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Gaming Gear Showdown, Simplicity vs. Hype

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the do-these-ruffles-make-my-avatar-look-fat? dept.

Input Devices 159

Slack3r78 writes "Gizmodo is running a feature putting the gaming marketing hype to the test and seeing whether it really makes your playing any more 1337. They match up the latest products from Razer and SteelSeries along with some five-year-old Logitech products and come to the conclusion that ... it doesn't seem to matter that much. It looks like maybe you can't buy your way into finally beating that annoying 13-year-old at your favorite FPS after all."

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159 comments

It's not about the real effect. (3, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329292)

It's about the social status.

Gotta be honest though. Having the 'leetest rig' just makes you top of a very small pile.

 

Re:It's not about the real effect. (4, Funny)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329402)

Gotta be honest though. Having the 'leetest rig' just makes you top of a very small pile.
A pile of what, exactly?

It seems that "leet" mostly means a side window, big fans (preferably with a control panel in one of the drive bays), really weird SATA cables, and lots and lots of blue LEDs.

Re:It's not about the real effect. (2, Insightful)

bistromath007 (1253428) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329558)

Hey man, I only got that because it came with the only power supply BB had that would run my stuff. Don't call me that. :(

Re:It's not about the real effect. (4, Funny)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329572)

Blue? You haven't gone to UV yet? I hear it's worth at least an extra 0.4FPS.

Re:It's not about the real effect. (5, Funny)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330334)

UV is nothing.

My rig puts out high intensity GAMMA radiation, have it face into my roommate's rooms so they know what I have...haven't heard from them in a while though, and their rooms are starting to smell funny, but I'm not gonna walk across the stream or leave my rig.

Keeps my pizza warm tho.

Re:It's not about the real effect. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23330888)

UV? that's last week.. UVB is where it's at. you get to look like you actually go outside with a tan when you use UVB lighting.

Re:It's not about the real effect. (3, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329646)

Pasty pencil necked geeks. If you've got to be in that pile, you really do want to be on the top.

Audiophile should feel at home.... (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329822)

Having the 'leetest rig' just makes you top of a very small pile.
preferably with a control panel in one of the drive bays
Pfff, Amateurs !

It's not leet enough, unless it also sports 500$ wooden knobs [museumofhoaxes.com] on it (for the control panel).

Re:It's not about the real effect. (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330302)

Computing used to be about iron core memory and lots of blinky lights. The ferrite core memory is all gone, but blinky lights are still cool. The more the better, but they really shouldn't be all blue. :-)

Re:It's not about the real effect. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23329628)

It's about the social status.

Like sticking a fart-can on a Pinto, it's all show and no go.

You don't say? (1)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329306)

No one really believes their peripherals make them better, right?? I thought all the fancy 'gaming' mice and keyboards just looked nice.

Re:You don't say? (3, Informative)

Fx.Dr (915071) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329424)

Exactly.

As stated at the end of TFA, just buy what feels comfortable - the rest will, or should, come naturally. If you have to contort your fingers to fit the mouse/kbd, it's only natural your game will take a hit.

Re:You don't say? (4, Insightful)

keithjr (1091829) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329460)

Comfortable or not, it'll be a cold day in hell before I drop $150 on a keyboard, and another $90 for the mouse. The article really doesn't dwell on the cost factor, which for me is the major deterrent to buying "gaming gear."

Re:You don't say? (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329766)

This thread started with someone talking about playing for 18 hours....

What is spending $150 on a Keyboard and $90 on a mouse when your talking about spending countless hours using them. Your getting a lot more bang for your buck then you would for darn near anything else you'd spend the money on.

Let's go with a med. range gamer and say 2 hours a day, every day. That is 14 hours a week, 728 hours a year. Mean's they are only paying $0.32 an hour... Not too bad for something they plan on spending 728 hours on. Imagin how many hours in a year the guy who said he plays 18 hours in a sitting racks up... Well worth the $240.

Re:You don't say? (4, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329836)

What is spending $150 on a Keyboard and $90 on a mouse when your talking about spending countless hours using them. Your getting a lot more bang for your buck then you would for darn near anything else you'd spend the money on.

I dunno, your mom is going to want you to EVENTUALLY kick in for food and use of basement.....

Re:You don't say? (1)

PriceIke (751512) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329922)

Yes, to the above.

I spend a lot of time on my gaming rig, and I want input devices that are not only comfortable, but fun to use. And I use Logitech for just about everything, including a G15 keyboard (the blue one), MOMO force-feedback wheel, MX620 mouse and Precision headset. Does spending all that money make me a better gamer? Probably not*, but do I enjoy playing video games with them? Definitely.

*Actually, with the purchase of the mouse, it has. The MX620 is the same form factor as my mouse at work AND my mouse on my Mac at home. So my fingers are already well-acquainted with the placement of the buttons, and having mapped them to commonly used keyboard shortcuts, it makes those commands a lot more accessible during play (for instance mapping the Ventrilo PTT button to a mouse button instead of somewhere on the keyboard).

Re:You don't say? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329972)

He had the good sense to say "I".

Honestly, I haven't played a game that was so engrossing that I could possibly want to spend 2 hours a day playing it for an entire year. I can see a few hours a day for several weeks on a game that I really like, but those don't come up 10-15 times a year, they come up a couple of times a year.

