Archive for the ‘Gaming gears’ Category
Is that old pro-gaming keyboard you have finally breaking down from years of use, its blue backlight fading to teal (or worse) as the days go on? Are you ready to spend over $100 to get back in the game? Then you, ideal consumer, sound like a good match for Logitech’s newest gaming keyboard, the G710+. “Plus what?” you ask? Well, it’s a standard G-series performance keyboard from Logitetch, plus a white LED backlight, anti-ghosting tech, under-key dampening to help with all the clickety-clacketing, and a promised 50-million keystroke life span.
A set of “G-keys” along the left side allows for assignable macros and scripts, should you need to suddenly maximize your APM mid-StarCraft 2 match (and let’s be honest, you’ve totally been there) — sadly, the G710+ only works with Windows Vista and up, so you’ll have to maximize those actions exclusively on a PC for now.
The Logitech G710+ arrives at retail in the US this October for $150, and heads to Europe starting in December at an undetermined price — check after the break for full specs and a quick demo video.
Thermaltake and BMW DesignworksUSA’s Level 10 M gaming mouse has made the transition from concept to reality. Unlike its teasing appearance in January, the unit now has some real-world specifications, including five programmable keys and a Z-key that’ll change your gaming profile on the fly. The optical unit’s DPI was a closely guarded secret, but the companies have confirmed it’ll default to 5,000, but can be tweaked up to 8,200 if you need it. Sweaty-palmed gamers will appreciate the holes drilled in the top, preventing your secretions from loosing your grip from the handset. It’s available right now for $100, just make sure you’ve worked out if you’re gonna call it a “Beemer” or “Bimmer” before you buy — and yes, we’re resolutely in the former camp.
Got yourself one of those fancy new Razer Blade laptops or a SWTOR branded keyboard with a touch senstive panel? Me neither, but my excuse is that neither ever got released in the UK. That and the fact I’d have to mortgage my daughter to buy them.
Still, if you do happen to have one of these funky looking peripherals with their auxilliary touchscreens, the good news is that Razer has released and SDK for developers and modders to add custom controls and displays to it for their games. It’s also given the screen a name – the ‘Switchblade UI‘ and released a new keyboard with one on board.
The keyboard in question is a vanilla version of the SWOTR one, sans Imperial/Alliance logos, called the DeathStalker Ultimate. Just like the SWOTR model and the Blade it’s a standard Windows QWERTY layout with rubber dome chiclet keys and a full colour LCD touchscreen where the numberpad should be.
And just like another LCD augmented keyboard announced recently, it’s also painfully expensive. RRP is $249 or the same number in Euros, depending on where you live. That makes it marginally cheaper than MadCatz STRIKE7, announced yesterday, although it doesn’t have the detachable keypad and high tech switches for changing the wrist rest height.
As far as the screen goes… the quest for a decent auxilliary monitor/touchscreen controller has been going on for as long as I can remember, taking in LCD-equipped buttons like the legendary Optimus keyboard and forthcoming Microsoft Glass. But barring a brief flurry of interest in Logitech’s G-Series when they first appeared they’ve never really caught on – even Logitech’s system got few helper apps post launch. This renewed push from most of the big peripheral manufacturers might mean one of them might breaks through, but the biggest problem is lack of cross compatibility. If Razer, MadCatz, Roccat, Logitech and Microsoft could actually get together and decide on some sort of standards for their helper apps, there’s more chance games devs would use them.
And cost is an issue. Of all the systems so far shown off, if pushed I’d be inclined to give Roccat’s my blessing. Mainly because it’s free, makes use of the touchscreen you already own (your phone) and leaves you to spend money on other indicators of keyboard quality, like mechanical switches.
As soon as we get all four systems in, we’ll put them head to head in a game off test of some sort and come to a conclusive decision as to whether or not extra touch screen controls for PC games are the future or just an expensive gimmick. Watch this space and all that.
Purveyors of positively potty peripherals, Mad Catz, have finally got around to designing a keyboard which will go along with the uniquely bonkers look of their RAT mice. Just like the mice, the STRIKE7 keyboard is highly customisable, with a modular construction that lets you split bits off and put them where you want them.
If you want, you can split it in half to remove the number pad and program nine different macro keys on the fly. The most interesting thing, however, is the detachable touchscreen: a tiny colour LCD which displays system data, a list of current macro commands and details from third party applications like TeamSpeak.
