VGBlogger’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guides for Geeks & Gamers: Gaming Hardware and Accessories

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Our annual gift guides for geeks and gamers have returned for another holiday shopping season! We’re kicking things off with a look at some of our top recommendations in console gaming accessories, PC gaming mice and keyboards, headphones/headsets, and other tech that’s sure to please any gadget lover. Stay tuned for additional product updates and gift ideas throughout the remainder of the holiday season. Happy shopping!

OPSEAT Master Series Gaming Chair — Buy From Amazon.com or OPSEAT:

Serious gaming demands serious comfort. The last thing you want to worry about during extended gaming sessions is butt hurt and/or back and neck aches from sitting in a chair with poor back support and a thin or lumpy seat. OPSEAT’s Master Series offers a serious chair for the serious gamer, built for all your daily use and marathon gaming needs. The chairs are also quite stylish, available in a broad range of bright colors that allow you to coordinate with your office, man cave, living room, or entertainment center décor or simply to show off your favorite hue. Assembly is a synch, even by yourself. The synthetic leather feels durable yet soft and supple, with tight, even stitching on all the seams and corners. The cushions are a little stiff initially, but after a week or two of breaking the chair in you can expect to achieve maximum comfort. Adjustability is one of the strongest aspects to this chair, including adjustable arm rest height; a bar to raise/lower the seat; a lever to change the back angle (it can be leaned back to a completely flat position); a knob to set the tension on the reclining action; and both head/neck and back/lumber cushions, each removable with elastic straps for positioning just where you need them.

The chair has an official weight limit of 300 lbs. I’m around 250 lbs, and I’ve been using the chair daily since the beginning of the year with no signs of wear. One potential sticking point may be the chair’s seat width as the upward flaring wings that create sort of a racing bucket seat shape are supported by a skeleton of metal bars, which can make for a hard, cramped fit if you have wider hips. I’ve also noticed that the chair’s center of gravity is rather unforgiving, which means if you happen to lean too far forward on the seat the base of the chair can begin to lean forward and even lift off the ground if you aren’t careful. Something I do need to point out, though, is that the OPSEAT Master Series has been upgraded to a newer 2018 model that appears to have been changed in a few areas from the one I’ve been testing, namely with a thicker seat cushion and arm rests with 4-dimensional adjustment. OPSEAT is currently running a holiday discount of $30 off all chairs, bringing the price down to just $219. If you’d rather sit tight until after the holidays, OPSEAT’s planning to launch the Grandmaster Series of chairs sometime in January. Beyond the fact that it’ll cost $299, the Grandmaster’s specs and appearance are still to be revealed. Whether you go for it now or in the New Year, your rear will thank you dearly for giving it an OPSEAT gaming chair to rest in.

Mobile Edge Core Gaming Backpack — Buy from Mobile Edge:

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Mobile Edge is launching its Core Gaming Backpack just in the nick of time for the holiday shopping season. The debut product in a new line of premium gaming gear designed by gamers for gamers, the Core Gaming Backpack has all the capacity and compartments an on-the-go gamer could ask for, including three main storage sections, ideal for larger items like laptops, tablets, and keyboards; four side pockets for mice, cables, and other small pieces of gear; and an array of interior pockets and pouches for items like pens, phones, keys, and even dedicated slots for memory cards and USB thumb drives. Everything is compartmentalized in a well thought out layout that keeps your collection of gadgetry organized and within clear access. The bag is also wired for power banks and features an external USB 3.0 port for charging in transit, though you’re looking at an additional investment of a few hundred bucks on top of the $130 backpack as the chargers are sold separately. Opportunities for personalization abound thanks to a Velcro display panel for sticking on patches, which is a nice touch for gamers who may want to show off awards or logos. Or you can choose a backpack with a molded front panel for a look that’s smoother and cleaner. All of the stitching and material feels durable and of the highest quality, while the padding on the back and straps has a comfortable thickness to go along with an air-mesh material for ventilation. Without question the Core Gaming Backpack is a must-have for the traveling gamer and eSports competitor.