Buying Timesplitters II for the Gamecube was enlightening for me, in 8 months, I pretty much only played that game(when I played mind you, 4-5 times a month), and I "racked up" about 30 hours of playtime. I had an easy time not buying a new system knowing that I was only playing that much.

Re:You don't say? (1)

stuporglue (1167677) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329934)

I am lucky enough to have an IBM Model M (Now ~$70, $80) which I was given, and at work I have a Microsoft Natural Touch keyboard (~$70).

I get RSI (Repetitive Stress Injury) really easily using the keyboards that come with Dells, Apples, or HPs (haven't tried the rest). For me, it is worth the $70 or so to be able to keep typing and not hurt.

If it were really good, I'd pay $150 for that ability.

Re:You don't say? (3, Insightful)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330382)

High cost keyboards CAN make a difference in the long run, but not for gamers.

For a typist the feel of the keys and layout of the keyboard really can cut down on wear and tear to the hands. An investment in a good keyboard can save you a payout for medical care later.

Still in the world of ergonomics there are a lot of quacks so you really do have to do your research on what is truly a good keyboard.

Re:You don't say? (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330650)

mouse i did drop about $90 on (logitech mx revolution), though i'm quite happy with my cheap $25 logitech media keyboard (the play/pause/next/previous buttons are handy).

Re:You don't say? (4, Funny)

Slack3r78 (596506) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329724)

As stated at the end of TFA
You know that you've just implicitly admitted breaking one of Slashdot's oldest and most revered rules, right? ;)

Re:You don't say? (1)

Fx.Dr (915071) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329844)

Don't worry, assumption and speculation are still my main source of info. :)

I feel so at home here.

Re:You don't say? (5, Insightful)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329452)

I disagree. Sure "fancy" stuff won't make you game better, but functionality DEFINITELY has a huge effect on gameplay.

The functionality of your mouse makes the greatest difference in a FPS: binding the extra buttons to prevent keyboard movement allowing you to continuously move/jump/crouch etc. to dodge instead of "press whatever key to throw grenade/use good gun". This assumes you have 2-3 fingers for movement, 1-2 for movement actions, you only have at best 1-2 random fingers lingering for a select few keys.

My personal example would be playing spy in TF2, before I had my 8 button mouse I had issues stabbing engies while placing sappers immediately. Now, I can do it with 90% success - meaning I don't die. Why? Cause all I have to do is press left click, thumb click, left click, while maneuvering with keyboard effectively.

Re:You don't say? (3, Insightful)

Ryukotsusei (1164453) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329664)

Which still doesn't warrant a gaming mouse. You just need a mouse with multiple buttons. The only factor that gaming equipment offers is comfort, basically you can play longer without wearing yourself out. Then again, maybe you have bigger problems if you're getting to the point where you can wear youreslf out.

Re:You don't say? (1)

bistromath007 (1253428) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329742)

So, if that's what it all boils down to, than why bother calling this stuff "gaming" equipment? Why can't you get the same features and comfort on something that doesn't have that doesn't make you look like a status-whore to own? Mousing around for eight hours a day is a significant part of many jobs the average /.er will take. You should have something better than a dollar-store wrist-rapist for that.

Re:You don't say? (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330196)

So, if that's what it all boils down to, than why bother calling this stuff "gaming" equipment?

Its marketing. They've identified a target demographic with:
a) interest in the product
b) disposable income

Your average enterprise manager isn't interested in equiping his team with higher quality peripherals, and is even less interested in shelling out for them. To a phb, they only reason you got an optical mouse was that they were the same price as wheel.

Why can't you get the same features and comfort on something that doesn't have that doesn't make you look like a status-whore to own?

You can actually. Razer for example has a 'pro' series of its mice that are white. And the product name is 'Click v1.6' or something instead of 'Death Adder in Biohazard Green', specifically to be more palatable to getting your PO approved at the 'office'.

Logitech and Microsoft also make decent quality mice that aren't overly garish.

But at the end of the day the big market for this stuff are teens. And they buy it as much for the status as the performance. And there is plenty of 'gaming hardware' that is ALL flash and no substance. The same 'Razer' that makes extremely good quality mice also has a 'cord manager' (to keep your mouse cord from getting out of control, pulling, tangling, etc. That little dohickey is little more than steel bolt and screw that that they charge $20 bucks for. You could improvise somethign equivalent from the hardware store for maybe $2.

Other products, like gamers computer cases are often poorly designed cheap plastic monstrosities -- while others are genuinely high end product.

Mousing around for eight hours a day is a significant part of many jobs the average /.er will take. You should have something better than a dollar-store wrist-rapist for that.

You should. Do you? If not, why not?

Re:You don't say? (1)

bistromath007 (1253428) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330394)

I know it's marketing. That's sort of the problem. Calling it a "gaming" mouse and making it look silly makes it something only idiots will want to buy unless they, for whatever reason, try it and realize it's better than the regular stuff.

The fact is that if I could find a "normal" mouse that had the features I require, (thumb buttons, good shape/size) I'd buy that instead of what I have. I can't, though. They aren't marketing that stuff at all, and the one or two instances I have ever seen of them doing it is when they take a mouse that is basically the same as a $50-90 "gaming" thingy, and sell it for $300 or some shit because they've relabled it as a specialist/artistic/photoshop/developer mouse. The current marketing environment simply does not allow you to get a good mouse without it being stupid somehow, as far as I know.

