As I mentioned in my previous article about CES, there was very little gaming content at CES 2013, but out of what was there, a few products stole my heart. Honorable mentions include Razer’s gaming tablet Razer Edge and Mad Catz R.A.T.M. and the S.T.R.I.K.E. 7 modular keyboard. They couldn’t officially make it onto my favorites list because I’m not a PC or tablet gamer, but I can definitely see how amazing they would be for people who are!
4. MAG II
The MAG II looks like some cheap junk your mom buys you at the discount store. Yeah I said it. I picked it up not really expecting much. And then, came the thrill.
AIE’s MAG II Gun Controller was good clean fun. It has a full range of buttons, once you get used to where they are. You control movement with the analog and the camera by moving the gun. Do you know what this does? It makes you the badass in the movies, swinging your gun around as you look around corners and sweep left and right. And yeah, if you panic your camera will go all crazy and you will be left frantically pressing the grenade button, but that’s part of the fun!
I was, perhaps, helped along in my fascination by an adorable little woman (with a strong accent) yelling “TRIGGER” or “CALIBRATE” at me and then proceeding to smash the button for me. It kept me on my toes. I also enjoyed that the buttons had PS3 symbols and Xbox colors. It was very harmonious.
I’d love to test this baby out with other shooters, as I managed to kill three people with it as I got used to the controls. Yep. Three. Count em.
3. Afterglow’s Prismatic Wireless Headset
Performance Design Products (PDP) series Afterglow is known for its neon colors and see-through hardware. The newest headphones, Prismatic Wireless Headset comes with a solid, more comfortable headband than its predecessor, and the ability to change the lights to any color of the rainbow. Yes, even purple. The headset fit great and felt like cushy donuts on my ears. The mic is retractable so it wont constantly get tangled in my hair. They also have some nice audio modes, including a bass booster.
These bad boys were beautiful and I hope to get my hands on a pair soon so I can give a full review, but in the meantime my interest is definitely piqued by the cool design and low price point!
(and all their girl friendly products)
So my true favorite part of PDP’s showings was the very obvious fact that they took their girl consumers into account. I brought up how impressive it was that they had so many accessories geared to girls. Chris Bridle, the Marketing Manager at PDP, summed it up with “Everything doesn’t have to be blood and gore. You can be a gamer and love cute things.” He also mentioned that many of the designers are women, which I truly believe makes a difference in companies. They even had little T-Shirts for the 3DS!!! Can you imagine how much hassle that would save when the next iteration of DS comes out? Instead of having to get rid of your sick Shenlong DS Lite case (yes this is a true story) because it doesn’t fit your 3DS, you could simply squeeze that t-shirt onto the next bad boy! <3
I definitely plan to put a lot of money into PDP in the coming months. Check out this Facebook album for more pictures.
2. Nvidia’s Project SHIELD
Project Shield hopped onto this list from out of no where. I had NO inkling that another portable gaming device was coming onto the market, but it already looks like a winner.
Basically fusing a true portable gaming system with the mobile gaming trend with a full sized controller, Project SHEILD utilizes the Tegra 4, touted as the world’s fastest mobile processor. The ultra-fast wireless is to prevent lag when streaming games and the unit will utilize Android Jelly Bean’s operating system, meaning you can access all of the Android applications and games. The person showing it off to me also mentioned Steam games, which would blow my little mind.
I wasn’t given time to actually touch or play this sucker, so I can’t say more than that for now, but I should have more information after the next convention. It looks very hardcore and sounds very practical, so kudos to Nvidia for shocking the gaming world.
1. Extreme Reality
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the game changer. What stops people from playing motion controlled games? Often, it is as simple as not owning a needed motion control accessory, such as the Kinect or Move. What stops developers from creating more games with motion controls? The chance that less people will buy it because they don’t have the tools to play it! Extreme Reality solves this issue with their software that lets you turn any platform (PCs, TVs, tablets, cell phones) with a 2D camera into the only tool you need.
The game they demoed for me was Beat Booster, a Kinect game. It only took the developers a week to port it over to their software. I watched a girl stand in front of a Lenovo laptop and play the game with no problem (to be honest, she rocked at it). It worked for the full range of 3D movement, including leaning forward and leaning backwards to control speed in the game.
I was not only impressed with the technology, but also for what it could mean for the game industry. If everyone could have easy access to motion gaming, it could open up a range of new games that haven’t been developed yet because the market was too small.