Though we hear much about the “console
wars” of what system is the hottest and what 3rd party software
maker will give an exclusive, we don’t hear much about the other
wars: the accessory wars. Accessory makers such as Interact, NYKO,
and Pelican are all basically alike, but it’s the slight differences
that keep them all in play.
When most gamers buy a new console system they
don’t realize how much of an investment it is. If you try to
play a game right away, you’ll need a memory card–which is
not included, and if you want a friend to join in, then you need to
get another gamepad, and if you want to use that DVD feature, well
get ready to shell out even more dough. That $200 videogame machine
ends up costing more like $400 just to get it to perform properly.
This is where the accessory giants step in and save the day for cash
poor gamers. Instead of paying close to $40 for a new gamepad, Interact
or another company will sell you their version for half the cost.
But who will get your money, and what about the quality of the product?
Let the battles begin.
Wouldn’t it be great to get a triple sized memory
card from an accessory maker, rather than having to dole out $25 for
the dinky official ones? Sure, but which accessory company makes the
best one? Get the wrong one and boom! There goes your game
At E3 ’02 we had a chance to take a look
at some of the coolest new accessories that are a must and work great
as well. Let’s take a look at the top 3 makers:
Interact made it’s mark on the gaming world
with it’s top selling Gameshark cheat device. Interact’s
elite hackers break into today’s top titles to help you get
through a rough patch in a game or to let you play around with the
secrets hiding within a game. A Gameshark has been produced
for every system since the PlayStation after the glory days of the
GameGenie that was so popular on 8-bit and 16-bit systems.
And through the internet, you are always sure to find the cheat you
want for any game you have in your library. The best part is that
Interact is always up on their game. When new models of the PS2 came
out, the Gameshark disc had to be redesigned to work. So to make sure
their customers weren’t stuck with non-working discs, they’ll
always allow a free upgrade if a version can no longer function. This
makes for happy gamers as Sony is notorious for making revision after
revision of their hardware to fix flaws, cut costs, and stop piracy.
Pelican makes a wide array of accessories as
well. Pelican also wants a piece of the game hacking market so they
created the Code Breaker. Though the Code Breaker
lags in sales compared to the Gameshark, Pelican’s President,
Chris Richards, believes that the recent improvements and new packaging
will serve to enhance retailer and consumer awareness and enthusiasm
for Code Breaker: "We have put a great deal of effort
into the new packaging with one main objective in mind; maximum curb
appeal. The goal was to create a leading-edge image on the shelf.
The new packaging and the updated technological improvements of this
product should please even the most discriminating gamer." Pelican
really shines though when it comes to wireless gamepads. Over $2 million
in research and development has already been committed to their new
line of wireless controllers with hopes to become the leading manufacturer
in this market. And, with Nintendo pushing their Wavebird controller,
this sea bird company has a great chance of swooping in to get customers
with more competitive pricing.
NYKO, may very well be the most innovative of
the three, with their award winning worm-light for the gameboy, NYKO
kicks things up a notch. One of their newest products, the Airflo
gamepad was invented by a young gamer who, like a lot of gamers, had
to frequently dry his hands off during gameplay because of sweat.
NYKO liked the idea and designed their new gamepads, amazingly without
the need for an external energy source. These sleek looking gamepads
make gaming more enjoyable, becoming a much better buy than an original
accessory. From little switches to nifty adapters that allow you to
adapt gamepads from one system to another, NYKO has got at least one
gadget or two that you’ll want to get your hands on.
With every new innovation and marketing strategy,
each company rotates for the top spot in a particular accessory class.
The top memory card maker today may switch off to be the best portable
LCD monitor maker the next time around and visa versa. Overall, the
little battles accessory giants wage against each other spark the
new ideas that make the gaming world more interesting–even if their
wares may succeed or flop in the consumer’s eyes.