April 2020 Ian Chiu
For those who are particularly picky about to make the most out of their gaming experience, these are some of the most extreme (and offbeat) PC & mobile controllers tailor-made for this purpose.
Logitech’s G Pro Wireless has been the de facto gaming mouse for those who don’t want to be tethered to a cable during hours-long gaming sessions. Two years have passed since its debut, and Logitech has followed up with a successor that intends to surpass its predecessor.
The main focus of the G Pro X Superlight, as the name suggests, is on its featherweight construction. The mouse now weighs at a mere 63g, compared to 80g for last generation. This actually comes at a cost. Logitech has to shed weight by taking out the DPI control button, RGB lighting and the side buttons on the right. The Superlight, therefore, is no longer ambidextrous, favoring again right-handed gamers. There’s also an option to remove the cover of the LightSpeed receiver compartment should you need to further lower the weight of the mouse. Lastly, to reduce the friction resistance associated during intense gameplay, Logitech opted for zero-additive PTFE feet.
The Superlight with Logitech’s HERO sensor (max. 25600 DPI) is rated for 70 hours of “constant motion” battery life before it needs to be recharged over micro-USB. The minimalist five-button mouse doesn’t feature a fancy shape that you would find on a MMO gaming mouse. Logitech wants to keep it simple based on users’ feedbacks.
In foreseeable future, we might see ourselves spending more time playing blockbuster games on mobile devices through various cloud services. A dedicated game controller will undoubtedly become a necessity as its physical directional controls and buttons inherently provide far more accuracy than onscreen counterparts. To ease the transition, Razer has something in store for gamers who are ready to make the switch from console to mobile.
Razer’s new mobile gamepad – dubbed the Kishi – is designed to fit majority of Android smartphones in that its belt mechanism can stretch to accommodate different screen sizes. The Kishi also conveniently docks with a smartphone using the now-ubiquitous USB-C so you don’t have to worry about Bluetooth pairing and battery recharging as well as latency associated with a wireless connection. Moreover, there’s also a power passthrough to keep recharging your smartphone when Kishi occupies your phone’s USB-C port.
The gamepad itself inherits a typical console controller layout with a directional pad, a pair of clickable analog thumb sticks and four thoughtfully positioned buttons as well as triggers. Whether or not the Kishi will lend to an enjoyable experience remains to be seen as Razer hasn’t shipped the controller due to logistical complications surrounding coronavirus.
Tobii Eye Tracker 5 is a standalone unit that captures your eye and head movement, and converts into highly accurate coordinate data for game interactions. This is all done with some illuminators in front of the tracker that reflect near-infrared light off your retinas. Essentially speaking, this nifty sensor bar – designed to be mounted below a monitor – is a supplemental PC gaming input that adds a new layer of immersion to your favorite games.
As the successor of the 4C, the Eye Tracker 5 now puts even more emphasis on PC gaming as its killer application. First and foremost, Tobii has further boosted the performance of onboard processor so that it handles the eye-tracking load more efficiently to minimize penalty on game performance. The new sensor bar can now tracks at 133Hz frequency, 40 percent more than its predecessor. Its field of view has been upped to 40 x 40 degrees. Head tracking also benefits from a new algorithm to ensure a more accurate head movement capture. Last but not least is a new flex mount to be used on even curved screens. If you want to experiment with head and eye tracking capabilities on PC games (supported list), the Tobii is the only way to go.
If you are like many PC gamers, you probably have been tempted to buy a Wii or a Kinect so you can interact with your games in a whole new way. It seems Razer in partnership with Sixense has brought something like Wii controller to PC gaming market with the new Hydra. Much like those console-based 3D motion tracking controllers, the Hydra allows you to really interact with your games in a whole new way.
With that being said this is not some Wii clone as this bad boy is reported to be eons more precise thanks to its magnetic motion sensing technology so you wont be flailing around like a goofball (or at least that is how we felt when playing with our Wii… before we sold it). The Hydra is compatible with 125 titles including Portal 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Left 4 Dead 2, Bulletstorm and etc. This means it is no one hit wonder and should become even more prevalent as time goes by.
While its reported precision and robust list of compatible games are impressive, what’s really awesome is the fact Razer states it is going to be a lag free, ultra low latency device. This should hopefully translate into that “edge” all gamers are looking to get on their competition. The expected release date is May of this year and will be available in a standalone (which includes two controller and a base station) and a combo version which will ship with a limited edition Portal 2 (with extra content specifically for the Hydra).
There are PC gamers and then there are PC gamers that have driving wheels. Even those that might splurge on a gaming mouse, driving wheel and especially foot pedal controls take a lot more room and are a little like a Moped (cool but you don’t want your friends to catch you riding one). They take up a lot of room and commit your multifunction PC into a big toy.
Enter the Simraceway SRW-S1 Wheel. This controller redefines “all-in-one” with the multitude of embedded controls, 4-paddle shifters and accelerometer-based ‘air driving’ as opposed to fixed wheel systems. The SRW-S1 is only anchored by a single USB cable and can be used and put away faster than any other driving wheel system bar-none.
On the front of the wheel, you’ll find almost 20 function buttons and 2 station based dials and one infinitely variable dial. A row of LEDs are also functional within certain games. The rear of the wheel has 4-paddle shifter type levers to take the place of pedals for acceleration and braking.
As for software, The Simraceway SRW-S1 works fine without software but functions best when connected to their partner gaming system Simraceway. Simraceway takes full advantage of all the features of the SRW-S1 and is an online multiplayer racing system that hopes to be the racing version of an MMORPG.
That’s all for now. If you happen to stumble upon any offbeat yet cool PC gaming controllers that aren’t listed here, you are more than welcome to tell us in the comments below.