PS: Stop talking about Razer. Why does anybody care about them? Their mice only have two buttons, and half of them have the laser in the ass for some bizarre reason.

Re:You don't say? (1)

bistromath007 (1253428) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329454)

As somebody who resisted getting a Logitech "gaming" mouse for precisely the reason that I felt it was just a higher price for a ridiculous assclown 1337 design, I will tell you that some of them are indeed better than standard mice. When I was in the market for one a while back, the G5 I'm using right now was the only thing that wasn't either wireless, too small, or lacking important buttons, sometimes even the wheel. Logitech's newest hotness is unfortunately combining interesting features with wirelessness, and they don't seem to making anything but that anymore, but their older wired designs are still very solid. Still a bit smaller than like, but really all mice are, so that's not such a big deal. I find the thumb buttons extremely useful in games new enough to recognize them, and they can be useful in other ways, too. My buddy Al likes the hardware sensitivity adjustment on his G9, and even though I keep telling him it'll wreck his wrist, the weight tray. So, basically, if you want a slick gaming mouse, buy the ones from Logitech rather than the OMG SUPAR1337 junk from Razer or whoever.

Re:You don't say? (0, Troll)

Slack3r78 (596506) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329704)

The SteelSeries mouse covered in TFA piqued my interest because it looks like they took the front button design from Microsoft mice, the rear ergonomics from Logitech mice, and tweaked them slightly for a bit more comfort. The $90 price tag is pretty steep, but as somebody that's been a pretty hardcore Logitech fan since I bought an MX500 a good 6 or so years ago, this is the first time I've considered defecting.

(Especially considering that the scroll wheel on my G5 is total garbage).

Re:You don't say? (1)

bistromath007 (1253428) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329910)

1) Something is wrong with your G5. Mine is smoove. This, of course, highlights the one big drawback with these fancy mice: you can't open them to clean them out or anything. My RMB has started sticking every now and then, and there's nothing I can do about it except run a toothpick through the groove. :/

2) If you have to buy something new, just jump up to a G9. I've used that thing while I was hanging with Al, it's sweet. Looks retarded, but very comfy, the wheel is good, and the sensitivity is on a slider rather than buttons which means I might actually use it if I had one.

Re:You don't say? (1)

Slack3r78 (596506) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329938)

1) Something is wrong with your G5. Mine is smoove. This, of course, highlights the one big drawback with these fancy mice: you can't open them to clean them out or anything. My RMB has started sticking every now and then, and there's nothing I can do about it except run a toothpick through the groove. :/
Let me clarify -- the wheel itself is fine but it absolutely blows as a middle mouse button. They completely compromised the clickability to get a left-right action that I never use into the mouse.

I've been told the new MX Revolution is better, but I have no interest in wireless mice.

Re:You don't say? (1)

bistromath007 (1253428) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330102)

Oh yeah, I HATE the wheel button, in absolutely any incarnation. The concept is just stupid at its root as far as I'm concerned. If you need to actually scroll the wheel for any function in the program you're using, trying to click it is just going to mess you up. I've never bound anything to that on purpose, I have enough actual buttons on my mouse to suit my needs.

Re:You don't say? (1)

Slack3r78 (596506) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330396)

Honestly, I've gotten where I just hook up my G5 for gaming and leave my old MX500 at work for exactly this reason. I've never mapped the middle click for games, but given most browsers use it for opening/closing tabs, etc, it's more or less essential to me for anything other than games.

Re:You don't say? (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330514)

I've always wondered about the use of wireless vs wired mice.

I suppose it really depends on your usage and priorities in the mouse's performance.

For me wired mice get snagged on the stuff on my desk, and don't provide any different functionality from wireless, at least none that I will ever see or even faintly notice. Also I like a mouse with a solid feel to it, a little weight that fits well in the palm of the hand, and wireless mice, with their batteries feel right.

Re:You don't say? (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329508)

You have more faith in humanity than I do.

You could just as easily say that no one really believes their Monster cables make their stereos sound better. And yet, that company is still in business.

I think for most people there is a psychological relationship between how expensive something is and how good it is. If these things cost $20, no one would even consider the idea that they would make anyone play better, even if they were built exactly the same. At $300, though, people are more likely to believe it.

Re:You don't say? (4, Insightful)

Shagg (99693) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329672)

You could just as easily say that no one really believes their Monster cables make their stereos sound better.

Knowledgeable people don't believe it.

And yet, that company is still in business.

The world is full of stupid people.

I think for most people there is a psychological relationship between how expensive something is and how good it is.

Yep, see above. ;)

Re:You don't say? (3, Funny)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330724)

Next you're going to say that Brilliant Pebbles [machinadynamica.com] don't reduce comb filter effects in the corners of your listening room.

Re:You don't say? (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330778)

Is that an Audiophile products site, or an Audiophile parody site? I honestly can't tell the difference any longer.

Heck, even companies that I respect because they make honest products (like speakers that sound good) also sell this kind of crap these days, as if they can't stand to be left out. What a market.

Re:You don't say? (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330306)

I think for most people there is a psychological relationship between how expensive something is and how good it is. If these things cost $20, no one would even consider the idea that they would make anyone play better, even if they were built exactly the same. At $300, though, people are more likely to believe it.

There is a relationship there. Pick up "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" if you want a good book on the subject of marketting and persuasion. Often times it is more difficult to give away "free" things than it is to get people to pay for them.

