If there was ever a time to justify spending unreasonable sums of money on your gaming setup, that time is now. Take advantage of ridiculous price drops as a result of overstocking, product phasing-out, and the annual bonfire of investor money by your friendly neighbourhood e-commerce website in the coming weeks. It also happens that we’ve got a handy list of essentials you should keep an eye out for, so pounce on some of deals available right now, or monitor the situation for imminent acquisition.
PlayStation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset
You will be surprised at the sheer utility value of these cans. Compatible with PlayStations 3 & 4, PS Vita (if you still happen to own one) as well as PC, the Gold headset will also serve you well if you choose to plug it into your smartphone with a 3.5mm stereo cable. It packs in console specific features, such as a way to adjust game and party chat volume, while sporting a handy “mute” button for when you’re crunching on Doritos.
It’s got an effective range of up to 15-20 metres, while sound quality is pretty good as well (let’s just say it’s par for its price). The only real downside is the build quality. While it is solid overall, the Gold isn’t built for prolonged rough use. It should serve you well if you take good care of it, however.
You can grab it on Amazon India for Rs.8,450 + shipping (marked 35% down from its retail price of Rs.12,999), or Amazon USA for Rs.7,000 including basic shipping and a customs duty deposit. But if you’re looking for a major audio upgrade, you might want to consider theTritton Katana 7.1 Wireless HDMI headset – just bear in mind that this presently doesn’t ship to India, so you’ll need someone from the USA to haul it here.
5-Port USB Hub for PS4
Sometimes convenience comes cheap. Take this unbranded, almost shady-looking Imported 5-in-1 USB Hub for Sony PS4 Playstation 4, for instance. A quick fix to the PS4’s “sorry, but not more than two USB ports for you!” problem at the inexpensive price of Rs.525 including shipping. It snaps on conveniently to the front of the console and will allow you the freedom of plugging in a few more devices. Pretty neat, and inexpensive enough to not to get mad if your smartphone takes a few hours longer to charge given the distribution of power to the additional USB ports.
Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller
Don’t be fooled by user reviews on retailer websites about this device being expensive, because the Xbox One Elite controller is priced on par with competing products such as Scufand Battlebeaver modded controllers. Yes, it’s nearly triple the price of a standard controller (in India, at least), but that’s because of its features. The Elite sports vastly superior build quality when compared to the stock gamepad, and comes with a carrying case, four paddles which can be remapped, six thumb sticks of varying height and two D-Pad options.
Adding to its customisability are trigger locks which allow for “hair” trigger pulls, as well as an app for both Xbox One and Windows 10 which allow for an insane level of customisation, storage of profiles and more.
What are the downsides? Well, complaints regarding price are not entirely unjustified. The Elite controller will cost you Rs.11,900, and if you intend to use it wirelessly on PC, that’s another Rs.3,299 for the wireless adapter. If your intention is to use it on your Xbox One exclusively, you’re probably better off with the Elite controller than something like a Scuf, which is similarly priced but infamous for its shoddy build quality and customer supports. Sorry PS4 players, there isn’t anything the Elite controller for you just yet.
Thumb stick grips
It’s not a secret that the Xbox One controller sports more durable thumb sticks than the DualShock 4. Infamous for the rubber grips’ high susceptibility to wear and tear (I’ve personally run through three controllers in three years) it is always best to protect these with some sort of third party covers or thumb stick grips.
KontrolFreeks should be your first choice. In addition to protection from wear and tear, these serve as controller aids—potentially improving your accuracy in a shooter, allow for more fluid movement in a sports game or transform your controller into a trendy work of art. The only problem is that these can be a little too pricey in India (your best bet would be to order them in the States), but you could always settle for cheap alternatives such as theseOrb thumb grips or a generic set.
Elgato Game Capture HD60
“I make YouTube videos of video games” is apparently an appropriate response in 2016 to the question “Are you a doctor or a lawyer?”. Your astonishing good looks, lovable personality and mad gameplay skills might not be all that’s required, however. The in-built DVRs on both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are sufficient for basic recording at 1080p/30fps, but this not good enough if you’re looking to produce good YouTube content or make your name as a Twitch streamer. Enter Elgato, a company which has literally conquered the video capture card market over the last few years.
The Elgato Game Capture HD60 is a great USB based capture device ideal for recording and streaming. You will require a PC for recording, of course, but the device comes built-in streaming for Twitch & YouTube. You can either pick this up in India for around Rs.19,000 or on Amazon USA for Rs.7,000 less (includes shipping + customs duties). The USB based HD60 is one-upped by the PCIe based HD60 Pro, however, particularly if you’re looking at real time monitoring and livestream recording.
Okay, you guys already know what you want, but we want to give a shout out to some of our favourite gear and accessories. Flight and space simmers should definitely look at picking up the Saitek X52 Flight Control System for Rs.9,990 (after a 17% discount), or if on a budget, Logitech’s Extreme 3D Pro Joystick for around three grand. Not to mention your flying skills in Battlefield 1 will improve dramatically with a superior input device.
Mouse wires can be annoying, and the Roccat Apuri is a sci-fi looking mouse bungee which comes with added benefit of four USB ports for around Rs.3,000. You could always just pick up something generic for a sixth of the Apuri’s asking price if on a budget.
Mice and keyboards can be hard to recommend since it comes down to personal taste, preference and ergonomics. But here’s a quick rundown of which gear is popular among professional e-sports teams across various games. In terms of mice, the Logitech G9X(Rs.4,999) sees a lot of play in the Starcraft II professional circuit, while the Zowie FK1(Rs.7,171) is pretty popular among Counter-Strike GO and Overwatch players. More of a MOBA fan? The Razer DeathAdder Chroma (Rs.4,299) and SteelSeries’ Sensei and Rival mice are all equally popular in the professional League of Legends and DOTA 2 scene.
It’s hard to go wrong with any mechanical keyboard, but the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate is just great all-round. And ff it’s a display you’re after, the BenQ XL2430T and ASUS VG24QEare good high-end options (in and around the Rs.30,000 price range) used by professional gamers, while the BenQ RL2455HM is a solid budget console and PC monitor under Rs.15,000.