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It’s the day before Black Friday! What’s that called again?
Oh yeah, Thanksgiving! The best holiday of the year now casts a dark shadow, with the most flagrantly capitalistic day of the year encroaching ever more into today’s festivities (and the whole week, really).
But it’s a good time to go shopping, no doubt about it, especially if you want to save some money on consumer goods like video games and gadgets. The following list includes some of my favorite gaming gadgets and accessories—from VR headsets to gaming chairs—that I’ve played around with this year. This is not a “steep discounts for Black Friday” post so much as it is “go look for these cool things and hopefully they’ll be on sale” post. If there’s a deal, however, I’ll link to it. I’ll have a separate guide for discounted video games as well, so look for that here on this blog.
Okay, so what are the best gadgets of the year? Let’s take a look. Note also that some of these came out before 2022 but I didn’t get a chance to take them for a spin until this year. Sometimes that means they’ve come down in price but not always, as lately we’ve seen some gadgets—from the PS5 to the Meta Quest 2—get price hikes! In any case, let’s get to the gift guide, shall we?
The Best Gaming Gadgets For Holiday 2022
1. The BenQ X3000i True 4K UHD 4LED Gaming Projector
BenQ’s excellent 4K gaming projector is a fantastic option for any gamer that wants to go the projector route instead of a TV. It’s crystal clear and the 3,000 lumen LED 4K DLP means it’s plenty bright with truly amazing color and contrast.
At around $2,000 this isn’t a cheap purchase but it’s no more expensive than comparable television sets and has a lot more flexibility. You can also get a lot more screen real-estate for your money since you can get a 100-inch images from just over 8 feet away. The unit has built-in speakers that sound great and built-in Android TV, though you’ll likely be running your PS5 or Xbox Series X through this bad boy. It also looks like a droid out of Star Wars! The cool aesthetic is complimented by rugged build quality, making this a great addition to any gamer’s setup.
2. Meta Quest 2 Virtual Reality Headset (Oculus Quest 2)
If I had to pick one gaming gadget that got the most use in our household in 2022 (outside of our dedicated gaming consoles and PCs) it would have to be the Meta Quest 2 (formerly called the Oculus Quest 2 which was a vastly better name).
This is largely because my 12-year-old son is obsessed with VR in ways that I will never be. I really do think virtual reality will be a generational thing. It’s not going to catch on that much with people who didn’t grow up strapping VR headsets to their heads, but younger gamers will make it a truly viable technology in the future.
The Meta Quest 2 is a great entry point for VR. It doesn’t require a computer (though you can hook it up to one to play some more demanding games) and isn’t tethered to anything, meaning you can go set up a VR space in your yard if you wanted to. The picture quality is great and the controllers are responsive and intuitive. And there are just so many great VR games right now, from Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners to the battle royale Population: ONE to the excellent BONELAB or the instant classic Vader Immortal. This is definitely worth getting instead of more expensive headsets and it’s a major leap in technology over the original Oculus Quest.
3. Up-Switch Orion Big Screen Display For Nintendo Switch
This is a clever little gadget for Nintendo Switch owners. You basically strap your switch to this portable monitor which has tracks on each side for the Joy-Con controllers. Now your 7” Nintendo Switch screen is around 11” and you can actually read the words on the screen in games like Skyrim and DOOM!
The only drawback here is that you’ll need to either plug this into a wall (with a USB-C charger) or get a battery pack (sold separately) because the screen needs power and it doesn’t have a built-in power source. It’s a great option for gamers who don’t necessarily want to dock and play on TV but want a bit more screen real estate than the Switch offers.
4. Skullcandy PLYR Multi-Platform Wireless Gaming Headset
One of the gaming headsets I tested out this year is the Skullcandy PLYR wireless gaming headset which you can run wired or via Bluetooth. I think this headset is going to appeal to certain types of gamers more than others simply based on its design and aesthetic, which is a bit on the colorful-retro side. The sound is great and the headset is comfortable. The style is a bit on the funky side, so the funky retro gamer in your life should enjoy the PLYR a lot. The mic also sounds crisp and clear. Having the option to use either wired or wireless is also nice depending on your setup. Battery life is ranked at about 24 hours, and from my testing that seems about right. A less-expensive wired-only SLYR headset is another great option for the more budget-conscious who don’t need Bluetooth.
5. HyperX Stinger 2 Wired Headset & Cloud Alpha Wireless Headset
HyperX makes some of my favorite gaming headsets. The headset I use every single day is the HyperX Cloud Alpha wireless headset, which is great for games and music and movies and has a terrific mic and truly astonishing battery life. (My review of that headset is right here). Right now this headset is on sale for $159.99 down from $199.99 so it’s a great time to get one of my favorite headsets of all time. The headset has a 300-hour battery life and I honestly almost never have to charge mine despite using it daily for all sorts of things. I’ve never seen a headset with this kind of battery stamina.
For the more budget-friendly shopper, if you’re not looking for wireless you can get the excellent Stinger 2 wired headset on sale now for just $39.99 down from $49.99. It’s not as full-featured as the far more expensive Cloud Alpha, but it’s still a top-notch headset that sounds great and is aesthetically pleasing with its no-nonsense, nearly pure-black design. It works great and won’t break the bank. It’s also been updated for 2022 with improved 3D audio and a lighter frame. What’s not to love?