Re:You don't say? (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329512)

I believe it... but to a certain point, and then it becomes redundant... for instance a good soundcard helps (ie: stereo, instead of mono)... an optical mouse is better than a ball, a silent and/or small motion motion keyboard helps... but as for FPS/MMO there really isnt any need to pay more than about $140 for your mouse & keyboard... most of these 15 button mice are useless because only the standard 5 buttons can normally be mapped without having to run some special software in the background which impeeds the performance... there's basically 2 things that I find really "help"... a good surface for the mouse to slide on... and the chair im in... if the mouse is constantly losing its grip or sight, or I have to constantly change position to keep comfortable... gaming is pointless because it will just make me angry...

Re:You don't say? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23329586)

I agree. I got a metal mousepad with teflon surface and it helps more than a $100 gaming mouse would. Plus those mice with tons of buttons are a pain to use, it's almost impossible to hold on to the mouse securely while contorting my fingers to use those stupid buttons.
A couple side thumb buttons is more than enough.


The only thing fancy about my keyboard is that it's LED backlit so I can see it in the dark.

Re:You don't say? (4, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329722)

an optical mouse is better than a ball,

And a laser mouse is better than an optical mouse.

a silent and/or small motion motion keyboard helps

I tend to say, "go with what is most comfortable". Quality keyboards tend to have 2 crucial gaming features:

1) more simultaneous key presses. Nothing sucks worse than side strafe moving while crouching and flicking the reload button and having nothing happen.

2) quality = durability/consistency. the only thing that sucks worse than 1) above is playing on a keyboard where one of the w-a-s-d has gone 'squishy' or 'sticky' or otherwise doesn't have the same feel or travel as the other 3, for example. Any keyboard can fail, but cheap ones fail sooner and more often.

most of these 15 button mice are useless because only the standard 5 buttons can normally be mapped without having to run some special software in the background which impeeds the performance

Trading 0.1 fps to be able to run a useful mouse macro is nearly always worth it. The trick is coming up with useful macros -- some games have them... some don't.

Re:You don't say? (1)

speroni (1258316) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329560)

Peripherals have some impact. If you have a 10 year old roller ball mouse full of dirt, it can get in the way. It can be nice to get some peripherals with some extra buttons or other functionality, but when it comes down to it, it's the wetware that matters.

Although nothing can be quite as satisfying or annoying as the prepubescent voice "It was the controller! F@#$%ing Xbox controllers! Expletive! Expletive!"

Wow... goes right to the fact... (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329366)

That stupid people are the ones any type of marketing ever works on.

The rest of us do research and buy based on our research and our own opinions.

Re:Wow... goes right to the fact... (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330596)

Marketing works on everyone. You are not part of us, in fact neither am I, there is no "us" or "them" apart from the "stupid" people.

Marketing does have a valid function. Sometimes you do want to know how cheap fruit is at one grocery store rather than another. Not all marketing is misleading.

The thing with "doing the research" is that research costs time and often enough money.

Do you really have the money to buy six or seven keyboards to try them all out and test them? Ok more realistically you can goto consumer reviews but they don't review everything and still that takes time.

You have to strike a balance.

It is not the size of your joystick that matters (4, Funny)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329434)

it is in how you use it.

It's about the armor.. (3, Insightful)

Tominva1045 (587712) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329446)

That 13 year old is gonna own ya because he has become exhalted with the Scryers, has a sweet Tier 5 armor set, and spends all day dueling his homies because he doesn't have a job and can play WOW 13 hours a day. It's not the computer harware.

Re:It's about the armor.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23329468)

But then the 5-boxing guy with 4 mages and a priest one shots you with 4 instant pyroblats. Hardware wins.

Re:It's about the armor.. (3, Insightful)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329620)

Actually, they were talking about fps not mmorpg. If the 13 year old beats you it's because of many reasons. The first is close to your point, and that is he has a lot of time to practice. No matter what input device you have, there must be some mastery to it. The other thing you can practice in is also the mechanics of the game. It doesn't matter how skillful at sniping you are if you're in close quarters with a shotgun. People who study the map know the right array of weapon pickups to have the advantage in the situation they're in. Other reasons include you sucking, him being lucky, him using macros that you don't have the time to look for or program, him having a less noobish team ect...

Re:It's about the armor.. (1)

cptgrudge (177113) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330458)

If that 13 year old is using Tier 5 armor to own you (assuming pvp), you should probably look into some arena gear and other pvp gear that's *designed* for it, and stop trying to carry on with some pve gear that allows for big juicy crits on you.

Re:It's about the armor.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23330672)

since I don't know or don't remember who the Scryers are, I think I can safely say that I am wow free now... after playing it for a long time I am at last free from it's terrible clutches

Um (3, Interesting)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329606)

I'm 41 and at most games I've play online, and they are many, I totally own the 13 year olds. They don't like it much either. Then again I've been playing various games in arcades on on PC's since I was...hmmm about 13. Maybe experience and natural dexterity is better than good gear or having too much time on one's hands?

Re:Um (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23329728)

did you just brag about beating 13 year olds at computer games?? heh... lame

Re:Um (2, Interesting)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329782)

Eh, I think it's not a bad point to make. The 13 year old uber gamer stereotype gets passed around a fair bit, so it's worth pointing out that it's not very common.

