Editorials

Holiday Gift Guide 2018

The festive season began the moment Halloween ended and that leaves more than enough time to really get into the spirit of the season. That’s means we’ve got ample time to consider what types of gifts to get our friends and family. Once again, we’ve combed through deals and compiled a list that we feel reflects some of the best available this year.

We found something for almost everyone in your family and this year features many good gift ideas.

First and foremost, if you missed the news, Toronto now has its very own eSports team, Toronto Defiant. They are competing in the Overwatch League in the Atlantic Division and are owned by OverActive Media Group. Since being revealed in October, we’ve now seen some of the merchandise that features their slick logo and is available on a number of fashionable pieces of clothing.

I’m a big fan of the Sigil White Tee, with the team’s logo printed on the front. It’s a simple tee that fits with a ton of outfits. Secondly, the Defiant Zip-Up, a hoodie that goes perfect with the Sigil White Tee, and features the team’s logo on the front and back. The YYZ DEF Black Tee features a classic design and lets everyone who looks at your shirt where you’re from.

Get them clothing here:

Sigil White Tee (M)

Sigil White Tee (F)

Defiant Zip-Up

YYZ Def

A surprising number of people this year have cut the cord and moved to streaming. Enter Roku, a company that provides ideal solutions to people who no longer subscribe to cable. This year, we reviewed the Roku Streaming Stick+, a portable stick that lets you stream your favourite shows on the go, and in 4K HDR. Also, this is perfect for wall-mounted televisions as it plugs right into your HDMI port and takes up no space.

You can pick up the Roku Streaming Stick+ for $89.99 at Best Buy Canada and Amazon Canada.

So many of us are always on the go these days and that means we carry our lives in our backpacks. As a professional, I’m stuffing the necessities in my bag and like to make sure I’ve got everything I need to make my day as smooth as possible. Coming across this SmartPack backpack from Mobile Edge is what I feel a good bag should be. With a protective laptop compartment for screens up to 16”, this bag is not only ergonomically designed, but it’s also lightweight as it’s made with nylon and includes a tablet pouch as well. There’s also ventilated back and thick shoulder straps for support.

Another year, another router. This year, we got our hands on the TP-Link Archer AC5400x, powerful MU-MIMO Tri-Band Gaming Router. This the first gaming router available in Canada, and while aimed at professional gamers, is something the entire family can also enjoy due to how powerful the router is thanks what the company is calling “battle-tested network architecture optimized for gameplay.” How is interesting by allowing the router to utilize the 1.8 GHz 64-bit quad-core CPU, this essentially allows everyone at home to do what they want and not worry about the network being bogged down, all thanks to three processors working to ensure balance.

While the router is a bit pricey at $449.99, it is certainly worth the security and suite of features included.

You can pick up the TP-Link Archer AC5400x at Canada Computers.

Xbox this year is doing things big. This year, is the year of Xbox Game Pass. The service touted as the Netflix of gaming and already has some of the biggest games on the console available. From exclusives like Forza Horizon 4, State of Decay 2, and Sea of Thieves, you’ll find dozens of titles ready to stream including DOOM, Outlast, Quantum Break, Gears of War 4 and Rocket League. There really is something for everyone.

Also, another year and we’re seeing more 4K content, so this holiday season you might want to check out the Xbox One X, the most powerful console on the market. Gift the gamer on your list with this incredible gaming console. With 6 teraflops of power and support for true 4K gaming, the Xbox One X delivers buttery smooth, razor sharp, and totally immersive gaming experiences. It works with your existing Xbox One games, taps into the online features of Xbox Live, and is compatible with 4K Blu-rays, 4K streaming, and HDR content.

Purchase the Xbox One X at Best Buy Canada right now for $499.99 until December 13, after that the price returns to $599.99 and Amazon Canada has the same deal.

The PlayStation 4 Pro is still a hot-selling console for Sony. This year, we saw numerous bundles made available, but the hottest selling this year is the Red Dead Redemption 2 PlayStation 4 Pro bundle at $499.99.

