One of my favourite parts of attending PAX is checking out all the cool new bits of hardware and accessories. Mice, headsets, keyboards, virtual reality helmets and the like. As a gamer who started PC gaming in 1983, it’s nice to have gaming specific accessories available these days that can hold up under the pressure of games that can take a toll. The Diablo franchise in particular is responsible for the death of many of my mice, and my obsession with first person shooters has killed the ‘W’ on more than one keyboard.
Thankfully, manufacturers have become a lot more aware of the needs and demands of gamers over the last 10-15 years and we live in an age where we are seeing more and more quality gaming accessories on the market. One such manufacturer is Hyper X, whom I had the pleasure of visiting last year at PAX.
After being invited back to check out Hyper X again this year I was pretty keen to see how far the team had progressed in the last 12 months. I caught up again with Michael Teng who is the PR supervisor (APAC Region) for Hyper X and he was keen to bring me up to speed on what the team had been working on.
Last year Hyper X came to PAX with a full sized keyboard in the form of the Alloy FPS. Since then the team has refined their designs and produced the Alloy FPS Pro and Alloy Elite. While the Alloy Elite is designed for more general purpose gaming, the Alloy FPS Pro is geared towards pro FPS players (or those who just play like one). The Alloy FPS Pro is a compact tenkeyless model that provides not only high durability with some of the best switches and components out there but also a compact size for more desk space and portability for those regularly traveling to internet cafes or tournament venues.
And if you want to spruce up your kit and make it a little bit more flash, you can with Hyper X‘s selection of keycaps which not only add colour but texture as well. Neat idea.
As someone who only recently upgraded from the $10 ‘K-Mart special’ to a real mechanical gaming keyboard I can attest that it’s well worth the investment, especially at these prices. I don’t want to sound like a shill piece here, but at ~ $100-$150 AUD you’re at half the price point of some of the competition and that’s definitely worth your attention.
One gap in the Hyper X accessory lineup last year was mice. This has since been plugged with the release of the Pulsefire FPS. Again, very competitively priced at $79 ($55 at PAX!), it’s cheaper than the competition while still offering high quality components. I’m actually cursing myself for not picking one of these up when I had the chance at PAX as I’d really would have liked to put the Pulsefire FPS through it’s paces. Hopefully I can pick one up soon.
One of Hyper X‘s most popular and most successful ranges of products is their headsets. Released this year into their Cloud series is the upgraded Cloud Alpha. One problem the Hyper X team have tackled with this particular headset is that while gaming might sound fantastic on a particular headset, things like music might not. Or vice versa. To overcome this hurdle Hyper X have created ‘Dual Chambers’ which will separate the bass from the other sounds and push it through one chamber and all the mid and high sounds through the other. Essentially this reduces a heck of a lot of distortion you might normally get and sound quality is improved greatly. I did manage to get my head inside a set of these and I can attest they are both very comfortable and the sound quality is fantastic.
On top of all these fantastic advancements in their accessories range, Hyper X are still producing their well loved series of RAM and solid state hard drives. I’ve been using both Hyper X and Kingston (parent company of Hyper X) in my PC for quite some time and have enjoyed quality performance from both.
I did push Michael to see if I could find out what was on the horizon for Hyper X and while he wasn’t prepared to release any specifics at this stage he did say that the team has no intention of slowing down and that we can expect more soon. Pretty impressive when you consider all this has been achieved in only three short years.