Weekend Debate: Giving the gift of gaming

Hey there everybody and welcome to the final Weekend Debate of 2012. We’ll have plenty of great Blog content coming your way over the festive season but it’s not really practical to run another debate while so many of the Blog team are out of the office shovelling mince pies down their necks. So, let’s make this one count!

It seems only right and fair to take a nice Christmassy angle this week. So here you go:

You’ve got a close friend or family member who has never turned on a console before. You want to give them ‘the gift of gaming’ for Christmas. Which system and game would you put under the tree as a perfect introduction to your hobby, and why?

Your prize this week is a good ‘un, I think. The eight most entertaining and/or thoughtful responses get a download voucher for Uncharted: Fight For Fortune – Complete Edition (including all DLC packs) on PS Vita and, for good measure, a code for Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune on PS3.

Should you have preconceptions about Fight for Fortune, put them aside – it’s a really fun little time-sink. Trailer below to refresh your memories! Good luck!

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145 Comments 9 Author replies
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Project2insanity 14 December, 2012 @ 5:08 pm   1

I’m guessing this’ll be a popular answer; PS3 with Heavy Rain simply because it’s easy to play due to the prompts and the story is a great transition from film to game, leading onto grander endeavours. Done.

    Fred Dutton 17 December, 2012 @ 2:08 pm    

    Time to announce this week’s winner. First winner here – Heavy Rain is a great shout – it’s a title that I’m sure would surprise a lot of non-gamers.


just for fun.

id give them mega drive with all the sonic titles and streets of rage as well 2 pads.
this was the machine that i loved most in my childhood and really got me hooked on gaming and id hope it would do the same to them.

however all that would prob be quite expensive and i would be cheaper getting them a ps3 super slim with the sega mega drive collection.

Decisions Decisions ..good luck to all and to all a good night 😉

NoddingPenguin 14 December, 2012 @ 5:10 pm   3

A PlayStation 3 with a years subscription to PlayStation Plus is the way to go here. There’s absolutely no chance of giving them a game they don’t like. If anything, you’ll be giving them multiple games they will like over the span of an entire year for the price of one game. All I want for Christmas is a years supply of games… and you~.

NoddingPenguin 14 December, 2012 @ 5:13 pm   4

If my last answer doesn’t count because I mentioned PlayStation Plus instead of an actual game, then I’d have to go with Uncharted 2. Story telling? Check. Amazing single player? Check. Amazing multiplayer? Check. Uncharted 3 for the same reasons, but I’d definitely introduce them to 2 first. It was my personal favourite and it’d be better to play them in order I think. Maybe even the Drakes Fortune first so they can see the huge leap from Drakes Fortune to Among Thieves? AHHHH THE CHOICES THEY BUUURN.


Ps3 with a years subscription to ps+ some great games all year and fantastic offers as well. You can’t go wrong with that.

Zero__Kiryu 14 December, 2012 @ 5:15 pm   6

It’s tough, with my current finances I’d have to settle for an extra control pad. Some dude snacks and some co-op hilarity, Lego Star Wars + Ratchet & Clank then if I really want to show my superiority its a game of Call of Duty O.o

That or Persona 3 Portable, they can have my old PSP (It’s now downloaded to my Vita), that game could turn Jack Thompson!

RossyWilson 14 December, 2012 @ 5:16 pm   7

It would have to be The Walking Dead on ps3. Firstly because the game does not have very complex controls and is pretty easy to complete but mainly because it has a great story that gamers and non-gamers can connect to. My sister never used to play video games that much but i recently let her play the walking dead and she fell in love with it and has now moved on to other games such as heavy rain and uncharted since completling it.

    Fred Dutton 17 December, 2012 @ 2:10 pm    

    Another winner here, and another great suggestion. Telltale’s game showed that it’s possible to please both ends of the gaming spectrum – from casual to core.


LittleBigPlanet Vita. Why? Simple. Not only would its delightfully charming graphical style and Stephen Fry’s soothing voiceover ease the recipient into a calm sense of nirvana whilst dealing with a medium so often accused of being unforgiving towards newcomers who’ve never held a controller before, but the gameplay itself also lends itself perfectly to the ‘introductory’ function of this exercise. With each facet of the game’s control system thoroughly explained in a gentle, yet non-patronising manner, the new gamer should have little difficulty getting to grips with the touch-screen interface and physics platforming mechanics.

