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 save!
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.