Of course if you want another bundle you can select from a number of bundles from Best Buy Canada and over at Amazon Canada.

Experience the thrill of intense motorsports action in a car, truck, motorcycle, boat, off-road buggy, or even a stunt plane! From sea to shining sea, explore the cities, roads, rivers, and skies of an open world America built for motorsports.

You can purchase The Crew 2 from Best Buy Canada or from Amazon Canada.

If you already own a PlayStation 4, then consider purchasing the PSVR bundle which includes the virtual reality headset, two games, and two Move controllers, and the PlayStation camera. We reviewed PlayStation VR and can’t get over how much fun adding the headset and accessories to your library is.

The best bundle is currently available for $449.99 with all the requires accessories, otherwise you can purchase the basic bundle for $379.99.

You can purchase the bundles and accessories here at Best Buy Canada or take a look at Amazon Canada.

Nintendo’s having another great year with the Nintendo Switch. This year we got a few notable bundles including the Fortnite Bundle and the Mario Kart 8 Bundle. Each bundle costs $379.99.

If those don’t interest you, there’s also the Neon Red/Blue and Gray JoyCon Bundles available at Best Buy Canada or from Amazon Canada.

Everyone is here! In this latest installment of the frantic fighting game series, Super Smash Bros Ultimate allows you to choose from every single character who’s ever appeared in a Smash Bros game. Many of the characters have upgraded moves and appearances, and the game features tons of improvements.

You can purchase Super Smash Bros Ultimate from Best Buy Canada or from Amazon Canada.

Enjoy a unique action-adventure game experience with Starlink: Battle for Atlas. The game interacts with a physical model that you connect to your controller. Choose your pilot, build the starship, and choose your weapons, then see it instantly come to life in the game. The Switch version includes Fox McCloud from Star Fox and retails for $99.99. Each console also features their own starter bundle for $99.99 and includes the game, weapon accessories, pilot, and ship.

You can purchase Starlink: Battle for Atlas on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 at Best Buy Canada, with tons of weapon packs, characters, available to purchase as well.

Journey to ancient Greece and explore the path of a legendary Spartan hero in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. As you make choices throughout the game the world around you will be shaped by your decisions, and you’ll be able to explore a country full of bustling ancient cities and unexpected encounters.

You can purchase Assassin’s Creed Odyssey for $79.99 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 at Best Buy Canada or from Amazon Canada.

FanFit Gaming has some great stocking stuffers for gamers young or old.

For instance, their collection of 16 oz Ceramic Mugs will surely put a smile on any console gamer’s face. In the collection aptly named “Console Wars”, FanFit has designs ranging from PlayStation, Nintendo, SEGA, and Xbox.

Each mug has a beautiful collage of characters and icons. On the Xbox One mug, Master Chief, Marcus Fenix, and more are represented. Each mug is dishwasher and microwave safe, so you’ll be able to sip hot chocolate on a brisk winter’s night with one of these mugs.

Console Wars mug is available for $24.99.

Adults will surely get a kick from the Gamer Flasks. Each 7 oz flask has a canvas print featuring RPG characters and accessories. On the top of each flask is FanFit’s logo embossed on a leather trim, with “Select You Character” embossed on the bottom. The flask itself is made of food-safe aluminum.

Gamer Flasks are available for $24.99.

FanFit has a line of enamel pins available. One that immediately stuck out to me was their Nintendo Switch pin. The colours of the pin are incredibly vibrant and true to the JoyCon colour scheme. Sizing of the pin is 3.8 x 3.8cm. FanFit also has a range of Rainbow Six Siege designs as well.

Enamel Pins are available for $12.65.

 

For Overwatch players, add a touch of flair to your Christmas tree with a felt ornament. Each ornament is handmade and outsourced from Nepal ––- giving impoverish woman a chance to create a source of income. Each piece is of high quality and has a heartwarming story behind it.

