TA's Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Hardware & Misc.

By Rebecca Smith, 6 years ago
Yesterday's guide brought to you our selection of the best Arcade Games of 2012. Today we start with revealing our selection of hardware that we feel represents the best available on today's market. These may not be this year's releases, but we've not got anything bad to say about any of our experiences with the following pieces of kit:

Astro A-50 Wireless Headset

Are you always being tracked by a stealthy creature who loves to use Sit Rep Pro and can here you a mile away, but all you hear is the sound of gunfire and a 12-year-old kid screaming "Mom, five more minutes GOSH!"? Then net yourself a pair of Astro A50's. This wireless headset and AMP combo is the tippity-top of headsets. With customisable ear-plates for the majority of your favourite games and an equalizer that will give you pin-point accuracy to listen in on camping enemies, the A50's are prefect for any gamers needs. The next-time a crabby-camper is waiting with a silencer, with a set of these headphones gently covering not only your lovely ears but your backside, you can even hear him breathe as he loads his weapon while laying over there in a bush not moving for the last five minutes - SgtDigglesworth

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Halo 4 Limited Edition Xbox 360 320GB Console

If you feel like treating yourself to an upgrade for the holidays, you won't want one of those ordinary black slim consoles now, do you? Why not be a little different and pluck for the Halo 4 Limited Edition console instead? With a translucent pattern on the console and two matching controllers with blue LEDs, this is an eye-catching addition to your collection. The extra 70 GB of storage compared to the standard 250 GB Slim will be useful for avid downloaders or those who like to install their entire game collection. The bundle also comes complete with a wired headset and a copy of Halo 4 - PunkyLiar

Halo 4 Console

Hori EX2 Turbo Control Pad

If you are sick of tying a shoelace to a doorknob, placing a coin on the B button and having a fan generate enough wind-power to combine the laws of physics and have a perfect idle boost, then look no further than the Hori EX2 Pad. With a design that is very similar to the Xbox 360 Controller, the Hori EX2 Pad is fully programmable and will help you generously when against the odds of an achievement, such as "Seriously 3.0". Walk away and this controller will do the work for you, so put away the record player that turns a crank, that opens a cookie jar and drops beads onto your controller at a precise time — get yourself a Hori EX2 Pad to help you will all of those boosting woes - SgtDigglesworth

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iPad Mini

Do you find your iPhone too small for watching movies and playing games? Do you find your iPad too big and cumbersome to be a truly portable device? Don’t have any other iOS device and are curious to know what all the fuss is about? With the performance of an iPad 2 but the improved camera of the latest iPad, the Mini is the perfect handbag-sized tablet with all the benefits that iOS and the massive App store bring with them. For an Apple device, the prices aren’t half bad either - ChewieOnIce

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Kinect Sensor

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. The non-casual games have finally arrived with many ‘hardcore’ franchises now including some sort of Kinect functionality. 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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Nokia Lumia 920

Windows Phone 8 is finally here with a few pretty new handsets to go with it, including the flagship Nokia Lumia 920 with its big 4.5 super sensitive touch screen, 32GB worth of built in space and an absolutely superb 8.7 megapixel camera with PureView technology. While it may be prettier and more customisable, the Windows Phone format hasn't changed massively overall, but still the list of available games and apps continues to grow. If you're considering making the leap to the platform to pop some extra achievements while you're on the go, there's no better phone to do it on than this - http://www.trueachievements.com/ButterflyEdge.htm

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Official Xbox 360 Chrome Controller

The Chrome Controllers feature the redesigned joysticks and adjustable D-pad that are extremely popular among hardcore gamers. Your fingers don't slip off the joysticks as easily and the D-pad is much more responsive, helping to improve your gaming performance in those tense situations. Available in red, blue or silver, you have a choice of colours to best suit your home interior mood - PunkyLiar

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Scuf Controller

Do you participate in Game Battles, or game professionally? The Scuf Controller gives you the full ability that any gamer needs to help customise their gaming experience. The back paddles, which will allow you to program buttons on the back of the controller by the battery pack, will ensure that you can keep your fingers where they always need to be. The pad is fully interchangeable between a domed thumbstick or the regular Xbox stick, and you can use trigger stops that will allow you to have less movement but full range for your RT and LT. If you are in the heat of battle, and the sweat starts to impair your hand-skills, then the Scuf Grip will ensure that no matter how stressful the battle, you will always have control.

