It’s officially the season of gift guides, so you know what that means – you’re likely basking in the glow of your desktop or phone as you order holiday gifts by shopping online from the comfort of your home. Or you’re like me and lining up at Starbucks for Brown Sugar Americano because, for some odd reason, you refuse to believe it is nearing Christmas.
Jokes aside, a good holiday deal is a great way to save money, get the gift you need, and ensure you’re not wrangling the aisles for a last-minute stocking stuffer. Whether you’re shopping for a friend, family, or colleague or as a donation, we’re here to offer some ideas on what we think are gifts for everyone!
For PlayStation Fans
If you are looking for that person that you are just not sure what they’ll like aside from something PlayStation, PS Store Wallet Cards are a flexible and budget-friendly way to ensure you get them playing!
And while you are at it, why not make their holiday a little more colourful by adding a PS5Console Cover in their favourite colour, with a matching DualSense controller?! The Galactic Purple is the best of the bunch, followed by the Black cover.
Admittedly, we can’t say more about the PlayStation Portal just yet, but it’s a safe bet to say it’ll appeal to the current PlayStation gamer looking to take their play with them!
If you think getting them a game is a better bet, here are just a few of our favourites:
If that loved one already has a PlayStation 5, I’d recommend a few things of interest! Namely, if they own a Steam Deck or gaming PC, PlayStation has added several new games this year to its PC offerings!
In my review of the PS VR2 hardware, I said, “The great thing about experiencing the hardware is you can learn to believe in the vision Sony sees. With the support of developers, the need for viable games is now the most significant hurdle we will see as the hardware hits retail shelves. Six years ago, VR on console wasn’t nearly as good as PC had it, but things have changed, and it feels like there’s a level playing ground.”
Of course, the most important thing is having a PlayStation Plus membership, which is needed to pick up the free games available each month on the service. You’ll also want to pick up a PlayStation Store Gift Card.
For those who are already in the ecosystem and want something simple to add to their collection, I recommend picking up the DualSense Edge. It comes with a hefty price tag, but as someone who uses the Edge as a daily driver, I can attest to how clutch the added paddles are and that there are some significant improvements to the joysticks.
Lastly, the Pulse 3D Wireless Headset is an excellent addition to any collection that can be used with your PC. It won’t break the bank, but it will blow your mind with the impressive sounds it produces. Additionally, if you want a set of Earbuds, the Pulse Explore is out on December 6 and is Sony’s first pair of wireless earbuds for the PlayStation 5. The Pulse Explore features AI-enhanced noise rejection, lossless audio, a charging case, and dual microphones. It
For Xbox Fans
You’ll have a new console to play games on, but no games when you receive a new console. Xbox has the ultimate solution to that problem and is easily the best video game deal. Enter Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, a subscription service that features over 100 high-quality titles across console and PC, including day-one first-party releases and the added benefits of Xbox Live Gold. You can even stream games with Xbox Cloud Gaming to your mobile device, tablet, or television without worrying about downloading games.
For $16.99 per month, it’s easily the best recommendation I can suggest for new console owners who have difficulty buying games.
Xbox Design Lab
Thanks to @XboxCanada for allowing me to create my own custom colour-shifting controller via the Xbox Design Lab.
You can choose from Aqua Shift, Lunar Shift, Cosmic Shift, and Stellar Shift.
The Elite Series 2 was designed to be fully customizable with interchangeable components, which allows players to make their own unique and personal controller. Enter the Xbox Design Lab — choose different colours for the body, back case, D-pad, bumpers, triggers, thumbsticks, buttons, thumbstick base, and ring. All of this can be done for CAD 149.99.
Alternatively, you can pick up a completely customized Elite Series 2 controller that includes all the Elite components for CAD 209.99.
The Xbox Series X is a standout console, given it is a mighty machine that serves as a great entry point into the ninth generation of console gaming.
The Xbox Series S is the perfect console for those looking to enter the ecosystem or add a unit to their family room. It also is the gateway to Xbox Game Pass, with hundreds available at the press of a button.
While the console is diskless, you can use Game Pass and purchase digital titles from the Microsoft Store. The Series S still has an eight-core 3.6 GHz AMD CPU, 512 GB NVMe SSD, 4 teraflops of GPU, 10 GB GDDR6 RAM, ray tracing, and frame rates of up to 120 FPS. PCB stack-up impedance calculators allow the console to run a lot of power, regardless of their size.
You can also select between 512GB or 1TB and pick up a console for $379.
For Nintendo Fans
Nintendo Switch OLED Model
Nintendo’s latest refresh of the Switch is easily the best given it uses an OLED screen to make the games look vibrant and pop with colour. Equipped with a stunning 7-inch OLED display, an excellent kickstand for tabletop sessions, a dock with a LAN port, enhanced audio and double the internal storage (64 GB), the Nintendo Switch OLED model is an easy recommendation for newcomers to the platform or for your family members who have a launch model that’s probably been around the block.
