zelda-dangerous-to-go-alone

So! PAX Aus is in the bag; arguably Australia’s premier gaming event. And with it came many sights, sounds and experiences.
As much as I would love to share the pageantry of PAX with you, I can share where gaming is going.

It’s going to a place all about you.

I had an opportunity to speak with several vendors, suppliers, and attendees about the state of gaming in 2016. I’ll try to be brief, there’s so much great stuff!

ASTRO GAMING

astro
Offering a slew of tailored and personalised headsets and audio mixers, these headsets are a joy to behold. Vibrant, diverse and striking in appearance the sound won’t disappoint either. The active noise cancelling is effective and the surround sound is tremendous. The construction is solid and are all delightfully customisable. With limited edition options and a broad range in terms of quality, you can find something just for you.

SCUF GAMING

controllers
Super premium controllers (PC, Xbox, PS4) for all your gaming needs. The controllers are wonderful to hold, the satisfying click on the adjustable triggers, the subtle feedback from the thumb sticks, down to the pleasantly tactile enhanced grip backing. Everything about them screams “premium!”

Ludicrously modifiable: You want a PS4 controller covered in $100 bills, gold anodized buttons, blood red speckled backing, long left thumb stick in blue with a dome, next to a short right concave thumb stick in red, topped off with adjustable depth triggers and backed by programable paddle switches? You better believe they can make it happen!

This is what the pros use, with good reason.

MSI

msi
MSI brought some great offerings in terms of new hardware. The new Nvidia 10 series GPUs bring a new architecture and with it huge improvements. Their motherboards have a diversity and build quality that seem insurmountable, but MSI’s special draw card is something they keep quiet: everything they make. As they have proven: they have the power. Now they want to go full stealth with non-symmetrical, dual bearings, and active/passive cycle fans.

Their tailored gaming desktops (impressively water cooled) and battle ready laptops (shockingly powerful) deliver amazing performance
MSI are certainly on top of their game.

ASUS ROG (Republic Of Gamers)

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Asus delivers on a stable history, celebrating their 10th anniversary in style. Similarly bringing their own brand of equally impressive new gen GPUs, motherboards, and tailor built setups. Not to be outdone by their rivals, ROG have stepped up to deliver personal solutions to all gamers. With their own subtler brand of PC power, Asus ROG are certainly worth considering for any gamer looking for top end solutions.

THERMALTAKE

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POWER! You want it? They got it! From a few hundred watts to 1000+ with stability and cooling to match. It’s worth taking note of the very impressive case designs and cooling fan arrays available.

CORSAIR

corsair
Some very interesting offerings coming from the brand which I had come to associate with being rote. Modular water cooling, with or without the sci-fi led lighting, fan arrays, and very solid power supplies. All ambitious. More impressive is their built in water-cooled GTX1080 (with MSI).

Backed by some surprising new accessories, headsets, keyboards, and mice, with solid build quality (and reasonable price tags,) Corsair products may have solution you wanted (but couldn’t afford).

OMEN by HP

omen
HP has brought its OMEN series desktops and laptops out to play. The OMEN X desktop with its 45-degree tilt siting position has a very unique look. With some rampantly powerful options available The OMEN X is more than its gimmick, but its distinctive appearance might be off putting to some. The OMEN laptops also carry a signature style, but muted compared to the OMEN X. The specs (and price) are nothing to be sneezed at. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, or perhaps you just want a potent gaming platform without doing hours of research, HP’s OMEN might have what you need.

ALIENWARE by Dell

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Dell’s high end gaming division has reach an impressive 20th anniversary, and they are still swinging for the fences. Alienware’s lounge room PC, the Alpha, is surprising. When combined with a satellite processing power bank; essentially a second removable set of GPUs, has wonderful capabilities. but maybe lacking when compared to its big bad siblings. Over clocked laptops and fully upgradeable desktops, Alienware are playing to their strengths, and it’s working.

There’s plenty more to talk about, gaming hardware is as diverse and varied in scale and scope as any sports equipment. Adjustable DPI mice are common, less so the adjustable weight and programable key pad species or the wired/wireless hybrid. Don’t like the way your keyboard clicks? I tested four different types of mechanical keys, click, clack, tick, tap. All different, all great. Macro keys, detachable numpads. It’s all there and more importantly:

It’s all about you.

We seem to be on the dawning side of a golden age of variety in hardware; personalisation is very much the state of play. Companies can no longer afford to simply offer what they will and we find what we can. Headsets come in over ear, on ear, or ear buds: all with amazing quality and sound. So how do you want them? Pink vinyl? Leather? Foam? With or without noise cancelling? Practically everything you could want is available.

For a price.

Many of these distributors and their products come at a premium, not that they aren’t worth it. A great many of these products can be tailored to exactly what you want, a tweak here and there can make all the difference.

But before you make a choice on anything do your research. Compare prices and options, and make sure you’re getting what’s right for you – not what you’re being sold.