Exactly! It's a very tired meme. (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330188)

That was exactly my point. The meme of 13 year old uber gamers is very, very old and quite incorrect.

I'm happy to say that I can enjoy recreation. I don't have much time to game these days but it's still a good outlet.

The flames and naysayer posts are just jealous ;-)

Re:Um (1)

cool-RR (1215560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329834)

I'm 41 and at most games I've play online, and they are many, I totally own the 13 year olds.
I'm sure your mother would be proud.

Re:Um (2, Funny)

erlenic (95003) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330066)

I'm 41 and at most games I've play online, and they are many, I totally own the 13 year olds.
I'm sure your mother would be proud.
... as she yells down the basement stairs to tell you that it's time for dinner.

Re:Um (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330164)

Thank you, she is. Not because of my recreation activities but because of my other accomplisments in life like my career and my lovely family.

Re:Um (0)

Knara (9377) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330428)

I know you probably figured that was a clever come-back... but it actually is fairly mundane and uninteresting.

In short, come up with something more original or don't reply (aka feed the trolls) at all.

Re:Um (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330498)

Nah. Experience has showed me that trying to be clever or thinking one is clever usually leads to failure. Read my latest journal entry and you might understand. I could care less how I'm moderated or what people think/say about me. I just like to talk sometimes (or type, as the case may be)

I only partially convinced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23329618)

I agree with the article except for one thing....

When playing many games, mostly RTS games, I make heavy use of the higher DPI on the mouse. I'll max out both my computer's sensitivity, my game's sensitivity, and the mouse's.

Also I find the DPI on the fly adjustment nice for COD4 as on bigger maps I use a lower DPI for better accuracy and on smaller maps I use a higher DPI for turning quickly.

Labeling it as Gamer gear is a little BS and trite but the features of the equipment (or at least mice) can be nice to have if you make use of them.

Re:I only partially convinced (2, Interesting)

realmolo (574068) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329850)

You do realize that mouse sensitivity is COMPLETELY dependent on software, right? The "DPI" rating of your mouse hardware is totally irrelevant.

Think about it. What's the smallest distance you can move your mouse pointer on screen? One pixel. No matter WHAT the DPI rating of your mouse is, this will never change. It's the sensitivity settings in software that are determining how far you have to move your mouse in order to move the pointer one pixel on the actual screen.

DPI ratings are a scam on mice.

Re:I only partially convinced (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330732)

Not so.

DPI means how small you can make that one pixel to the mouse. Or rather it represents how much movement of the mouse is required to cause the mouse to respond with a dot of movement which is sent to the software to be translated into pixels.

Now it is true that software setting does make more of a difference but remember that most software also has a cursor acceleration to mouse movement.

Greater dpi does allow for finer movements to be detected by the mouse, meaning the software can be set so that less movement on the mouse is required for cursor movement.

Re:I only partially convinced (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330846)

Except that the very simple task of adjusting mouse sensitivity is done very poorly in many cases. Having 3rd-party software that really does nothing more than this simple task, but does it well, really can add value - like being able to change sensitivity in the moddle of a game, for example.

I can beat 99.9% of you at Asteroids. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23329622)

Hands down. I can play indefinitely on 25 cents.

Get a life.

Your "gaming" skills are going to be simlarly relevant to mine in a year or two.

it was never about status or edge or hype (3, Insightful)

netsavior (627338) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329640)

It is about buying a product that is comfortable to use for 18 hours straight. I mean in hour 1, I have the same skill with a $5 optical mouse on a piece of cardboard as I do with a reasonable mouse on a reasonable surface, but come see me in 18 hours with the crap setup and I will not be as sharp as with the comfortable one.

Re:it was never about status or edge or hype (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23329692)

Have you ever kissed a girl?

Re:it was never about status or edge or hype (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23329752)

18 hours... You sound like such an idiot.

Re:it was never about status or edge or hype (2, Funny)

CubeRootOf (849787) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329780)

I'm prett sure you will be in the same state either way:

Hungry, tired, thirsty, and in need of a trip to the nearest bathroom... unless you have the 1337 catheter add-on for your gaming rig.

In that case, I guess you would be in better shape. Just hungry and tired, because you can always drink from the catheter.

and I bet you would even be able to spell catheter at

Re:it was never about status or edge or hype (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329888)

Not only do I have the

1337 catheter add-on for your gaming rig.
but in an effort to reduce reuse and recycle, I use the urine as coolant to c001 my uber h07 processor! \rant - by the way, i'm hungry, tired, thirsty and in need of a trip to the nearest restroom, after only 2 hours of work.

Re:it was never about status or edge or hype (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23329814)

did you say 18 hrs. straight?

Re:it was never about status or edge or hype (1)

Burning1 (204959) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330314)

Should we be more worried that being able to game for 18 hours straight is a requirement for you, or that your comment gained an "Insightful" moderation?

Re:it was never about status or edge or hype (1)

netsavior (627338) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330676)

I didn't say that I played for 18 hours EVERY day.

Lots of people have hobbies that they do for many hours straight occasionally. A person might, for instance, justify buying a proper pair of hiking boots for a weekend of continuious backpacking; a person would buy the correct shoes to run a marathon, even though they do not run 26.2 miles but once per year.