Of course, that’s without giving mention to the outrageous number of community-created levels and intuitive gameplay creation tools, two bells and whistles that could theoretically make this quaint little title last forever.

    Fred Dutton 17 December, 2012 @ 2:11 pm    

    Agreed – Mm do a great job of introducing pretty complex systems in LBP. Enjoy your codes.

tapantaola 14 December, 2012 @ 5:16 pm   9

A PS3 Super Slim with Uncharted 3. That game is like a blockbuster Hollywood movie and it’s very appealing, even to non-gamers… that says it all!

TizioVerde 14 December, 2012 @ 5:16 pm   10

If i have to stick with the latest gen most probably a PS3 with:
-Demon’s Souls(because it’s a the essence of gaming)
-NieR(artistical masterpiece)
-1 year of PS Plus(a lot of random ejoyable gaming throught the year)

A pretty good start to get into gaming.


A PS3 with LittleBigPlanet 2, it’s the perfect game to start off with. It’s a brilliant game to show off the system and with all the different modes, creating your own levels plus the collectables you’ll play it for ages at all hours of the day

Avengerrr 14 December, 2012 @ 5:18 pm   12

PS3 (Any version as long as it has good space), PS plus so the person can explore great gaming every month and have some fun, PS Move because I know some people like my Mum get confused with all the different buttons, so Move simplifies things and allows a bit more tactile contact with the game. Ultimately the Game would be LittleBigPlanet 2 because it is fun for all age groups, compatible with Move and allows the player to experience lots of different game types: overhead RPGs, puzzles, platformers.

The reason I’d choose a PS3 is because of PSN games like The Unfinished Swan and Journey which are beautiful and give a lot of credit to gaming culture. Also it is a very good console for media ie. video/blu-ray/ oh and music unlimited which this Christmas they could get cheap on Plus too.

jehuty_2174 14 December, 2012 @ 5:18 pm   13

hard choice.
But i would put a PS3 down for that person. Because as a gaming system it also delievers a good multimedia experience. Bluray, Netflix etc. The person would already appreciate it one way or the other.
The Game to go along with it would be Heavy Rain hands down. Many other games could be in its place. But the thing that separates it from most, is that its very simple to grasp and the compeling story-telling really drives you in the experience.
before that person know it, they have finished the game and as an extra they have mastered the controller and can then move to new Games.


Flower on PSN is my answer,
Its a very simple concept of a game but is very rewarding with great effects and audio.
Very easy for a non gamer to grasp the controls and a great way for a 1st time gamer to get involved in a game to enjoy and not feel threatened of losing the race/fight as with other games.

    Fred Dutton 17 December, 2012 @ 2:12 pm    

    Another winner here. Interesting to see so many shout-outs for thatgamecompany’s output…

HitmanSB07 14 December, 2012 @ 5:19 pm   15

To be honest, it would depend greatly on the family member.

My little sister is 10 years old and she barely plays games. I tend to be able to coerce her into a coop game on my PS3 when the game seems “cartoony” enough for her. She loves stuff like Rayman Origins and we played the Lego Lord of the Rings demo together so i’ll be picking that up soon too, as she seemed to love it.

My parents on the other hand, would be quite difficult to convince. I might convince (i.e. force) them to play Lego Lord of the Rings with me and my sis but other than that it’d be hard. My dad used to love playing Tomb Raider and stealth-based games (MGS and Syphon Filter- great taste, right?) on the PSOne so it might be easy enough to get him into Uncharted or the Metal Gear Solid HD collection.

My mother would be a hopeless case though, the last game she played was Puzzle Bobble back in the 90’s. The only thing I could think of would be a Playstation Move and some sort of family game on that, perhaps Sports Champions or Book of Spells (she’s a huge Harry Potter fan).

Other than my family, practically everyone I know already plays video games to some extent. Honestly, sometimes i’m convinced I might be adopted 😛 .

