This won't kick up a stink as much as Warner Bros' decision to shut out other retailers, but it does beg the question: who exactly goes to EB Games for PC pro-gaming peripherals anyway?
Apparently, quite a few. That's the logic behind today's announcement from Ozone Gaming, which has exclusively partnered with EB Games to provide the brick-and-mortar retailer with their "premium gaming accessories".
If the brand doesn't ring a bell, it's probably because you're not much of a League of Legends fan. Ozone Gaming has been building up recognition on the European LCS circuit as a sponsor for Origen and Giants teams, and Ozone's Australian country manager is hoping to have similar success down under.
"We are very excited to start working in Oceania," Ozone's Adrian Alarcon said in a release. "We want to contribute to the growth of the gaming scene in the region. We are here to stay and we are looking forward to establishing a strong community and making connections with Aussie gamers at upcoming events."
That's perhaps the most intriguing element of all this — the entry of another sponsor into the Australian competitive market. In the meantime though, you'll be able to pick up a range of pro-gaming focused mice and mechanical keyboards from EB Games starting June 20. (The release says June 23, but EB's online store says it's available from June 20, so go figure.)
As for the mechanical keyboards, the first two available will be the the Strike Battle and Strike Pro keyboards, both with Cherry Black, Brown, Blue and Red switches. They don't come cheap though: the Strike Battle is the most affordable of the two at $229.95, while the Strike Pro will set you back a hefty $289.95.
Features are largely the same across the two, although the Strike Battle is a 10-keyless offering. The interesting part will be how much choice in switches you'll actually have though. Gamers are pretty picky when it comes to their mechanical switches, and it's unlikely that most EB stores would have the full suite of keyboards available — after all, they barely have the full suite of PC games, let alone peripherals.
In the mice department, EB will be stocking Ozone's Neon 3K and the M50. The Neon 3K is a bit of a strange sell: it's sporting the low actuation OMRON switches and a Pixart 3320, 3500 DPI optical sensor. The Pixart 3320 is an entry-level sensor and not something natively accustomed to 400/450 DPI. It's also $119.95, which is a fair mark-up against Razer, Logitech, Zowie or Steelseries mice that have gained a following in the competitive community.
The M50 seems more attuned to the pro-gaming market, although it too is coming in at a hefty price: $149.95. It's an ergonomic (read: sorry lefties) 6 button-mice with the PMW 3310 sensor, which sports a DPI toggle going from 250 to 5000 DPI. It's also an optical sensor, paramount if you're serious about your headshots. Like the Neon 3K, it's also got 128KB of onboard memory for profile storage and an RGB LED system that you can customise with Ozone's on-board software.
That price is a major stumbling point, however. And as a long-term LAN gamer, I'm loathe to trust anything that heavily promotes its software suite (since tournament admins often frown upon anyone wanting to install third-party drivers or software suites at non-BYOC events).
But each to their own. If EB's offerings take your fancy, you'll be able to pick them up this time next month. Alternatively, you could just run a StaticICE search for other, more appropriately priced offerings.