Once again, it’s that time of year where most Filipinos look forward to their 13th-month-pay while figuring out what gifts to get their loved ones. This year, however, adds an additional challenge in the form of the ongoing coronavirus.
The ongoing pandemic has not only put a stop to gatherings, but it’s also made shopping and sending gifts more daunting. For one, going out to shop puts you at risk of infection, and any item sent by courier may potentially pass on the coronavirus.
Thankfully, gifts in this day and age no are no longer limited to physical goods. There are a number of digital goods that you can buy for your loved ones that they’re bound to appreciate, especially in this time where most of them are stuck at home.
For those looking to give digital gifts this season, here are some that we here at Variable recommend.
1. Steam wallet load
With most forms of entertainment closed due to quarantines, many people have turned to video games to pass the time. If you have any loved ones who game on PC, a good gift for them would be load for their Steam wallet.
One of the best things about Steam, after all, is its extensive library of games, some of which aren’t that expensive—for example, fan-favorite Among Us only costs P159.95. Aside from games, they can also choose to spend the load you give them on add-ons and DLC for their favorite games instead. By giving load instead of actual games, you give your recipient a choice of what they can spend their wallet on (while also making sure that you don’t accidentally get them a game they already have).
2. Netflix subscription
Games aren’t the only form of entertainment that people have turned to during the pandemic. People have also started watching more shows on streaming services. If you have a loved one who’s more into these shows, try getting them a Netflix subscription (or extending the one they already have).
Netflix is so ubiquitous that we don’t really have to talk about what it brings. Of course, that ubiquity may mean that your prospective recipient may already have an account. Don’t fret, Netflix actually has different tiers of accounts with different benefits. If the person you’re thinking of gifting a Netflix subscription to already has one, you can try offering to upgrade their account.
Just going from the Php 369 Basic package to the Php459 Standard one already gives them access to HD streams while letting them watch on two devices at the same time. Adding another hundred bucks for the Php549 Premium tier lets them watch on two more screens at the same time, for a total of four, while also giving access to Ultra HD streaming.
3. Spotify Premium
Is someone on your list more into music than movies and TV shows? Why not give them a Spotify Premium account.
Spotify on its own doesn’t need any sort of subscription. But a free account shows its limitations when used on a mobile device. Here, users are limited in the number of times they can skip a song. What’s more, the time between songs gets filled up by ads, which can be distracting when someone just wants to chill with tunes from favorite artists.
A Premium account does away with all of that. The best part, it’s relatively cheap at only Php129 a month. Students can also get it at a reduced price of only Php65 a month.
4. Xsplit subscription
Do you know someone who’s a streamer, or at least want to be one, then you may want to gift them an Xsplit subscription. Xsplit Broadcaster is the streaming software used by a number of high profile streamers as well as big esports events. A subscription to it would give your recipient access to the same tools used by these. One of these tools provides is VCam, which is an app that lets users change their background seamlessly without a green screen
Of course, an Xsplit license can be quite pricey, with a 3-month subscription costing around Php1,200. That said, VCam can be availed of separately for only Php285. In addition, if you are willing to spend, Xsplit also provides reasonably priced lifetime subscriptions.
As an added bonus, subscribing to Xsplit actually gives back to the country, as their development center is actually just in Libis.
5. PlayStation Plus
Perhaps that loved one you’re shopping for is getting a PlayStation 5, how about giving them a subscription to PlayStation Plus to help them enjoy their next-gen console even more.
PlayStation Plus does multiple things. First and foremost, it lets players play the games that they bought online (though non-free-to-play games can go online without it). In addition, PlayStation Plus also acts as a miniature games subscription service of sorts. Every month, Sony puts a few games up for free on the service, and players will retain access to these as long as they’re subscribed.
Sony also has a special bonus for PlayStation 5 owners. PS5 owners who subscribe to PlayStation Plus get access to the PlayStation Plus Collection. This is a curated library of some of the best titles on PlayStation 4, playable on both that console and PS5 via backward compatibility.
Bonus: Since we’re talking about giving this season, why not kick it off by treating us to a cup of coffee? (or two, if you’re feeling generous)