Without the hardware to bring them alive, games are just overpriced mini Frisbees. Fortunately for button mashers, this is an age of hardware innovation. E3 2014 may have been Halo 5’s debutante ball, but it was also a celebration of new platforms, accessories, and modifications. Here’s a look at the best hardware on the show floor.
PlayStation’s Project Morpheus
You don’t have to eat a red pill to see what’s going on with PlayStation’s pet project. The prototype VR device promises to deliver some of the biggest PlayStation first-party games in a way that you’ve never seen (read: a way that the Oculus Rift might have done, had it not been acquired by Facebook). It may not have a price or a scheduled release date, but, with Sony’s muscle and know-how behind it, Project Morpheus has the potential to dominate as immersive gaming hits the mass market.
Nyko Next-Gen customizations
Nyko has a reputation for unnecessary innovation (cooling systems for Xbox One and PS4, a lady’s clutch for PS Vita games), but the overeager California firm sometimes stumbles on a great idea. Their best new offering is the Charge Base Pro, a controller charging station that looks like part of the console and makes those late-night AA battery runs a thing of the past.
Only extraordinarily dedicated gamers (and truly incompetent interior decorators) are going to plunk down hundreds for a special chair designed to fully immerse them in the action. That’s why the Playseat is being marketed exclusively to regulars on the simulated circuit. The bucket seat surrounds players with speakers and a base motor that shakes when drivers skid off the track at Le Mans or Road America.
Sony confirmed the existence of a $100 box at E3, but gave no specifics on rollout. The PSTV is a shot across Apple’s bow, a device that provides the exact same services as AppleTV and allows users to play games. PSTV does hinge on the still-in-closed-beta PlayStation Now service, but rumors remain positive and expectations remain high. If all goes well, Sony will likely be releasing this year’s must-have stocking stuffer.
Alienware Alpha Steambox
Alienware is one of the most recognizable names in PC gaming. So is Steam. Putting the two together makes a lot of sense for the PC gamer who wants a dedicated rig that won’t cost them three months rent. That said, the Alpha is meant to be comparable to an Xbox One or a PS4, which means that anyone searching for super high-end graphics will have to do a little building themselves.
Razer has made impressive gaming headsets, full-blown handheld gaming PCs, and even social media-minded wearable tech. Rather than being a big fish in a small pond, they’ve evolved into a small fish capable of walking between ponds. Their newest endeavor puts them in a rapidly expanding puddle: App gaming. The Junglecat is a controller/case that snuggles around your iPhone and slides out to reveal a directional pad and four buttons that will work with hundreds, if not thousands, of games. Screens are going to get a lot less greasy.