Peripheral makers are long aiming for their crazy contraptions to become a game changing invention. Sure, the Wii Fit Balance Board and the Guitar Hero guitars may have made an impact, but only in the games they were designed for. In this feature we’re going to take a look at some of the most affordable game changers available today. Those quirky bits of tech which can give you a completely different play experience of your favourite games.
The Novint Falcon is a relatively older peripheral these days, yet still the Falcon still stands atop my list of best game changers. The Falcon is a bulky bit of engineering and a device that acts like a steering wheel for your FPS titles. Imagine the force feedback of a wheel and how it brings you that much closer to feeling like the driver of your on-screen dream supercar. Now imagine feeling the varying recoil of your weapon arsenal, the weight of those guns and objects in your hand slowing you down. Even feel the textures of the walls you take cover behind. That’s the feeling you’ll get from the Falcon. It makes our list for just how much further it takes the shooter genre to another level. A more difficult level. It easily kicks that realism feel of modern shooters up a notch and breaths new life into old ones.
Another PC exclusive here and one most PC gamers dream of. Eyefinity is the art of linking up multiple monitors to your PC to wrap your games around eyes. The main misconception people have about this features is that it simple stretches the game image across the screen making many think “why not just get a bigger screen?” eyefinity links the monitors up to give a much larger resolution. In comparison, your 37″ Plasma screen most will have a max resolution of 1920 x 1080 or 1080p to most people. Commercially available screens anywhere larger, be it 55″ or even 80″, will also have the same max resolution, meaning for you, yes, the image on your Xbox would just be stretched. Eyefinity’s greatly escalated resolutions depend of how many screens you link. And with each, you’ll see much more of a game at any one time. Take a 3 screen setup as an example. With a single screen it’s like only seeing the world straight in front of your eyes. Place your hands to both sides of your eyes and you’ll block your peripheral vision. 3 screens is like activating your peripheral vision in your game, allowing you to see a lot more of what’s around you and being able to spot enemies in the corner of your eyes like you would in real life. Best of all, only your hardware and budget limits you to how many screens you can box yourself in with.
Here is a game changer most console gamers either come into contact with in every match or bring to every match themselves. The TurtleBeach line of headsets have been around for a long while for us PC gamers, but have suddenly seen an explosive growth in the console business. TurtleBeach headsets offer much deeper sound quality than what most player’s setups allow and is customizable to make them that much more sensitive. By having that surround sound feel concentrated directly into your ears, you’re able to pinpoint an incoming flank just by the sound of the oppositions footsteps or determine exactly where that .50 calibre bullet that just whizzed by your skull came from. Those without the budget or ability to setup a full blown surround sound speaker system can find solitude in these affordable headsets without annoying everyone around them with the sound of gunshots 24/7. Best of all, you can pick on all those 10 year olds who can’t hear you sneaking your knife into their kneecaps. We even have a review of the TurtleBeach Earforce X12 headset here.
We’ve only scratched the surface of the weird contraptions that both aid and change our game playing experiences. And we’re always being introduced to more. We may look at some more of these geeky gizmos futher down the line, but for now, take this as our own Top-3 list.