This year is a great year to be a gamer as companies introduce their new generation hardware along with more hyped-up games being released. Gaming is arguably the best way to pass time when most people are in lockdowns and working from home.
Desktop/Laptop Personal Computer (PC)
A gaming PC differs from the traditional desktop PCs by placing emphasis on graphics processing power, usually by means of a powerful dedicated graphics card. Processing power is typically more than the average PC, with top-end gaming machines offering 16 cores that can process two threads at once, each.
With the huge gamut of hardware options available for the PC, you fortunately won’t have to stress about building your own. Companies such as Aftershock offer customisable gaming PCs which removes the hassle of nights spent on googling about component compatibility.
While PCs flex the performance as well as versatility, PCs are complex, and they do require you to have a bit of hardware know-how.
Video Game Console
Arguably the grandfather of video gaming platforms, the video game console is an easy, plug-and-play way to enjoy video games. Since its introduction in the 1970’s, console technology has been rapidly advancing alongside computing technologies, ensuring that the gaming experience on these machines is just as good as PCs.
At present, there are three major players in the video game console market. They are the Sony PlayStation 5, Microsoft Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch.
If you’re on a limited gaming budget, a console can be considered a “one-off” purchase which does not require upgrading in order to play future games. Modern consoles also sport online multiplayer options, as well as their pièce de résistance: multiplayer offline party gaming.
While one may argue that you can configure a PC to accept multiple gaming controllers, a video game console is designed to work with multiple controllers from scratch. And with VR technologies on the horizon, consoles still have a place in every gamer’s arsenal.
Gaming Mobile Phone/Tablet
Today’s smartphones can handle graphic-demanding games, but there are gaming-specific phones such as the Black Shark 3 which offers everything you need, including fast processors, a big screen, a large battery and shoulder buttons.
If you’re in the Apple camp, the iPad Pro is hard to beat. It boasts a 120Hz display and a very fast A12 processing power. Worth mentioning is Apple App Store’s generally high level of polish and the optimisation of many apps, especially with iOS games.
What makes a “gaming” display? It boils down to features such as High Dynamic Range (HDR) support, 4K or 8K resolution, and lower input lag and support for video sync technologies, like AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync.
A more important consideration is to get a display with a 100Hz or higher refresh rate. This means that the display will be refreshing every pixel 100 times per second, much faster than a typical display which only refreshes at 60hz, or 60 times per second.
A higher refresh rate makes movements feel smoother, and reduces perceived motion blur. Last but not least is to purchase a display with DisplayPort 1.4 or HDMI 2.1 connections to support those high resolutions and frame rates. As an example, the LG CX TVs and UltraGear monitors are designed with gaming in mind.
Your gaming man cave will not be complete with weak or feeble audio. For a clutter-free solution, soundbars are a step up from built-in speakers. However, soundbars such as the Creative X-Fi Sonic Carrier are a different beast. It boasts 17-speakers and can project audio in Dolby Atmos surround sound, backed with 1000W RMS of amplifier oomph.
For late night gaming sessions, a good headset such as the Razer Kraken, which is compatible with all consoles, as well as the PC with its 3.5mm audio connector, will allow you to enjoy your games for hours on end. Comfort is ensured with its unique Cooling Gel-infused ear cushions.