Rainybeetle 14 December, 2012 @ 5:19 pm   16

A PS3 for the good lady’s bedroom. She has no idea of the online functions and I’d have endless fun as I fired up LBP in the room for her, informed her that the wee sack guys talk just like our children then watch her freak out as the sack characters walk up to the screen and speak to her personally while the kids are in the other room online. I know it’s childish but I’m laughing writing it never mind experiencing it.


my 7 year old is really hyperactive so anything with motion control games… be it move, Kinect or wii. got to tire the little bugger out at Xmas

XzSlLENTSNIPERzX 14 December, 2012 @ 5:21 pm   18

A ps3 because there is so much to do on it; Netflix or LoveFilm for movies; Ps store for games and the online gaming portion.

I would give them Littlebigplanet 2 as it is multiple games in 1 – a classic game fit for the whole family!

runicdagaz 14 December, 2012 @ 5:21 pm   19

It depends on who you’re buying it for. While the popular answer here will be ps3, fact of the matter is that there are 3 different ‘main’ consoles, each with their own target audience.

For stuff like 3rd person action/adventure games, rpg’s… I prefer a ps3.
For first person shooters, racing games… I prefer the 360. (unpopular opinion. Sue me :p )
For more lighthearted games, I would’ve said the Wii, but the Wii U seems to branch out more. I can’t really recommend it until I’m more familiar with the console.

So basically, see who you’re buying it for. Chances are you know them somewhat, and you can make an educated guess about the most suitable platform.

Although, in the end, most big titles are multiplatform nowadays. And truth to be told, you can’t really go wrong with either one of them.

Game on!


forget to mention in my post the PS3 as it is a all round media centre aswell

nagash1979 14 December, 2012 @ 5:21 pm   21

A PS3 with Little Big Planet 2, jump right in fun and help them around. Before you know it they’ll be playing those award winning PSN tittles and getting ps+. Watch bluerays or stream movies, grab a music unlimited subscription…. They’ll be hooked!

doomsday619 14 December, 2012 @ 5:22 pm   22

I have to say PS Vita and the game Little Deviants, the only reason for that is my wife and mum who never play games tried it when i first got the Vita and it took some time to get it back.
Its the short little games that use the environment which they have never seen before and easy to use and learn controls.
It has also turned my wife into nicking my Vita all the time to play it. Leaving me behind on completing Assassins Creed Liberation.


A NES with Super Mario Bros. And not to a friend of my, but i have a nephew of only three years old. I got a NES when I was four and it made me fall in laugh with gaming, it was easy to use, and great, great fun. So for a starter it’s the best system.


i would give them a ps3, journey and the uncharted trilogy to show how memorable games are and how videogames arn’t just all pointless shooters with a barely structured story


For a person, who hasn’t used one before, it would have to be PS3. The versatility and PS+ offers whole experience. And on top of the creme de la creme person would get one month of Netflix from me.

If I had to pick one game, it would have to be exclusive and my choice would be Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time

balticurry2 14 December, 2012 @ 5:32 pm   26

Definitely a Vita with either Uncharted Golden Abyss, FIFA or a PSN voucher. It’s great to be able to game on the go!

Even my two year old cousin likes going on my Vita and playing the Angry Birds mini! It’s really great fun and hopefully will only get better!


Kinda funny this is the question, as i’ve recently bought uncharted 3 for my uncle’s christmas present 🙂 shhh don’t tell! 😉 it’s such a great game to enter the gaming world with, most definately because of it’s seamless introduction to the games mechanics with the fixed camera angles bar fight! As regards to console, i guess i’d have to go for ps3, since that is the game’s platform, however if i’m basing this regardless of game, i’d probably go with a ps vita seeing as it would probably be easier for a newbie to get to grips with if they could fit it in their hands. By the way, if i win, could you pass the “fight for fortune” code onto someone else as i do not own a vita, think of it as my christmas prezzie to them! i’ll happily accept the uncharted: drakes fortune for ps3 though! 😉

ChemicalBacon90 14 December, 2012 @ 5:40 pm   28

It would have to be a PS3 and a copy of Demon’s Souls!

Why? Well, because they’d undoubtedly succumb to its brutal challenge after mere minutes, which would therefore free up the TV for me to play whatever I wanted. 😀

Bah, humbug!


