Gaming 35628_0

Published on March 18th, 2012 | by Greg


MadCatz: Gamer Gear For PC And 360

We’ve been doing a fair bit of gaming lately, with Mass Effect 3 on the 360 and Star Wars: The Old Republic on PC. And we’ve been testing out new gear for each system from MadCatz, a manufacturer that in the past few years has grown into one of the biggest and best in the accessory market. At CES, we got a look at their upcoming lineup, and in the past month or so have been trying out two of their latest peripherals.

The MadCatz Tritton Primer Wireless Xbox 360 Headset is not the cheapest model, nor is the best- but it does sit in a nice sweet spot of price and performance. There’s very little to dislike about the package, considering the price, and we liked the fact that everything was included, even independent game and voice volume controls. The look and feel of these is somewhat similar to other Tritton models that we’ve tried out in the past- not quite as powerful sound as the 5.1 Call of Duty model we saw, and not quite as rugged or comfortable as the Gears of War 3 version we reviewed last year. But the cost is about half that of the siblings, and overall, these were cozy enough for a multi-hour gaming session with Commander Shepard. The earcups aren’t super-large, though, so while one tester loved the fit, another found them a bit small.

The microphone folds down for chat or up to get out of the way. Folks on the other end reported solid audio in-game, and while we didn’t feel quite the directional presence that helps narrow down positioning, the bass was great and balanced, with voices and music coming through loud and clear. Their system uses 5.8GHz wireless technology, which offers some advantages over the 2.4GHz that is common but does suffer from interference from cordless phones and other sources. The base station is sleek and good looking, even if it is another box to find room for. Overall, the Primer is a solid headset, officially licensed, with onboard controls for easy muting and available now for under $100.

But if it’s PC gaming you’re engaged in, and specifically any massively multiplayer online game, we definitely suggest picking up the Cyborg M.M.O.7 Mouse. It’s a piece of hardware that could very well change your life. We’ve tried out the R.A.T.7 last year, a similar mouse that really altered our definition of the humble peripheral. It took one of the best features of game pads- offering more buttons than you might need- but did so without making anything confusing, uncomfortable, or overly complicated. The M.M.O.7 ups the ante, offering three interchangeable palm rests and pinkie rests, 6400 dpi precision, and five weight options much like the predecessor but upping the number of programmable buttons from five to thirteen!

Of course, the software to control it all is much the same- offering a pretty good interface for you to setup your macros and commands. There’s even an add-on especially for World of Warcraft players that enables you to drag and drop spells, inventory items and more with a single click. And the ActionLock mode allows you to take your finger off the trigger- or button- meaning you can give your hands a rest while still staying in the game- though it only works for either of the main two mouse buttons. As with most mice, this is a USB affair, and compatible with recent versions of Windows (XP and newer, 32-bit and 64-bit) as well as Mac OSX. Of course, not everyone will find the style to their liking- it’s distinctive, and very futuristic. And it isn’t wireless, though in our tests, this means more responsive feedback and better control, plus the cable is solid and plenty lengthy. It ran well, holds up to serious sessions, and is quite customizable- worth it primarily for the target audience of MMO gamers, it’s funky design and serious feature set means that others might very well enjoy it too. $130 online and in stores.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Appleā€™s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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