You can purchase the Nintendo Switch OLED model for $449.99.
Purchase the Nintendo Switch OLED model at Best Buy.
Purchase the Nintendo Switch OLED model at Amazon.
If you want to subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online in Canada, it’ll run you $4.99 for 30 days, $9.99 for 90 days, and $24.99 for a year for an individual membership. A family plan costs $44.99 for 12 months and allows four family members to share an account.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder
Super Mario Bros. Wonder is out and easily one of the best 2D platformers in years. The classic gameplay you remember from childhood has been elevated to inspire a new generation of young minds as you head to the Flower Kingdom and collect Wonder Flowers to stop Bowser.
In my review, I said, “Super Mario Bros. Wonderdelivers one of the best 2D Mario games in decades, providing an experience unquestionably tied to Nintendo’s identity. Few developers, if any, exist in the bubble Nintendo resides in, yet that uniqueness and inclination to creativity have given us Super Mario Bros. Wonder. Stages are dazzling, the power-ups are exciting, the characters and NPCs are charming and funny, and the platforming scenarios are top-tier. For the first time in decades, the 2D Mario games feel like they’ve outpaced the 3D Mario games by delivering one of the best games you’ll play this year.”
Super Mario RPG
Suppose you prefer something outside of the typical Mario experience. In that case, I suggest checking out Super Mario RPG, a remake of the SNES original that is now the definitive and best way to enjoy the classic. You work with a motley crew to save the Star Road from the Smithy Gang as they take over the Mushroom Kingdom.
In my review, I said, “Super Mario RPGis legitimately one of the best video games ever. The original is timeless, and the Switch remake excels at updating the experience to a definitive sheen. Many of the changes made are subtle but effectively update the core to a pristine level by cutting away much of the fat RPGs tend to have. You get a lean but indulgent experience that is a testament to Nintendo’s focus on fun.”
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
If you prefer Hryule over the Mushroom Kingdom, look no further than The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, a sequel that concludes the story introduced in Breath of the Wild. Tasked with stopping Ganondorf from taking over Hryule, Link must look to the past to save the future.
In my review, I said, “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is a purposeful follow-up to Breath of the Wild because it builds on the world in several exciting ways. You’re encouraged to engage and tackle quests in a way that fits your playstyle while never feeling overburdened by the systems put in place. It is clear that Nintendo has listened to feedback and built the sequel upon those suggestions, making it all the better. There’s so much to see and do in Hyrule, and the reworked iteration of this iconic world is simply one of the best I’ve ever experienced. Without a doubt, Tears of the Kingdom stands among the greats like Ocarina of Time and WindWaker as being some of the best chapters in one of the most celebrated series.”
Sonic the Hedgehog is a legend, an icon that has left an indelible mark on millions of people. We’re in an exciting renaissance between movies, comics, games, and television. The recent release of Sonic Superstars has taken Sonic’s classic formula and given it a thrilling twist. But is it a change for the better? I believe we’ve gotten an excellent follow-up to Sonic Mania.
Sonic’s Green Hill Zone Loop Challenge By Lego
Lego’s been releasing some incredible crossovers in recent years, and the latest is both familiar and iconic. The LEGO Sonic the Hedgehog Green Hill Zone Loop Challenge set; it comes with Sonic, Amy, a Flicky, Becky, Pocky, Pecky, Dr. Eggman, plus Badniks Chopper and Newtron and accessories.
It is priced at $99 USD/$129 CAD.
Hypland X Shadow the Hedgehog
Hypland‘s previously collaborated with Sega as it launched a Sonic the Hedgehog line in 2022. This latest collaboration features one of Sonic’s biggest rivals Shadow the Hedgehog.
Sonic The Hedgehog Blue Cooler Mini Fridge
If you want to add a minifridge to your gaming setup, this thermoelectric cooler features Sonic and can hold up to nine drink cans. Or, if you prefer to hit the road, the device comes with a 12V DC cable.
Pick up the Sonic the Hedgehog Blue Cooler Mini Fridge at Walmart on sale for $59.99
Using industry-grade audio components with a dynamic mic supported by a high pass filter that allows for the best voice clarity, you can hear the impressive results of the Seiren V2 Pro.
Check out the first episode of Creature Cast and compare it to the latest, and you’ll see just how big of a difference it is.
The Seiren V2 Pro uses a Type A to Type C USB cable to connect to your devices and includes a volume dial, gain dial, and mute button. There’s also a 3.55mm headphone port with a built-in shock absorber and mic windsock.