PS1 with FFVII.The reason it’s a PS1 and not a PS3 is down to simplicity.To many distractions with a PS3.I long for the good old days when you bought a game and played it.There was no multiplayer or dlc to ruin it.There was no blogs with people arguing over the stupidist of things.

FFVII for obvious reasons,great story,great characters,full of emotions and is a journey you will get sucked into.If this game doesn’t make you into a gamer then nothing will.


It all depends on age. If it was a relative aged 7-12 I would have to give them a PS Vita with a copy of Lego Lord of the Rings because 1 its easy(ish) and 2 what kid doesnt like lego?

Now, if it was my cousin or anyone else aged 15-18 it would have to be a PS3 with Mass Effect 2. The reason for my choice? If your going to introduce anyone that age to gaming, get them hooked with one of the best! 😀

For anyone over 20 I would give a PS3 and Red Dead Redemption. Although they may struggle at first with the controls and amount of freedom your given, they will experience awesome (and sometimes wacky) characters and an ending that would bring any man to tears.

These games and consoles would show any newcomer what gaming is all about 🙂


I’d give them a Sega Master System.

That’s not where I started (I was well versed in Spectrum ZX and Atari before then) but the SMS was the first time I really loved a game, and realised “Hey, I’m a gamer!”

The graphics were funky, the games were not too time consuming, but fun each time you switched on.

Games such as Sonic, Golden Axe, Alex Kidd in Miracle World had me hooked for YEARS.

And it came with a built in game (mine was Alex Kidd, my best friend’s was Sonic) – win/win! Two of the greatest games of all time… Free?!

If that doesn’t get a person addicted to GAMING then really, I don’t know what would. A PS3 with a PSN voucher to download Alex Kidd, Sonic and Golden Axe maybe!3

Stonesthrow 14 December, 2012 @ 5:45 pm   32

It would definitely be a Playstation 3, to show how far console gaming has gotten. Pc elitists usually look down on our consoles, but I am still constantly amazed at how our consoles have progressed throughout the years. I also have an obsessive infatuation for the PS/Dualshock controller, I always loved its perfectly simple design and don’t completely feel right playing with another controller (granted, I do love the N64 controller a lot too.)
As for software, my first choice would probably be Uncharted 3. An absolute flagship for the third Playstation. Beautiful, technically refined, realistic performances, and that whole climbing mechanic just provides an extra touch which you can enjoy as either noob or hardcore.


I would give my nephew and his 2 sons a PS3 with Uncharted 2, Flower and Plus so they can play LBP2.
These games are the top in cinematic gaming (uncharted), artfull, beautifull and easy to get into (Flower) and awesome platforming and creativity that lasts for years and is fun and you can learn on the side (LBP2).


I have two options here. One is Journey + PS3. The other is Mass Effect Trilogy + PC. I like Mass Effect with keyboard, mouse and 1920×1200 resolution more than in PS3 with a gamepad.

I would choose one of this two gifts depending on the person I’m going to give it, but if is as an introduction to gaming, Journey + PS3 has more chances to be my choice.


My brother never had a console of his own but always did enjoy watching me play. So when he moved abroad last Christmas I got him a PS3 with Gran Turismo 5.

Reasons for choosing the ps3:
1. It is the best console out there and amazing value for money.
2. If he never got into gaming he could still make excellent use of it as a blu ray player + media hub.
3. So we can go head to head online!
4. There’s tons of games available to satisfy any taste. He could get triple A titles for less than 10 quid off amazon or subscribe to PS Plus and never have to worry about buying another game!
5. Journey.

Reasons for picking GT5:
1. He is a petrolhead like me so I knew if he was ever going to spend time on 1 game that would be it!
2. He can keep playing it for years and years to come until he gets 100%, so again he would never have to worry about getting any other game if he did not wish to!
3. He could spend months playing with the photo mode alone.
4. So I could humiliate him online.
5. Because it’s got all our childhood dream supercars in it.
6. Because it’s got rally cars, karts and Formula 1 cars in it as well, so it really counts as more than 1 game!
7. So he could show off the graphics to his friends!

