10 Outrageously Expensive Video Game AccessoriesBy Jared Newman
Video games are often hailed as a cost-efficient hobby. Once you’ve paid a few hundred dollars to get the console, you can entertain yourself for days, weeks or months with one game alone. But those Modern Warfare 2 night vision goggles that just hit the news wire got us thinking: Not everyone’s a frugal gamer, and for these individuals, there’s a market of ridiculously costly accessories. Here are the most expensive ones we could find, cheapest first:
Razer Mamba Mouse, $130
Even in competitive gaming, mouses rarely break the $100 barrier. Razer’s Mamba is the exception, justified by lightning-fast wireless, seven programmable buttons and the quick response you’d expect from a laser gaming mouse. Plus, you can plug in the mouse with a USB cable for uninterrupted gaming. You’ve got to get your money’s worth, after all.
Turtle Beach Ear Force X4 Headset, $200
All Pro or Elite Xbox 360s come with a headset for online trash talking, but you’re out of luck if a neighbor asks you to turn down the TV set. The Ear Force X4 combines the sounds of the game with Xbox Live communication, all using Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound. Because the better you can hear someone sneaking up behind you in Halo 3, the less chance you’ll have of being berated by some 8 year-old.
X-Arcade Tankstick, $200
Pac-Man just isn’t the same on the keyboard, and neither is Street Fighter IV. X-Arcade covers it all with the Tankstick, a massive board with two arcade-style joysticks and eight big buttons per player, plus a trackball that works as a mouse. Getting the classic games on your computer will require even more expense, unless you, ahem, get creative.
Ion Drum Rocker, $300
Eeking out Logitech’s new premium Guitar Hero drum kit by $100, the Drum Rocker for Rock Band 2 is more extravagant, with full-circle cymbals, a metal bass pedal, quiet drum pads and an aluminum frame to hold everything together. Alesis, a manufacturer of professional electronic drums, helped with the design, which explains why you’re paying almost as much as an actual drum kit.
RailDriver Train Cab, $350
Talk about a niche market — PI Engineering’s RailDriver Train Cab supports Microsoft Train Simulator, and not much else besides actual professional training programs. But hey, we understand gamer fantasies of all kinds, so who are we to judge someone who’d spend the same money on train controls as the price of a full gaming console? Some people must conduct, no matter the cost.
Beyerdynamic MMX 300 Gaming Headset, $400
Who needs surround sound or other fancy gimmickry when you’ve got high quality sound derived from private aviation? Beyerdynamic’s MMX 300 features cockpit-tested audio components, a built-in sound card, ergonomic design and a spring steel headband. You may recognize the Beyerdynamic name from its work in pro audio; apparently the company figured the crazed gamer market was just as lucrative.
CH Products Captain’s Deck Flight Bundle, $400
As with the RailDriver Train Cab, we can’t argue with someone’s desire to pitch, roll and yaw. The Captain’s Deck Flight Bundle from CH Products does it all, with realistic steering controls, two foot pedals and a whole lot of levers. As expensive as this is, we still won’t trust a Flight Simulator aficionado to take over the plane in an emergency. Consider investing in flight school instead.
2X Ninja Arcade DDR Dance Pad, $800
Forget about those cheap plastic mats. If you’ve got the means, you might as well splurge on the Ninja Arcade DDR Dance Pad, constructed of metal and complete with handles. And while you’re at it, make it a double. Now, you can enjoy all the intense competition of the arcades without looking like a fool in public.
Optimus Maximus Gaming Keyboard, $1,600
The price tag on the Optimus Maximus keyboard has little to do with its responsiveness or comfort. It’s all about the keys themselves, each of which has its own individual OLED screen. That means when playing Half-Life, letter keys become icons appropriate to the game. Technically, anything is possible thanks to configuration software. It may not help you pwn in Counter-Strike, but you’ll be the envy of the LAN party nonetheless.
VRX Mach 4 Racing Simulator, $24,995
Perhaps we cheated a bit on this last entry, as it includes three 37-inch high-definition LCD televisions, but at an estimated price of $24,995 (VRX doesn’t list pricing on its Web site), how could we resist? The Mach 4 Racing Simulator is as good as it gets, with three Xbox 360s (one for each view), a Bose Acoustimass sound system with a Harmon Kardon receiver, a 7-inch rear view display, a vibration feedback system and a wind simulator. There’s even a “beverage containment system” for that big jug of milk you’ll be chugging at the end of the race. If you’ve done well enough in life to purchase this beast, you deserve it.
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It wasn’t easy narrowing this list down to ten, but we feel these are among the most lustworthy. We’re curious– are there any accessories you would have added here instead? Any crazy video game accessory that you think can’t be ignored? Share it in the comments, we’d love to know your take on these outrageous prices…