10 Upcoming Gaming Gadgets And Consoles You Should Know About

There have been a lot of hardware announcements in the last few months, and the expectation is that the new PS3 and 360 will be announced at this year's E3. Plus, with Kickstarter, some more innovative designs are coming to the fore. We've put together a small round-up of all the hardware coming your way in the next year or so.

PlayStation Orbis

Release: TBA

What it is: The successor to the PlayStation 3, a dedicate home gaming console. Thumbs up: Great hardware specs, which you can check out here. Not much is known about benefits but people are speculating on the possibility of some cloud gaming features, though these might not be as good in Australia. The additional hardware power would enable more units to be on screen, and better power 3D, 4KHD, and split-screen gaming. Thumbs down: Sony have patented technology that would lock a disc to your console, limiting piracy and used game purchases. It's unclear whether they'll actually use this technology, though.


Xbox Next

Release: TBA

What it is: The successor to the Xbox 360, another dedicated home gaming console. Thumbs up: Microsoft (and Sony too) has included more and more non-gaming apps into its dash, increasing its functionality, even if no one really wants to Facebook from their Xbox. It shares possible benefits of cloud gaming, and great specs. Thumbs down: There will obviously be lots of sales on launch, but there might be a bit of caution, given the long history of the Red Ring of Death problem from before.


Nvidia Shield

Release: TBA

What it is: A handheld console based on Android, consisting of a controller and an upward folding screen. Thumbs up: You'll be able to play high end games, portably. It's Android-based, so you won't be playing Windows games like the two tablets below, but it's powerful enough for serious gaming. Thumbs down: The low battery life of only 5-6 hours may severely limit how portable this thing truly is. Its 32GB of storage capacity may also turn out to be quite small when installing the latest games.


Razer Edge

Release: TBA, taking orders

What it is: High powered Windows 8 device aiming to be a cross between a tablet and a gaming laptop. Thumbs up: Will run high-end Windows 8 games normally, or in a touch screen capacity, which hasn't really been done before. For slower paced games, this could be quite fun. Thumbs down: $1299.99 USD, and only an hour of battery life during high-end gaming. Its side paddles also look gimmicky.


Microsoft Surface Pro

Release: February (US; Australia unconfirmed)

What it is: Similar to the Edge, this is a high powered PC without a mouse. A keyboard flips over to type with, and it takes USB input. Thumbs up: While the specs aren't as good as the Edge, this will again allow you to play Windows 8 games that could normally only be played on PC, but with the option of using the touchscreen. It's also cheaper than the Edge, and can output to larger TVs. Thumbs down: The specs aren't as good as the Razer Edge — the core i5 is still great, but you might chug on the highest tier of games. The Windows 8 platform might also limit your gaming somewhat.


Steam Box

Release: TBA

What it is: Different manufacturers will be able to come out with different "Steam Boxes", though Valve's own version of the Box will be on Linux. Thumbs up: Access to Steam's massive library of games, made possible by their tweaking of Big Picture mode, even though some will obviously run better than others in a living room environment. Valve's box is set to feature eight HDMI ports in the back, for local play on separate TVs. Thumbs down: It's hard to think of a real downside without knowing all the specifics of the individual versions that companies will make, but given the hardware and features that are being talked about, you can expect it to not be cheap. As in, not too much less than a PC.


OUYA

Release: March/April 2013

What it is: An Android-based console on which everything is free to try. Thumbs up: It's $99, and open to hacking, modding, or whatever you want to use it for. Great for indies, and great for those who care less about graphics and more about gameplay. Thumbs down: An early model of its controller has been described as disappointing, and some think its open nature may offer less protection against indie copycats, malware, and account hacking.


Gamestick

Release: April 2013 for Kickstarter backers

What it is: A controller that plugs into any TV via a HDMI connector. All game and Android OS data is within the controller and connector. Thumbs up: No additional hardware is needed, and it's completely wireless. It's $69 currently through Kickstarter. Additional peripherals can be plugged in, and if their stretch goal is reached, they'll include micro SD cards as well. Thumbs down: Many of the current games on the Android app store probably won't look too great when blown up on large TVs.


Oculus Rift

Release: TBA What it is: Head-mounted virtual reality setup that will show you 110 degrees diagonally in 1080p, for PC and Android. Plugged in via HDMI, DVI or USB. Thumbs up: Advances are being made in terms of the latency required to make head-mounted displays work, driven by people like Gabe Newell and John Carmack. From a technical perspective, this should be very capable and beautiful with the right games. Thumbs down: Many games probably won't be a good fit for the RIft, and it'll take a bit of getting used to. Some might just plain not like it — it'll be a "try before you buy" thing.


Leap Motion

What it is: A motion control device much more accurate than Kinect, especially for the finite movements of fingers. Thumbs up: It's incredibly accurate, and only $69.99 on their site. While not intended for gaming, it does a great job of it. Thumbs down: You might not want to hold your arms out for the lengthy amount of time necessary to play a first-person shooter. And even casual games like Fruit Ninja might get tiresome after a while.


Which are you most excited about? Did we forget anything? Let us know in the comments below!


Comments

    None of these really look that compelling honestly. the oculus could be kind of cool but don't really care too much

      For any head mounted display: 1080p is a good start. Now, how big is the virtual screen? What distance does it seem to be? Is there a separate screen for each eye? Do I need to wear my glasses, or can I adjust the focus to compensate?
      Then there's the wearer fatigue- most people move their head in a cinema. Is there positional feedback on these?
      Military systems track the eye, to determine where the user is looking. This allows them to reduce resolution in peripheral areas without being noticed (much) by the user. Combine that with positional detection for maximum effect.
      Without that level of technology, any HUD (not just the Oculus) will just be a niche toy. And it doesn't even have earphones!