Nintendo Switch Elite Player Backpack — Buy from Amazon.com or PDP:

The Nintendo Switch is the ultimate traveling gaming machine, so a nice quality case or bag to transport the system around in is a worthwhile investment. PDP comes through yet again with the Elite Player Backpack, a stylish, affordable, lightweight yet also durably crafted and comfortably padded piece of gaming luggage. The primary pocket is organized and specifically labeled with compartments for the Switch itself, as well as up to six individual joycons, a pro controller, and the dock. Lined with a plush felt, each pocket is open at the top and secured by a Velcro strap. The next largest compartment has an interior zipper pouch that’s marked for headphones but could hold something like a tablet or Nintendo 3DS. Unzipping at an angle across the front of the backpack is another compartment with an additional pair of zipper pockets for game cartridges and other small accessories and knickknacks. A fourth pocket, unzipped from the top of the backpack near the padded handle strap, is like a little felt-lined pouch for other small necessities. The backpack is branded, labeled, padded, and mapped out specifically for the Switch and its accessories, but the pockets are large and versatile enough to store laptops or consoles from Nintendo’s rivals should the need arise. You should only get the pack with the Switch in mind first and foremost, but once you have it you’ll surely find plenty of other uses for it on your daily travels.

KontrolFreek Call of Duty: WWII FPS Freek Thumbstick Grips — Buy from Amazon.com or KontrolFreek:

Every year without fail, KontrolFreek inevitably ends up capturing a spot as a top gift pick in our holiday guides. They work great, come in a wide range of styles, and are perfect for stocking stuffers. There isn’t a gamer alive who wouldn’t benefit from having KontrolFreek bless their controllers’ analog sticks. We recently reviewed a number of different models that are worth considering, but for this guide we’d like to specifically spotlight the latest licensed offering themed after one of the holiday season’s biggest AAA titles, Call of Duty: WWII. Available for PS4 and Xbox One, the black and crimson Call of Duty: WWII FPS Freeks are high-rise thumbsticks with a subtle concave surface. The grips are laser etched with the Infantry Division emblem. The interior emblem has a number of small lines crisscrossing in different directions, which form ridges to grip onto the thumb. Four bumps located around the perimeter of the surface likes points on a compass provide larger grip points for making precise tip-of-the-thumb movements and targeting adjustments. Each package also includes a complimentary code for a KontrolFreek Infantry Division Calling Card to use as an in-game profile customization. A surefire hit for Call of Duty veterans.

KontrolFreek Performance Thumbstick Carrying Case — Buy from KontrolFreek:

For the avid KontrolFreek user with multiple sets of thumbsticks for different controller and game loadouts, this tiny carrying case is an awesome addition to the collection for keeping an arsenal of grips safely stowed away and organized. At about two inches wide and a little under five inches long, the clamshell case is ideally sized to fit comfortably in a pants pocket. A carabiner also comes included for clipping the case to a backpack or belt loop. The interior foam block has notches for securing two pairs or four total grips. Each circular nook has a tiny foam disc at the bottom that holds onto the thumbstick when you push it down into the hole, just likes attaching it to a controller analog stick. The padding holds a tough grip, too. Even after vigorously shaking the case around like a maraca, the thumbsticks stayed firmly in place. So you can be sure that nothing will jiggle loose while on the go. With a smooth black finish accented by a zipper in signature KontrolFreek green, the case has a sleek style that oozes a cool minimalism, matched by a feathery light construction that has a slight give but is rigid enough to withstand normal everyday wear and tear.

KontrolFreek Nintendo Switch Gear — Buy from Amazon.com or KontrolFreek:

KontrolFreek has been servicing PlayStation and Xbox gamers for years, but now, thanks to the ascension of Nintendo’s latest smash-hit gaming machine, the purveyor of premium controller thumbstick grips is bringing its wares to the Switch! Still in its infancy, the Switch lineup is headlined by the Turbo analog stick toppers, which bring increased height/leverage and an expanded surface area to the Joy-Con thumbsticks with a concave, spiral grip pattern. You can get them in a plain black or a neon blue and red combo matching the offset colors of the Joy-Con controllers. Switch Pro Controller users have a few additional options, including three of KontrolFreek’s top existing grips from the other consoles (CQC Signature, Inferno, and Galaxy), as well as Performance Grips for the controller’s handles. For the system itself, KontrolFreek offers a tempered glass screen protector to help guard against dust, smudges, fingerprints, and scratches as the Switch goes from the living room to portable.

