PSLS Holiday Gift Guide 2019 – Gaming Essentials Staff Picks

It’s hard to believe the holidays are upon us yet again, but here we are with a mere month and some change left to go in this decade. Soon it will be 2020, but with the slew of deals headed to retailers soon, it’s the perfect time to outfit yourself with some of the best gaming gear essentials. We’ve asked the PlayStation LifeStyle staff to put together some of their picks for essential gaming gear we each use almost daily that you need to be on the lookout for this holiday.

This article contains affiliate links to products. Purchases made using these links help support PlayStation LifeStyle.

Products in this list are editorially independent and were included entirely at the discretion of PSLS writers based on what they actually use in their home setups. 

PSLS Holiday Gift Guide – Staff Picks

PlayStation 4 Pro Console

gamestop black friday 2019

Buy PS4 Pro on Amazon

Sure, the PS5 is just around the corner, but if you have yet to pick up a PS4 Pro, that’s a full year of PlayStation exclusives that you can play before upgrading to the next one. Or maybe you aren’t an early adopter and just want to catch up in the meantime Games like Death Stranding, God of War, Spider-Man, Horizon Zero Dawn, and the upcoming The Last of Us Part II are well worth the price of entry alone, not to mention the absolutely incredible list of other exclusives and third-party games that have launched since the PS4 released back in 2013. As far as essentials go, the console is pretty central. GameStop has a pretty incredible Black Friday deal going for a Glacier White Pro. – Chandler Wood

DualShock 4

dualshock 4 colors

Buy DualShock 4 on Amazon

I legit don’t buy any accessories other than a controller when one breaks. – Zarmena Khan

What’s more essential than a controller, and one that you can have highlight your personality? This holiday will feature sales on many of the different colors of DualShock 4 controller, so if you need an extra or two, or just want to change things up with a new style, be on the lookout for this essential accessory. I’m angling for that translucent Crystal one myself. -Chandler Wood

(Re: Spider-Man Limited Edition DualShock 4) It’s tough to fully recommend this controller since it’s nearly impossible to find standalone, but man oh man is it cool-looking. Available only with the Spider-Man PS4 Pro bundle, this thing has white buttons and analog sticks, with the gorgeous red found on Spidey’s costume in-game. If you can find one, definitely grab it as long as it’s not for an absurd price. – Joseph Yaden

The time finally came. I needed to replace the controller for my launch PS4, and the only acceptable colour option was the titanium blue DualShock 4. – Annette Polis (Buy the Titanium Blue DualShock 4 on Amazon)

GUNNAR Glasses

the division 2 gunnar glasses

Buy GUNNAR Glasses on Amazon

I rely on GUNNAR glasses daily for both work and playing games. If you’re someone who spends long hours looking at screens for any reason, these should be on your wishlist. Or if you know someone who spends a lot of time staring at the artificial blue light emanating from TVs and monitors, you’d do well to get them a pair of GUNNARS as a gift. After years of real-world testing, I can assure you they work. The tech is sound. My personal favorites are the Vertex frames in Smoke color. The Intercept frames are also very popular, and often what GUNNAR uses when it has partnerships with games. If you or your gift recipient has everything else they need for gaming, I can’t recommend GUNNAR glasses enough. Put these high on the list. – Chandler Wood

PS4 Gold Headset – Uncharted Edition

Uncharted PS4 Gold Headset

Buy Uncharted PS4 Gold Headset from Amazon

Sometimes you just want to have peace and quiet when you game. That’s when I pop on my Uncharted headset (which I bought because of the steel blue colour) and lose myself into whatever I am playing. – Annette Polis

Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil sales

Buy Resident Evil 2 on Amazon

This is the quintessential survival horror game. It effectively blends the old school horror tropes we know and love, with modern touches that make it super playable today. Please remake Resident Evil 3 in the same style, Capcom. PLEASE. – Joseph Yaden

PlayStation VR Headset

playstation vr ps5

Buy PlayStation VR Headset on Amazon

Just a few years ago, VR seemed like an absurd pipe dream that could never be properly realized. While developers are still getting a handle on just what’s possible, and manufacturers are busy trying to improve the tech, there are definitely some worthwhile experiences to be had in a headset. If you have yet to add a PSVR headset to your gaming setup, this holiday is the perfect time to do so. – Chandler Wood

BLUE Yeti USB Mic

BLue Yeti USB Mic

Buy Blue Yeti USB Mic on Amazon

Since I do a lot of streaming from my PS4, I need a crystal clear microphone to make sure my silky smooth voice floats over the internet and sounds as good as possible. – Annette Polis

Astro C40 Controller

Astro C40 review

Buy Astro C40 Controller on Amazon

I’ve frequently called the Astro C40 the last PS4 controller I’ll ever need. It’s got a long charge time. It feels great in my hands. It has plenty of pro features like rear buttons, trigger stops, and the ability to reconfigure the front from parallel to offset sticks (if you’re into that sort of thing). There’s also software remapping and control for all the buttons, meaning you can customize this controller to be perfect for you, your playstyle, and the games you are playing. It has a hefty price tag, but it’s well worth the premium price you’ll pay. – Chandler Wood

