T3 Awards 2016: who's nominated for Gaming Product of the Year?

From VR to gaming tablets to an old favourite

What's the best gaming product of the last 12 months? That's the big question we'll be answering in this category.

Virtual reality was a big headline grab this year, with plucky upstarts vying with the world’s biggest companies to make it work. VR is definitely no gimmick. There’s a very good reason why Sony, Microsoft and even Facebook are betting big on the technology.

What follows are the select few gaming products that have made it through to the final round of voting, with the winner to be announced at the glamorous T3 Awards ceremony on Wednesday 28th of September.

The big question is though, what would you vote for?

Nvidia Shield Tablet K1

Stunningly good value portable gaming, with enough juice to stream cutting-edge games from your PC, and make mincemeat of Android ones, the Nvidia Shield Tablet K1 brings a dump truck-load of power to the gaming party.

Indeed, the device is built specifically for gamers, with the tablet featuring an 8-inch, 1080p HD screen, Nvidia Tegra K1 chipset, front-facing speakers, built-in LTE-functionality and support for Nvidia ShadowPlay - a cool feature that lets the user capture gaming moments and share them on Twitch.

HTC Vive

With adrenaline-pumping, 360-degree shooting fests, as well as movement-based games and puzzlers abound on this Steam-powered VR masterpiece, it goes without saying that the HTC Vive is one of this year's hottest gaming products.

Indeed, when reviewing the Vive, T3.com's own Duncan Bell said that:

"HTC should absolutely be applauded for pushing the envelope with Vive. This is truly the stuff of our youthful sci-fi dreams, albeit in a charmingly clonky, prototypical form. The ability to physically move within Vive's virtual worlds makes it the best of this generation of VR headsets."

Microsoft Xbox One

Yes, it’s still here, and we couldn’t leave it out of this list. Will the resurgent Xbox One, now made smaller, better and whiter in the form of the Xbox One S, be the most unlikely champion since Leicester City?

Want a refresh on what makes the Xbox One a key contender this year? Then take a gander at our Xbox One review now.

Oculus Rift

Built by and for gamers, although clearly its capabilities extend well beyond that, the Oculus Rift offers some of the most dazzling VR experiences currently on the market. When reviewing the US version of the Oculus earlier in the year, T3.com said that:

"Oculus is a solid and basic way to access a full VR experience if the price and PC specs are within your reach. The experience is a literal eye opener too, from games to 360 movies. The software is friendly to use and the initial range is promising."

Since then its range and capabilities have only increased, so this pioneering VR headset could very well walk away with the big prize this year.

Sony PlayStation 4

The market leader in the current generation console war continues to power on, with its own PS VR headset incoming and notably cheaper than its rivals. It also offers a fantastic library of games to play and, thanks to the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro, multiple different variants to choose from.

When re-reviewing the console two years after launch, T3.com said that:

"The PlayStation 4 is a fast, great-looking, powerful console at a not-silly price that also packs the best controller that's adorned a PlayStation so far. It has a fair amount of good games of all sizes and price points to play from the off, and its list of exclusive titles has swelled impressively in the two and a half years since launch."

Good enough to win 2016's gaming product of the year? Only time will tell.

Nvidia GeForce GTX

And last but not least in the nomination list is Nvidia's Geforce GTX series of graphics cards. Powerful enough to play anything and well designed enough to be crammed into a laptop, this versatile series of GPUs has seen PC gaming reach new heights of awesome visual fidelity.

You only need to check out the raw graphical power offered in products such as Alienware's new GTX 10-powered notebooks to see that Nvidia really is killing it right now in this market.

Truly the way it's meant to be played.