XnoobsquadX 14 December, 2012 @ 5:51 pm   36

i’d go with a vita and mutant blob attacks. reason is simple the vita can be used as a semi tab with internet/youtube/music/movies if he/she doesnt take to the game although i doubt it and mutant blob attacks has a funny story and is rather simple to play even when he/she is done playing he/she can keep on challenging his/her old time/scores to become a Blobber to be reckoned with!

A_Nonny_Moose 14 December, 2012 @ 5:54 pm   37

I’d want them to start where I started, and honestly where I think everyone should start, Nintendo. I haven’t owned a Nintendo console for ages actually but I very much appreciate they’re place in the industry and gamin history. They’re the last console manufacturer that is strictly a gaming company, and I respect them for that.

I started gaming with a NES and Super Mario Bros, and I would introduce someone to gaming with a Wii and Super Mario Galaxy.

geraint09 14 December, 2012 @ 5:55 pm   38

I would get them a nes with super mario bros….Simple controls and easy to pick up and play bust hard to master. then bump them up to a gamecube and super mario sunshine gets a little more complicated but still easy to pick up. then upgrade them to a ps3 so they join me in lego games for no stress gaming.


I’d get them a PlayStation 3 (for obvious reasons) and Race drive GRID as this game is probably the best reaching game I have ever played as its b not just a racing simulator but a team managing game and could possibly be classified as a strategy game due to the team management system. I’d also get them a PlayStation network voucher so they can get some of the essentials games.

Dilemma__ 14 December, 2012 @ 5:58 pm   40

This probably won’t be a popular answer on this blog, but I’d probably give them a Wii and Wii Sports!

I know the Wii isn’t exactly the most popular console amongst hardcore gamers, but I think it deserves a lot of praise for helping to increase the popularity of gaming, particularly amongst the casual audience. in particular. Much like the PS2 achieved with Singstar and Buzz, the Wii has been successful in introducing people, many of whom hadn’t played games before, to gaming.

Indeed, games such as Wii Sports removed many barriers to entry for these people by turning basic human actions, e.g. swinging, jumping, throwing etc, into game actions that anyone could understand and perform. In a way, it breaks down the concept of what a game is to them through familiarity. Quite simply, they just get it.

In sum, I’m convinced that even people who aren’t familiar with games would be able to easily understand Wii Sports and ultimately have fun. And thats the most important thing if you ask me. Having fun.


I can answer this quite well as this is a question I already have dealt with. So it was my girlfriends birthday a few weeks ago and she’s a HUGE Harry Potter fan so I got her a super slim ps3 with 12gb and Book Of Spells for Move and she loves it! She’s never been much of a gamer before but now we can finally play something together that she enjoys! She’s now on psn and I’m helping her get her first platinum. Book of spells is easy to jump into because it’s simple to control and appeals to more casual gamers (and harry potter fans). I’m a hardcore playstation gamer (level 15 20 platinums) and I’m currently getting ready to show her some of the best games like Uncharted 3 and Heavy Rain. I think she’ll particularly enjoy heavy rain as it’s just like a movie and she’s definitely a person that would enjoy the story.


One year I did give my youngest sister a NES system and all my old games for it. In retrospect wished I had kept the cool animation making game I had for it as it could be used in my film making for effects. She did love Super Mario 3 though.

I would probably give my family (my mum and 2 sisters)a ps3 with Rock Band games. I think they would enjoy the sillyness of that. My father bought me my first console (Atari 2600) and my first handheld (Merlin). He always liked video games and if he was still alive I think he would be gobsmacked by the state of growth of technology over the years (he died in ’93). For him it wouldn’t be a console, it could only be gaming on a very high spec pc.

The hubby (well I’m getting a vita and so he has already lined up the games he’s going to be playing on my ps3). But if he wasn’t getting a tablet it would have to be a Wii-U solely for playing Zombi-U.

For me, I want a global store on the psn so I can buy all those quirky Japanese games that will never ever see the light of day in the west. I really really really want Shiki Tei.

