With a bunch of people constantly throwing ideas our way to feature their products in gift guide lists, even when some of the products deserve about as much mention on this site as a discussion about the benefits of a concentration camp gas chamber at a bar mitzvah, it doesn't mean we don't have a list of things gamers should be thankful for. In fact, here at Gaming Blend we have a top 5 list of things gamers probably didn't even think that they should be thankful for, even when the items are especially important and deserve a great amount of thankfulness.
While most lists at more reputable sites will include things gamers actually care about, like the new Logitech G602 or the Razer Tartarus. Sorry, you won't find high quality ideas here in this list. However, you probably didn't think that you might find a use for game cards... yes, game cards. Those $5, $10 or $20 cards you're likely to find at your local retailer can really come in handy as cheap, effective gifts for rug rats hitting or leaving puberty. For the little rug rats you have game cards for things like ROBLOX, while big rug rats can make use of game cards for things like Steam Wallet. Cheap, effective and completely useful for when you can't remember what your kid actually likes in life.
Steam Gifting Options
In addition to game cards, there's also something else that gamers may be indirectly thankful for: gifting in Steam. While Xbox fanboys were clamoring about each other in a frenzy over the mysterious carrot bait from Microsoft known as the Family Share Plan, Steam has something that's both realized and functional right now: gifting. You can gift games from within Steam by purchasing a title and sending it to someone or by purchasing a title from outside services, such as the Humble Bundle. Gifting is a great way to expand your friend or family's Steam library, and it's hassle free. Heck, the best time to gift is after a sale but before the holidays, when you get an AAA game for like $4 and then send it to them when the price goes back up to normal, so they assume you spent more on the game than you actually did.
The new generation of PlayStation and Xbox home consoles have launched this month, but unfortunately a lot of accessories aren't available for them. Alas, anyone who wants a leg-up on the competition in games like Call of Duty: Ghosts or Battlefield 4 have no alternatives. Splitfish has yet to release (or even announce) anything for the new generation consoles and some people simply cannot live with being equal to everyone else. Well, thankfully (for you), there is KontrolFreek, maker of controller extension accessories. Their latest UltraX analong extender, amongst others, provides gamers with a slightly unfair advantage in precision, making it all too convenient to out-headshot the competition, which is about as close as you'll get to aimbots, until hackers start selling them for the PS4 and Xbox One. What more could you ask for out of a holiday gift? And besides, if you don't have natural skill the common thing to do – just like juicing in pro sports – is to buy an advantage to enhance your skill, sort of like aimbots. That's showing true sportsmanship.
Poorly Optimized Games
You might see this here and thing “Why on Earth would I be thnkaful for poorly optimized games?” and the response is a lot more simple and a lot more effective than you think. Simply put, without poorly optimized games you may not have ever been lured away from Need for Speed to try something like Gas Guzzlers or Carnage Racing. You may not have ever given Rise of the Triad or Hard Reset a go if it wasn't for the buggy mess known as Call of Duty giving your friend a hard time. Heck, if it wasn't for the poorly thought-out always-on DRM in Diablo III there wouldn't have been such a huge shift toward games like Path of Exile and Torchlight II. Thank goodness for poorly optimized games.
Ah, this here makes the top of the list for an obvious reason. Any gamer out there who enjoys collecting, building home console software libraries and engaging in the historical perseverance of interactive entertainment, will know exactly why they should be thankful for the Xbox One. Microsoft's original policies, continued blunders and poorly thought out marketing of the Xbox One showed gamers just what an amazing piece of technology this device is... to avoid. Thanks to the Xbox One, the Wii U became relevant again, the PlayStation 4's piss-poor launch line-up looked glorious by comparison, and the sketchy subscriber DRM by Steam looked 200% more pro-consumer than any and everything Microsoft rolled out for the NSA's silicon lovechild. It also reminded us that GOG.com is DRM-free and doesn't monitor you like you're a three-time convicted parole. Thank you Xbox One, for reminding us what real game consoles look and play like... particularly, the PlayStation 4 and Wii U. Thank you!