Nintendo Switch

Nintendo’s next generation console — the Nintendo Switch — is finally here, and it’s trying its hand at being both a gaming handheld and a dedicated television-connected console. The core device is more tablet than set top box but you wouldn’t know that until removing it from its television stand, with two Joy-Con controllers that convert from the console’s wireless controller to halves that slide onto either side of the tablet for on-the-go gaming. It won’t get Game Boy-like longevity when used as a standalone portable but at up to six hours it’s battery life is still respectable, especially considering its 6.2-inch multitouch 1280×720 display. The Switch is also powered by Nvidia Tegra hardware, works 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 multiplayer gaming on the go. And with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild announced as a launch title, better take some time off when it hits stores on March 3rd.

Learn more and preorder at Nintendo – $300

GET IT - $300


8Bitdo NES Classic Retro Receiver

The NES Classic is the hottest gamer gift this holiday season. Problem is Nintendo cursed its controllers with cables one-third the length of the original’s, which unsurprisingly complicates gaming on the device. 8Bitdo’s NES Classic Retro Receiver addresses the issue by cutting the cord entirely and letting you use one of a myriad of wireless controllers, with one NES30 controller included. Setup is as simple as plugging it in and pairing a controller to it. It’ll game lag-free, though for multiplayer you’ll need several Retro Receivers since the console itself can’t receive two controller inputs through one controller port.

Pick one up at Amazon – $40

GET IT: $40


Sega Genesis

Missed the boat the first time around due to something trivial like not yet being born the year it was released? Now’s your chance since the Sega Genesis is back in production, albeit for a limited release. Officially licensed by Sega and produced by TecToy, the 16-bit console looks very similar to the original, still plays all the same games, and includes one controller. There’s no HDMI port so you’ll still need to plug it in via old school RCA cables but it does feature a slot for an SD card to play the 22 included games so that you won’t need to go hunting for game cartridges before you can fire this baby up.

Find it at TecToy [Brazilian site] – roughly $120

GET IT: ~$120


Razer Blade Pro Gaming Laptop

Gaming on a laptop? You’d better believe it. Razer’s Blade Pro handily outdoes all portable computers before it. This notebook is decked out with a quad-core Intel Core i7, two identical SSDs in RAID 0 (from 256GB each to 1TB each), and 32GB of DDR4 RAM, for starters. Importantly, Razer managed to squeeze in a desktop-class Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU, which supplies ample graphics power to play the latest titles on ultra-high and at 4K resolution on an external display or on its own IGZO LED-backlit 17.3-inch multitouch display which, at 3840×2160, is just a few horizontal pixels short of being labeled 4K itself. It also boasts plenty of other braggart-worthy features, including a tactile low-profile backlit mechanical keyboard that feels as satisfyingly clicky as desktop-sized ones, a spacious glass trackpad with a scroll wheel up top, and a 0.88-inch thin CNC aluminum unibody chassis that somehow contains all of the above. Even its power adapter is fairly slim, especially considering it’s 250W.

Learn more at Razer – $3,700+

GET IT: $3,700+


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