A Father's Day Gift Guide For Video Gamer Dads

Posted: Jun 9 2014, 1:16pm CDT | by , Updated: Jun 9 2014, 1:33pm CDT, in News | E3

A Father's Day Gift Guide For Video Gamer Dads
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As a father and a gamer, I thought it might be fun to put together a gift guide (wish list?) of sorts, focusing on everything the gamer dad in your life needs.

Well “need” may be too strong a word here. Would really like to have you buy for him (or let him buy for himself) may be more appropriate.

I’ve divvied this list up into a few different categories. Some of the items are ones I own. Others are testers I got to play with for a while for review purposes. Not everything I tested out made the cut.

Also, be sure to check out our Forbes Games Reviews page to get the rundown on current releases, many of which would also make great gifts this Father’s Day.

The Console: Wii U Mario Kart 8 Bundle

With so many consoles to choose from, it may seem a little odd to pick the under-dog. But I still think the best “new-gen” games available right now are on the Wii U.

From Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze to The Wonderful 101 to Super Mario 3D World to the just-released Mario Kart 8, there’s a growing catalog of exclusives you can’t play anywhere else.

Mario Kart 8 is already a serious contender for Game of the Year, and the bundle itself comes packed not only with the game and the console, but a Wii Remote Plus and a Wii Wheel. It’s a great deal, especially for dads who want to play games with their kids.

Purchase for $329.99.

The Laptop: MSI GS60 Gaming Notebook

Gaming laptops range from surprisingly cheap to multi-thousand dollar behemoths. Most of them are bulky and heavy. Few of them are particularly attractive.

Not so with the MSI GS60 Ghost-007. Weighing in at just under 4.4 lbs and measuring just under an inch thick, the GS60 is light, thin, and sleek. It’s also packing quite a lot of horsepower, boasting an Intel Intel Core i7 processor, an Nvidia GTX 860M video card with 2GB of dedicated video memory, and 12GB of DDR3L system RAM.

This makes it fast, powerful, and good-looking, just like the gamer dad in your life. Right? The colorful matte display doesn’t go above 1080p unless you spring for the more expensive 3K version, but it looks terrific regardless. Running games like Dark Souls II, WildStar, and BioShock Infinite, the GS60 never broke a sweat.

And the SteelSeries keyboard, replete with multi-colored backlit keys, is responsive and only adds to the attractiveness of the machine.

Purchase for $1,599.99.

The Tablet: Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2

The 12.2″ Galaxy Tab Pro is a good alternative to Apple’s iPad. If you’re less interested in being locked down into the iOS ecosystem, and prefer the openness of Android, the Tab Pro offers plenty for the casual gamers out there.

Packing a quad-core processor, the Tab Pro is plenty fast and responsive. And the 2560 x 1600 display is beautiful. Battery life is decent, but there’s no doubt the larger screen will drain this tablet faster than smaller models.

For gamer dads, this is also a wonderful toy to share with your children. The Google Play store is still not quite as robust as Apple’s App Store, but there are plenty of games for young and old available. For kids games, I still recommend going with pay-to-play offerings to avoid the annoying ads as much as possible.

Purchase for $549.99.

The Smartphone: Galaxy Note 3

If a tablet isn’t really your style, perhaps a phone masquerading as one is.

The Note 3 rests comfortably between the small and the big, not quite a tablet but much larger than a normal smartphone. At first the Note’s size was a little daunting: I’d purchased the phone after tiring of my iPhone 4S. Now, though, I can’t really imagine going back. The iPhone feels puny now, and harder to navigate.

It’s a beast of a phone, too, with a lovely 1080p display and a fast processor. The camera can take up to 4k resolution photos, and out of the box there are plenty of settings and modes to mess around with. The quality of video and stills is outstanding. And after using the latest Android has to offer, I really can’t see myself going back to iOS anytime soon.

The TV: LG 55” Class 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV w/ 3D

Every gift guide needs at least one item to splurge on. LG’s 55″ 4K television, replete with internet and 3D, is ours.

The television set is massive, but surprisingly thin. The 4K screen is crisp to the point of overkill, and even non-4K viewing looks excellent. While you may want to upgrade to a surround sound system, you won’t need to right away. The sound is surprisingly clear and loud.

Gaming with a PS4 on this TV is a treat. Games like Rayman Legends and inFamous: Second Son look terrific. And all that screen real-estate makes a difference. If you have a PC that can handle it, playing games like Metro: Last Light at super high resolutions is simply stunning.

If you’re a fan of 3D, this set has that, too, as well as smart features that allow you to connect to your PC, and stream YouTube videos directly from your phone. Better still, the price on these 4K sets has fallen dramatically.

Purchase for $2,299.99.

The Peripheral: Nighthawk Smart WiFi Router

Netgear’s Nighthawk Smart WiFi router is probably the coolest looking router on the market—or at least, the coolest looking router I’ve seen. It’s like a miniature space-ship landed and took up residence next to your modem.

It’s also fast, has great range, and includes a USB 3.0 input for peripherals. The range is probably its best feature, aside from looks. I’ve been two blocks from my apartment and noticed my phone was still using my network rather than switching to 4G. Critics seem to agree, earning the Nighthawk and Editor’s Choice award from PC Mag.

Purchase for $189.99.


For potential video games for the gamer dad in your life, check out our Forbes Games Reviews page.

Follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Read my Forbes blog here.

This story may contain affiliate links.


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