Photos: Even more gadgets for the gung-ho gamer

At E3, new devices add mobility and excitement to the next generation of games.
By Bill Detwiler, Contributor
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gesture technology

GestureTek announced that Microsoft has licensed its video gesture-control technology for use with the Xbox Live Vision camera for Xbox 360. In front of a camera, gamers will be able to use full-body gestures to move their real-time image in a game. Gamers will also be able to use gesture technology on Xbox Live. For example, a gamer can play poker face-to-face on Xbox Live--or move left or right to steer a snowbaord down a mountain in a video game.

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Velocity Micro

Best Buy announced the launch of custom game PCs on its Web site. Consumers will be able to configure their own Velocity Micro game PCs. The one pictured includes an AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 dual-core processor, a 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 7900GTX graphics card and a 300GB hard drive and sells for $3,199.

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Namco Networks celebrates the 25th anniversary of its Galaga video game with a special edition for wireless Sprint subscribers--at 25 cents a play. This will be the first game utilizing Sprint's Game Lobby to feature micro-payment technology from Motricity's Fuel Mobile marketplace platform.

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Barracuda and Tarantula

At E3, Razer, a game peripheral maker known for its mice, is showing off its new Barracuda Integrated Audio System, the Tarantula game keyboard and the acid-green Diamondback mouse. The Barracuda AC-1 audio chip features 3D/720 degree positional audio for more realistic game sounds.

The Tarantula keyboard possesses "Hyperesponse" technology to reduce key latency. It also includes microphone and headphone jacks, two USB ports and 95 programmable keys. The company did not give a date when their new gear will be available.

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Z800 3DVisor

eMagin Corporation is showing off enhancements for its Z800 3DVisor at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles. The 3DVisor delivers the virtual-image equivalent of a 105-inch screen viewed from a distance of 12 feet. Its 360-degree viewing area allows gamers to look around and move in the virtual world much like they do in the real world. The visor also contains an audio system with stereo earbuds and a noise-canceling microphone. The price of the 3DVisor has been dropped by $350 and is now available for $549.

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Ageia PhysX accelerator cards

At E3, Ageia Technologies announced that its Ageia PhysX accelerator cards are now available worldwide. The company also gained support from several game developers for its Ageia PhysX processor. Ageia claims its technology will create more exciting explosions, more-lifelike character motion, and spectacular new weapons. The accelerator cards cost about $300.

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Pro Flight Rudder Pedals

Saitek takes off with new pedal controls for flight simulators. The Pro Flight Rudder Pedals enables foot control of the rudder function. They will retail for $129.95 and are scheduled to become available in July.

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MicroMate flash card reader

SanDisk announced a new MicroMate high-speed flash card reader that will be bundled with the new SanDisk RapidGX Memory Stick PRO Duo Game card. The SanDisk RapidGX card for the Sony PSP will be sold in a single capacity--1GB--for a suggested retail price of $84.99. SanDisk says its flash card reader will retail for $40.

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Eclipse II keyboard

Satek announced a new Eclipse II keyboard, which will come in three backlit colors--red, purple and blue. The keyboard, available beginning in June for $69.95, features media controls, angle adjustment and a dimmer for the lights.

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Logitech G25 Racing Wheel

For racing at home, Logitech introduces the G25 Racing Wheel at E3. The system includes a six-speed shifter and clutch pedal, two force-feedback motors, an 11-inch wheel, and a full 900 degrees of rotation. Logitech says the second motor makes directional forces more realistic, letting indoor drivers feel everything from the banks in the road to impact with walls or other cars. The system is expected to be available in October for $299.

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Gear shift

Logitech's G25 Racing Wheel includes a six-speed gear shift system with a push-down reverse gear. Gamers will be able to skip gears to slow down or accelerate in and out of turns. Logitech says the gadget will be compatible with newer games for PCs and the PlayStation 2.

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Aurora mALX

At E3, Alienware lifts the curtain on the Aurora mALX 19-inch notebook. It features dual 256MB GeForce Go 7900 GTX graphics cards and runs on an AMD 64-bit AMD Turion processor. It is scheduled to ship in June at a list price of $4,499.

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Alienware will also be showing off its Limited Edition Superman PC and Limited Editon Superman Returns notebook. A design by a DC Comics artist will appear on the chasis of the 250 desktops, while there will be a Superman logo on the back of the 350 limited-edition notebooks. A further announcement on the Superman models is scheduled for May 22.

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JBL On Tour Plus

JBL releases On Tour Plus, a portable speaker system that weighs less than a pound and is small enough to fit into a backpack, briefcase or purse. The device can be used with most game players, including the Sony PSP. It will retail for $129.

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G3 Laser Mouse

Logitech offers a new tool for extreme gamers, the G3 Laser Mouse. The ambidextrous mouse has 2000 dpi laser precision, uses USB and processes 6.4 megapixels of images per second. It is scheduled for August and will cost $59.

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DriveFX Wheel

Logitech on Tuesday unveiled its first licensed wheel for the Xbox 360, the DriveFX Wheel. The system features axial-feedback technology--a motor built into the steering column to let the driver "feel" the road and crashes. The wheel will be available in July for $99.

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