Felt Ornaments are available for $15.00.

Finally, for the PC gamer in your life, FanFit has a selection of professional gaming mouse pads. In particular,  the “Play to Win” pad features a vibrant blue and purple pallet, with 80’s aesthetic text.

Sizing of the mouse pad comes to 27.5 x 11.8 inches and has an anti-slip material built into the back.

Professional Gaming Mouse Pads are available for $29.99.

Control your lights conveniently from your smartphone or tablet with the WeMo Smart Dimmer. This Wi-Fi enabled device lets you choose the desired level of brightness and set schedules to suit your preferences. Sync your lights to sunrise and sunset. Dim them when it’s time for your favourite show. Easy to install, it works with Nest and Google Home.

You can purchase the Belkin WeMo Dimmer Light Switch $79.99 at Best Buy Canada.

The Dyson Pure Cool HEPA Air Purifier & Fan automatically cleans a whole room by capturing 99.97% of allergens and pollutants as small as 0.3 microns. Ten fan speed settings help you stay cool while Air Multiplier technology delivers more than 437 litres per second of airflow. Connect to the Dyson Link up for live updates on your air quality.

You can purchase the Dyson Pure Cool HEPA Air Purifier & Fan for $549.99 at Best Buy Canada and you’ll want to check out purchasing an extra filter for $99.99.

Plugging into a WeMo Insight Wi-Fi smart plug is like feeding smart pills to your lamp. Not only can you turn lights and other appliances on and off remotely from the free WeMo app; with the Insight, you can also find out what your appliances are up to via real-time reports about energy consumption. Learn how much that space heater is costing you. Get push notifications when your lamp turns on or off. Make sure your stuff is off when you’re not using it and set worry-free schedules, all from your smartphone or tablet.

You can purchase the WeMo Insight Switch for $59.99 at Amazon Canada.

If you want some clothing to go with your tech, Ubi Workshop has some gaming-inspired gear! This year is all about celebrating Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and what better way than to wear your fandom on your sleeve?

Taking inspiration from the wonders of Ancient Greece, this new collection from Ubi Workshop brings life to the characters from the universe of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

You can purchase the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Spartan Hero Hoodie at Ubi Store.

Raised in the forge of a Spartan upbringing, Kassandra ekes out a living as a mercenary on the isle of Kephallonia, where a tragedy has left her stranded for years. Riddled with debt, she’s offered a potentially life-changing mission by a mysterious stranger; thus, begins an odyssey that takes her through the battle lines between Athens and Sparta, and into the maw of a conspiracy that wants to destroy her. Written by Gordon Doherty – an author whose historical fiction includes the Legionary series and Strategos trilogy, set in the Roman and Byzantine empires.

If you want to kick it old school and play board games with your family, we’ve been excited about these ones. In fact, they are what we’ve played for the last few days non-stop and we are clamouring to get back to playing more Harry Potter Triwizard Maze. It’s classic Trouble with a twist – the Maze Cards can make or break your game. Some might give you an additional turn, move your piece to home or move your piece back to the start.  The additional element of surprise is exciting and with games not lasting very long, it’s easy to get a few games in for the night!

You can purchase Harry Potter Triwizard Maze at Walmart.

Play Harry Potter Magical Beasts is fun and it’s a bit different from your standard board game. By gathering a series of cards, you piece together the clues to find the magical beasts. There’s quite a few to find, too! The board also comes with a middle board that takes place within Hogwarts and outside on the grounds. When you roll a die and move to your space, you need to make your way to the Beast Clue spaces that allow you to draw a clue. 

We’ve only played one game so far but we’re enjoying what we’ve played. The board is high quality too and and has some lovely designs on the cards, each showing the beasts and the clues.

You can purchase Harry Potter Magical Beasts at Amazon Canada.


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Bobby has been gaming since he was old enough to walk. Since then, the interest has only grown stronger, and here we are today. Follow Bobby on Twitter, and just go with it. @bpashalidis

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