It’s an impressive looking piece of kit, and apparently goes on sale today. The LCD looks to be sligthly more use than the one on top end Logitech keyboards, mostly because it has quick launchers for desktop programs and an interesting journaling feature too.
Corsair’s quest to shake off its reputation as a purveyor of fine PC memory and replace it with a reputation as purveyor of fine PC memory AND peripherals continues today, as the firm has announced it’s to acquire German mouse and keyboard manufacturer Raptor.
Raptor, which was founded in 2004, only started selling outside its native German market recently, and from what I’ve seen of it in PC Gamer its line-up consists of mostly budget kit and a well-priced mechanical keyboard, the K1. Sadly that’s the one thing I haven’t had chance to review as it’s not generally available in the UK.
The reason Corsair has picked them up appears to be more for their distribution links in their home country rather than their design skills. Raptor’s presence in major German retail chains Media Markt, Satum, Real, Kaufland and Conrad has been highlighted in the release details – all places that Corsair would like to be if it’s to gain a foothold in the very lucrative PC gaming market in the country.
According to details released so far, the Raptor brand will continue to exist as a separate line in Corsair’s portfolio.
It’s been almost a year since Thrustmaster rolled out its first replica Ferrari 458 Italia racing wheel and pedal set for Xbox 360, and the company’s finally outed its successor: the Ferrari Vibration GT Cockpit 458 Italia Edition. Like its elder, the GT Cockpit has an 11.2-inch replica of the Ferrari 458 Italia’s steering wheel, with A,B, X and Y buttons in place of turn signals and an Engine Start button that’s actually a d-pad. It also sports brushed metal paddle shifters and 16-bit resolution to ensure a realistic digital driving experience. However, the new wheel is attached to a base sporting a pair of stamped steel pedals via an adjustable steering column. The whole thing has metal underpinnings and weighs 22 pounds to provide stability as you virtually race around Sebring or Laguna Seca. Plus, it’s foldable, so you can easily stow it out of the way when you’re not doing your best Stig impersonation.
In addition to the GT Cockpit, Thrustmaster has also outed the GPX LightBack Ferrari F1 Edition Gamepad. It largely looks like a standard corded 360 controller, with a Ferrari-style white and red paint job (replete with racing sponsor logos), backlit thumbsticks and two rows of LEDs at the top of the controller. The LEDs are programmed to provide visual indicators for engine speed or baking powder, and the thumbsticks have been tweaked to be more precise than those on other available 360 gamepads. The F1 gamepad’s up for pre-order today for $49.99, and the GT Cockpit can be yours in September for $300.
Just when we needed a modern-day equivalent of sailing down the Nile while being fanned by Assyrian slaves, Thermaltake gives us this: the Black Element Cyclone Edition gaming mouse, which has a 6,000 rpm rotor directed right at the point where slick skin meets plastic. Pictures of the device have been floating around the web for a while, but we’ve just heard it’ll be available in US stores any day now (or officially, “in August”) priced at $80. The patent pending design promises to keep noise down to a sub-environmental 21.7dB, while delivering airflow of 2.6 cubic feet per minute — which, if you’re lucky, should be enough to not only keep your digits dry but also reach your palm. The fan can alternatively be removed, in which case you’ll be left with a 6,500 dpi laser sensor, an adjustable weight of up to 22.5 grams, “military-grade” grip coating and an abundance of natural oils.
SOURCE via TTE Sports
Logitech is to launch its first MMO mouse at the LANfest DreamHack next week, taking on rivals like Razer and Steelseries who’ve been cutting quite a niche for themselves with multibutton mice.
The G600 MMO Gaming Mouse boasts 20 – count ‘em – buttons and a ‘G-shift’ key for binding two commands to one switch, it’s available in which or black with 16million colour lighting behind the keycaps.
As I’ve said before, I’m not a massive fan of multibutton mice but there must be enough demand out there to pique Logitechs interest. The mouse itself appears to be similar to the G9 in shape, with twelve macro keys under your thumb for fast action.
Like the recent Razer Taipan, Roccat Kone XTD and Cooler Master CM Storm Sentinel II, it also has a ridiculously high 8200dpi setting. That’s almost enough to get your cursor from one side of the screen to another just by looking at your mouse. Unless you’re playing at MacBook Pro resolutions, that sensor and all those buttons means you could probably level a WoW to 85 while appearing as static as its subscription numbers.
