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Christmas Gift Guide 2016: Gear for elite gamers

Level up your gaming setup for the best experience

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Oculus Rift

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There are very few gifts that come with the promise of being able to transport someone to another world but Oculus Rift is one of them. This virtual reality headset straps across the eyes, engrossing the wearer in whatever game they’re playing at the time. Facebook reckoned it was the future when it bought Oculus in 2014 and who are we to argue with Mr Zuckerberg’s foresight? In order to use this headset, players need an Oculus-ready PC (and not, as you may notice, a Mac). This means a computer that has an Intel i5-4590 processor or greater, a high-end graphics card and 8GB of RAM. With that in place, though, the action can begin.

The Rift displays two simultaneous images which appear as one 3D environment. A move of the head, whether up, down, left or right allows the virtual world to be seen as if it’s there, for real, and by pushing on an Xbox controller – or a pair of forthcoming Oculus Touch controllers which will set you back a further £190/$250 – you can go actually move through it. There are currently around 40 games available to play including Eye Valkyrie and Lucky’s Tale, the latter coming free with the headset. But it’s worth pointing out that some of them can induce motion sickness more than others – which is definitely not good with a stomach full of turkey.
£550 | $600 | oculus.com

 

Xbox One S

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The Xbox One S is 40 per cent smaller than the original ‘Bone’ and that’s with an internal power supply. But don’t be fooled into thinking that it is less powerful too. For as well as 2TB of storage, Microsoft’s console adds 4K capability and HDR so if you’re blessed with a compatible set, your games will scorch your eyes like never before. Unlike its rival, the PS4 Pro, the Xbox One S also packs a cool Ultra HD Blu-ray player.
£250 | $400 | xbox.com

 

Nintendo Classic Mini: NES

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Nintendo may have effectively conceded defeat by allowing its famous plumber to dash on to iOS within Super Mario Run but the Nintendo Classic Mini is a reminder of how strong a hardware player it has been. Coming with 30 fantastic built-in games including Super Mario Bros., The Legend Of Zelda and Donkey Kong, it hooks up to a TV via HDMI and comes with a single NES-themed controller. But be quick – this is proving to be quite the popular item.£50 | $60 | nintendo.com

 

Kingston Hyper X Cloud Revolver

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These cans have such a wide audio range that you can hear a gaming character in a multiplayer battle even if they’re quite some distance away. That’s because they offer immersive directional audio while treating your ears to blistering sound quality and immense bass. While they are more expensive than many of their rivals, these headphones are light and comfortable and they are obviously of a premium build quality. The microphone is also flexible and picks up audio well.
£110 | $115 | hyperxgaming.com

 

New Nintendo 3DS

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Nintendo’s Game Boy took gaming into another dimension in 1989 but it had nothing on the new 3DS. Delivering stereoscopic 3D on a portable device without the need for bespoke glasses, it’s been around since 2010 but this current version comes with enhanced processing power, better controls, amiibo support and changeable cover plates so you can change the look of the console to match your mood. There’s an XL version with a larger screen for a few extra quid, too.
£190 | $150 | nintendo.com

 

This article first appeared in Gadget issue 14. For the latest tech news and reviews, buy the latest issue of Gadget here or download the digital edition.

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