updated 04:50 pm EDT, Wed May 9, 2007
Genius game peripherals
Electronics manufacturer Genius has released a pair of new game peripherals, one relatively mundane, the other distinctly unusual. The latter is the ErgoMedia 500 (pictured), a keypad designed explicitly for gaming. A padded extension keeps the user's hand comfortable, and there are 11 programmable keys, as well as a four-way direction pad located by the thumb. To make things even easier, gamers can assign macros to the keys, and switch between three configurations to handle different gameplay situations. Speaker and microphone jacks eliminate the need to reach behind a computer.
A possible companion to the ErgoMedia is Genius' Vibration HS-04V headset. It is also intended specifically for gaming, having a gooseneck microphone for voice chat, as well as the namesake bass vibration feature -- powered either by AAA batteries or a USB connection. Both volume and vibration can be adjusted through inline controls. The 04V is now being sold for $25; the ErgoMedia 500 costs $40.