Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/12/22/xmas_gift_guide_console_accessories/

Console accessories

Game liberation

By Caleb Cox

Posted in Games, 22nd December 2011 12:01 GMT

Xmas Gift Guide With last year's release of Xbox 360 Kinect and PlayStation Move, traditional console add-ons have been pushed out of the limelight. However when searching for the ideal Crimbo presents, the customary line-up of videogame hardware is always a laudable choice. Especially when shopping for yourself.

Here's five options to spice up your love life - if you're married to your console, of course.

Gaems G155 Mobile Gaming Environment

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I've seen slick set-ups over the years, as people bid to bring their bulky consoles on road trips and budget hotel accommodations. Essentially all you need is a small HD display, which can be picked up reasonably cheaply these days. But unless you build a custom case for it all, things can get messy quick.

For convenience's sake, fork out a little more and you can pick up one of these beauties - and save yourself a lot of DIY in the process.

The Gaems G155 Mobile Gaming Environment is effectively a console suitcase with a built-in 15.5in display. It'll still need some form of AC power, but most trains and even the occasional coach has wall-sockets now, so there's nothing holding you back from hardcore gaming on the move. Niiiice.

Gaems G155 Mobile Gaming Environment
Price £295
Compatibility Xbox 360, PS3
More Info Project Gaems

Logitech G930 Bluetooth headphones

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While immature profanities from rival Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 players are certainly amplified, with a decent set of headwear there's no need to fork out for an expensive surround sound setup - or piss off a spouse as harrowing Skyrim noises overpower their Hollyoaks omnibus.

Logitech's G930 are a slick choice, offering over 40ft of wireless range with a battery life of over nine hours. These cans also pack Dolby Pro Logic II 7.1 virtual surround sound and some handy built-in button controls.

We proposed that these bad boys would be on our Christmas shopping list and while six months have passed since the claim was made, we see little reason to deviate.

Have a look at why we gave them our Editor's Choice award in our Ten... gaming headsets roundup here on Reg Hardware.

Logitech G390
Price £150
Compatibility Xbox 360, PS3
More Info Celluon

Playseat race-car simulator

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While strapping a Logitech GT to an ironing board might be a satisfactory option for many a racing game buff, it's unlikely to cut the mustard for the most extreme of racing enthusiasts.

As with flight-sim fanatics, the more realistic the setup, the greater the adrenaline. Which is why companies like Playseat exist, offering a cockpit, or driving seat experience, to those willing to dip into the wallet.

There's various setups to choose from and many come bundled with your choice of steering wheel peripheral should you not already own one. Splashing out over £300 on what is effectively a seat with scaffolding might seem a little crazy, but if you consider how many times over such a figure was spend in the arcade wiling away one's youth, there's more than enough to justify the outlay.

Playseat Evolution Black
Price £320
Compatibility Xbox 360, PS3
More Info Playseat

SlouchPod interactive gaming chair

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If the rigidity of a dedicated racing chair is too stiff for your liking, then a beanbag designed specifically for slouchy teens may be just what the doctor ordered.

These heavyweight comfort seats include two built-in 5W ear-high speakers and a 10W sub-woofer. There's ports for connecting up other external devices, as well as pockets to store them in. Bliss for the slothful gamer.

The SlouchPod has been around for many years now, but has since dramatically come down in price and is available in six different colours. You can see what we thought about it in our SlouchPod review here on Reg Hardware.

Slouchpod interactive gaming chair
Price £100
Compatibility Xbox 360, PS3
More Info SlouchPod

XIM3 mouse and keyboard adaptor

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When I made the switch from gunslinging FPS games on PCs to the equivalent on the current crop of consoles, my immediate reaction was to criticise the control system. Mouse and keyboard set-ups just felt more accurate, a theory backed by my superior frag count on PC.

While Bluetooth keyboards and similar options will work on consoles, they tend to only function in web browsers and are rarely supported by the games themselves.

The XIM3 is a sophisticated option for Xbox 360 gamers that bypasses such hindrance and claims to make consoles feel PC-like in control. It reckons that unlike other adaptors out there, the XIM3's Smart Translators tackle the disparity between different game mechanics and offer "unparalleled" mouse precision.

While certainly on the pricey side of things, the XIM3 is worth looking into, especially if you come from a background of Quake and Doom, where control pad peripherals always came second to the classic WASD keyboard config.

There are adaptors to make it work with a PS3 too, or alternatively an array of other compatible products that do the same job.

XIM3 mouse and keyboard adaptor
Price $150 (£120)
Compatibility Xbox 360
More Info XIM