E3 09; Gaming Gear; the other side of E3
E3 is not just about the video games and booth babes. There’s much more to it than that, after all, you can’t hear that sneaky Helghast sneak up without a decent surround sound system or execute a perfect head shot in Call of Duty 4 with simply a Dualshock 3? Sure, it can get the job done but you want to be the best out there, don’t you?
We had the chance to try out Tritton Technologies latest surround sound headset, the AX Pro, which brings the ultimate listening experience straight to your ears. In addition, we also tested SplitFish’s FragFX controller designed specifically for the PS3.
The AX Pro is compatible with PS3, Xbox 360, and PC in addition to any device that features a digital optical or 3.5mm analog 5.1 outputs. Using Dolby Digital encoding and eight independent speakers to deliver high quality 5.1 surround sound, the AX Pro is the best out there.
We were definitely hesitant to use headphones when gaming, even if they tout surround sound. Being confined to a pair of headphones while gaming isn’t our thing but after giving the AX Pro a try, while it doesn’t convince us completely, it sure does make an impression. They immerse you in the world of the game, eliminating all other noises.
We tested them out on Killzone 2 and were surprised at the quality of sound coming through the two pads on either side of our head. There are a variety of settings to choose from via an in-line controller but we didn’t have much time to experience them all. If none of them suit you then you can create your own by adjusting the volume from each of the speakers. Granted it’s no 7.1 HD surround sound like the kind we experience in our personal home but it requires a lot less set up and for $179.99, it’s much cheaper as well.
The FragFX controller from SplitFish is designed specifically for the PS3 with first person shooters in mind. In reality, the FragFX is two controllers, a left-handed directional pad grip and a right-handed mouse. The grip has full 6-axis motion control so reloading has never been easier with the flick of the wrist. The mouse has all the buttons you’ll need to snipe that rogue soldier on the battlefield or toss a grenade at a group of insurgents. If the default layout doesn’t suit you, then you can reprogram the layout to your own liking.
It takes some getting used to as the experience is extremely different from the Dualshock 3. There is much more freedom in control and accuracy. The layout of the buttons feel natural with left and right mouse clicks for firing and X, O, Triangle, and Square being on the side for perfect thumb control.
Despite all the freedom the FragFX provides, there is some restriction to a table or other hard surface for the mouse and pad. The sensitivity of the mouse was a bit off as there was a slight delay. This will most likely be adjustable in the retail version so no worries there. If you’re a hardcore FPS gamer, then you’ll most likely want to get your hands on one of these.
With both Tritton Technologies and SplitFish, you’ll be able to create the best gaming experience on your PS3 and have a leg up on the competition. With the small amount of time we had with their products, we weren’t able to test out all the features but definitely gave us a good idea of what to expect.