There's so much more than mouse and keyboard
A crazy place at the best of times, the internet has given birth to a plethora of PC peripherals that are capable of all manner of things — like simulating realistic bullet damage in Call of Duty, or providing you with an ultra-realistic controller for your train sim. (All aboard!)
We've scoured the bowels of the internet to bring you some of the weirdest PC gaming accessories on the planet today.
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First published April 2017
Dubbed "A Computer Mouse Full Of Awesome" by its creators at Solid Art Labs, this bonkers control system looks like it's been chiseled out of Superman's Fortress Of Solitude. Although the finished model of the King's Assembly (opens in new tab) is purported to be in a sexier black & purple finish.
It's a retro-futuristic dual-handed control system with curved keys, and a thumb pad. To use, slide them over a desk like air hockey paddles. Despite having launched a well-funded Kickstarter, the product is still in beta testing.
- King's Assembly (opens in new tab)
RailDriver Desktop Train Cab Controller
Every train-spotter's dream, a fully functioning set of 34 buttons, levers and knobs designed with the sole purpose of controlling a virtual train. The RailDriver Controller (opens in new tab) even has an inbuilt bass speaker that vibrates the controller to add realism.
Now, all you need now is a hat and whistle and one of those little paddle things they use to wave trains off from the platforms. Well, that and a PC to run the whole operation.
- Buy a RailDriver Desktop Train Cab Controller on Amazon (opens in new tab)
3RD Space Gaming Vest
The reason many of us play first-person shooters is to experience the excitement of warfare without the pain and subsequent post traumatic stress. The 3rd Space Gaming Vest, developed years ago by TN Games, aims to change this.
It'll let you "sense the direction and force of bullet fire". The vest uses compressed air to simulate different attacks such as knives, rockets, all the way up to full-on explosions. It works with Call Of Duty, Battlefield and Bioshock. And, it sounds terrifying...
- Buy a 3rd Space Gaming Vest on Walmart (opens in new tab)
Mad Catz Cyborg amBX
Boasting 16 million colors, the Mad Catz Cyborg amBX , developed by none other than amBX (opens in new tab), is a set of physical lights that change color depending on the game you're playing. They can even let you know which direction you're being shot at from.
Place them either side of your monitor and they'll flood the room with rich colors. However, with MadCatz in bankruptcy, you'll be hard pressed to find one of these today.
- Buy a set of Mad Catz Cyborg amBX on Amazon (opens in new tab)
Street Fighter will *never* be the same again... the PrioVR by Yost Labs (opens in new tab) is a wearable suit of up to 17 sensors that track your every movement. A demo video shows kills done by doing a roundhouse, punches and even a deadly handclap that explodes enemy heads.
It's compatible with Oculus Rift. Is this the future of gaming or just another gadget to make you look like an idiot in the comfort of your own home?
- Buy PrioVR for a hefty sum straight from Yost (opens in new tab)
Office frustrations are often let out with a few pints in the local after work, or a high spirited debate in a corridor that's a little too close to the kitchen so everyone can hear. Axpro has come up with another solution, equip workers with USB-powered, BB sniper guns.
Aiming is done from a computer using the on-board camera – thus qualifying it as a "PC game accessory' – and it apparently has a whopping 8-meter (25-feet) range. This is a mega-rare item, but we found it available via Yahoo Taiwan (opens in new tab).
This thing looks like a mash-up of every single control pad in history. The AlphaGrip has a trackball, a fully functioning QWERTY keyboard and an array of buttons on the back that would make even the most experienced of woodwind players feel a little faint.
If you truly want one of these, they're currently out of stock via the above link. However, its creator promises that an updated model is in the works.
We get it, VR is the future, but it's still early. The two biggest contenders, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are still in their youth, making for a still rather limited experience.
Walking around in real life, for example, doesn't exactly equate to traversal in-game. With Virtuix Omni (opens in new tab), however, you're free to walk around unbounded by the square footage of your living room. Plus, you can work off that cheeseburger at the same time. Sadly, the project is still in development.
SteelSeries QcK Prism
While probably the most tame of the list, this is the very first RGB-illuminated mouse pad that's also reversible. Yes, this is a SteelSeries gaming mouse pad with lights on it, a USB power-slash-data cord and everything.
One side is a micro-fiber cloth finish for more "deliberate" movements, while the other is a hard polymer surface for a "fast-paced glide." RGB lighting with 12 zones rounds out the package of one of the most egregious PC gaming accessories we've seen in a long time.
- Buy a SteelSeries QcK Prism on Amazon (opens in new tab)