Sequels and remasters dominated this year’s E3. From the new Zelda’s interactive open world to Bethesda’s stunning Skyrim remaster, a Frostbite 3-driven Fifa 17 and Konami’s Silent Hills-inspired Resident Evil 7, the expo had plenty to like for fans of existing franchises.
Like the games themselves, peripherals are often improved, tweaked and given a new lick of paint with a dash of added functionality. And in the case of VR backpacks, new tech gives rise to an entirely new product category. We’ve tracked down some of the best gaming peripherals from this year’s show. Click (or tap) on ahead to check them out.
- Check out everything that happened at E3 2016
1. VR fun without the headache
Turtle Beach’s virtual reality-focused Stealth 350VR looks to end the discomfort that comes with squeezing a virtual reality headset and a bulky pair of headphones onto your cranium. Its maker reckons you’ll squeeze 30 hours or more out of this long-lasting pair of cans.
Designed for VR, it features a handy slot for routing VR headbands and cables, which are detachable for added convenience. Sound is blasted into your eardrums through 50mm Neodymium speakers, and its fabric-wrapped memory foam over-the-ear cushions should ensure prolonged comfort during long play sessions.
2. Aiming for maximum immersion
Yes, it has a pink ball stuck on the end of it, but Sony’s new VR Aim Controller still looks all kinds of awesome. This new gun-shaped peripheral has a whiff of PS Move about it, but thankfully its guts are stuffed inside its body to more closely resemble Sony’s PS3 Sharp Shooter accessory.
Featuring compatibility with upcoming PS4 game Farpoint, it boasts 1-to-1 tracking and provides, “an unbelievable sense of presence in Farpoint’s virtual world,” according to that game studio’s co-founder Seth Luisi. Now all we need now is a Time Crisis reboot, and we’re good to go.
3. A mouse for MOBA players
MOBA (or multiplayer-only battle arena) games pretty much demand unique peripherals, such as a mouse with the same number of buttons as spells you can cast. Razer’s revamped Naga Hex V2 features seven buttons on the left-hand side arranged in a circle that can be used for firing off commands at the twitch of a thumb.
Much like the company’s BlackWidow keyboards, it comes pre-configured with Chroma RGB backlighting for games such as Overwatch. The Hex V2 also ships with pre-configured League of Legends and Dota 2 game profiles programmed into its digital rodent brain. But will it make our best gaming mouse guide?
4. Sound off all day long
Having your wireless gaming headset die on you in the heat of battle is a frustrating experience. Plantronics is looking to extend your play time well into the early hours with the RIG 800, which it claims can last for a full day without giving up the ghost.
Compatible with the PS4 and Xbox One, it features memory-foam ear cushions, amplified 40mm drivers and on-earcup controls that let you alter the sound mix between in-game sound and communication with others.
5. You spin me right round…
We’ve already seen VR backpacks from the likes of HP and MSI, and now Alienware is getting in on the game. Unfortunately the company’s VR backpack concept won’t be hitting stores any time soon, but it’s still interesting to see Alienware’s take on the peripheral.
Similar to Zotac’s VR Backpack in design, it’s worn on the back and contains a system powered by an Intel Core i5 processor with either a desktop-grade Nvidia GTX 960 or AMD RX 470. With any luck you might be able to try one at your local virtual reality arcade soon.
6. Another wristy accessory
If you didn’t manage to get yourself a real-life Pip Boy wearable last year, don’t worry as a new and improved one has surfaced at E3. Called the Pip-Boy Deluxe Bluetooth Edition, this year’s edition of Fallout 4’s wrist-worn computer pairs with your Bluetooth tablet or phone to provide smartphone-like functionality, allowing you to take and make calls on the go.
You’ll look a little bit strange doing so, unless you’re a cosplayer, but it’ll be worth it to up your gamer cred.