Nintendo Switch

Nintendo’s next generation console — the Nintendo Switch — is trying its hand at besting two markets: gaming handhelds and the dedicated console. As a result the core device is more tablet than set top box and comes apart from a dock that’s fit for your television stand, with two detachable Joy-Con controllers than slide on to attach, one per side. It’ll play games on your TV or on its built-in display by running on battery pretty much anywhere. It sets up like a game pad with controllers attached but also plays with the two controllers combined as one (with a Joy-Con Grip accessory) or even with multiple players using one half. It’s also powered by Nvidia Tegra hardware, is compatible with a more traditional Switch Pro controller (also wirelessly, like the smaller Joy-Cons) and has a pop-out kickstand to prop it up if you’re gaming on the go using controllers.

Touching down next March. Learn more at Nintendo – $TBA



PlayStation 4 Pro

We don’t have a 4K TV just yet, but we don’t need one to appreciate the shame of playing 1080p games on such a capable display — and worse, having to wait until the next generation consoles to do so. But if you do have one, the PlayStation 4 Pro is the answer. While it unfortunately won’t play 4K Blu-ray disks (normal Blu-ray works) it will support sharp 4K gaming as well as 4K streaming. All PS4 games are compatible regardless of whether they’re PS4 Pro Enhanced, and many older games (retroactively applied by developer-dispatched updates) will benefit of some form of enhanced visuals, resolution increases, or better frame rates, several of which are noticeable even without a 4K television. And you can get one way before Christmas.

Arriving November 10th. Preorder at Amazon – $400

GET IT: $400


Playstation Now For PC

Playstation Now lets you stream PS3 games — but up until now you’ve needed to own a modern and pricy Sony console. Playstation Now For PC does away with all that extra hardware, instead letting you use your computer to play. You’ll need a compatible Windows PC with some half decent specs as well as fairly fast internet (5Mbps+) and a DualShock 4 controller that can either plug in via a USB mini cable or be used wirelessly with a DualShock 4 USB Wireless Adapter — but that’s it. It makes us wonder if dedicated gaming console’s days are numbered.

Learn more at Playstation Now or preorder the adapter at Amazon ($25) – $20/month subscription


Nintendo NES Classic Edition

Finding an original NES is rare. One that still works flawlessly, a little rarer. But if your primary goal is to play the classics without fiddling around with and blowing dust out of fickle cartridges, the Nintendo NES Classic Edition is the plain logical choice. Styled like the original but smaller, this system features modern amenities like HDMI and mid-game suspend points (to save your game and continue later), and still works with up to two of the same NES Classic Controllers as the original console, with one included in the box. No cartridges necessary either since it comes with plenty of games in memory, including Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 1 through 3, Metroid, The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, and 23 more classics.

Arriving November 11th. Learn more at Nintendo – $60


Xbox One S

It’s not revolutionary, but Microsoft’s Xbox One S is pure refinement of the company’s current-gen console. First off it’s 40% smaller despite managing to squeeze its power supply into the case for a quieter console (and cleaner wiring). It’s also newly equipped with high dynamic range for richer contrasts and more vivid colors, plays and streams 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and compatible Netflix/Amazon Instant Video content, respectively, and boasts an IR blaster to enable your Xbox One S to fire up your other devices like your television and sound system. Also included is up to 2TB of storage and a new wireless controller with better wireless range as well as Bluetooth (to use after you switch off your ocnsole for gaming on your computer/smartphone/tablet).

Preorder at Microsoft or Amazon – $300+


Analogue Nt 24k Gold Plated Edition

Like the cartridge of the original Legend of Zelda but instead plated in actual real gold, the Analogue Nt 24k Gold Plated Edition commemorates this classic’s 30th anniversary — and comes with an original cartridge copy of it to boot. Its enclosure is plated inside and out in pure 24k gold and complemented by a transparent baseplate on the underside that lets you have a look at the gold PCB board within just by flipping the console over. It’s also exclusive, limited to just ten units, and plays both NES and Famicom games, outputting to RGB or HDMI to make your life easy.