6. DXRacer Craft Series Gaming Chair
One of the most important pieces of your gaming kit is a good chair—if you’re playing at a desk with a monitor. (Well, there are gaming chairs and couches and whatnot for console/TV gamers also but I’m referring to desk chairs here).
I’ve tried out a bunch of different gaming chairs and I’m listing a few of my favorites in this guide beginning with the DXRacer Craft Custom gaming chair. I mean, look at how cool this chair looks! It’s got an astronaut on it with the words GIVE ME MORE SPACE. That’s pretty funny! I also like the grey/yellow aesthetic. And it’s a really comfortable chair, with great ergonomic support.
Better yet, you can customize this chair with various designs including a yellow-forward design with a cute rabbit on it or a classy all-black chair with just the DXRacer logo and the word CRAFT in gold.
7. Vertagear PL4500 Gaming Chair
The Vertagear PL4500 is a solid gaming chair option that has some neat twists. It’s very sturdy and supportive and has a cool, stylish design that should appeal to a lot of gamers.
But if you really want to go big, you can tack on the RGB LED upgrade kit and make this chair light-up. That might be an especially cool option for anyone streaming their gameplay, as you’ll have some built-in lighting for your streams right out of the box. The chair is currently $399, down from $549.99 at the Vertagear website. If you go the RGB LED route you’ll need to drop another $229.99 (down from $299.99) on the upgrade kit.
8. Respawn Specter Gaming Chair
Respawn’s Specter gaming chair is a bird of a different feather. It’s not going for the brash gaming look at all. No LEDs, no crazy designs, no game-specific branding (though Respawn does make some cool options in that department as well).
The Specter is understated and classy. It’s also insanely comfortable and breathes beautifully, keeping you cool and comfy in long gaming or work sessions (this chair is just as much at home in an office). This is easily one of my favorites out of all the chairs I’ve tested and a great option for gamers who may something a bit more understated and classy.
9. Edifier G2000 Gaming PC Speakers
Sometimes we don’t want to use a headset. Maybe you’re watching a movie or playing a game that doesn’t require voice-chat or listening to music. Speakers are a far better option than whatever sound is built into your monitor, and the Edifier G2000’s are an affordable option with terrific sound and a small footprint.
Not only do these sound great and crisp, they’re also pretty flexible as far as speakers go. There’s a sub port that you can connect to your existing subwoofer (though these have great bass, actually). You can connect with USB or AUX 3.5mm or Bluetooth so there’s no lack of inputs and options there. And the build quality is top-notch especially at this price range. All told, these little guys are a great purchase or gift.
10. HyperX Alloy Origins Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
HyperX makes some of my favorite gaming headsets but the company also makes some of my favorite gaming keyboards as well. I was typing away on HyperX keyboards before I ever reviewed one. I’ve tested out multiple offerings from the company and am typing this gift guide using one right now.
The HyperX Alloy Origins keyboard is a great compact option for anyone looking to save a little desk space. If you don’t use that 10-key and just want the basics, this is a fun, responsive little keyboard. It comes in various sizes and configurations. There’s the Tenkeyless model that still has the up and down arrows; the 65% that’s a more compact version; and the 60% that’s the most compact of the bunch.
11. Falcon Northwest Tiki Gaming PC
I had a blast reviewing Falcon Northwest’s diminutive little Tiki gaming PC earlier this year. The PC is the size of a gaming console but packs an enormous punch with some seriously high-end specs, water-cooling options and some of the best cable-management I’ve ever seen in a custom PC build. No, it’s not cheap. This is top-of-the-line custom PC gaming at its finest—the Bentley of the PC gaming world, with classy, unique design that eschews flashy LED and alien-looking cases for a more timeless look.
12. Xbox Series S
We’re well into the Xbox Series X|S / PlayStation 5 era of console gaming now and I have to say, there’s really no better deal than the Xbox Series S. As of this writing, that’s especially true, with a stellar deal for the little console slashing its price by $100. (We’ll see how long that lasts—normally the system retails for $300, still the cheapest current-gen system). While the Series S isn’t as powerful as the PS5 or Series X, it’s still a nice upgrade from the PS4 or Xbox One and its compact design is especially nice.
Read more about the current deal here.
13. Disrupting The Game by Reggie Fils-Aimé
This one is a little different from the rest because it’s not a gadget or a gizmo or even a game—it’s a book! A book by former president and COO of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aimé.
It’s more of a business book than a gaming book, but it’s about the business of video games and it’s an engaging read that spans a long career that goes beyond Nintendo to many other big companies like Pizza Hut and Guinness. For the gamer and businessperson in your life, this is a nice little gift that won’t set you back quite as much as the rest of the options in this list.
(It’s also the most fitting given this is Forbes, a publication all about business!)
If you have any great gaming gift ideas let me know on Twitter or Facebook and I’ll consider adding them to this gift guide. If you’re PR and have gadgets and gizmos you’d like included in these guides in the future, shoot me a DM on Twitter.