Microsoft Gift Giving Guide: Hardware Edition

 

It’s the most wonderful time of year, a time when we all get to sit back and be thankful for all of the things we have in our lives. It’s also a time when gift giving is on everyone’s mind, we are currently coming off a hectic Black Friday in which almost a million Xbox 360’s were sold in the United States alone and all within a 24 hour period, in addition to this 750,000 Kinect sensors were also sold in that period. It’s obvious the Xbox 360 and Kinect is once again a must have holiday item, but you might be asking yourself which hardware bundle should you give? never fear, I will give you the lowdown on which hardware bundle fits with each person on your shopping list. I will also be doing gift giving guides for games later on as we get closer to the holidays.

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Xbox 360 250GB Holiday Bundle
Features:

  • Xbox 360s Console with 250 gig HDD
  • Built in wireless N
  • One Black Xbox 360 wireless controller
  • One Xbox 360 wired headset
  • Three month Xbox Live Gold card
  • Fable 3 game
  • Halo Reach Games On Demand download code
  • Price $299

 

This holiday bundle is perfect for almost everyone, although I will say Halo Reach and Fable 3 are both rated M for mature and are games intended for older teenagers, this is however the best deal for the price. You get one of the best multiplayer games on the Xbox 360 in Halo Reach, you also get a 3 month Xbox Live Gold card, which is really where the Xbox 360 shines. You basically get everything you need, Xbox Live, headset and games. This bundle is definitely geared more towards people who will download a lot of arcade games and content to the larger hard drive. Considering Halo Reach takes up over 6 gigs of hard drive space, this is the more core oriented gamer’s bundle. This is the bundle to get if your unsure what the person on your list is into, because they aren’t going to need to purchase anything else to get started.

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Xbox 360 standard 4 gig console
*Features:

  • Xbox 360s console with built-in 4 gig memory
  • Built in wireless N
  • One black Xbox 360 wireless controller
  • Price $199

This is the bare bones kit, it has what you need but with its limited hard drive space you’ll find it difficult to download map packs or arcade titles. They do sell hard drives that you can put in these consoles, but you actually end up paying more for the HDD then you would have just buying the $299 holiday bundle that is listed above this one. Still, you can find deals on this set and I’ve seen it go for as little as $150 at retail, which is a heck of a price for an HD gaming console. This is a great console set if your on a budget, or if your buying the console for a younger child or a more casual gamer that might not care about things like online or downloading map packs. If this is all you can afford, then it’s still a great item, but there are better deals with actual games, headsets, hard drives and Xbox Live Gold memberships for only slightly more money.

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Xbox 360 limited edition Gears of War 3 bundle
Features:

  • Gears Of War themed Xbox 360s console with 320 gig HDD
  • Built in wireless N
  • Two Gears of War Xbox 360 wireless controllers
  • One Xbox 360 wired headset
  • Gears of War 3 Standard Edition game
  • Download token for Infected Omen Weapon Pack and Adam Fenix multiplayer character
  • Price $399

This bundle is for the absolute hardcore gamer on your holiday list. This is the bundle that all Xbox 360 fans want, keep in mind that Gears Of War 3 is rated M for mature and is intended for people 17 years of age or older. This bundle offers the largest hard drive available for the Xbox 360, it’s huge 320 gig HDD is perfect for downloading demos, map packs and arcade titles. It comes with two controllers, which is great because Gears Of War 3 offers split screen campaign modes as well as split screen online multiplayer modes. This is the most expensive Xbox 360 model, I have still seen a few of these here and there, but overall it’s going to be hard to find these.

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Xbox 360 Limited Edition Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Console
Features:

  • Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 3 themed Xbox 360s console with 320 gig HDD
  • Built in wireless N
  • Two Modern Warfare 3 Xbox 360 wireless controllers
  • One Xbox 360 wired headset
  • Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 3 Standard Edition game
  • Price $399

This is another one of those bundles that is going to appeal to the hardest of hardcore gamer’s. Although the Call Of Duty franchise isn’t exclusive to the Xbox 360, there is no doubt Microsoft markets the game as being better on the Xbox 360, the Call Of Duty franchise certainly sells better on the Xbox 360 then any other console. This epic bundle comes with two controllers, headset and game. The 320 gig HDD is also the largest that Microsoft currently offers and is perfect for the core gamer in your life. I’d suggest this console to anyone who loves Call Of Duty and gaming in general. It’s a lot of value for the price. Please keep in mind that Modern Warfare 3 is rated M for mature.

 

Now that I’ve given some good references for the different Xbox 360 consoles and bundles, I’ll list some of the Xbox 360 with Kinect hardware bundles that are currently on so many people holiday wish lists.

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Xbox 360/Kinect 250 gig Holiday Bundle
Features:

  • Xbox 360s console with 250 gig HDD
  • Kinect sensor
  • Built in wireless N
  • One Xbox 360 wireless controller
  • 3 month Xbox Live Gold Membership
  • Kinect Adventures game
  • Carnival Games: Monkey See Monkey Do, download code
  • Price $399

This is the set that is pretty much for anyone, if you’re not sure what the gamer in your life is into then you can’t go wrong with it. Though the games that come with it are more geared towards younger gamer’s. This is the high-end set that comes with the 250 gig HDD, Kinect and two games, the best part is the 3 month Xbox Live Gold Membership that is included. If the other bundles with M rated games are making you unsure as if you purchase it or not, then this bundle should put your mind at ease.

 

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Xbox 360 4GB Console with Kinect
Features:

  • Xbox 360s console with 4 gig memory
  • Kinect sensor
  • Built in wireless N
  • One wireless Xbox 360 controller
  • Kinect Adventures game
  • Price $299

This is a very popular bundle and I suspect a lot of these were sold over the Black Friday buying blitz. They had this bundle for $199 and most places even gave a $50 gift card with purchase. Even today you can still find pretty good deals on this bundle. I would consider this bundle for the more casual style gamer’s, you don’t really get enough HDD space to download map packs, demos or games. This is still a great bundle for anyone looking to get into gaming with an Xbox 360 and Kinect. If the person you’re looking to give this bundle to already has some other gaming consoles, then this is a solid bundle to gift. I’d suggest this bundle for younger kids, parents, grandparents and pretty much anyone looking to get in on the HD gaming craze.

 

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Kinect Sensor Holiday Bundle
Features:

  • Kinect sensor
  • Kinect Adventures
  • Fruit Ninja Kinect game download code
  • The Gunstringer game download code
  • Price $149

Lastly is the Kinect sensor by itself, right now you can purchase this hot holiday item and you get 2 extra games included. The Gunstringer is probably one of my personal favorite Kinect titles and Fruit Ninja is pure fun, so this is the perfect time to get into gaming with the Kinect. Kinect is more than just gaming however, with the soon to be new Xbox 360 dash update you’ll be able to use voice commands via Kinect for everything, you can also use hand movements to control all the media on your Xbox 360 dashboard as well. Kinect also acts as a video chat program, so if you have family that lives far away you can chat and see them and they can see you and chat with you back. It’s really no wonder Kinect is the fastest selling electronic device of all time. It’s a device that is going to be on a lot of people’s list this holiday season. You will need to already own a Xbox 360 to utilize the Kinect however. Every current and past Xbox 360 model can be hooked into Kinect.

Well that is my hardware list for this holiday season. I will be doing games lists shortly. I hope everyone has a great and happy holiday season.

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