STARCRAFT II IS COMING and the game is only about a month away, but it seems like we’re already seeing the first licensed peripherals arriving from none other than Razer. Blizzard and Razer’s collaboration was announced in August last year, but it’s taken this long for Razer to release any details on the new peripherals. A new keyboard, mouse and headset have been announced and all three are, of course, adorned with StarCraft II motifs.
The keyboard is called the Marauder, while the mouse goes under the name of Spectre and finally the headset is known as the Banshee. All three devices feature what Razer calls the APM (Action per Minute) lighting system. This measures how many clocks and key presses the gamer performs per minute. Why this is needed is another question entirely, but it’s supposed to be a measure of how good you are as a gamer. On the other hand, the option of your devices lighting up when your base is under attack, or when you’ve finished building a unit might actually be handy.
Each device can be configured to light up in eight different colours for the APM setting and as far as the triggers are concerned there appears to be 14 different options, although the devices are still limited to eight colours. The lights can be selected to light up either the logo, the sides, or the bottom of the peripherals. It’s not clear if more than one area can be lit up at the same time or not.
The keyboard also features on the fly macro recording, an ergonomically optimized wrist rest, a “reduced” desktop footprint, laser etched keys, USB connectivity and multi-colour backlit keys, for a steep MSRP of $129.99. The mouse has adjustable mouse button force settings, a 5600dpi 3.5G laser sensor with 1ms response time, five buttons, a lightweight fingertip grip and a hardware configuration utility. It’s a fair bit cheaper than the keyboard, if you find $79.99 to be cheap for a mouse.
The headset connects via USB and features a detachable boom mic, soft cushioned ear pads, 50mm drivers, built-in volume controls and mute buttons for both the headphones and the mic and of course a hardware configuration utility. The headset will set you back $119.99 which is again anything but a bargain compared to competitive products.
We’re fairly certain that Blizzard is taking out a hefty royalty fee, as Creative’s World of Warcraft headset is similarly overpriced. The design of the headset looks great, the mouse doesn’t look too bad either, as long as you’re right handed, or don’t mind giving up the side buttons, but we can’t say that we’re huge fans of the keyboard. Razer will also offer a StarCraft II Zerg Edition laptop ready messenger bag for you to carry around all your kit in, for an additional $89.99. All the devices will be available sometime in Q3, but Razer hasn’t disclosed an exact launch date as yet.S|A
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