KontrolFreek Thumbsticks

Kontrol Freek Battle Royale Nightall review performance thumbsticks

Buy KontrolFreek Thumbsticks on Amazon

The usefulness of these is debatable, but at the very least, they look cool, right? You can get a few different colors to fully deck out your controller and maybe improve your aim. – Joseph Yaden

Having tested multiple different KontrolFreek thumbsticks over the years, including different grip patterns and varying stick lengths, I can’t use a standard DualShock 4 anymore without them. My personal favorites are mid-rise sticks, though I’ll sometimes use a high-rise stick on the right analog stick for more precise aiming in shooters. I actually have different stick setups on different DualShock 4s depending on what I’m playing (and when I’m not using the Astro C40). The thumbsticks are easy to put on and remove, and they are far superior to the default DualShock sticks – Chandler Wood

HyperX DualShock 4 Charger

Buy DualShock 4 Charger on Amazon

If you have a multi-PS4 home like I do, having a dual charging station for your PS4 controllers is a must. We almost always have two controllers docked and ready to rotate. – Annette Polis

The PS4 has limited USB slots available. If you’ve got a PSVR headset or an extended USB storage drive, or any other number of USB devices hooked up to it, the last thing you want to do is constantly plug and unplug cables for controller charging. That’s why a great dual controller charger is a necessary accessory to have on hand, to make sure there’s always a controller ready to go. It’s come in clutch for moments when a battery suddenly dies during a Raid in Destiny 2 (though if you want a long-lasting battery, just get that Astro controller and play for days). –Chandler Wood

PS4 Nylon Charge Cable

Buy PS4 Nylon Charge Cable on Amazon

While it’s tough to be too picky when it comes to something as simple as a charge cable, this specific one is leaps and bounds ahead of the rest. Having 10 feet to work with is extra nice, but the main draw is the nylon material, which can ward off any chew-happy pets you might have in your home. – Joseph Yaden

PS Plus Subscription

PS Plus Deal

Buy PS Plus Subscription on Amazon

If you’re at a loss for what gift to get your PlayStation gaming friend or loved one, a PS Plus subscription is never a bad bet. Whether they don’t yet have access to the free games, online, and deals that Plus provides, or they simply need to extend their membership out, getting a PS Plus subscription is a safe way to get an enjoyable and affordable gift this holiday, especially when deals take the price down below $60. – Chandler Wood

VoltEdge TX40 Headset

VoltEdge TX40 Headset

Buy VoltEdge TX40 Headset on Amazon

There’s definitely a market for fancy over-priced headsets, and if you’re someone who enjoys that, more power to ya. For the users who want a simpler experience, the VoltEdge TX40s provide adequate in-game audio and chat, along with an easily adjustable headpiece. For around $30, it’s hard to go wrong. Simply plug this bad boy into your Dualshock 4 and you’ll be ready to go. – Joseph Yaden

LucidSound LS50

Mothers day video game gift guide gamer mom gifts

Buy LucidSound LS41 on Amazon

The LucidSound LS41 is my favorite headset on the citadel. At E3 this year, I had a chance to go heads-on with the LS50 and its suite of premium features. Snoop Dogg is collaborating on a limited edition version that is currently available for preorder, but there will be a standard version available as well. If you can wait, the LS50 is the way to go, with Bluetooth, seamless source switching, and chat/audio mixing. Its upgrades over the LS41 make it worth it, but if you simply can’t wait, the LS41 is a more than adequate headset to get in its stead. – Chandler Wood

Vizio Quantum 4K TV

Vizio 4k tv quantum

Buy Vizio Quantum 4K TV on Amazon

Yeah, a TV is an expensive gift, but maybe you’re just treating yourself this holiday. I’d had the same TV since way back in 2012 until it finally died on me. An old 1080p plasma 3D TV, which, in the era of 4K, just wasn’t cutting it (and then when the screen wouldn’t power on, it quite literally just wasn’t cutting it). When you’re looking for a TV, it’s worth it to not go for the cheapest quality out there, but maybe you’re not ready to fork over a few thousand for one of those mega fancy deals either. There are quite a few options in the “midrange” for 4k TVs, affordable large TVs that offer all the best elements of modern 4K screens without robbing you blind. The Vizio Quantum Series is just one such option, though perhaps I’m biased after the wonder of upgrading a seven-year-old HDTV to a new 4K setup. If you’re still in the stone age of 1080, it’s time to make the switch. Speaking of switch… – Chandler Wood

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch Outsold PS4 in Japan

Buy Nintendo Switch on Amazon

Hey, listen. Up until a few weeks ago, I had only ever owned PlayStation consoles my entire life. I’d resisted getting a Switch, but the draw of Nintendo exclusives was strong, and I finally caved. The Switch has been one of the greatest supplemental gaming devices to my collection. No, I won’t be getting any third-party games on it (I have my trophy count to care about, after all), but there are a slew of amazing Nintendo games that are begging to be played on the console/handheld hybrid. As much as I hemmed and hawed about the Switch, I have to admit that I am having a lot of fun with it. I wouldn’t say it replaces my PS4 as my main gaming preference, but I’d consider it an essential part of my family of electronics now. – Chandler Wood


These are just some of the products we use daily in our own gaming setups. Add your own suggestions for what you’d consider part of your essential gaming setup in the comments below.