The Scuf Controller also will allow for counter-weights to be placed in the battery pack for those that like a heavy or light feel when gaming. Each controller can follow a programmable schematic for each of your favourite games, from Halo 4, Black Ops 2, Battlefield 3, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 etc. This controller will fit every gamers need on a competitive scale - SgtDigglesworth

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Tritton Warhead 7.1 Wireless Surround Headset

Wub, WUB, WWWUUUUBBBB!! If sound is one of the most enjoyable aspects of any media for you then the Tritton Warhead should be on that nifty list. With a powerful AMP that has numerous settings for gaming, music, and movies, the Tritton Warhead powers your sound needs with 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound. This headset delivers enough juice to give your eardrums the party they have always wanted. With interchangeable rechargeable batteries and a sleek design that is wireless, you can do all of the things you need to do without a 10ft cord to trip over. Give the gift that keeps on WUB WUBBING, with a set of Tritton Warheads - SgtDigglesworth

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Turtle Beach Ear Force X12 Headset

As my gaming habits changed, I found myself playing more and more at night and had the need to use a headset for sound. After thorough research I set my sights on the Turtlebeach Ear Force X12 and I couldn't be happier with them. The black and green colour matches my Xbox well and the headset itself is built to withstand unintended abuse. The ear cups are well padded and covered with a textured black fabric that is comfortable to the touch. They are very comfortable during long gaming sessions, and voice quality and game audio come through crystal clear. There are different volume controls for voice and game sound, so what you hear is very customizable.

While the X12 doesn’t offer surround sound via multiple drivers, an outboard processor can be added to simulate surround. Overall, the Turtlebeach X12 are versatile, well constructed and they are a good, affordable deal - Kendrene

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Next up we have a few game-related gifts and accessories that we feel can be added to any self-respecting player's list:

Halo: Primordium by Greg Bear

If you’ve played Halo 4, you’ll probably have met with the Didact, the new antagonist with a far richer back story than that of the ravenous Flood. Halo: Primordium is the second novel in The Forerunner Trilogy and helps to paint a picture of the events that led to the fall of Forerunner society, building upon the lore and characters introduced in Halo: Cryptum, including that of the Didact and the Librarian. The story follows a human by the name of Chakas as he journeys across a damaged Halo in search of a way home and an explanation for the Librarian’s connection with human destiny - Lexual

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Halo: The Thursday War by Karen Traviss

In the years between Halo 3 and Halo 4 the galaxy didn’t stand still. While the Master Chief slept aboard the aft section of Forward Unto Dawn, the UNSC was dealing with a myriad of threats following the end of the Human-Covenant War. Halo: The Thursday War is the second novel in Karen Traviss’ Kilo-Five trilogy and continues the story of the ONI black-ops team of the same name. Colonial terrorism is becoming a major threat on one of the human worlds that survived the war against the Covenant, while a kidnapped Elite plots vengeance on the humans he fears will bring his people to the brink of destruction. If you’re a fan of Halo, then you will thoroughly enjoy this latest chapter in the series - Lexual

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Mass Effect Figurines

Is your desk crying out for a piece of high-quality geekdom? These figures look great and allow you to pick from your favorite characters from Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 to emblazon your game cave, desk, or wedding cake - osubluejacket

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At the very least, players of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure and Skylanders Giants have three Skylanders and one Giant with which to play the two games, between them covering four of the eight elements within the games. However, if you wish to access every area of the game, you'll need at least one Skylander from every element. With a choice of 32 characters from the first game and 40 characters from the second, you can select the perfect Skylander team. Of course, you could just compulsively collect all of them instead. Adults will get away with it more easily by pretending that they're presents for the children.

Be warned though, check the back of the package on Skylanders: Giants figures to make sure that they are definitely backwards compatible. All Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure figures are compatible for both games - PunkyLiar

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The Walking Dead Compendiums

Fans of the TV show and the more recent episodic XBLA game might be surprised to know that the apocalyptic zombie series has existed for a long time in graphic novel format. The story began in October 2003 and has been running for over 104 monthly episodes. This could well be a little daunting for any fans wanting to try and catch up. Well fear not, the first 96 episodes are collected in two extra large compendiums, with each one running over 1000 pages in length. Volume 1 covers comics 1-48, and the second from 49-96, and even if you've watched the TV series and played the game, there are some very different and very surprising storylines to be found within these pages. This is an absolute 'must-have' collection for any fans of the series - Nexus Grunt

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Tune in tomorrow for the final part of the guide and the one that I'm sure that most of you are avidly anticipating — the Retail Games!
Rebecca Smith
Written by Rebecca Smith
Rebecca is the Newshound Manager at TrueGaming Network. She has been contributing articles since 2010, especially those that involve intimidatingly long lists. When not writing news, she works in an independent game shop so that she can spend all day talking about games too. She'll occasionally go outside.