PlayStation 4 Pro or Xbox One X: Sony and Microsoft have updated their gaming consoles, meaning that it’s a pretty good time to upgrade yourself. The PlayStation 4 Pro supports 4K gaming — ultrahigh definition — and is compatible with all PS4 games. The Xbox One X also boasts 4K support and promises a serious power upgrade. These are good gifts for people who like to be on the cutting edge and who play visually intensive games that will take full advantage of their graphic capabilities. The decision of which one you should get is really up to the preference of your intended recipient; this may be one of those gifts where it’s best to ask about it first. If you want to really make their day, splurge for one of the game-specific bundles, which come with a game and unique designs. Still, if you’re looking to keep it a secret, a good clue would be to find out what console they have now.
Price: $399 PS4 Pro, $499.99 Xbox One X
Nintendo Switch: The newest console from Nintendo isn’t meant to stay tethered to your television stand. A mix of a handheld and a traditional console, the Switch can be played in the living room or taken on the go. Small enough to slip into a purse or backpack, the console still manages to put out more than enough power to keep you rolling on adventures with Mario, the Legend of Zelda’s Link and other classic Nintendo characters. Its detachable controllers are also motion-sensitive, meaning that you can swing a sword or land a punch by moving your arms. The Switch is slowly building out its roster of games, adding titles such as Bethesda’s “Skyrim” and EA’s “FIFA.” While there are some drawbacks — battery life could be longer, and the game selection is still somewhat limited — the Switch is a great option for those who don’t spend hours on the couch engrossed in a game.
Samsung HMD Odyssey: Virtual and augmented reality are all the rage among tech companies, but it’s been a little inaccessible to most people. Samsung’s HMD Odyssey is one of several headsets on sale for the holidays that aims to lower those barriers and get more people excited about these new technologies. It has dual 3.5-inch screens and a 110-degree field of view. It also comes with controllers for your right and left hand, so you can interact with the virtual world. The Odyssey should work with most newer Windows 10-compatible computers and requires much less setup than pricier headsets from Oculus or HTC. The headset is comfortable and immersive, meaning that it won’t detract from whatever virtual reality program you’re playing. Virtual reality may not be for everyone — particularly those who get nauseous easily — but those who’ve been on the cusp of trying it out might want to take the leap now.