The holiday season is fast approaching and lots of Mac-using girls and boys (and men and women) are thinking of, giving and receiving computer games. To take full advantage of the games, you’ll need the right peripherals. Being Santa’s helpers, we’ve compiled a look of some of the accessories out there for Mac gamers. This is part three.
Razer provides full Mac support for a few of its gaming peripherals — including the Naga and DeathAdder — and basic support for others. Apparently “all upcoming” Razer products — including the company’s line of StarCraft II peripherals — will boast full Mac support out of the box. If it hasn’t done so by the time this article appears, the company will be rolling out updates to some of its existing products, including the Orochi, Mamba, and Imperator gaming mice. The company makes literally dozens of gaming peripherals. You can find a list at http://store.razerzone.com/store/razerusa/DisplayHomePage .
SteelSeries makes a plethora of gaming peripherals, including mice, headsets and mousepads.
The US$99.99 SteelSeries World of Warcarft Catclysm MMO Gaming Mouse (http://steelseries.com/products/games/world-of-warcraft-cataclysm/world-of-warcraft-cataclysm-mmo-gaming-mouse) is designed for World of Warcraft players. It invokes the iconic imagery of Deathwing the Destroyer, leader of the black dragonflight and instigator of the Cataclysm. The SteelSeries World of Warcraft: CataclysmMMO Gaming Mouse is fully scalable.
The $89.99 SteelSeries Xai Laser Mouse (http://steelseries.com/products/mice/steelseries-xai-laser) has several unique features, based on the feedback from professional gamers who helped SteelSeries develop it. It’s a lightweight mouse with a sweat resistant coating for an optimal grip over longer periods of time. SteelSeries added a nylon braided cord to optimize durability and to prevent the cord from tangling.
The $34.99 SteelSeries Kinzu Optical Mouse (http://steelseries.com/products/mice/steelseries-kinzu-optical) is an ambidextrous gaming mouse that uses optical technology and operates at 9375 frames per second and supports stable movement speeds at 50 inches per second. It’s coated with a slip-resistant material for better control of the mouse.
The $79.99 SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse (http://steelseries.com/products/mice/steelseries-ikari-laser) provides settings for precise sensitivity. On traditional mice sensitivity 1.7 means that you multiply your physical movement on the surface with 1.7 on the screen. This makes cursor movement less predictable and inaccurate. ExactSens provides you with sensitivity control allowing you to change settings from 1-3200 CPI in increments of 1, according to the folks at SteelSeries.
SteelSeries also makes a variety of surfaces to accompany its mice. Their mousepads are made from everything from glass to aluminum to cloth. You can find a list of them here: http://steelseries.com/products/surfaces .
The company also offers two gaming headphones. The $129.99 Audio SteelSeries 7H Headset (http://steelseries.com/products/audio/steelseries-7h) is a premium headset for Mac and PC systems with 50 mm driver units to reproduce sound, interchangeable ear cushions, and a pull-out mic and double-braided nylon cord. It’s also travel friendly, as it dismantles into four pieces (cord, headband, each ear cup).
The $89.99 SteelSeries Siberia v2 Headset (http://steelseries.com/products/audio/steelseries-siberia-v2) is the company’s most well-know headset (it was in the gift bags at the 2010 Grammy Awards). It’s a closed-type headset with leather ear cups and 50mm drivers. The Siberia v@ features a retractable mic, in-line volume remote, double braided nylon cord, and suspension design. It’s available in a variety of colors.
SteelSeries says it’s removing the associated handicap and lack of precision that is traditionally found on mice operating in Mac OS X with the free, downloadable SteelSeries ExactMouse tool. The company says typical Mac users who utilize a traditional mouse are unable to match the accuracy of a gaming mouse that operates on a PC — until now.
SteelSeries’ ExactMouse tool provides gamers with the ability to disable the default acceleration curve in Mac OS X, providing a more “natural” mouse-movement to the user, which ultimately results in a significant increase in precision. Gamers who depend on both precision and fast mouse movements for success (and survival) will find that the ExactMouse setting offers a way to improve mouse functionality and even the playing ground. You can download the tool here: http://steelseries.com/support/downloads#tools .
Tritton (http://www.trittonusa.com) makes the $99.99 AX Pro PC, a USB precision gaming headset. It takes advantage of 5.1 audio so you can hear the individual audio details of a game. Providing discrete 5.1 surround sound, the AX PC Pro has eight precision speakers and an in-line audio controller that allows you to adjust the individual sound fields independently.
Turtle Beach (http://www.turtlebeach.com) offers three computer gaming headsets. The $99.95 Ear Force HPA2 5.1 channel Surround Sound PC Headphones is their top-of-the-line model: a professional- grade gaming headset with true multi-speaker surround-sound. It has a combination of six speakers plus dual sub-woofers, powered by a multi-channel amplifier with bass enhancement. The Ear Force lets you hear critical game sound cues all around you while blocking out distractions. A removable microphone also lets you communicate with other players.
The $69.95 Ear Force Z2 is designed for games on the go. Among other features, it sports sound-absorbing cushions designed to fit comfortably on your ears and help block out distractions like computer noise or chatter from other gamers. Twist-style ear cups can turn flat and rest on your chest while you take a break from the game.
The $29.95 Ear Force Z1 is a “lite” version of the Z2. It packs 40mm diameter speakers with neodymium magnets.
— Dennis Sellers