Likewise when I show up for a 2 day gaming event [ghettolanparty.com] I will be prepared to game for many more hours than I normally do

Homeland Security Called... (1)

justsomecomputerguy (545196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329720)

Now that you're done with testing, they'd like all their "missing" laptops back...

Could be because of the newer games (3, Insightful)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329730)

Games have gotten more and more sucky over the years. Everything is "realistic", slow and boring. Nobody plays the twitch games like Quake where it actually mattered how good your equipment was. This may be why the specialized gamer hardware does nothing.

I have personally found that it's not hard at all to play games like COD, Crysis, Battlefield, etc. on a poor refresh rate LCD and piece of shit optical mouse. It just doesn't matter. There is no way I could kick ass in Quake3 with that stuff though because just moving the mouse fast enough makes it lose tracking. This is where better equipment could show its worth.

Re:Could be because of the newer games (1)

BigJClark (1226554) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330248)


Well, define slow. I play CSS religiously, and I guess it does fall under the category of "twitch", and it is currently the most popular online FPS but at least a factor of 2. Specialized hardware counts in this game, as stated before number of buttons on the mouse, weight of the mouse, granularity of the laser. I play on a large, ergonomic keyboard, with a fair degree of spaces between the keys that feels more "comfortable" to me.

Comfort counts when you play for more than a half hour or so ;)

Re:Could be because of the newer games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23330408)

Many things have changed since 1997, which appears to be the last time you evaluated these technologies. I play nq with a laser mouse and an 12ms LCD. I can differentiate between 10ms in latency, but I can't notice interference from my panel. Secondly, modern laser mice blow the pants off mechanical ball crap, even the insane DPI stuff released ~1999ish. Your "get off my lawn" attitude is priceless...

Re:Could be because of the newer games (1)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330434)

I love that people describe CoD, Crysis and Battlefield as "realistic" games.

What the hell is realistic about any of them? Just because they aren't a methamphetamine induced hyper-kill-fest doesn't mean they don't require fast reflexes and accurate movements.

Re:Could be because of the newer games (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330860)

That's why I think the OP put the word realistic in quotes. These games aren't really realistic in the Operation Flashpoint-realistic way, but compared to Q3 and UT99 they certainly feel so, regenerative health bullshit aside. The pace is slower, the movements are slower, and even mouselook is crippled with the simulated accuracy drop when you snap the mouse to the nearest foe's head. I'm not saying that's necessarily bad, I myself really enjoyed the abovementioned Operation Flashpoint as well as pre-Vegas Rainbow6 games and SWAT 4. But what good is perfect mouse accuracy if you need to wait for a second before the crosshairs settle to an acceptable size?

Anyway, back to the topic. Of course there is a point after which spending any more on a mouse is ridiculous, and an additional 400dpi probably won't get you more frags. Still, the Razer Diamondback I got soon after its release was well worth it. Almost four years later it's still as good as new in terms of look and functionality. I think the buttons in particular fared very well, the clicks are "sharp" and the buttons don't get stuck, and there's almost no difference between the left and right buttons (the left one usually gets destroyed much faster due to more frequent use). I also find it much more comfortable than the wireless Mouseman Logitech I had before that, and pretty much any other regular mouse I could try at the shops. Unlike many other mice it's also symmetrical, so I can comfortably use my left hand if the right one is busy :).

Apple, Liberals, and Islamic Terrorism (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23329772)

It goes without saying that Apple Inc., formerly Apple Computer, Inc., is among the greatest threats to centuries of progress brought about from Christian society. Having direct involvement in Islamic fascism, they are determined to undermine America and conservative values at any cost.

Apple was founded late winter in 2001, shortly after the events of September 11, 2001 with the single focus of supporting the work of al Quaeda and Osama bin Laden. At the helm is “Steve Jobs”, better known within terrorism circles as Stennuh al Joqidah, and traitor Al Gore. These men, who are likely engaged in physical liaisons, are intellectual leaders of the vast left-wing fascist movement, which is constituted primarily of homosexuals, minorities, atheists, and scientists. Under the auspice of selling personal computers and iPods, Apple have infiltrated millions of American homes and are now targeting dozens of American businesses.

At the tip of their spear is the Macintosh, widely known as the “Gay Computer”. These computers, which do not run the Christian operation system Microsoft Windows, are in use almost exclusively within the homosexual community. At their core is “Darwin”, software that affects nearly every aspect of the Macintosh and works to promote evolution and other atheist and scientific agendas. These machines will routinely promote materials from liberals, including Jon Stewart, while simultaneously censoring the works of true patriots like Bill O'Reilly.

Following the Macintosh is the ever-present and highly dangerous iPod (and its cousin, the iPhone). These two devices, currently in the hands of literally hundreds of millions of American youth, fill the heads of listeners with endless Islamic and homosexual propaganda. The dangers here are self-evident, but even more frightening is the telecommunications services of the iPhone. To protect God-fearing Americans from the satanic forces at work in the world, the American government must listen in on phone conversations. (Incidentally, an activity that receives strong criticism from criminal liberals everywhere.) However, to thwart the forces of righteousness, Apple in conjunction with ATT, uses the iPhone to prevent wiretapping, and thus prevents law enforcement from defusing terrorist plots.

In our chaotic world, we cannot afford to let these threats remain unchecked. Apple, receiving inspiration from the original sin, is attempting to destroy America and usurp Jesus at the behest of closely-allied Islamic extremists and atheists. If left to their druthers, the world will no longer be safe for our children and all patriotic Americans are encouraged to smash their Macintoshes, iPods, iPhones (anything bearing the Apple logo) and drive these cretins off our shores. Thank you for reading.

