E3 isn’t just about new games. It’s also about new headsets, keyboards, mice, controllers, speakers and storage solutions. Let’s take a look at some of the coolest new hardware announced during the show.
LucidSound — LS15X Xbox One In-Ear Contour Gaming Headset
The LucidSound folks have a bunch of new headsets for E3, including a couple that work directly with the Xbox One’s wireless technology. But the coolest one is this weird-arse thing right here:
It’s like a gaming horse harness. You know, for your gaming horse. The LS15X connects directly to the Xbox One and combines in-ear buds with built-in speakers and a mic located on the neck piece. You wear it like this:
Only you should have more colour and texture to your face.
The idea is to remove head strain from traditional headphones, while providing quality above what you’d get from a pair of ear buds with an in-line mic. It also works on PC, and it is expected to ship this winter.
Nyko — Portal Switch Docking Kit
As with many other peripheral makers this year, Nyko’s E3 lineup is largely focused on Nintendo’s Switch, with various battery chargers, cases and stands coming soon to a store near you. But the coolest bit is this piece right here:
That little plastic block beneath the Switch? That’s basically a Switch dock without all the extra nonsense. It comes bundled with a USB-C power and HDMI cables for $US44.99 ($59), and will indeed put your system into TV mode.
The only downsides are it lacks the additional USB ports of Nintendo’s official Switch dock, and it’s not coming out until the fall.
Razer — Thresher Ultimate Headset
This E3 Razer is all about the new Thresher Ultimates, a pair of high-end wireless headsets built for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (though both work on PC as well). The $US250 ($330) headsets boast the highest frequency range of any console headset, with 50mm drivers tucked behind soft faux leather earcups with a comfortable suspension band design.
The Thresher also comes with an audio base station that doubles as a stand, because headset fans love their stands.
The Threshers are available now at RazerZone.com.
Seagate — Game Drive Hub For Xbox One
Seagate announced a PlayStation 4 Game Drive this year that’s basically just a 2TB external hard drive. The Game Drive Hub for the Xbox One is something else. Well, it’s still an external drive, only it’s an 8TB external drive with a pair of high-speed USB ports on it, all for $US199 ($263).
That’s a ridiculous amount of storage. Then again, we’re going to be getting some really big games with really big textures with the Xbox One X, so better safe than sorry. Learn more here.
8Bitdo — TwinCube Bluetooth Speakers
The fine folks at 8Bitdo have been doing some cool things with Switch game controllers, including one awesome Super Nintendo-styled joint and a SNES-styled fighting stick, but what really caught our eye this week was the TwinCube speaker set.
Styled to connect wirelessly to the Switch and decked out in what Nintendo considers to be neon red and neon blue, the TwinCube speakers feature both Bluetooth and AUX inputs, so you can use them with just about everything.
Hell, I want to use them as PC speakers. They’re small and cute.
Hyperkin — The Xbox Duke Controller
Yeah, I know we already shared Gizmodo’s piece on this beast, but damn.
Arriving this holiday season, just in time to play some backwards compatible original Xbox games, Hyperkin’s callback to the first Microsoft console’s rather large controllers is a beautiful thing. Some people called it oversized. Men with giant hands called it perfect, and perfect is coming back to the Xbox One and PC.
As an added bonus, from the top it looks like an evil robot frog.
Logitech G — Powerplay Wireless Mouse Charging System And Lightspeed Tech
Logitech’s gaming brand announced a pair of gaming mice at E3 — the G703 and G903 — but it’s not so much the mice themselves that are exciting, but rather what they can do.
Both of the new mice feature what Logitech is calling Lightspeed technology, which utilises one-millisecond report rate and end-to-end signal optimization to ensure the mouse and PC are constantly connected via the strongest signal possible. During a briefing earlier this year, the company said that the tech would make wireless mice viable for super-sensitive esports play.
But what about keeping the wireless mice charged? That’s where the Powerplay system comes in. Instead of a wired mouse, you get a wired mouse mat that utilises inductive charging to ensure the pointer is always poised to point at all the things.
I’ve long harbored a deep distrust of wireless peripherals, but this system here makes sense. Could be time to swap my trackball for a ha ha ha ha no.
Turtle Beach — Stealth Series Wireless Headsets
The Turtle Beach folks think the coolest feature of its new wireless Stealth 600 and 700 series headsets is the ability for the Xbox One version to connect directly to the console using Microsoft’s wireless tech (the PS4 version uses a dongle). I think the coolest feature is the ability to score Turtle Beach quality sound at $US99 ($131) (Stealth 600) and $US149 ($197) (Stealth 700.)
That, and this kicking promo video.