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Input Devices PC Games (Games) The Almighty Buck Upgrades Hardware

Gaming Gear Showdown, Simplicity vs. Hype 159

Slack3r78 writes "Gizmodo is running a feature putting the gaming marketing hype to the test and seeing whether it really makes your playing any more 1337. They match up the latest products from Razer and SteelSeries along with some five-year-old Logitech products and come to the conclusion that ... it doesn't seem to matter that much. It looks like maybe you can't buy your way into finally beating that annoying 13-year-old at your favorite FPS after all."
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Gaming Gear Showdown, Simplicity vs. Hype

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  • by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @04:32PM (#23329292)
    It's about the social status.

    Gotta be honest though. Having the 'leetest rig' just makes you top of a very small pile.

  • by Tominva1045 ( 587712 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @04:43PM (#23329446)
    That 13 year old is gonna own ya because he has become exhalted with the Scryers, has a sweet Tier 5 armor set, and spends all day dueling his homies because he doesn't have a job and can play WOW 13 hours a day. It's not the computer harware.
  • Re:You don't say? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VeNoM0619 ( 1058216 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @04:43PM (#23329452)
    I disagree. Sure "fancy" stuff won't make you game better, but functionality DEFINITELY has a huge effect on gameplay.

    The functionality of your mouse makes the greatest difference in a FPS: binding the extra buttons to prevent keyboard movement allowing you to continuously move/jump/crouch etc. to dodge instead of "press whatever key to throw grenade/use good gun". This assumes you have 2-3 fingers for movement, 1-2 for movement actions, you only have at best 1-2 random fingers lingering for a select few keys.

    My personal example would be playing spy in TF2, before I had my 8 button mouse I had issues stabbing engies while placing sappers immediately. Now, I can do it with 90% success - meaning I don't die. Why? Cause all I have to do is press left click, thumb click, left click, while maneuvering with keyboard effectively.
  • Re:You don't say? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by keithjr ( 1091829 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @04:45PM (#23329460)
    Comfortable or not, it'll be a cold day in hell before I drop $150 on a keyboard, and another $90 for the mouse. The article really doesn't dwell on the cost factor, which for me is the major deterrent to buying "gaming gear."

  • Re:You don't say? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eln ( 21727 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @04:48PM (#23329508)
    You have more faith in humanity than I do.

    You could just as easily say that no one really believes their Monster cables make their stereos sound better. And yet, that company is still in business.

    I think for most people there is a psychological relationship between how expensive something is and how good it is. If these things cost $20, no one would even consider the idea that they would make anyone play better, even if they were built exactly the same. At $300, though, people are more likely to believe it.
  • by bistromath007 ( 1253428 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @04:52PM (#23329558)
    Hey man, I only got that because it came with the only power supply BB had that would run my stuff. Don't call me that. :(
  • by Hojima ( 1228978 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @04:56PM (#23329620)
    Actually, they were talking about fps not mmorpg. If the 13 year old beats you it's because of many reasons. The first is close to your point, and that is he has a lot of time to practice. No matter what input device you have, there must be some mastery to it. The other thing you can practice in is also the mechanics of the game. It doesn't matter how skillful at sniping you are if you're in close quarters with a shotgun. People who study the map know the right array of weapon pickups to have the advantage in the situation they're in. Other reasons include you sucking, him being lucky, him using macros that you don't have the time to look for or program, him having a less noobish team ect...
  • by netsavior ( 627338 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @04:58PM (#23329640)
    It is about buying a product that is comfortable to use for 18 hours straight. I mean in hour 1, I have the same skill with a $5 optical mouse on a piece of cardboard as I do with a reasonable mouse on a reasonable surface, but come see me in 18 hours with the crap setup and I will not be as sharp as with the comfortable one.
  • Re:You don't say? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ryukotsusei ( 1164453 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:00PM (#23329664)
    Which still doesn't warrant a gaming mouse. You just need a mouse with multiple buttons. The only factor that gaming equipment offers is comfort, basically you can play longer without wearing yourself out. Then again, maybe you have bigger problems if you're getting to the point where you can wear youreslf out.
  • Re:You don't say? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shagg ( 99693 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:00PM (#23329672)
    You could just as easily say that no one really believes their Monster cables make their stereos sound better.

    Knowledgeable people don't believe it.

    And yet, that company is still in business.

    The world is full of stupid people.

    I think for most people there is a psychological relationship between how expensive something is and how good it is.

    Yep, see above. ;)
  • by Cthefuture ( 665326 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:04PM (#23329730)
    Games have gotten more and more sucky over the years. Everything is "realistic", slow and boring. Nobody plays the twitch games like Quake where it actually mattered how good your equipment was. This may be why the specialized gamer hardware does nothing.

    I have personally found that it's not hard at all to play games like COD, Crysis, Battlefield, etc. on a poor refresh rate LCD and piece of shit optical mouse. It just doesn't matter. There is no way I could kick ass in Quake3 with that stuff though because just moving the mouse fast enough makes it lose tracking. This is where better equipment could show its worth.
  • by The Moof ( 859402 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:18PM (#23329942)
    Honestly, I've never really cared about beating that 13 year-old kid.

    I always take the stance that I'm an adult who works 40+ hours a week and has other responsibilities that take my time. The kid likely plays every waking moment. The fact I can come close to beating him with significantly less practice says something about my skill at the game. Or the kid's.

    Then again, ignorance is bliss.
  • Re:You don't say? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:35PM (#23330196)
    So, if that's what it all boils down to, than why bother calling this stuff "gaming" equipment?

    Its marketing. They've identified a target demographic with:
    a) interest in the product
    b) disposable income

    Your average enterprise manager isn't interested in equiping his team with higher quality peripherals, and is even less interested in shelling out for them. To a phb, they only reason you got an optical mouse was that they were the same price as wheel.

    Why can't you get the same features and comfort on something that doesn't have that doesn't make you look like a status-whore to own?

    You can actually. Razer for example has a 'pro' series of its mice that are white. And the product name is 'Click v1.6' or something instead of 'Death Adder in Biohazard Green', specifically to be more palatable to getting your PO approved at the 'office'.

    Logitech and Microsoft also make decent quality mice that aren't overly garish.

    But at the end of the day the big market for this stuff are teens. And they buy it as much for the status as the performance. And there is plenty of 'gaming hardware' that is ALL flash and no substance. The same 'Razer' that makes extremely good quality mice also has a 'cord manager' (to keep your mouse cord from getting out of control, pulling, tangling, etc. That little dohickey is little more than steel bolt and screw that that they charge $20 bucks for. You could improvise somethign equivalent from the hardware store for maybe $2.

    Other products, like gamers computer cases are often poorly designed cheap plastic monstrosities -- while others are genuinely high end product.

    Mousing around for eight hours a day is a significant part of many jobs the average /.er will take. You should have something better than a dollar-store wrist-rapist for that.

    You should. Do you? If not, why not?

  • Re:You don't say? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gerzel ( 240421 ) <brollyferret@gEI ... minus physicist> on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @05:49PM (#23330382) Journal
    High cost keyboards CAN make a difference in the long run, but not for gamers.

    For a typist the feel of the keys and layout of the keyboard really can cut down on wear and tear to the hands. An investment in a good keyboard can save you a payout for medical care later.

    Still in the world of ergonomics there are a lot of quacks so you really do have to do your research on what is truly a good keyboard.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson