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Posts with tag gaming-peripherals

Razer announces specialized MMO gaming keyboard

Looks like those folks over at Razer are having quite a busy year designing all sorts of cool peripherals, such as the licensed products such as TRON and StarCraft 2 gaming gear, and making recent announcements such as the upgrades to the MMO-centric Razer Naga. They aren't letting up, either, it turns out. Razer recently revealed plans to launch a keyboard designed specifically for MMO gamers, the Razer Anansi.

The difference between this keyboard and other gaming keyboards is simple. There are seven configurable modifier keys below the space bar that can assigned to the common modifiers such as Alt, Ctrl and Shift, making all those keybinds and macros even more accessible. Designed by Razer to be paired with its MMO gaming mouse, the Razer Naga, the Anansi also sports features such as 100 programmable Hyperesponse keys, one-button profile switching (for up to 20 profiles with the built-in software driver), five additional gaming keys, and an option for those multi-colored lights that are becoming in vogue with most gaming peripherals lately.

It also has an optimized key matrix that prevents the ghosting that typically happens when more than two keys are pressed simultaneously. The engineers at Razer have reconfigured the hardware to enable recognition of up to six simultaneous keystrokes, centered around the left-hand cluster generally used for gaming (the W, A, S, D keys). It's a cool feature that most MMO gamers probably won't need, but all you button-mashers can rejoice. There's a nifty gaming mode option that temporarily disables the Windows key so you can stay in the game without having to remap your Windows key for fear of hitting it the chaos of a raid or arena match.

The Razer Anansi is compatible with Windows and Macs and will retail for $99. It is scheduled to ship in December, with pre-orders starting soon.

Filed under: News items

Razer unveils special edition Naga MMO gaming mice

How do you improve on awesome? That's a tough question, but the clever folks at Razer seem to have come up with an answer: Add some molten lava or a raging maelstrom. The gaming peripherals manufacturer announced today the Razer Naga Molten and Razer Naga Maelstrom special edition mice. Both mice sport the same specs as the original 17-button Razer Naga plus the addition of new, pulsating designs -- a swirling, cool blue maelstrom or glowing hot lava. If the themes seem familiar, it's probably no coincidence that these mice arrive just in time for Cataclysm, which is set to launch on Dec. 7.

The Razer Naga is designed specifically for MMO gaming, with a special addon for World of Warcraft, allowing players to bind their spells and abilities to the mouse's numerous buttons. The mouse also supports key mapping, the way most full-featured gaming mice can be configured, and also comes with drivers for the Mac. The new designs take the place of the current pulsating Razer logo on the palm end of the mouse, adding a different level of cool to the popular mouse. Either version of the special edition Razer Naga gaming mouse will retail for $79.99 -- about the same price as the regular version -- and will become available for pre-order on Oct. 12.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

World of Warcraft Tap Chat now available

The World of Warcraft Tap Chat, or The Gaming Peripheral Formerly Known As Voice Tap, is now available. Essentially, it's a hotkey for your foot -- or some other appendage other than your fingers. Designed primarily as a push-to-talk button to pair with the Sound Blaster World of Warcraft headset to allow players to devote their hands to the game, this USB device can just as easily be assigned a macro or as a hotkey. This means players can actually assign the Tap Chat to an ability like Hammer of Justice, to add a realistic feeling of crushing your opponents underfoot.

Players willing to spring $29.99 for the edge of one additional button -- notably a non-hand-activated one -- can head over to the Creative or Blizzard online stores, where the World of Warcraft Tap Chat is exclusively available. Although sold out at the Blizzard store as of this writing (barely a week after it was made available), players who manage to get their hands (or foot) on the product also get exclusive World of Warcraft logo lenses that can be used to customize their matching World of Warcraft headset.

Filed under: News items

Mac drivers to be available for all Razer mice


World of Warcraft players using a Mac should be pleased to hear that gaming peripherals manufacturer Razer pledged their commitment to supporting the Mac gaming community at the Game Developers Conference. They announced that all upcoming Razer products will come with Mac driver support, including the Razer StarCraft 2 peripheral suite scheduled for release later this year.

Prior to the Razer DeathAdder Mac Edition in 2008, all Razer mice and peripherals only had native Windows support and drivers. While these products would generally work with a Mac through its plug-and-play technology, customizing them was more difficult and in some cases, impossible. In order to configure my Razer Lachesis to make all its buttons usable on my Mac, I had to configure it on a PC and mapped some of the buttons as little used keyboard keys because the Mac wouldn't recognize click-throughs from more than a few mouse buttons.

This situation improved with the release of the Razer Naga, which shipped with native Mac support, although the key-mapping functionality for the Mac came several weeks after the PC version. Currently, newer mice come with basic Mac support, although Razer promises the same functionality and customizability as their PC counterparts through future updates. Razer also promises to release Mac drivers for all existing products, which presumably includes their line of headsets and keyboards. While Mac gamers have always been treated as second class citizens by most peripheral manufacturers, it's encouraging to see a major player pay the community some attention. I mean, the Magic Mouse is awesome and all, but there's nothing like having a real gaming mouse to play WoW.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

Gearing up for WoW: The Razer Naga [Updated]


We don't normally do hardware reviews. That's usually the domain of the guys over at our sister site, Engadget. But when Razer broke out the $79.99 Razer Naga last August 19 at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany (along with a glow-in-the-dark mousepad), and previewed it a BlizzCon a few days later, we knew we just had to get our hands on it and take it out for a spin. This was Razer's first mouse aimed squarely at the MMO market, and at World of Warcraft players specifically. It isn't the first mouse that tried to appeal to the huge MMO player base -- Steelseries unleashed a World of Warcraft mouse last year, although some players found some issues with the mouse and the way it interacted with the game. In hindsight, we probably should've done our own review of that product. So when Razer announced that the Naga "wasn't going be just a great MMO mouse (but) the best MMO mouse," we weren't going to let the opportunity slip away.

[Update: Razer's Heathcliff Hatcher aka Razer|Agent responded to some concerns about the Razer Naga and how its keys currently can't be remapped right out of the box without third party applications. Razer|Agent says, "software driver remapping of keys is a standard function for most of Razer products and we do have suitable solutions that we intend to release in the near future for Naga that will enable this feature out of game." This means that the standard 123 and NUM configurations should be remappable through a future update.]

Mike wrote an excellent hands-on report on the Razer Naga when we were at BlizzCon which should give everyone a fair idea of what we're dealing with. Writing a product review for an MMO gaming mouse wasn't going to be a simple task -- one reason there aren't too many full reviews of the Razer Naga is because it takes a bit of commitment to do it. Unlike first person shooters or even real-time strategy games where about an hour or two of gameplay would be enough to give fair impressions of the mouse, properly assessing an MMO gaming mouse needs to be an immersive experience. It requires mapping keys and adapting one's personal playing style to accommodate the hardware.

As I'd mentioned in my gearing series that talked briefly about gaming mice, the features of most modern gaming mice are far beyond what MMOs generally demand. You won't need 5600dpi, insane APM (Actions-Per-Minute) values, or even fancy technologies like Razer's HyperResponse buttons. If there's any indication that Razer is on the right track with the Naga, it's that they've loaded it with buttons. MMO players tend to press a lot of buttons. They also took the extra step of creating (or adapting) an AddOn that allows the mapping of keybindings from inside the game. When the Razer Naga finally arrived at my doorstep after a torturous tussle with an ineffectual DHL, I finally buckled down -- as Razer would say -- to get imba. Let's take a closer look at the Razer Naga after the jump.

Gallery: Razer Naga

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Hardware

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