Dads of days gone by were useless with technology. Only knowing how to use the ‘clicker’ to change channels on the TV and barely being able to send a typo riddled text message, the reign of the technology illiterate dads is quickly coming to an end. Whether they be an old-guard gamer that grew up with Pong and Space Invaders, or a late bloomer that entered the gaming world later in life, many father figures nowadays love to kick back with a controller in hand. With father’s day less than a week away, it’s time to consider what gift will suit your dad’s gaming habits. Fear not, we here at WellPlayed aren’t going to leave you out in the cold to fend for yourself, casual or hardcore, PC or console, no matter what kind of gamer your dad is we have a gift idea for you.
Two things to cover before we jump into our gifting ideas – firstly, we understand that everyone’s financial situation is different, so this gifting guide will include presents that are affordable for those on a budget as well as those who want to splurge. Secondly, father’s day is about celebrating fathers of all kinds, biological, chosen, step or otherwise. So no matter who you are celebrating this father’s day, lets make sure they are adequately spoiled.
A little bit of flair never hurt anyone. Why not brighten up your dad’s gaming space with a themed light. Does he frequent the tracks in Forza or enjoy blasting through Grunts in Halo? Then maybe the Xbox logo light is the go. Or does he relate to gaming’s most badass dad Kratos? No need to stress, the PlayStation symbol light will fit the bill. Perhaps your dad isn’t the gaming prodigy that he thinks he is, well how about the Game Over light, the perfect way to humble an overconfident father. All three of these lights are cool as hell and wont break the bank, coming in at $38 apiece from EB Games.
A Whole Bunch of New Release Games
The next one is simple but effective. As we get to the pointy end of the year, game releases usually ramp up massively and this year is no exception to that rule. There is a great array of new release titles to choose from at the moment. From motocross to racing, shooters and more, it is safe to say that a new game will put a smile on your dad’s dial. As recently as the last few weeks we have seen Wreckfest, a destruction derby racer (which we gave an 8), Astral Chain, an action RPG that has plenty of dimensional monster mashing (that we gave a 9) and Control, a reality bending shooter (that we gave an 8). If those don’t tickle his fancy, maybe pre-order and pay off Borderlands 3 or Gears of War 5, both of which are right around the corner. Maybe your dad missed out on some gems that released earlier in the year such as A Plague Tale: Innocence (which we gave a 9). Jump into JB Hi-Fi and grab it for $69 and make sure he ticks it off his to play list. Amazon seems to have the cheapest copy of Control for $68 and Wreckfest seems to be $69 through most avenues, but JB Hi-Fi is always a good way to go.
Retro Mini Consoles
There is nothing quite like reminiscing about days gone by, so why not give your dad the gift of nostalgia. Tiny but stuffed with a bunch of retro games from the past, these little packages can be an absolute blast. Whether your dad was Nintendo through and through, Sega all the way or Atari or bust, there is a miniature console for every long-time gamer father. Nintendo has launched both the NES and SNES, both of which are filled with classic Nintendo games such as Starfox, Mario Bros. and Zelda. Sega’s Mega Drive Mini includes some of the greats like Mortal Kombat, Sonic the Hedgehog and Golden Axe. Lastly, the Atari Flashback goes way back to Pitfall, Asteroids and Missile Command. Obviously these are only the cliff-notes, each of the mini consoles come preinstalled with dozens of games and all but the NES come with multiple controllers so you can jump on with your dad and see if he still has ‘it’. From $100-$149 (between Amazon and EB Games), these are a great choice if you want to bring the old-school back.
Mortgage/rent, power and rates – all bills that are a pain in the arse to pay. Why not help out with a recurring payment while giving the gift of online play and free games at the same time. Though both PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold allow you to play online and download games for free each month atop a bunch of other benefits, it is very easy to forget when your subscription is going to end. I have been caught many times with a lighter bank account thanks to an automatic payment towards one of these subscriptions. So what could be better than taking away that worry from your dad by buying a subscription card for him. They each come in different denominations – PS Plus comes in 1, 3 and 12 month cards that are $10.95, $33.95 and $79.95 respectively. XBL Gold similarly comes in 1, 6 and 12 month cards costing $10.95, $49.95 and $79.95. Does your dad prefer to play on PC? No worries. Like the rest of us he likely has a long list of games waiting on his wish list, so a Steam gift card will help minimize that. These gift cards can be purchased from EB, JB and even Coles and Woolworths, so finding these wont be hard at all.
Does your dad do the incredibly dad-ish thing of having the TV volume matching that of a jet engine? Well a gaming headset would be beneficial to him and everyone else in the house. So I will give you 3 different suggestions, an entry point, a mid-range and a high-end. There are a huge amount of options when it comes to headsets and it mainly comes down to personal preference, so these choices are merely my suggestions.
Alright alright, firstly as an entry level, I would be looking at the Plantronic RIG 300s. They provide good sound and mic quality for the $60 price, are modular and hardy, so they can take a bit of punishment and they are open ear meaning he can still hear what’s going on in the room around him. They use a 3.5mm input as well, so regardless of platform these will do the job (PC will require a splitter for chat) The price doesn’t change a great deal between retailers, so I have linked good old EB Games, but its much the same everywhere.
Next up in the middle of the road we have the Razer Kraken Pro V2. These bad boys are big, cushioned, comfy lads that have great audio quality, a hidden, extendable mic and an excellent build with a metal band. The large, faux leather cups provide a decent amount of noise cancellation and you can wear them for hours without them becoming uncomfortable in the slightest. Like the RIGs, these use a 3.5mm input so they are compatible with PS4 and Xbox with PC requiring a splitter for chat. They usually retail for around $150, but Amazon has them for just under $100, so get on it.
Last but certainly not least we have my high-end pick. When talking quality headsets it is hard not to mention Astro. The Astro A50s are truly a brilliant headset that have incredible audio as well as some wonderful quality of life features. These smooth suckers are wireless and come with a base station straight out of the box. This base station acts as the wireless receiver as well as a charging station, meaning when they are running low on juice there are no cords necessary, just chuck them (place them, gotta show these lovely earpieces some respect) on their cradle. As they are wireless there is a PS4 and Xbox version, so I have linked both. Both versions support PC so if that is your dad’s platform of choice, that makes it even easier for you. DISCLAIMER: PS4 slims don’t have an optical output which the A50s require. If your dad uses a PS4 slim, he will need an optical output via HDMI splitter. Both formats will run you around $499 from JB Hi-Fi.
PlayStation VR/HTC Vive
We have now reached the ultra-spoil-your-dad part of the list. VRs have gone from a cool, novelty piece of tech to an unique and engaging way to experience games. With an every growing library of titles that have increased in quality and scope since the tech’s inception, whether your dad is a part of the PC master race or is PS4 man, there is an option for him. Firstly, PlayStation VR might not have the same graphic fidelity as its PC equivalent, but it does have a far lower entry price as well as a fairly hefty list of awesome exclusive games like Astro Bot (which we gave a 9.5) and Blood and Truth (which we gave a 9). It is worth going for the $469 mega bundle from EB Games as it comes with 4 extra games that are well worth owning. On the PC side of things, the HTC Vive is on a different level. With a clear and smooth display and very responsive controllers, the Vive provides an incredible virtual reality experience. Be sure that your dad has a PC with the specs to support the Vive and then swing over to Amazon and pick one up for around $880.
Well now you should be set to go for father’s day. Sure sure it’s the thought that counts, but if you follow our advice instead of getting him a ‘gamer dad’ mug, the thought will come with a great gift. Let us know what you are getting your dad for father’s day.