Logitech G840 XL Gaming Mouse Pad — Buy from Amazon.com or Logitech:

At approximately 16 inches tall and 35 inches wide, Logitech’s XL gaming mouse pad is a great way to resurface your PC desktop area for peak gaming comfort and performance. It’s large enough to accommodate a full-length keyboard–placed in multiple potential positions and angles–on one side while leaving enough open space on the other side for broad mouse strokes without snagging or dropping over the edge. If you tend to keep your mouse strokes more economical, there’s even ample room for other accessories to rest on. For example, I like to keep my headphones and Xbox One gamepad resting on the right side when they’re not in use–and I’ve still got enough room to comfortably scroll the mouse. The pad’s cloth surface offers a smooth gliding action, with just enough friction to grip the mouse so you don’t get that skating-on-ice sensation. The thick rubber base–in signature Logitech G blue, which creates a nice side view desktop accent–provides exceptional no-skid grip that holds up under quick, sweeping mouse strokes, as well as an extra layer of stability to prevent keyboard slippage. While the rubber gives off a strong, funky odor upon first popping the top on the slick tube packaging, fortunately the smell begins to fade away once the pad is unrolled and given time to air itself out. $50 is fairly pricey for a mouse pad, but for high-intensity PC gamers it’s a luxury that will be met with great appreciation.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Premium Earbuds — Buy from Amazon.com or PDP:

Collectible and functional, PDP’s premium earbuds offer Zelda fans a way to chat and enjoy audio playback while simultaneously showing off their love of the iconic action-adventure franchise. The black cabling–which is crafted in a lay-flat design to prevent tangling–is accented by gold paint on the earbuds, plug, and in-line mic for a classy, elegant aesthetic. The outer surface of each earbud is adorned by a capital ‘Z’ with a sword going through it and a flower sprouting up from the base, representing the imagery of the Breath of the Wild logo. The mic and headphones perform solidly for the $20 price, so while you obviously shouldn’t be expecting world class audio fidelity, the sound clarity is more than capable for general usage in gaming and audio playback, not only on the Switch but also any device with a regular stereo jack. Discomfort is often an issue with earbuds, but the angled rubber tips slip into the ear canal without causing any pain or awkwardness. The coating on the outer rim has a slight cold tingle to it when you first put them in, but certainly not as jolting as a doctor putting a stethoscope to your chest. The pièce de résistance is the included zippered carrying case, which opens up like a clamshell and provides a netted pouch in the top half and a removable rubber base in the bottom half, which features holes on the top to securely mount the earbuds in plus a hidden spool underneath to neatly wrap up the cable. The rubber spool is quite bulky and unwieldy, so you actually may find it more useful to ditch the base entirely, tuck the earbuds into the net pouch, and then use the open space in the main compartment for game cards or other small accessories (perhaps some KontrolFreek grips?). The case and the earbuds together are a nice tandem at a fantastic value.

Logitech G413 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard — Buy from Amazon.com or Logitech:

“The Logitech G413 is a mechanical gaming keyboard with a singular focus: pure performance at an affordable value. For that specific purpose it is an absolute success, a high class product built with exquisite craftsmanship. There are plenty of other, pricier options to pick from if you need dedicated media controls, additional gaming keys, wrist rests, robust customization and programmability, and/or full RGB lighting, none of which this keyboard has. But if you just want a minimalistic keyboard that looks sensational and is armed with the best damn mechanical gaming switches on the market, the G413 is the keyboard to get. And depending on your needs, the USB passthrough port may just be the unexpected cherry on top, as it was for me.” Read our full review here.

Super NES Classic Edition — Buy from Amazon.com:

“Nintendo could have been bolder with the SNES Classic Edition in certain respects, but overall the mini-console without question hits the mark as a nostalgic plug-and-play time capsule tribute to perhaps the greatest era in gaming history (it’s right there with the PS1 and PS2 for me). By all means please avoid the scalpers, because paying anything over the official retail price only encourages poor practices and ultimately just isn’t worth it. Thankfully, Nintendo is promising a greater supply of the SNES Classic compared to the NES version, so keep an eye out for restocks and absolutely jump on any opportunity to feel in 2017 what it was like to play with super power back in the 90s.” Read our full review here.

