SEATTLE — PAX West is a place to check out some of the most exciting upcoming games, but games don’t exist in a vacuum. To play, you need PCs and peripherals, something that the convention also shows off in spades.
I got to go hands-on with some of the prettiest and most powerful mice, keyboards, headsets and laptops that PAX West had to offer. If you’re in the market to improve your gaming setup, keep an eye on these gadgets, as they’ll all be out within the next few months.
HyperX Alloy FPS RGB Keyboard
HyperX started off selling high-quality headsets, but over the last few years, it’s expanded into mice and keyboards — and they’ve begun to rival bigger manufacturers in terms of quality. The HyperX Alloy FPS RGB keyboard targets competitive gamers, with a no-nonsense physical design and quick, strong Kailh Silver Speed key switches.
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This is a bit of a departure from the company’s usual reliance on Cherry MX, but the keys should prove useful for the tournament set, who need unusually quick, responsive buttons with short key travels. Naturally, you can also program buttons and play with the colorful backlighting. The keyboard will be available on September 10 and cost $170.
Corsair Vengeance Gaming PC
Corsair makes pretty much everything you need to assemble a computer, from power supplies, to fans, to cables, to storage, to RAM. The company already sells a pre-built machine, the Corsair One, but the little desktop PC doesn’t utilize any of Corsair’s gorgeous see-through cases or colorful internal components. Enter the Corsair Vengeance Gaming PC: a machine constructed from Corsair parts, whose LED components respond to colors you see on your screen. There’s not much information on when the system will be out, or how much it might cost, but it looks pretty and can handle some pretty demanding games. Of course, if you simply can’t wait, you can always build your own.
Logitech G Pro Wireless Mouse
We cheated a bit on this one, since we got our hands on a Logitech G Pro Wireless mouse a few weeks before it debuted to the public. But that’s how we knew that this competitive multiplayer-focused peripheral was an exciting development from one of the best mouse manufacturers on the market. The Logitech G Pro Wireless isn’t just comfortable and functional; it’s also ambidextrous, customizable and perhaps the lightest wireless gaming mouse on the market at only 80 g. European players got to try out the G Pro Wireless at Gamescom, while North American fans saw it for the first time at PAX West.
Razer Kraken Tournament Edition Headset
The last Razer Kraken headset had pretty much everything a discerning gamer could want, from a comfortable set of earcups to a balanced soundscape. Rather than reinvent the wheel, Razer has simply added two new features: THX spatial audio and a handheld amp. The THX audio is as impressive as its pedigree makes it sound, allowing players to easily discern the direction of sounds as they occur, as well as their relative distances. Meanwhile, the amp lets players control volume and chat/game audio mixes with just a few simple button presses rather than having to rely on cumbersome software. You can also switch between stereo and virtual surround sound on-the-fly.
Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 Headset
The $250 Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 costs a lot, but offers players just about every feature under the sun to justify its price. This console-centric headset uses the SuperAmp Gaming Audio System to control volume and surround sound. In addition to channeling video games through its 3.5 mm audio jack, the Elite Pro 2 can also connect to phones via Bluetooth in order to take calls — or listen to music while you’re on-the-go. (The headset is gorgeous, the earcups fold flat and the mic is removable.) The headset will be out on September 16, and you’ll be able to deck it out with customizable earplates later this year.