All The Gaming Hardware We Loved At CES 2020: Alienware UFO, Retro Systems, Switch Accessories, And More
The Focus Might Be Tech, But CES 2020 Had Some Sweet Gaming Hardware
The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES for short, is known for companies showing off the future of tech and some wild products that may never come out. Even though E3 branched off to be the biggest convention for all things gaming related, CES still has a few great showcases of gaming tech and upcoming hardware. GameSpot went to CES 2020 to check out the best of that gaming tech which we've compiled in this gallery. And in the video above, you can watch us give our impressions of our favorite things from the show.
Among the best gaming hardware were devices that can either make the Nintendo Switch a bit more enjoyable to use or products that take heavy inspiration from the Switch. The biggest one in this realm was the Alienware Concept UFO, which is a gaming PC that functions like a Switch. HyperX showed off its ChargePlay Clutch which adds better grip to the Switch while charging its battery. Razer had a full-sized racing simulator, but the Kishi gamepad was the most practical thing that makes phone gaming much easier. There was also a ton of PC hardware, like Origin's Big O that combines either a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X and a gaming PC into one unified case. HyperX had a new multi-button mouse, while Corsair is improving its tried-and-true designs with the K95 XT keyboard. And if old school is more your style, Arcade1Up had plenty of new cabinets for classics like Burger Time and NBA Jam, while Hyperkin unveiled a protoype of the Retron Jr that'll play Game Boy and Gameboy Advance games on TVs.
There was even more beyond everything listed above; scroll through our gallery and get the scoop on what's to come for gaming hardware. For more on the biggest electronics show in North America, be sure to check out all of our CES 2020 coverage and our sister site CNET for everything tech related.
Razer's Eracing Simulator
On the show floor was the Razer Eracing Simulator which is a setup for professional-level eracing that includes haptic feedback that responds to the race track's conditions and contact you make with other cars. It's as if you're on a virtual rollercoaster, but for a racing experience through the game Project Cars. It features a proper steering wheel, pedals, paddle shifters, a bucket seat, 182-inch projector with a 202-degree field of view done by Simpit, and a surround sound setup. Razer always has something wild to bring to CES 2020 and this was arguably the best thing they've shown off yet, although it's not intended to be an actual product to be released to the public.
Alienware Concept UFO
You may have seen the Alienware Concept UFO make headlines; it was revealed at CES 2020 and it's a gaming PC that takes heavy inspiration from the Nintendo Switch. It sports an 8-inch screen, two detachable Joy-Con-like controllers, Intel's 10th gen processor, docking functionality to output to external displays, and so much more. We got hands-on with it; you can check out our full impressions of the Alienware Concept UFO for more details.
Hyperkin Retron Jr.
Hyperkin is well-known for its deep catalogue of systems and peripherals to make retro gaming as streamlined as possible. This year at CES, Hyperkin unveiled the Retron Jr. which will run Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and Gameboy Advance games and output to external displays through HDMI at 720p. It's still in development so we didn't get to use it, but we did get a first look at the Retron Jr. itself.
HyperX Charge Play Clutch For Switch
Peripheral companies have done a lot to make gaming on the Nintendo Switch a better experience, and HyperX is getting in on it with the Charge Play Clutch. It's both an external battery to charge your Switch while being a bigger grip for the Joy-Con controllers. The handles snap in magnetically and can also be used as a grip to hold the Joy-Con together when playing docked.
HyperX ChargePlay Clutch For Mobile
There was also a version of the ChargePlay Clutch for mobile phones which is the same basic concept as the version for the Switch--an external battery with heftier grips for improved control in games. It doesn't add buttons to emulate gamepads, but it does improve ergonomics when using touchscreen controls.
If you're looking for the console-like experience on your phone, the Razer Kishi should have you covered. It's a gamepad that you can snap onto your phone that gives an experience close to an Xbox One controller. With the advent of game streaming on phones with the likes of Google Stadia, PlayStation Now, and Project xCloud, a full gamepad is necessary. We played Devil May Cry 5 on a phone using the Razer Kishi and we came away impressed.
Nvidia's 360Hz Monitor Demos
The most impressive thing at Nvidia's CES 2020 showcase was the demos of 360Hz monitors. There were several side-by-side comparisons that made clear the improvement of having a high refresh rate monitor, like the A-B testing of practice scenarios in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. From 60Hz to 360Hz, we experienced a drastic improvement in being able to track enemies and pull off quick and precise shots. Even going from 144Hz to 360Hz yielded some benefit, further proving the importance of frame rate and refresh rate.
Razer Tomahawk PC
If you remember years ago, Razer showed off what was called Project Christine, which was supposed to a modular PC that lets you swap components out easily. That idea has come to fruition in a different form with the Razer Tomahawk. It's a small form case that has the entirety of its internal slide out from the back, making parts easily changeable. The Tomahawk has a sleek minimalist design and uses a NUC from most of its internal parts. And of course there's a slot for a dedicated video card.
