Tuesday, May 3, 2011

5 gaming accessories to go pro

That day job you have is a joke, and you know it. All those hours playing videogames are finally paying off. Every new game you get, you're hitting the top of the leaderboards without breaking a sweat. And now it's time to step up your game and go pro.

Don't expect to do it with your current gear. Here's five accessories to make you faster, stronger, and better.

Astro A40 

Astro Gaming's acclaimed gaming headset isn't famous among pro gamers because it's pretty (and yes, it really is). Not only is the A40 the official headset of Major League Gaming, this wireless set offers some of the best audio you can find on any gaming headset today. Large and comfortable, the A40's work on all consoles and PCs without drowning your rig with cables and clutter. It's wireless, and with the MixAmp 5.8 accessory the audiophile-quality stereo jumps up to 7.1 surround. Such a serious piece of audio equipment doesn't come cheaply, but the guarantee of excellent sound to hear that guy sneak up behind you is priceless. For $280.

Steelseries 7G

There is no such thing as too fast in gaming, so even a millisecond of latency is too slow. That's why the keyboard you use has to avoid USB altogether and stick with the old PS/2 connector, which provides zero-latency keypresses and eliminates ghosting. Steelseries combines the importance of these two features with old-fashioned mechanical keys, gold connectors to improve speed by nanoseconds and prevent corroding, which will also keep the 7G running for five times as long as your typical keyboard. So long as you can stand the clackety-clack of the loud mechanical keys, there's no other keyboard with the longevity, speed and expert touch as the 7G. A fairly priced $150.

Logitech G500

Just like the keyboard, mice have to be wired. Using the same famed design as the G5, the G500 is Logitech's newest wired mouse and doesn't fail to please. Supremely solid, quick as lighting and super comfortable, the G500 is also customizable with weights, speed settings and macro button control. The frictionless scroll wheel is an absolute blast, and with all customizations saved directly on the mouse you don't even need to play on your own rig to keep your settings. Not only is it agile in the hand, it's also light on the wallet at $70.

Razer Onza Tournament Edition

Not all pros stick to PC gaming, and big-time competitions on the Xbox 360 are pretty big these days. So if you want to be at the top of your game, you're going to need something better than Microsoft's standard controller. That's where the Onza comes in, with an enhanced D-Pad, wired connection for minimal latency, adjustable analog sticks, mouse-like low-profile face buttons, and two programmable shoulder buttons. The Tournament Edition model ups the ante with backlight face buttons and a quick-release USB, and the best part is that these controllers kick ass for just $50.

Viewsonic VX2739WM 

A real hardcore gamer may want an old CRT for gaming, because CRT's offer zero-latency visuals, but nobody really makes CRT monitors anymore. They're old, outdated, and while oddly superior in this one way, in no way are comparable to today's top-of-the-line displays. That said, Dell's Ultrasharp U3011 is a beast: 27" screen, 1ms response time, 1200:1 contrast ratio, and it's only 20lbs to boot. With HDMI and DVI ports, you can plug your computer and game console into this bad boy at the same time, and all without breaking bank. Just $329.