Every year, the Consumer Electronics Show introduces us to the gadgets and tech that will change our lives in short order. CES 2015 had plenty to offer in that regard—attendees saw a slew of new fitness wearables, smarthome devices and more. But what we were most excited to preview was what the next generation of gaming has in store for us. In the next year or so, expect these sweet gaming gadgets to hit shelves to make your experience more immersive, ubiquitous and convenient.
Razer Forge TV
Last year’s excitement was focused on Valve’s Steam Machines, gaming PCs designed for the living room that never quite panned out. Razer looks to get the formula right with Forge TV. At the surface, the microconsole’s nothing groundbreaking. It runs Android TV, powering various entertainment apps like Netflix and basic Google Play games. However, its Cortex: Stream technology allows gamers to wirelessly transmit 1080p gameplay from their high-end PC rigs to their flatscreens using low-latency streaming. Razer also unveiled two Bluetooth peripherals that enhance the experience, including the Razer Turret, a wireless keyboard and mouse combo built for the living room. Priced just north of $100, according to Engadget, we expect this to become an ubiquitous device for gamers and cord-cutters alike.
Oculus Rift ‘Crescent Bay’
Immersion is the holy grail of gaming, so it’s no surprise that CES 2015 saw a raft of virtual reality offerings, including the open-source Razer OSVR (which is capable of tracking your hand movements), Sulon Cortex (a device that incorporates augmented reality) and Avegant Glyph (a headset that incorporates a pair of headphones into its design). However, the original has us most hopeful for widespread dissemination of the technology. After being snapped up by Zucks over at Facebook, Oculus Rift’s Crescent Bay demo arrived sporting spatially-aware surround sound, 360-degree head tracking and enhanced visuals with a stupidly high framerate. With developers and even moviemakers tapping into the tech, the Rift and its cousins are soon to be in living rooms everywhere.
LG Art Slim 4K OLED
Televisions are experiencing a revolution, and its name is 4K. However, the new, super high-resolution models can be a touch expensive, forcing you to cough up the equivalent of a home downpayment for Sony’s 0.2-inch thick X900 C Series, Samsung’s HU8550, or even larger versions of the LG Art Slim 4K OLED. However, you can nab a smaller, 55-inch version of the latter for $3,500 without compromising innovations beyond an enhanced resolution. For one, OLED technology means that each pixel has its own light source, allowing for incredible picture strength, colour and contrast—great for gaming and media alike.
Nyko Data Bank
Nyko created a simple solution to an expensive problem for PlayStation 4 owners. The company’s Data Bank is a simple, $40 adapter that sits on top of the console, allowing gamers to connect any PC-sized, 3.5-inch hard drive to the PS4 in place of Sony’s 2.5-inch, laptop-size storage devices. It sure beats purchasing an expensive new hard drive from Sony, allowing you to push the console’s storage capacity well beyond the original 500MB (we’re talking terabytes, here). That’s a lot of NBA 2K15 saves.
Imagine playing with a controller you’d never have to charge. A tablet that you’d never have to plug in. These are only some of the possible future uses of the Energous WattUp, a wireless charger that works a bit like your internet router. When it connects to Bluetooth-enabled devices sporting a special chip developed by Energous, it sends them a focused beam of RF signals. The chip then converts these signals into useable DC power, charging the devices. Energous envisions a future where everything from household appliances, TVs and speakers incorporate their technology, creating a truly wireless home.