Top 5 Gaming Tech Announcements at CES 2018

From an updated HTC Vive headset to a nostalgic revitalization of the Nintendo Game Boy, CES 2018 had no shortage of goodies for gamers.

Every year, tech enthusiasts wait in anticipation for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). During the show, a wide variety of new tech is shown ranging from household conveniences all the way to devices for gaming.

During CES 2018, we witnessed quite a few announcements for gaming tech that either impressed us, or caught us by surprise. While these pieces of tech may not be for everyone, they’re nevertheless great indicators of what gamers can expect in the years to come.

If you missed out on CES this year, no worries as there are an abundance of recaps available online. To help narrow things down to just gaming, however, we decided to put together a list featuring our top 5 gaming tech announcements from CES 2018.

5) Corsair Wireless PC Peripherals

Starting this list off with something a little more on the basic side, we have Corsair’s new line of “Unplug and Play” wireless PC peripherals. The release of these peripherals marks the first time that Corsair has entered the wireless market, and the items they had on display certainly caught our attention.

Right now, the Unplug and Play line includes the following items:

  • K63 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard
  • K63 Wireless Gaming Lapboard
  • Dark Core RGB Wireless Gaming Mouse
  • MM1000 Qi Wireless Charging Mouse Pad

While we tend to prefer wired peripherals for PC gaming, we’re certainly open to giving Corsair’s new K63 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard and Dark Core RGB Wireless Gaming Mouse a try. In terms of the keyboard, it boasts some sleek Cherry MX Red switches, per-key LED backlighting, programmable keys, and a battery life of up to 75 hours.

Meanwhile, the Dark Core RGB Wireless Gaming Mouse features a 16,000 DPI optical sensor and a battery life of up to 24 hours. The keyboard will set you back a total of $109.99, and the price of the mouse has yet to be revealed (though we estimate it’ll cost around $79.99). For more on Corsair’s new wireless PC peripherals, click here.

4) HTC Vive Pro

Some say that VR is doomed to fizzle out, whereas companies like HTC say “hold my beer” before busting out top-of-the-line tech you can't help but want to buy. Without a doubt, HTC walked into CES 2018 ready to impress with their shiny new HTC Vive Pro.

First, it’s important to note that the HTC Vive Pro isn’t exactly a “new” piece of tech so much as it’s an improvement upon the company’s massively popular HTC Vive. Nevertheless, the improvements featured in the HTC Vive Pro are worthy of praise as they’re certain to capture the attention of gamers who’ve yet to take the VR plunge.

Some of the enhancements added to the HTC Vive Pro include improved visual capabilities via dual-OLED displays which boast a combined resolution of 2880 x 1600, built-in audio support, and adjustable screen positions perfect for gamers with glasses.

HTC has yet to reveal a release window or price point for the Vive Pro, but we’re certain that once it releases to the market, it’ll likely be a huge hit with VR enthusiasts and newcomers alike. For more on the HTC Vive Pro, click here.

3) Hyperkin Ultra Game Boy

Image Courtesy of Gizmodo

Up next, we have a piece of beautiful nostalgia courtesy of Hyperkin. The Ultra Game Boy not only revives the classic Nintendo Game Boy, but it also adds a few necessary upgrades into the mix as well. For those still clinging to their original Game Boy and Game Boy cartridges, the latest offering from Hyperkin is certainly notable.

This is because the Ultra Game Boy is capable of playing all of your original cartridges (it sadly doesn’t come preloaded with and games), and it gives you the option of stashing away your beloved old Game Boy for safekeeping. The Ultra Game Boy features a durable aluminum casing that’ll help keep it safe from damage, and a nifty backlit LCD display for your viewing convenience (no need to whip out your old Game Boy noodle light).

Furthermore, you won’t have to experience the pain of purchasing economy sized packs of AA batteries with the Ultra Game Boy, as it includes a built-in, rechargeable battery (via USB-C) capable of lasting up to 6 hours. As of right now, Hyperkin is aiming to release the Ultra Game Boy sometime later this summer at a price point under $100. For more on Hyperkin’s Ultra Game Boy, click here.

2) Digital Storm Spark Gaming PC

The Digital Storm Spark is no bigger than a shoebox at 12 inches tall, 4 inches wide, and 6 inches deep, yet it has no trouble packing a powerful punch. The configurations of the Digital Storm Spark are based on Intel’s Z370 chipset, an Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU, and an Intel Core i7-8700K processor. For added novelty, it also comes with a custom hardline liquid-cooling system.

According to Digital Storm, despite the Spark’s teeny tiny size, everything (processor, memory, graphics, storage) is fully upgradable. This means that not only will you have no trouble finding room for the Spark on your desk, but you can personalize as much as you like. Additionally, there’s enough room for expansion with three M.2 storage slots, an MXM slot for graphics, and a SATA 6Gb/s port.

Right now, Digital Storm aims to release Project Spark in Q2 of 2018 at a starting price of $1,299. However, this price will only get you an Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card. For a more powerful punch via the GTX 1080, be prepared for a higher price tag.

Overall, the Spark can support a full range of builds based on your unique needs as a gamer. Because of this, and because of its awesome micro size, we can’t help but praise the Spark as one of the best pieces of gaming tech at CES 2018.

1) Nvidia Big Format Gaming Display (BFGD)

Upon first hearing the name “BFGD” we honestly thought Nvidia was making a sly reference to Doom’s memorable weapon, the BFG9000 (aka Big Fucking Gun). Sadly, BFGD doesn’t stand for "Big Fucking Gaming Display," though we weren’t too far off. The Nvidia Big Format Gaming Display is one of those tech items you can’t help but notice thanks to its absolutely massive size.

Essentially, the BFGD taps PC gamers on the shoulder and asks them, “Wouldn’t it be cool if you could turn your computer monitor into a television?” In the past, we’ve connected our gaming PC to the TV via HDMI or Steam Link. Unfortunately, these weren't the best options for reliable frame rates.

This is where the BFGD swoops in, as it works in cooperation Nvidia’s G-Sync technology to offer steady frame rates and crisp 4K resolution. According to Nvdia, the BFGD aims to provide a “highly responsive, smooth, tear-free, immersive gaming experience unmatched by any display of this size.”

Other notable specs include a native 120Hz refresh rate, true HDR support, a direct-backlit display, full-array local dimming, native Kodi support, HD HomeRun integration, NAS access, and Plex server capability, among other features. Furthermore, the BFGD will come bundled with the Nvidia Shield remote and game controller.

A price point for the BFGD has yet to be announced, and Nvidia is currently in the process of finalizing the BFGD’s specs. However, the company claims its partners (Asus, Acer, HP) will begin shipping the BFGD sometime later this summer. For more info on the Nvidia BFGD, click here.

There were dozens of other notable pieces of tech at CES 2018, but for us, the five listed above really encapsulated the stuff we like to see in the realm of gaming. That said, we’re curious to find out what items you were most impressed by, so be sure to let us know in the comments below what your CES 2018 tech highlights were!

Morgan is a writer, indie game lover, and socially awkward coffee addict. When she's not gaming or caffeinating, you can reach her at morgan.shaver@allgamers.com or say hello using GIFs on Twitter.

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