S-o-h-a-i-l 14 December, 2012 @ 6:21 pm   43

As a perfect introduction to gaming, it would have to be the Playstation Vita – mainly because its the perfect median that connects the social aspects of handheld devices that have become popular today i.e. Facebook, Internet Browsing, Messaging with the closest to console like experience you can have on such a device. It’s the perfect starter device to get someone into gaming.

The game ? Uncharted Golden Abyss (fitting with this weeks prize) – no one can deny the breathtaking visuals and precise and intuitive controls that game offers. It proved the Vita can deliver said console like experiences that Sony have been stating over and over again, while showcasing all the Vita’s extra functionalities, making it not only the perfect starting game to get a person into gaming, but the perfect app to introduce a newcomer to the system.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Fred 🙂

Crowlerzors 14 December, 2012 @ 6:24 pm   44

I guess i’d say Rock Band 3 on the PS3. It’s a video game that nobody would really turn down giving a try as it doesn’t need any past experience with gaming. After building up a 400 song library it never gets boring playing it with a large group of friends or family!

It’s awesome how new songs are still coming out on the PSN store so many years later.

I already bought a ps3 to my mom and dad, i bought it because it has a giant library of games to choose from from casual to hardcore, and the most obvious reason, because i have one and we can play together.

The game i bought was SPORTS CHAMPIONS 2 as my dad has got a little OVERWEIGHT since he stopped playing tennis because he now lives in a farm and he doesn’t have any tennis court near him, also because we played the first one in the house of a friend and my mom tried and enjoyed it!

NunoACMendes 14 December, 2012 @ 6:30 pm   46

I’d probably present with 2 wonders, Game Boy and Mario Land 2. It was so addictive back in the that I couldn’t put it down, so I got a charger that was connected directed to the electricity so I wouldn’t have to waste time changing the batteries.

AeroEvolution 14 December, 2012 @ 6:34 pm   47

– Little Big Planet 2 –

FRED You can give my winning download voucher to charity for xmas 😎

Superbuu3 14 December, 2012 @ 6:37 pm   48

Depending on age:

Kids – Lego Batman 2, Skylanders, Dynasty warriors gundam 2/3 platforming with cute characters are generally the best way to go with kids, I could go for being the cool uncle and going for less cutesy, but why bother when theres already lots of great games for kids. I throw in the gundam games as transformers and roots are cool.

Teens (if old enough for the age) – Saints Row the Third, CoD Black ops 2 (chances are their friends will already be playing this), Uncharted series, Metal gear solid HD collection, EVeryone needs to play uncharted and metal gear solid two ofthe best game series on the console.

Adults – Fallout 3 GOTY, Yakuza series, Uncharted series, Metal gear solid HD collection nothing matches the open worlds of bethesda for breathtaking awesome. Everyone needs to play the metal gear solid games and uncharted. Yakuza games seamlessly combine open world greatness with decent story and gameplay and almost nothing does that well.

All ages: LBP 1/2 everyone needs to play these games.

laticspieman 14 December, 2012 @ 6:46 pm   49

If I had to introduce a family member to gaming I would use a ps3 and the playstation network game ‘When Vikings Attack’.

My dad, much to my disappointment, has always loathed video games. No matter what I play he has never shown an interest. However a few weeks ago I was playing ‘When Vikings Attack’ and it caught my dad’s attention. Not only is the cartoon styled 70s Britain excellently recreated by the developers but also it appealed to my Dad a man who had lived in the 70s.

‘When Vikings Attack’ is an amazing couch coop game. I cannot stress this enough. The game play is simple and addictive. Not only that but it has a hilarious goofy sense of humour and to play the game you only really need to know 2-3 buttons which is perfect for anyone with little experience with video games. The last few weeks playing the game with my Dad have been some of my favourite in my gaming life. As a result I would easily recommend ‘When Vikings Attack’ to anyone who has never touched a console before!


My choice would be Journey on PS3. It’s a gem that managed to get nominated for a damn Grammy! I think it’s the perfect game, not only for newcomers to gaming, but for everyone. It’s a relatively short game that manages to take you through a whole range of emotions. It truly manages to show people with little interest in gaming that gaming is a fantastic form of entertainment.

Journey is perfect because it does so much in so little time, and it’s very easy for anyone to understand its mechanics hence no frustration

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