Choosing Christmas presents always comes with at least one ‘gosh, what on earth do I get this person?’ moment. What do you get your ten-year-old nephew who’s no longer into toys? Or your teenage brother? And what about the avid gamer in the family, regardless of what age they are?
Fortunately, choosing a gift for a gamer – or even just choosing a games console for someone who’s never played before – is very easy these days, and the products themselves have evolved way beyond what many of us will remember from our childhoods (bulky games consoles, lots of wires everywhere). The Nintendo consoles in particular are so sleek and nice to use and look at, you may end up tempted to get one for yourself as well. Before you decide which one to get, though, consider the following questions.
1. Where and how do they like to play?
For some people, gaming is all about the big-screen experience, and they’ll want to be able to connect their game console up to their TV or desktop. If this is your gift recipient, we recommend going for the Nintendo Switch – you can link it up to your TV and control it from your sofa. Or use the tabletop mode if two people are playing together – the controls on the sides of the console detach to enable this mode. You can also take the Nintendo Switch with you on your journey and continue playing anywhere.
If, on the other hand, the person you’ll be gifting a game console to mainly likes playing on the go (you’ll know this if you often see them playing games on their phone when travelling), the Nintendo Switch Lite will be your best bet. The Lite does not come with a docking station and can’t be linked to a TV, but it is compatible with nearly all of the 2,300+ Nintendo Switch games (Mario Kart is popular with everyone who has got a Lite), is compact and lightweight, and comes in fun colours.
2. How much do they play, and how much would you like to spend?
For someone who likes to play a lot, and especially for someone who will know the difference between the different consoles, you can’t beat the NIntendo Switch as a Christmas gift. On the other hand, the Lite is still compatible with most of the same games and costs £80 less. If gifting to a young child, we’d recommend giving the Lite, not just because of the cost, but also because it is smaller, lighter and comes in different colours.
3. Which games will they be playing?
Of course, this is a matter of personal preference, but we think it’s difficult to surpass the amazing experience of playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on a big screen. This game is so beautiful and immersive that you will want to enjoy the stunning graphics on as large a screen as you can get. Having said that, it can also be played on the Lite, and the Lite may be preferable if they love playing Super Mario (for example) during their commute.
It’s always a good idea to ask them what kinds of games they prefer: if it’s quick dips in and out, the Lite may be the better option. For very intricate exploration-type games, go for the full Switch. If you want a better idea of what you can buy, check out the NIntendo catalogue, which will help you make the right choice for your gift recipient. Simply fill out the form below for a free 132-page buyers’ guide catalogue to be delivered to your door; it includes an exclusive 10 per cent discount code, too, for a nice saving on your Christmas gift shopping.