Re:Apple, Liberals, and Islamic Terrorism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23330350)

Apple was founded late winter in 2001
Why can't trolls at least get the dates right?

shortly after the events of September 11, 2001
This must be a Southern Hemisphere troll.

Coding keyboards? (3, Interesting)

atrus (73476) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329818)

Now for what really matters, how do those keyboards do for coding? :-)

I'm always interested in "better" keyboards for large volumes of text entry. It does get minus points for putting the Ctrl key in the wrong spot - who uses capslock anyway?

Re:Coding keyboards? (1)

ThreeGigs (239452) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330456)

Gateway "AnyKey" keyboards.

Every keycode was reprogrammable, so you could change each key's output (or key combo, like shift+ctrl+A) to any other letter, or series of letters up to 250 characters. Plus, it was self-contained. No external program necessary. Hit the remap button, select your target keypress, type in the new output you want, hit remap again, poof. OS and program independent.

Plus it's got an additional 12 function keys down the left side. And a 9 button arrow key group. And after 12 years of using one, the letters didn't wear off. Decently solid build, no clickity noises, just a light tactile feel.

Bad news is they haven't been made in years. And when they were it was only in AT and PS/2 connectors, no USB.

But if they were available new, with a USB connection, I'd get one in a heartbeat even if they were $150. I *still* miss all the little shortcuts I had in it. Shift+ctrl+A was my name and address, tabbed. Those extra 12 function keys served as holders for whatever text strings were commonly retyped in whatever I was working on. In whatever program I was working in. Or sometimes it's just faster to press down, down, delete, type a slash... repeat 20 times than figure out a find/replace. That keyboard made things like that painless.

You could also easily swap keys, and remap the output to match. If you use Dvorak, they'd be great. Or like certain punctuation in different places. Or want an alt+number code like a british pound in place of a dollar sign, whatever.

Absolutely fantastic coding keyboard.

Re:Coding keyboards? (1)

bastion_xx (233612) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330884)

I *loved* the Gateway AnyKey keyboard. I actually had three, but the build quality wasn't great and I'd only get 3-9 months out of one.

Air Warrior (on GENIE) was a blast with the programmable buttons. Alas, after the last one bit the dust, I got a MS Natural Keyboard and then the first (and last) F-button keyboard. I assume it was MS that mandated that the keyboard must, when power is applied, be in the F mode and not the traditional F1-12 mode. Grrrr.

I've since went with the Logitech G15 and do make use of the macro buttons to the right. Plus, with the switch for 'gaming' versus 'windows', the F-mode selection is back to what I want it to be.

The G15 does have mediocre keys. Heck, my MBP keyboard is better for most things!

All-in-all, I would plop down $150 in a heartbeat for an AnyKey style keyboard with the build quality of an IBM, multiple keypresses, no software programming, and USB.

Stupidest Adware Ever (1)

SparafucileMan (544171) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329832)

1 guy plays 1 game in 1 role for a mere 15 matches per game and somehow thinks that he has come to an "objective" conclusion regarding which is better? I hope he doesn't design nuclear reactors.

Re:Stupidest Adware Ever (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330344)

I agree. How is a completely subjective article written by some guy any kind of evidence that these are or are not better?

My personal experience has been the opposite. When I went from an old 19" CRT to a crisp flat panel it improved my game. As did going from an old Intellimouse to a 3200 DPI "gaming" mouse. In both cases it was the improved resolution that helped me. In TF2 it's not something you notice much, but in CounterStrike getting your reticle right over someone's head - and fast - is crucial. (As a side note, I've switched from CSS to play TF2 almost exclusively as well.) When I had a lousy mouse I had trouble getting it on the exact pixel I needed it to be on to get the shot. Same with my old monitor.

I'm not saying amazing gear will make you an amazing gamer... (14 year old in a race car anyone?) Just that, depending upon the game, it can really make a difference.

it may not make you better..... (1)

Elsapotk421 (1097205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329896)

But having a good mouse pad ( Steelpad QCK+) and a pretty good mouse (MX 518)does make a difference. I think a decent mouse like mine does certainly make the difference between a 10 dollar mouse. I don't spin out for once. and the mouse pad just makes it more comfortable for me. if anything these things are for comfort and consistency.

They do not yet know my secret weapon! (1)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329904)

Little do these little punks realize the true l337 P0W3R granted by a cell phone, the phone number to Child Protective Services, and petty vindictiveness.

That 13 year old kid... (3, Insightful)

The Moof (859402) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329942)

Honestly, I've never really cared about beating that 13 year-old kid.

I always take the stance that I'm an adult who works 40+ hours a week and has other responsibilities that take my time. The kid likely plays every waking moment. The fact I can come close to beating him with significantly less practice says something about my skill at the game. Or the kid's.

Then again, ignorance is bliss.

What about other forms of hardware enhancements? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23329966)

I think it's interesting what this study showed, however I wish it would have included other forms of hardware other than the typical/standard pieces. Examples are specialty keyboards Wolfking Keyboard [extremetech.com] or gamepads N52te [belkin.com] have any impact on gaming performance. I have the later and refuse to go back to the traditional keyboard for my gaming. I'd be curious to see how his k/d ration improves or worsens with one of these.