Origin PC Big O
Prior to CES 2020, we were able to preview a prototype of the Origin Big O PC; the version we had was the PS4 edition which featured a customized PS4 Pro and a high-end gaming PC all in one case. At the show, we also checked out the Xbox edition as well. The Big O comes with an AMD Ryzen 3900X CPU, 16GB of Corsair Dominator RAM, two Samsung 970 Evo SSDs (500GB and 1TB), custom liquid cooling, and an RTX 2070 Super video card. The consoles come with a 2TB SSD for storage and games have to be downloaded since there is no disc drive. The Big O is not a final product; specs are subject to change.
HP Omen X 2S Dual Screen Laptop
Gaming laptops always make a big showing at CES and one that stood out was the HP Omen X 2S at Nvidia's suite, powered by an Nvidia RTX 2080 Max-Q video card. It's a dual-screen laptop that features a touchscreen just above the keyboard that acts as a second display--with the Omen X 2S, you can have dual monitors on the go.
Elgato 4K60 S+ Capture Card
Under the Corsair umbrella is also Elgato, known for its video capture and production tools. At CES, we got to see the latest capture card in the 4K60 S+ which simply records your screen without any need for a separate PC--you just plug it in as a passthrough, insert an SD card for storage, and it's ready to capture. It can record up to 4K resolution at 60 FPS along with HDR.
HyperX Pulsefire Raid Mouse
HyperX's mice have been solid, namely the line of Pulsefire gaming mice. At CES 2020, the Pulsefire Raid was shown off and its main feature is tacking on more programmable thumb buttons. Instead of just two, there are now six side buttons laid out in a sensible manner.
HyperX Cloud Flight S With Qi Charging
The HyperX Cloud Flight is one of the better wireless gaming headsets out there and its next iteration looks to make some slight, but effective improvements. The Cloud Flight S features wireless Qi charging and additional controls on the earcups for easy access to its different functions.
Corsair K95 Platinum XT Keyboard
The Corsair K95 Platinum XT is going to be the next version of the top-tier mechanical keyboard from Corsair. The most notable addition is the inclusion of Elgato Stream Deck controls on the keyboard itself. You can program Stream Deck functions to the blue macro keys in more streamlined way since it'll be recognized by the app. It's an example of some of the brand integration since Corsair brought Elgato into its umbrella.
Creative Labs SX-FI Gamer Headset
One of the best demos we saw at CES was from Creative for its Super X-FI surround sound technology. Basically, it makes it sound like you're in a room with five speakers: one in the middle, two to your left and right, and two behind you. We were listening to speakers in their demo room and then were told to put on the headphones. The difference was negligible. We were then put through a series of demos where we listened to music and movie scenes through both the speakers and headphones. It was definitely impressive.
Now, the SX-FI Gamer is Creative's upcoming gaming headset that utilizes the technology. We tried the headset out while playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The SX-FI technology was particularly impressive in CS:GO, as the first-person perspective made it easy for us to hear enemies behind us--and the gunshots were loud and intimidating, the way they should be. The SX-FI Gamer headset is set for release in Q2 2020.
IOGear Keymander 2
The new version of IOGear's Keymander still has the core function of converting keyboard and mouse controls to other systems like PS4 and Xbox One, but now it'll include the Nintendo Switch. Furthermore, it'll let you use other gamepads on different systems, like the Xbox One controller or DualShock 4 on the Switch. This extends to fight sticks, so when new fighting games come to the Switch, you can use your PS4 or Xbox fight stick on those games.
Burger Time Arcade Cabinet
Arcade1Up revealed its limited-edition Burger Time cabinet at CES 2020, and it's a particularly special one. It features the original cabinet's unique shape and design with rounded panels. In terms of included games, Burger Time is the headliner, but it also features Karate Champ, Bad Dudes, and Caveman Ninja.
Star Wars Sit-Down Cabinet
Arcade1Up released its Atari Star Wars cabinet last year, but this year, it showcased a sit-down version with a removable seat. It also features the same games as the stand-up cabinet: Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi.
Golden Axe: The Revenge Of The Death Adder Cabinet
Arcade1Up's Golden Axe machine features a handful of SEGA classics, including Golden Axe, Shinobi, Altered Beast, Wrestle War, and Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder. Revenge of Death Adder has never been re-released since its arcade launch, so that makes this cabinet particularly exciting.
NBA Jam Arcade Cabinet
The NBA Jam cabinet from Arcade1Up is one of our favourites from its lineup this year. It includes NBA Jam, NBA Jam Tournament Edition, and NBA Hang Time, and Arcade1Up has done the work to license most of the players found in the original games. However, the killer feature has to be online multiplayer: up to four players on four different machines can connect through the internet and play together.
Giant NBA Jam Cabinet
Arcade1Up's CES booth featured a gigantic NBA Jam cabinet that was completely playable. You'd have to use your elbow to hold the Turbo button while you smacked the Shoot button with your hand to dunk on your opponent. It was definitely a cool showcase, but thankfully, the real NBA Jam cabinets can fit inside your home.
Star Wars Digital Pinball Machine
Arcade1Up announced at CES 2020 that it's venturing into the digital pinball table space. The cabinet company revealed a partnership with digital pinball developer Zen Studios and had two tables on show at CES, including the Star Wars one you see above and one for pinball classic Attack From Mars. Arcade1Up says that, with Zen Studios, it'll explore both modern and classic tables in the future.