        The "virtual screen" should cover your entire vision.
        There is a separate screen for each eye.
        You can wear glasses. It's a developer prototype atm, so they may have focus on the final product.
        It tracks your head movements not your eyes.
        I'd rather bring my own headphones that suits my needs.
        I'd rather the Occulus guys concentrate on getting the picture and motion tracking right, than worry about the sound too. Plenty of other companies have done that already.

        Last edited 25/01/13 2:03 pm

        The whole "How big does the screen look" is what every single other HMD does and the one thing the Oculus is engineered to avoid. It's about immersion not sitting alone in an empty cinema! :)

        And that said I'm anxiously awaiting mine to see what I can develop on it :D

    "What it is: The successor to the PlayStation 4..." I think you meant Playstation 3.

    Could we come back to this as prices become apparent?

    The Oculus and Leap Motion are No 1 on my list. Don't care about the price. Watching them in action at CES was amazing. Happy with my PS3, might look into the Steam box. The Oculus though is going to be big. Developers kit is out in March.

      Wasn't it April? Might consider getting one if it's that early.

        Actually is April, thought saw last year them saying March.

          Starts shipping in March for those of us that paid via KickStarter, with the last shipments done by mid April and then they begin shipping website orders.

      Oculus for ArmA/DayZ, dat free look.

        If there's a game that will support Rift, it's Arma.
        They already support TrackIR; similar thing minus the VR.

    The complete lack of mention that nvidia's project shield actually streams the game from your pc therefore making the 32GB of storage mainly for use by other things, also to say that it won't be able to play high end games like the Razer edge and the microsoft surface pro is stupid as all the of the work is done by your pc. Another thing is the battery life; Nvidia staff from CES have stated that the battery will last longer when steaming from your pc rather than running an android game straight off the device as it doesn't need to do any of the work.

    None of these have a date, therefore I don't need to be hyped about them. Good list of tech, but damn I'm sick of the time zone difference between journalism and reality. It seems to be about 12 months on average :/

      The Windows 8 platform might also limit your gaming somewhat.
      The 'Windows 8 platform' lets you play effectively ever single PC game ever made. I mean, the games aren't touch optimised, but it's far from 'limiting'.

        It's only 'limiting' because Gabe Newell of Valve said so, and by that, the only compelling reason among the lies is that games for windows store is built in to Win8, just like Internet explorer is.

        Seems to me someone is a hissy fit because he can't get a certain online platform into more computers.

          Wait no!!! Someone speaking out against Gabe and who can see through the reality distortion field?? It must be lies I say!

          Seriously though.. Its nice to see. Windows 8 is a bloody awesome platform. Blows rings around Windows 7, was well worth the upgrade.

          It's limiting because it gives you more choice.
          Good logic fail there Gaben. :P

        Says you, Bejeweled 3 wont run on it for me, works fine on windows 7 though

    PS4 and Xbox 720 are must buys for me. The other things on this list, not so much. I've got a decent PC and a Nexus 7, so I'm not really in the market for a psudo PC or tablet. Plus most of this stuff is untested, I'll wait and see if they catch on before I consider jumping on board.

      Yep it's consoles as usual for me, don't need any of those poor excuses of a PC to distract me from my actual PC.

    I'm really keen for the Oculus Rift and Leap motion, imagine the two technologies working together.

      you could totally go all Minority Report with a set up like that. If only someone would release one of those clear screens they always have in the movies. Although, I'd imagine that being able to see sht through your screen would be more of a hinderance.

    Thumbs up: It’s $99, and open to hacking, modding, or whatever you want to use it for. Great for indies, and great for those who care less about graphics and more about gameplay.

    And open to rampant piracy, no doubt.

    I'm taking a wait and see approach to the next PS & X-Box, I don't think we'll see them till 2014 but. Do we really expect them to show at E3 and ship by December?

    especially for the finite movements of fingers.
    What's this mean?

      Finite can mean small, hard to notice as well as limited. The kinect can't see fingers well because of how small they are(they sort of smear in the image it has to process). This is possible because the Leap is closer - you can't see it in the picture, but it would sit just in front of the monitor. It's no good at full body stuff, or anything that isn't basically sitting with it in your lap, but you could use it to emulate a touch screen monitor, I imagine.

    The idea that I could play a game like Mirrors Edge on the Oculus Rift is very appealing to me. The more games to support it well the happier I'll be.

    That is assuming I could afford it. Which I most likely can't. Plus it is still unclear whether it will offer functionality over a wide range of games.

    Hope it does well and doesn't make people ill.

    Based on Sony's efforts thru this generation...I think the PS3 will be my last console...looking fwd to what something like the Steam box can do...

    Can't wait for the Steam Box. The ability to play PC games on a TV would be amazing and groundbreaking and completely unprecedented!

    the picture on the steambox section isn't the steambox.

    well, so I've heard

    I'm a current game design and computer science student with credits in game writing and design, about to enter the Indie space - the Oculus backing last year was a no brainier for me.

    Absolutely ecstatic to get my hands on my Oculus dev kit and start tinkering away.

    Plenty of creative ideas - almost drowning in them. Can't wait to start making small, free to download experiences to share with the world.

    This tech cannot come soon enough - March, please hurry up!

    The rest is exciting enough, but Oculus could be a game changer, viva la virtual reality, bring it.

      Almost forgot - tethering Oculus with Leap tech, or forward facing cam-mods for potential avatar limb mapping with 3D overlay, in real time.

      Touch that sh#t.

    Its side paddles also look gimmicky.
    You know that they are an optional extra (a $200 extra might I add) and that you can also get a keyboard dock and TV dock which you can plug controllers into.
    Then again with a traffic pulling piece like this it's not surprising.

    Haha thank god they didnt mention the horrid OTON haha

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now