No standard deviations? (1)

oneplus999 (907816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23329986)

No standard deviations => this guy doesn't know how to computer statistical significance => "Objectively, SteelSeries made me a better gamer." is a statement that he can't actually justify. Ignoring...

Re:No standard deviations? (1)

oneplus999 (907816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330008)

*doesn't know how to compute

Unscientific (1)

Pinckney (1098477) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330030)

The author's conclusions are questionable, as he uses a keyboard (the Logitec) which he is familiar with as his control, thus giving it an advantage over the others.

What about *real* gaming gear? (1)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330122)

I was a little disappointed to see that he didn't mention the dedicated gaming peripherals like the n52 and wolfking stuff.

I dont consider most keyboards to be that different in each other. I have a g15 and hardly ever use the g keys because i dont really need them. To me, the LCD screen that lets me chat while playing is well worth the price tag regardless of anything else. I would pay 80 bucks for this same keyboard without those keys and just the screen. Actually, I'd perfer it with out those keys because it makes the thing huge. It still amazes me that they haven't released another model like that.

A good mouse on the other hand, is key. Even the model that the review used was still a high quality mouse, if rather old and not branded gamer. He should have reviewed with a generic brand 2-button and then talked about the difference. I use the logitech VX (i got it for free) and love it. Its not "gaming" but i consider the extra buttons to be the real benifit. Not extra resolution, dpi nor speed. Those dont make much of an impact IMO.

Gizmodo fails (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23330134)

Everyone supporting them fails. Did you look at the two companies of hardware production? That's like taking two cars with 500 and 505 horsepower and saying everyone is wasting their money stepping up to the 505. The accurate test of how effective elite hardware is lies in testing the elite versus the non-elite. Compare those same Logitech peripherals to generic shit that Dell hands out with their bargain bin PCs and you'll notice a huge fucking difference in your game.

All Gizmodo did was tell you that older Logitech's still hold their own against their rival company, thus proving Logitech is the elite.

i like my gaming mini-keyboard (1)

evilmousse (798341) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330418)


not a mouse, but i'll put out there that i'm enjoying the ideazon fang [ideazon.com] gaming keyboard i got a few months ago.

i happened by it when looking for a usb keyboard after i decided i just cannot crouch, strafe diagonally, and change weapons at the same time with my wireless keyboard. i now use that + a usb extender on my living-room set-up (plus the extender enabled a wired mouse and microphone to be near me again too, while still stashing under the couch nicely)

i like that it reaches for ergonomics and don't-have-to-look-at-the-keys-ability while generally maintaining the standard keyboard layout and adding symmetry for leftys/righties. i still like having a full keyboard at-ready for textual-chat or whatnot, but alternatively the makers also have other keyboards whereby you can swap out sections of with specialized sections which can match what the fang provides.

It Just Depends On The Type Of Game.... (1)

RobDude (1123541) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330618)

FPS = Fastest response time
MMORPGS = Most free time

Anyone with a minimal amount of practice is going to know where to 'aim'. Most of the time it's as simple as putting the crosshairs on the guy and hitting the button.

In no time at all, anyone can learn the maps and know where everything is and can 'play smart'.

Beyond that, it is all about how fast you can respond. The average response time is around .3 seconds. If your average response time is .4 seconds there is very little you can do to ever change it. Some Olympic athletes have a response time under .1; it's amazing really.

My point is, when you boil it down, that's what separates good players from bad players. My roommate in college was an amazing CS player. He was also an amazing Quake 2 player and an amazing BF2142 player. Oddly enough he was also pretty good at baseball.

Most video games require a normal response time, but FPS reward faster than normal response times. If you are 'good' at FPS's you'll be good at virtually all of them.

MMORPGs are the opposite. It's much, much, much, much slower. I'd even argue that you can't be 'good' at a MMORPG - you can simply be 'not retarded'. Anyone who is reasonably experienced in the game is going to have little trouble playing as optimal as can be expected given a particular situation. Beyond that, it's all about what gear you have/what level you are/what class/powers you've got. The world's greatest video gamer would get his ass kicked in a WoW duel between himself as a level 1 mage and a level 25 anything, being controlled by my Mom.

The "For" Side... (1)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330808)

...mit apo-logies to Gary Larson [wikipedia.org]

My Razer Lachesis [razerzone.com] (the one in the article) is leaps and bounds ahead of the Logitech 3-buttoned PS2 ball mouse it replaced, though obviously any optical/laser mouse would be better.
It's comfortable to use for long periods, has just enough buttons without being ridiculous about it. It's twitchy as all get-out when I want it to be, and I can use the buttons just behind the wheel to decrease sensitivity on the fly for tricky headshots (or even just for link-clicking:)

I won't sit here and expound on how it's increased my Frag to Death ratio and it certainly isn't the limiting factor for this Fragger but I just wanted to say,for all those people likening "gaming" mice to quadruple gold-plated audio interconnects, that I bought it, for 30 GBP (900 USD??;), with my eyes wide open, and haven't been disappointed with it yet. Incidentally,

Umm (1)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 6 years ago | (#23330838)

He KNOWS which set of hardware he is playing with. Dr. Masaru Emoto [whatthebleep.com] discovered that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward them using the same method...Not very scientific.

I'm not saying he is not right, he probably is. But I could have guessed that without even trying them.
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