CES 2015: Some of the highlights for gamers
THIS year's Consumer Electronics Show has had it's share of weird and sometimes outright ridiculous gadgetry, but the big players are still bringing solid offerings for the rest of us.
Razer, Turtle Beach and Alienware have all revealed either new iterations of their flagship tech or entirely new gadgets on the edge of what's popular this year.
On the more imaginative end of the scale is Razer's commitment to the Open-Source Virtual Reality effort.
They've committed to the Open-Source standard for VR and at the same time announced a VR headset aimed at US$200 price point according to TechCrunch.
The standard is designed to work with all VR headsets inclunding the Oculus DK2 and the tools for development can be obtained at www.osvr.com
Razer's also poking for new types of gaming equipment with the Forge TV Android micro-console.
Put the Forge in your lounge-room, connect it to your TV and your gaming PC. From there you'll be able to stream the game onto your TV, with the PC handling the heavy lifting.
The Nabu X smartband is a smaller version of the existing Razer Nabu. The screen has been stripped away and only the key features kept to keep the price point down to around the same as the Fitbit.
Turtle Beach has been busy with a new wireless gaming headset for the Xbox one plus upgrades for the XO SEVEN Pro and XO FOUR Stealth headsets.
The XO SEVEN harks back to the days of hardware being used to cheat in games by, in this case, amplifying sounds like footsteps to make other players easier to find. Motherboards used to do this by pointing to enemies on the screen but the functionality was banned from every tournament possible.
The SEVENs are fully sanctioned by Major League Gaming for their Xbox tournaments, so they're pro-league stuff.
PC users can look forward to the Impact 500 and Impact 700 mechanical keyboards. The 700 is a full-blooded mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches and adjustable red backlighting, while the 500 is a tenkeyless configuration mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Blue switches.
The Grip 500 mouse is a 7-button scroll-wheel affair with illumination and middle-of-the-range macro capabilities. It's not Razer's Naga, but you can still strap a lot of automation into it.
The Grip 300 is much the same but with slightly fewer buttons (5) and scaled down for cost.
Alienware has rolled out its new generation of 17" and 15" gaming laptops and besides being 20% thinner than their predecessors, they're also not throttled.
For those unfamiliar with laptop throttling, the practice involves dialing down the speed of the graphics card/s and processor to reduce battery use and heat generation.
The new Alienwares are both running at 100% of their gear's wattage rating so you're not being sold short.
Optional Core i7 quad-core CPUs and NVIDIA GTX980m graphics are right up there, so all that remains to be seen is how well Alienware have put them together, how well they've tuned the bios, and whether or not the OS is encumbered with bloatware.
There's a possiblity we might be seeing a review unit of one of these so stay tuned.