightmares and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary now available for purchase, and many more ‘hardcore’ titles promised for 2012, Kinect is becoming a key part of the Xbox 360 gaming experience. Just make sure that you have enough space to get the best performance out of the sensor as 8ft is the recommended distance - PunkyLiar
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Microsoft Xbox 360 Quick Charge Kit - $34.44 / £16.97

A must have for the hardcore gamer. No longer will you be restricted by the play and charge kit. Planning a 24 hour marathon? Have a weekend free to dive head first into The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim? Don't let a dead battery slow you down! This charger offers two slots for you to place your extra batteries into for a quick reload when the one in your controller inevitable dies. Don't get caught with your pants down! - NinjaDave04
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Razer Onza Tournament Edition - $49.99 / £49.99

If there’s one piece of Xbox hardware that you are going to get this year, this has to be it. The Onza gamepad leaves the standard controllers in the shade. The joypad has so many features that it’s hard to keep the list short: rubberised non-slip body, lightweight design, double set of bumper buttons, of which one set can be remapped to any other of the controllers buttons, and illuminated extra sensitive ABXY buttons. The defining feature of the tournament edition over the standard edition is the adjustable torsion in the analogue sticks. Absolutely brilliant! I’ve had one for six months now and I have never looked back - Nexus Grunt
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SanDisk 16GB Extreme Cruzer Contour - $55.15 / £44.99

Since the Xbox 360 update last year, many gamers may have forgotten that our favourite console can now use a 16GB USB drive. While there are many on the market, a lot of them are too large to be used solely for the 360. The Extreme Cruzer Contour is a great, mid-range performance drive that offers good read speeds and very decent write speeds; not only that, but it may be one of the best looking drives currently available. It’s also available in smaller sizes, including 4 and 8GB for those on a smaller budget - Lexual
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Turtle Beach Ear Force X41 Wireless Headset - $139.99 / £126.18

Enjoy every sound from your favourite games (and movies) in stunning Dolby 7.1 channel stereo surround sound with the Turtle Beach Ear Force X41 Wireless Headset. These earphones provide independent game and LIVE chat sound levels to ensure that you never miss a thing! There’s no need for a separate power supply, as the included Wireless Transmitter receives its juice from your TV or Xbox 360, with the earphones requiring AAA batteries to operate. Despite retailing at a premium price point, the X41s are a must for any keen gamer, as they provide a comfortable, durable alternative to surround sound speakers - http://www.trueachievements.com/KeithBGray.htm
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XtendPlay - $14.99 / £14.99

On the market for just under a year, XtendPlay is based on the theory that better ergonomics leads to better game play. Its shape and size are far from accidental, designed to keep hands, fingers, arms, and even upper body relaxed and fresh over entire gaming sessions. Feel better, play better, as XtendPlay's makers claim. I swear by it, as does a growing number of MLG pros. Reviews have also been overwhelmingly positive, and we've had enough experience with XtendPlay to say it's absolutely worth the small outlay. XtendPlay works with any wired headset using a 90-degree/L-jack to connect to the controller. Since it adds little width to the controller, the rule of thumb is if you can use a controller, you'll benefit from XtendPlay. It also works with the Razer Onza - Stallion83
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Hardware can make or break an achievement unlock. That's why today we're offering up two of Stallion83's favoured control enhancers. We're giving away two of Xwerkx Xtend Play, and as before everyone who comments on this article is automatically entered into the randomised draw.

A big thanks to Xwerkx for hooking us up with some Xtend Play action!

- This competition in unavailable to TA Staff Members
- Winners will be chosen at random (via random.org)
- Entries close midnight PST for everyone
- There are no international exclusions on entry
- All decisions are final
- Winners will be announced in tomorrow's Gift Guide post
- Please PM DavieMarshall with any questions