Christmas is almost here, so with St. Nicholas already getting ready to fill his sleigh full of goodies, it’s time to deplete your bank balance in the name of gaming gifts. But there’s just so much to choose from when it comes to the world of video games. Console bundles, special edition controllers, accessories, decals, figurines, horrific Xmas jumpers - the list goes on and on.
Fear not, because TechRadar has scoured the web to find 10 of the best gift ideas all based around the green pastures of Xbox. Whether it’s a new console upgrade or something completely out of left field, we’ve got the ideas to make you a hero on Christmas morning.
Xbox One X 1TB Gold Rush Special Edition console (with Battlefield V)
Upgrade to the Big Daddy of consoles
While Sony may have hit the market first with its souped-up PlayStation 4 Pro, Microsoft took its time to release the impressively upgraded Xbox One X. With support for 4K, HDR and an overall improvement to both performance and visual fidelity, playing any of your Xbox One games on an Xbox One X is a revelation.
This bundle includes the Deluxe Edition of DICE’s recently released multiplayer shooter Battlefield V (check out our review and how it compares to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4), as well as a copy of Battlefield 1943. The former looks incredible running on Xbox One X.
Xbox One S 1TB Fortnite Bundle (with Eon Cosmetic Set + 2,000 V-Bucks)
Do the floss on Xbox
If coughing up a little more dough for the upgraded version of Xbox One isn’t your bag, then why not meet the future halfway with the slimmed down but still impressively robust Xbox One S? While it doesn’t boast the enhanced architecture of its biggest brother, the Xbox One S supports the use of HDR, so games such as the later Forzas and Halos have improved colors and details (if your TV supports the feature, that is).
This bundle comes with a download code for Fortnite, so you can jump into the biggest game on the planet straight away. You’ll have a code for the Eon Cosmetic Set (including a costume skin, a glider skin and a pickaxe design) and 2,000 V-Bucks to spend.
Xbox Design Lab customized controller
Grab a personalized pad
For years now, Microsoft has periodically released fancy new controllers to celebrate/tie-in with the release of some of its biggest games. But sometimes you don’t want to play with a pad that everyone else has. So how about a design that’s 100% personalized by you? That’s the premise behind the Xbox Design Lab.
It’s really simple. You simple head on over to the Design Lab page, pick the colors of the face and backplate, customize the button colors and even an engraving (perhaps a gamertag or a special name to sum up your new controller-of-choice). There are also lots of pre-designed themes should you need some inspiration first.
Grab it from the Xbox Design Lab.
Hyperkin Duke Controller
A classic design, reborn
It’s strange how nostalgia can make people forget they derided something they now celebrate and adore. Such is the rose-tinted reception that’s greeted the return of the ‘Duke’, the oversized controller that came with the very first Xbox way back in 2001, which has now been revamped for use with Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs thanks to the folks at Hyperkin.
Despite its size, it’s still a great pad to use. With its precision analogue triggers, those famous black and white face buttons and a new screen in the middle of the pad that shows the original Xbox startup animation, the Duke is a piece of gaming history that’s well worth owning today.
Xbox Game Pass subscription
It’s Netflix, but for games
Subscription services have transformed how we enjoy passive media, so it was only a matter of time before the revolution reached interactive media as well. Alongside PlayStation Now, EA Play and various other platforms, Xbox Game Pass offers one of the largest and most accessible libraries of games yet.
You can subscribe from a month right up to a year, and from there you can download and play games from right across Xbox’s long history. That includes exclusives, multi-platform hits and some of the biggest new games, right there on Game Pass from day one. Few gifts have as much scope as this.
Halo Official Christmas Jumper/Ugly Sweater
Keep warm and on-brand
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a terrible-looking ugly sweater, and we’ve got just the one in mind for all you Microsoft-happy gamers. This officially licensed jumper features none other than Master Chief, sporting a Christmas hat in true festive spartan style. If you love Xmas and the Halo franchise, this is your venn diagram of winter garments.
It’s 100% knitted, in true ugly sweater/jumper style, and features a crew neckline with a ribbed trim. There’s only one design and set of colors, but there are plenty of sizes so you should find one that fits your body type.
Seagate 4TB Game Drive for Xbox
Link up some much-needed extra space
Even with the larger 1TB hard drive used by the Xbox One X, digital download sizes and patches are only getting larger so don’t expect that free space to last very long. The solution? Investing in a compact yet reliable 4TB Game Drive from Seagate. Now you can download all your favourite games and store them separately so you access them anytime without having to re-download each file.
It comes in a fetching Xbox green (with the logo embossed on the side), and no need for an extra power cable all you need to do is plug in and play the games you enjoy the most. It’s a lot easier than manually replacing the hard drive in your console.
The Art of Sea of Thieves Book
Piracy lives, in literary form
One of Xbox One’s biggest exclusives dropped earlier this year, in the form of Rare’s co-operative pirate simulator, Sea of Thieves. It’s one of the British studios most captivating-looking games, with the spectral deck of Davy Jones Locker and tropical islands filled with skeletal foes just some of its memorable locales.
You can revisit all of these designs and more in the official Art of Sea of Thieves book, which features an archive of concept art and renders taken direct from the art department of the studio itself. With insider insight and more, it’s a great little piece of visual celebration.
Funko Pop Cuphead Figure - Mugman
A retro-inspired here gets the Funko treatment
There’s no denying that Cuphead is one of the toughest games to ever appear on an Xbox console, with its 1930s-style throwback visual style clashing with platforming gameplay that’s thrilling and merciless in equal measure. And that animated aesthetic deserves to celebrated, so grab one of these fancy Funko Pops to do it justice.
Along with its regular line of Funko Pops, the company also does lots of fancier versions with different dimensions and more details, and they perfectly suit the look and feel of Mugman, the titular Cuphead’s trusty companion.
Turtle Beach Recon 50X Stereo Gaming Headset
Chat online or stream with these comfy cups
If you – or the person you’re buying for this Christmas – loves gaming, there’s a good chance they’d really enjoy having their own headset. This pair comes from popular brand Turtle Beach and features 40mm speakers for a clear audio signal along with in-line controls for controlling your mic and volume.
They’re nice and light so they won’t hurt if you’re wearing them for long gaming sessions, and they’re pretty affordable too compared to some of the more high-end models out there. Oh, and the Recon 50X comes in a fetching green to show your faithful devotion to the Xbox.