Someone in your life likes to game so much that they can’t stand to be away from the experience long. That’s why when they leave the house their smartphones and tablets become their consoles, and they need things to make the experience more comfortable. These are just a few of the gift ideas that would be perfect for an Android gamer.
The MOGA gaming controller by PowerA is one of the most exciting little gadgets a gamer could want this holiday season. It’s not just your ordinary Bluetooth controller — this thing cradles almost any smartphone you can think of (with one or two exceptions for oddities like the LG Optimus Vu and Samsung Galaxy Note 2). The collection of features it has can seldom be found in one single package. MOGA features dual analog stocks with four face buttons and two shoulder buttons. Because it connects to any Android 2.3+ device with Bluetooth you can be sure compatibility with any Android device is not an issue. While the docking mechanism is one of the selling points the advent of wireless communication means you can even use this with your tablet if you so choose (though you’ll need to find something else to prop the tablet up with). [Get it from Amazon!]
It’s rare that you find a gaming controller designed for Android that comes with a full suite of buttons and analog sticks. The SteelSeries FREE captivated us for that very reason back when it was first announced, and it’s why this is one of the top gifts for any mobile gamer to have. It features four face buttons, a directional pad, dual analog sticks, dual shoulder buttons and what are essentially your “Back” and “Start” keys. Sleek and beautiful shines through its exterior, and at the same time it can make any digital task look like serious business. With 10 hours of battery life and the ability to fully remap the controller to your preference any one of the gamers in your life will have no problem making the SteelSeries FREE adapt to their needs. And no, it’s not FREE — that’s just the name — but you won’t be breaking the bank with this Bluetooth controller at all. [Get it from SteelSeries]
Did you know that some existing game controllers might be compatible with your Android device already? Such is the case with the PlayStation 3’s dual-shock 3 controller. Since it’s Bluetooth enabled it can interface with pretty much any Android device that supports Bluetooth 2.1 and higher, and if your gaming bud happens to have one then the GameKlip would be a perfect accessory to give them. The GameKlip attaches to the top of your dual-shock 3 controller and has an adjustable mounting mechanism that can fit most Android phones and 7 inch Android tablets. It’s like the MOGA, except cheaper because the actual controller is something you or they (ideally) already own. Setup is a bit painless if you know how to turn your Bluetooth on and download an app from the Play Store so grab one of these as a stocking stuffer and go wild. [Get it from GameKlip!]
With all the top gaming consoles out there getting price drops and with your tablets and phones becoming more capable you may think there’s no room for another device. The OUYA, however, showed us that a market exists for affordable gaming consoles that have small physical and carbon footprints. This Kickstarter sensation has already garnered tons of interest from developers which means a huge collection of games will be ready to consume for anyone who has one of these nestled under the Christmas tree. The best part about the OUYA console is that all the games are free to play, so the burden of buying new content for the little cube doesn’t rest on either you or your recipient’s shoulders. A full-featured controller comes bundled with the package by default, and more can be added for a small additional fee. The $99 fun box isn’t shipping just yet — in fact, this won’t be ready in time for the 2012 holiday season — but pre-sales remain to be accepted and you can assure your thumb warrior that they’ll be getting their hands on one as soon as they are ready. [Get it from OUYA!]
All of the aforementioned controllers are great in their own ways, and they all share one commonality: they’re wireless. Because of that fact it’s possible to play great Android games without even having to be near your devices, and it’s possible to play them on the big screen. Most high-end phones and tablets support video-out via HDMI or MHL, so getting a cable to help your hand-eye coordinated player is, without a doubt, ideal. The ability to charge their phones or tablets while they’re playing means there are no worries about running out of juice. They’ll be able to transform those tiny, pocketable devices into full-fledged gaming consoles and it won’t cost you more than a few bucks to help enable that. [Get it from Amazon: MHL | HDMI]