When it comes to games, consoles have a clear advantage over PC's. Over its lifespan a console's architecture doesn't change, and as a result designers know exactly what hardware the end user will have, down to the graphics chipset and the controller layout. In the PC market, however, it's hard to find two people who have the same graphics card, never mind the rest of the hardware involved.
Through the mish-mash of hardware combinations which make up the PC's we know and love, two human interface devices ride strong - the keyboard and the mouse. The PC has had these two loyal companions for a long time, but if my memory serves me correctly the first example of a mainstream game to use them in an intuitive and enjoyable fashion was the original Quake, which brought a new degree of freedom into game playing.
Now-a-days the keyboard-mouse combination is used in almost all first and third person person games, and in my opinion is superior to any control system for these types of games that I have seen and used on a console. The popularity of the keyboard and mouse for game playing has been recognised by many and in this review I am going to be looking at two peripherals from Belkin designed to build and improve upon the mouse-keyboard combination.
The first of the two peripherals is the Nostromo n30 GameMouse:
Unlike most mice, which are designed for desktop/office applications, the sole purpose of this mouse is to make your game playing easier and more enjoyable.
The Nostromo n30 retails at $45.99USD from Belkin.
The second peripheral is the Nostromo n50 SpeedPad:
This SpeedPad is designed to replace your keyboard under your left hand - the conventional keyboard wasn't designed to be used in the way gamers do (with one hand on the WASD keys) and so it seems sensible that a one-handed replacement for this section of your keyboard could be very useful.
The Nostromo n50 retails at $34.99USD from Belkin.
Introductions made; it's now time to get these out of their boxes. The n30 first...