After the monsoon season weather we’ve been having lately, I headed into the hustle and bustle of The Big Smoke on a surprisingly sunny Friday the 13th for a Mad Catz event that was anything but unlucky.
Held in a swanky penthouse bar in Leicester Square – opposite the M&M’s shop no less – Mad Catz had unleashed a whole range of their impressive peripherals for jurnos and the public to get their hands all over; and to show off their new big and powerful Warhead 7.1 wireless headset – but we’ll get to that gem later.
At the showcase were the already tried and tested, and very impressive, Cyborg range of Mad Catz products, including the R.A.T range of Cyborg mice, V5 keyboard, the Cyborg M.M.O 7 mouse F.R.E.Q. 5 Stereo headset and the G.L.I.D.E. 7 ‘gaming surface’ – which are gigantic by the way. For the console gamer though, Mad Catz had set up the Soul Calibur V Soul Edition arcade fight sticks along with the Street Fighter X Tekken VS edition on show for people to paw and play with – all of which made my ineptitude at playing fighting games all the more prevalent, whilst feeling very nice to use and pull moves off with.
A gaming setup for Forza Motorsport 4 was also set up for attendees to show off their prowess behind the wheel thanks to the Force Feedback Wheel for Xbox 360 and a pair of the Tritton Primer headset to really immerse them into the experience – something that was all too easy to achieve as the combination of the rather enjoyably accurate wheel, pedals, chair and rich sound just sucked me in.
On the other side of the floor was a rather intimidating looking setup infront of a PC and monitor. Strapped to a chair was Mad Catz’s Saitek X-65F Control Combat System along with Saitek’s Combat Rudder Pedals to create a rather in depth, yet easily achieved, home combat flight simulator. The X-65F was incredibly impressive to use, whilst I literally had no clue what I was doing, the build quality on both the joystick and throttle controls was incredibly high quality; feeling robust and solid, only the deftest of touches was needed to gently move the aircraft. Using the Combat Rudder Pedals in tandem meant that it was actually incredibly easy to fly a plane enjoyably – something that has always seemed rather impossible with other flight simulators and peripherals available.
Of course, if the rather stripped down look of a combat flight simulator just doesn’t appeal, Mad Catz had set up a far bigger operation to show just what Saitek can do for the flight simulator market. With three screens placed right infront of two chairs, you could sit and get as close to flying a plane as possible as an incredible unit of dials, switches and digital readouts were housed in a cockpit shell with a Saitek Yoke System to use – this is literally the complete package for any flight enthusiast.
Whilst I’m aware that everything previously written here sounds like one massive advert for Mad Catz – which, let’s be honest, is the point of Mad Catz hosting their Unveiled event – however everything I saw and got my hands on was genuinely very impressive, it’s no surprise why Mad Catz are on the top of each of their respective peripheral markets. The reason the Unveiled event was being held was down to the Tritton Warhead, a truly incredible piece of kit.
The Warhead headset was in prime position, allowing for you to pick them up and slip them over your head to enjoy that sweet, sweet 7.1 true dolby surround sound goodness. When these babies go on the market on the 6th August you’ll want to splurge the cash on them as from what we’ve seen they’ll be totally worth it. No longer are you tethered to your controller by a cable for the microphone – a first for any Xbox 360 headset – you also wont be tethered to your console as it features the same wireless technology found in the Tritton Primer headset. The docking station also contains a charging port for the two rechargeable battery packs that accompany the unit; it also shows you all the information you need to know, letting you change between pre-defined sound options so you can watch films, play games or listen to music with the right sound quality – something that definitely seems clear and crisp from the time I spent wearing them.
I could easily go on and on about the Warhead and how damn comfortable they are, even allowing me to wear my glasses with absolutely no discomfort despite the fact they are over ear headphones. I could talk about how easy to use they are thanks to the streamlined and simple integrated buttons on the headset itself, allowing you to control everything – including Selectable Voice Monitoring. Heck, I could talk about just the way it looks, but I won’t, I’ll save that for the review.
I’d have to say that the Mad Catz Unveiled event was a complete, and highly enjoyable, success as it has gotten me completely excited for the Warhead, and for their current range of products I hadn’t had the pleasure of using.
[Pictures courtesy of Mad Catz Facebook]