Learn more at Analogue – $5,000


Deal: SNES30 Controller & Mount

Swiping away on a shiny piece of glass just isn’t the same gaming experience as frantically jabbing at tactile plastic buttons. The SNES30 Controller & Mount combo gets you a Bluetooth-enabled Super Nintendo-style controller, complete with a button layout identical to that of the original, as well as an 8Bitdo expandable mount that’ll perfectly angle virtually any smartphone to the controller regardless of screen size, including smaller devices such as the iPhone 4 up to phablets like the Note 4. And while it’s a perfect match for emulators, the SNES30 also lets you play normally touchscreen-only games as well.

Buy one at our shop – $35


NES30 Pro Bluetooth Game Controller

Playing old school games on your modern day devices doesn’t quite feel the same, probably in large part due to the lacking tactile response that comes with using a glass touchscreen display as a controller. So try 8Bitdo’s NES30 Pro Bluetooth Game Controller instead, compatible with both mobile devices — iOS and Android — as well as Mac and Windows personal computers. It’s about the size of a SNES controller and connects via Bluetooth, giving you a low latency response and even working in multiples for multiplayer modes on iOS and Mac, at least for games that allow it.

Grab one at Amazon – $45


Razer Blade Stealth

What if a gaming laptop could be made that didn’t weigh 15 pounds and measure in at two inches thick? That’s the idea behind the Razer Blade Stealth, which leaves all the heavy duty lifting to a desktop-grade graphics card — essentially any you want — inside the accompanying Razer Core, a GPU bay that also doubles as a sort of hub and dock. A single Thunderbolt 3 handles the connection between the two with a blistering 40 Gbps bandwidth. Without the Core, the CNC’d aluminum Stealth is thin and light at just 0.52-inches and weighs 2.75 pounds, begging to be thrown in your bag and brought around with you everywhere. Other features include either Ultra HD or QHD 12.5-inch displays (the latter at a resolution of 3840 by 2160 and with 100% Adobe RGB color space coverage), a 6th generation Intel Core i7-6500U processor at up to 3.1GHz with Turbo Boost, 8GB of fast dual-channel RAM, and 512GB of solid-state storage.

Learn more at Razer – $1,000+ (without Core)


ScreenStick Joystick

We won’t deny the flexibility of touchscreen displays, but for gaming tactility is still a must. So if your mobile gaming could benefit from better controls give the ScreenStick Joystick a go. This joystick sticks onto your tablet or smartphone using two suction cups on the screen’s bezel and grants far more precise control for first-person shooters, racing games, platformers, and any other gaming situations that require fast reflexes and quick reaction times. They’ll also work with just about any game that feature an on-screen joystick or D-pad and include both joystick and D-pad (shown) attachments to customize to your liking.

Find it at Amazon – $20



The classic arcade system: it’s undeniably awesome but also bulky, square-ish, and usually capable of playing only one game. Polycade was designed to address these issues, notably the aesthetics: its shapely wooden cabinet is constructed by professional cabinet makers and painted using a professional spray gun or wrapped with high quality printed vinyl graphics. Standard 8-way two player controls as well as 4-way single player controls cover the wide variety of games that it ships with, including Pac-Mac, Pole Position, Street Fighter II, Sonic 2, and nearly a hundred more. The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B inside will also run a variety of emulators if you’re so inclined including Atari 800, Game Boy Advance, Sega Genesis, NES, SNES, and others. We’d expect no less from a design by children of Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari.

Check it out at Kickstarter – $1,250



Battlecade isn’t Love Hulten’s first stab at a retro-inspired gaming system — far from it, actually — but it’s definitely the most unique. Instead of putting competing players side by side where they can peek at each other’s controls and strategies, Battlecade boasts a Battleship-inspired form factor, down to the two folding halves for packing it up to take it on the go. Key difference: it’s gorgeous, and covered in American walnut instead of grey plastic. Each side is also complete with six buttons, an arcade stick, and a 12″ LCD screen.

Learn more at Love Hulten – $TBA


Woodlands: Hyrule Wooden Map

We’d like to say we knew the streets of our city as well as the intricacies of Hyrule, but we’d be lying. And frankly, considering how much time we spent exploring this fictional land, it’s hardly surprising. Neutral Ground’s Woodlands: Hyrule puts a laser-etched map of Hyrule, inspired by Ocarina of Time and drawn by Alex Griendling, on a beautiful piece of hand-selected maple ply that’s outfitted with a keyhole slot for easy hanging. And as the first in the Woodlands series, we’re equally pumped to see what else they’ve got in the works.

Find it at Neutral Ground – $150