Although they call CES...CES for a reason, the show isn't just about consumer electronics. You'll find lots of products related to video games, the latest netbooks and cool new cellphones and cameras. Of course, there are lots of cool gadgets but there is also lots to offer to the PC gamer and hardware enthusiast crowd. Though we typically cover hardware like cases and motherboards at shows like COMPUTEX, CES does offer a few new things that might pique your interest. Let's have a look!
Going Psyko for Sound
One area of the PC gaming product that is growing rapidly is the audio market. Futurelooks has reviewed their own share of headphones and speakers, but lately it seems that this eco-system has stopped evolving. It's not to say that there aren't good products out there, but it has seemed that lately, no one has been doing anything different. I guess it takes a bunch of "Psykos" to change that.
Hailing from Calgary, Alberta, which is also home to another Canadian Superstar company known as CoolIT Systems, Psyko Audio has decided to shake things up with a very unique approach in gaming headset design. Their first product, the Psyko 5.1 PC Gaming Headset uses their "PsykoWave Technology" to deliver sound to both ears with the correct direction, timing and volume differences between each ear. Using five audio drivers (front left, center and right) and (rear left and right) with a subwoofer in each ear cup, the sound is channeled through their sophisticated PyskoWave Guides to create a sound that is natural and highly accurate without any simulated audio manipulation.
To ensure that the audio experience is improved from end to end, Psyko Audio outfits this headset with their own special outboard USB sound card and amplifier solution. Currently, the solution only works with the PC platform, but further developments on their talks with Dolby may yield a solution that will work with consoles like the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Since the box is external, it should be an easy upgrade down the road.
I had a chance to try the headset in some Call of Duty action. While playing, I was finding myself immediately looking in the right direction for gunfire and enemies. I would then be able to return gunfire much more accurately. In addition, locating positions of enemies nearby was much more accurate. I'm a pretty crappy PC gamer, but if it can improve my game, then it can certainly improve yours. I also found the headset quite comfortable and if your ears tend to get warm, you can even open up the ear pieces to let some fresh air in. We're definitely looking forward to giving these a real-world review when they become available sometime in February.