Danish gaming accessory manufacturer SteelSeries is at E3 2014 in Los Angeles and has shown off a new product range that includes everything from mobile controllers and eye trackers to the first interactive peripherals for The Sims franchise. And Pocket-lint has received a first-hand look at them all.
The first product on display at SteelSeries' booth was a full-sized controller called Stratus XL. It is basically a larger version of the mini black, rubberised Stratus controller that unveiled at CES 2014 in January. The Stratus XL is also black and works with iPhone and iPad. Although it is not out yet, the company said the upcoming wireless controller is currently compatible with a growing roster of App Store games.
The Stratus XL features a console-style layout, pressure-sensitive directional pad and action buttons, which includes shoulder buttons and analog triggers, dual analog sticks, a dedicated Bluetooth pairing button, on/off toggle, and a battery life indicator. Speaking of battery life, the contoller requires two AA batteries and provides an estimated 40 hours of gameplay.
Another cool feature is the red LED indicator that displays the number of controllers or players connected during multiplayer mode. You can expect the SteelSeries XL to launch later this year, possibly around autumn, at a price point "no more" than the $79 Stratus. That said, the version we saw on display is just a prototype. SteelSeries said the final version will look the same but weigh much less.
The next product we saw on display is the Sentry Eye Tracker. It is a long, thin black bar that is both lightweight and sleek. It is compatible with computers and features Tobii's eye-tracking technology, allowing gamers to measure their skill level via statistics based on where and how long they focus or fixate on the screen as well as enhance their gameplay using eye movement as a new type of in-game control.
Specifically, the eye tracker provides on-screen statistics that let gamers track, analyse, and benchmark their eye movement and behaviors during gameplay "in order to improve and ultimately win", according to SteelSeries. We saw a few example statics during our brief demo, but we much preferred the ability to move around the game with eye-tracking functionality. Now that was cool.
The Sentry Eye Tracker will launch later this year, but the company wasn't able to reveal how much it will cost. We also don't how many titles it is currently compatible with (though we did hear World of Warcraft and a few others) or if it works with other machines beyond PC.
And finally, SteelSeries showed off a Sims 4 Gaming headset, mouse, and QCK mousepad. These accessories are unique because they feature illuminated Plumbobs, which light up and pulsate according to the emotion of your Sim, making them the first somewhat interactive peripherals for the popular Sims franchise. Both the gaming headset and mouse are all-white and will launch this autumn.
The gaming headset features a slim profile and on-ear design that connects to a PC via USB, while the mouse has a six-button ergonomic design. It was developed in conjunction with a game-inspired QCK mousepad. The mousepad has a micro-fiber surface, and you can expect it to also launch this autumn. Prices will range $40 for the gaming headset and $30 for a mouse and mousepad bundle.