Available in July from £69.99 in Europe, $79.99 in the US.
Over that past couple years, we’ve found that Razer’s usually good for a surprise or two at any trade show it attends, and today at E3 we got to lay eyes on the latest product to emerge from the company’s skunkworks. Called Artemis, that lovely bit of kit you see above is a prototype Razer’s cooked up for MechWarrior Online aficionados. It features modular construction with one section housing 12 mechanical keys and sliding throttle input, a central unit housing an 8-inch LCD display (to serve as a secondary screen during gameplay) and an adjustable force-feedback flight stick module.
Naturally, what we saw on the show floor wasn’t functional, but Razer said that all of the controls are integrated and will be fully customizable — so key/button combos can be used — when it hits the market. Razer said that, while they do plan to sell Artemis in some form, for now they are simply soliciting feedback on this initial design so that it can be tailored to player preferences before being sold. Read more…
Steelseries announced their next line of game-themed peripherals today, including a Dota 2 mouse, a Guild Wars 2 mouse and headset, and a new wireless version of their World of Warcraft mouse. Details, prices, and pictures for all three are below.
Guild Wars 2 headset – $100
Designed to be slim and travel-friendly, the Guild Wars 2 gaming headset utilizes mesh SNDBlock ear cushions to block outside noises, a 40 mm driver, a detachable cable to switch which side of your head it plugs in on, and a built-in microphone.
For audiophiles, here are the specific details from the Guild Wars 2 headset’s official page.
Frequency response: 18 – 28000 Hz
Impedance: 32 Ohm
SPL@ 1kHz, 1 Vrms: 118 dB
Cable length: 1 + 2 = 3 m (9.8 ft.)
Jacks: 3.5 mm
Frequency response: 50 – 16000 Hz
Pick up pattern: Omni-directional
Sensitivity: -38 dB
Guild Wars 2 mouse – $70
Ambidextrous and bursting with Guild Wars style, this white, red, and black mouse appears to be based off of Steelseries classic mouse design. It sports four side buttons (two on each side) in addition to the mouse wheel and center triangle available for binding in-game or building macros through the included drivers. It also has one of those rubber, anti-tangle cords we love and the same high-level tracking laser we’ve come to expect from Steelseries.
For the data junkies, here are some specs from the Guild Wars 2 mouse’s official page:
Weight: 90 grams
Height: 1.5 in
Width: 2.7 in
Length: 4.9 in
Mega pixels per second: 10.8
Frames per second: 12000
Counts per inch: 90 – 5670
Sensor data path: True 16 bit
Dota 2 mouse – price TBA
Based on Steelseries’ Kana design, the Dota 2 mouse is also ambidextrous with only two side buttons, which are massively huge and can be disabled if you don’t like them. The lighting on the scroll wheel changes based on the profile you currently have active, so you can build different profiles in the included drivers for each hero if you wanted to. Steelseries namedrops a few esports players they say provided input for the mouse’s development, including Natus Vincere, SK Gaming, Evil Geniuses, and Fnatic. It comes bundled with a Dota 2 mousepad.
The specs from the Dota 2 mouse official website:
Weight: 0.16 lbs
Height: 1.5 in
Width: 2.5 in
Length: 4.9 in
Mega pixels per second: 3.7
Frames per second: 3600
Counts per inch: 400 – 3200
Sensor data path: True 16 bit
World of Warcraft wireless mouse – price TBA
An upgrade to the existing World of Warcraft mouse options currently available from Steelseries, this one adds wireless functionality with a detachable cord and a whole new look that showcases the world map and peaceful logo. It maintains the high button count with 11 programmable buttons and a new drag-and-drop interface for its drivers to help you set up those buttons easily. It looks like it’s the same size as the previous WoW mice from Steelseries, which makes it more suitable for large hands.
The specs from the World of Warcraft wireless mouse official site:
Weight: 0.25 lbs
Height: 1.6 in
Width: 3.2 in
Length: 4.5 in
Frames Per Second: 12000
Counts Per Inch: 100 – 8200
Wireless Band: 2.4GHz
Wireless Range: 3m (10 ft.)
Steelseries also announced that they’re working on a Guild Wars 2 keyboard, but have no details on the hardware or software capabilities of it at this time.