SNES Classic Edition Collectors Carrying Case — Buy from Amazon.com:

“Certain aspects of PDP’s SNES Classic deluxe carrying case design could’ve been thought through a little better, but overall it’s a sturdy, well-made unit that performs its central duty of holding the system and all of its out-of-the-box components for storage and transport. Yes, it’s a struggle to smush in the HDMI and USB cables, but ultimately they do fit. Obviously if you bought additional cables or accessories, this case won’t be able to accommodate them. The personalization offered by the swappable box art placards adds to the childhood nostalgia and collector’s appeal. The case just launched today, but sadly it appears to already be out of stock. Hopefully that doesn’t mean supply will be as tight as the console itself. I’m told by PDP that more stock should be coming to Amazon in a week or two, so definitely keep browsing around and be ready to snatch one up when the opportunity presents itself.” Read our full review here.

Logitech G433 7.1 Wired Surround Gaming Headset — Buy from Amazon.com or Logitech:

“The G433 is compatible as a regular stereo headset on PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One, and mobile devices, which means it’s capable of fulfilling the job as an all-in-one solution you can transfer between a variety of gaming systems. However, I would only buy this headset if PC is your primary platform. The headset is a solid supplemental device for consoles, but clearly its peak performance is achieved on PC with the use of the USB soundcard. The lone weakness is so-so noise cancelation, which will only matter if you tend to play games in high traffic areas. You won’t have to worry about it if you prefer to play in isolation. With a sporty sense of style (available color options include Black, Fire Red, Royal Blue, and Blue Camo), comfortable mesh ear pads, excellent virtual surround sound integration and all-around audio quality, and a nice stash of complementary accessories, the Logitech G433 is an impressive, well-rounded headset at an affordable mid-range value.” Read our full review here.

Logitech G403 Prodigy Wireless Gaming Mouse — Buy from Amazon.com or Logitech:

“If the G900 Chaos Spectrum is Logitech’s luxury sports car gaming mouse for high-end users, as I called it in our gift guides for geeks and gamers last holiday season, then the G403 Prodigy is more akin to an economy model. You know, the type of car that doesn’t have much style or come with many extras, but you buy it anyway because it gets great gas mileage, drives reliably, and isn’t so high maintenance. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t some full on budget model stripped down to the barest of minimums. Not even close. However, it is a mouse that is more reasonable to beyond-entry-level PC gamers who don’t need a fully souped-up device but still want better performance than the freebie mouse that comes with every new computer, the average mouse purchased off the shelf from the electronics section of the nearest mass market department store, or the off-brand gaming mouse that gets the job done but looks overly garish in that chintzy this-is-blatantly-a-gaming-mouse style.” Read our full review here.

Accell Powramid Air Power Center and USB Charging Station — Buy from Amazon.com or Accell:

“The Powramid Air is a fantastic desktop solution for organizing and protecting of all your devices and hardware. I can’t think of an area where it doesn’t perform with high marks. The six primary outlets plus the addition of a pair of USB ports make this surge protector a reliable central power hub for home or office. It’s relatively small yet feels sturdy and well made. The outlets are angled and spaced out for improved accessibility of multiple connected devices at the same time. Most importantly, you can feel secure knowing that your expensive gadgetry is always safeguarded thanks to the high surge-protection capacity and the soft glow of the blue-green LED providing a constant indicator of security.” Read our full review here.

PDP Media Remote for PlayStation 4 — Buy from Amazon.com or PDP:

“For my own personal setup, I still narrowly choose PDP’s universal remote. While I very much do prefer the overall design, ergonomics, button feel, and core operability of this remote, I consume my media largely through Blu-ray, DVD, and cable, so having a universal remote to manage multiple devices is a lot easier. Not having functionality as basic as volume control means I still need to keep the cable or TV remote handy, which certainly isn’t a big deal but is a matter of convenience. However, for any one who has fully embraced modern digital entertainment distribution and uses their PS4 as a hub to stream media, this remote is without question the better choice. Appropriately, the remote is compatible with all of the major PS4 media apps. I’ve tested it with PlayStation Vue, Vudu, and YouTube, and it’s performed wonderfully. Other apps like Netflix and Hulu are also supported, though I don’t have subscriptions with those services so I couldn’t test either one out specifically.” Read our full review here.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles.

Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere.

Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn’t mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!