One of Razer’s most popular mechanical keyboards is the Blackwidow V4 Pro, which has a set of features for advanced controls. It features per-key lighting and a striking under glow that highlights the keyboard from more angles. Sync it with your battle station and enjoy greater immersion for hundreds of integrated games.
Custom functions on the keyboard’s programmable dial allow great commands and macro keys for keybinds.
Surface Laptop 5
The Surface Laptop 5 comes in two models with 3:2 PixelSense displays powering the 13.5-inch or 15-inch options, each with Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos 3D spatial processing.
This year includes a Thunderbolt port, the USB-A port, the Surface Connect port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Storage will ramp up from the entry level at 256GB to 1TB. Memory starts at 8GB and maxes out at 32 GB of LPDDR5x RAM. Microsoft is also using Intel’s Iris Xe graphics to power the device.
The Surface Pro 9 includes the latest 12th Gen Intel Core processor, bringing a 50 percent performance increase over the Surface Pro 8.
The Surface Pro 9 with SQ3 is the only model with built-in 5G support. Both models (Intel and SQ3) have 8GB of RAM as a base and can amp up to 32GB of RAM. On the storage side, both models also begin with 128GB but can amp up to 1TB on the Intel model and 516 GB on the SQ3.
Blacklyte is a new Canadian-founded lifestyle brand that wants to redefine how you live. The company soft-launched in September and introduced several exciting products, including the Atlas desk and Athena chair.
The Athena chair has a few standout features, including lockable roller wheels, a multi-angle tilt, high-density cold-core foam technology built into the chair, and ergonomic lumbar support.
Using premium leather available in white, black, or pink, the Athena chair combines with carbon fibre and is six times more durable than PU leather. There’s
We’re rounding up this year’s holiday gift guide with exciting Lego builds! Personally, it wasn’t until recently that I found myself building Lego sets, but I’m glad I discovered a new hobby!
For children under 12, the Pegasus Flying Horse is a set that might interest them. The set can be built by adding wings to Zoey, the winged horse.
The Exotic Parrot is also an interesting set as it showcases some incredible colours and is a fun project for kids to enjoy over the holiday break. Lego says it is a 3-in-1 model as it can be a parrot, a fish, or a frog.
Older children might want something more challenging, so why not check out the Creative Colour Fun kit?
Kensington’s SmartFit Easy Riser Go Adjustable Ergonomic Laptop Riser
Ergonomics is something all of us should keep in mind now that working from home or remotely is a staple of everyday life. The SmartFit Easy Riser simplifies the ideal ergonomic height by scientifically proven research to support the proper fit and height. The height adjustment allows you to lift your laptop or tablet as high as 8.5 inches and comes with a foldable kickstand for height flexibility.
The SmartFit Easy Riser Go Adjustable Ergonomic Laptop Riser is available for CAD 37.99.
Purchase the SmartFit Easy Riser Go Adjustable Ergonomic Laptop Riser at Amazon.
Multi-Device Dual Wireless Compact Keyboard
Kensington has a lot of great productions for both home and office. The Multi-Device Dual Wireless Compact Keyboard lets you connect and
switch between up to three devices at a time, including your laptop, phone, or tablet and uses Bluetooth 3.0 and 5.0 or 2.4GHz with 128-bit AES encryption.
The Multi-Device Dual Wireless Compact Keyboard is available for CAD 39.99.
Purchase the Multi-Device Dual Wireless Compact Keyboard at Amazon.
MK7500F QuietType Pro Silent Mechanical Keyboard with Meeting Controls
Kensington’s MK7500F QuietType mechanical keyboard boasts silence. Mechanical keyboards can get loud thanks to how they are built, but in this case, you’re getting a solid device built with productivity and focus in mind.
Paired with tactile keys and meeting controls, there are options to control video conferencing or control music at the press of a button.
I’ve always thought mechanical keyboards were pretty cool but a bit loud. Thankfully, Kensington has figured out a way to get into the ecosystem without all the noise.
The MK7500F QuietType Pro Silent Mechanical Keyboard is available for CAD 269.99
Purchase the MK7500F QuietType Pro Silent Mechanical Keyboard at Amazon.
HyperX Cloud Earbuds II RED
The HyperX Cloud Earbuds II were created with portability and audio quality in mind. Using 14mm drivers optimized for mobile audio, you can use the Cloud Earbuds II Red for audio, gaming, videos or more on the go. The Cloud Earbuds II also features a low-profile 90° cable to help you avoid snags and a helpful carrying case.
You can easily switch between gaming and taking calls with the press of a button, and the device is compatible with the Switch, Steam Deck, and more with a 3.5mm connection.
The HyperX Cloud Earbuds II is available for CAD 49.99