I’ve left the Medium Paywall behind

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Due to recent changes at Medium, I no longer believe the business model of the platform is a good fit for my content. To that end, I’ve taken all of my stories out from behind the Medium paywall, and every article I have live here is 100 percent free to read. I will still post here at times in the future, and I’ll also be posting content over at my personal site www.worldbolding.com.

I’ll still be writing all sorts of great stuff each and every month about games, tech, and music.

If you’d like to support me directly, I have…


The audio company is making a big step into the world of controllers

Official Marketing image provided by Turtle Beach

Now here’s an E3 surprise I didn’t expect! Turtle Beach, renowned for their decades of audio hardware experience, is getting into controllers in a big way. Their first two products are the Recon Controller (designed for Xbox consoles) and the VelocityOne Flight simulation control system, which will work on PCs as well as the Xbox platform.

True to the Recon headset branding, the wired Recon Controller brings along Turtle Beach’s audio expertise to make it stand out from the Xbox peripheral crowd. The headphone jack on the bottom of the controller is able to EQ and modify your sound with…


Their blue light blocking glasses lineup expands with a new model

Official marketing image provided by HyperX.

HyperX has been at the forefront of the gaming eyewear business for a while now, and today they’re launching the new Spectre Mission series. That’s a hilariously awesome name for a pair of glasses. This new model offers a brand new frame design and a few different color options. The lenses are designed to filter out blue light from monitors, helping to reduce eye fatigue over long viewing sessions.

In addition to this new launch, HyperX is also expanding the range of their lineup that’s available through Amazon.

All of HyperX’s eyewear products are designed to maximize value for the…


Elite Pro 2 flagship headset featured as part of the deal

NBA 2K21 Xbox Series S screenshot taken by the author.

Turtle Beach continues their long line of Esports partnerships, announcing a deal with Wizards District Gaming. The team won the NBA 2K League championships last year, and continues to be a strong competitor.

I used to be a big fan of NBA 2K, and although I personally lapsed out of playing for a few years, the incredible generation-leading visuals of the new PS5/Xbox Series version got me to jump back in. …


Why isn’t Rockstar mining their amazing back catalog?

Nintendo Switch screenshot taken by the author.

A couple of years ago, I wrote about how Rockstar Games was at a crossroads. Across the last console generation, they transformed from one of the world’s premier video game storytellers into a multiplayer-focused cash machine. Their vast network of studios stopped producing regularly-released titles, and instead makes new updates for GTA Online and Red Dead Online. Instead of shipping anticipated new games every year or two, they’re about to release GTA V on a third consecutive generation of consoles.

I yearn for the glory days of Rockstar’s Xbox 360/PS3 output. They had an incredible string of hits that generation…


A classic returns with a heaping dollop of racism

Nintendo Switch screenshot taken by the author.

On paper, Earth Defense Force: World Brothers is a potentially great idea. It’s a celebration of the last two decades of this zany alien shooting action franchise, set in a voxel graphics Unreal Engine 4-powered world that keeps all the city destroying chaos of the series intact. It has 100 characters and dozens of enemies from across every previous game, including the Sandlot-developed core series installments and the offshoots by Yuke’s and Vicious Cycle. …


Cutting-edge audio technology in an affordable package

Photo taken by the author.

Thank goodness this gaming headset exists. The Turtle Beach Recon 500 is here to save us from the competent mundanity that has permeated the entire industry. This is the most exciting, new, and interesting headset design I’ve experienced in a long time. It packs in amazing sound for a price that’s lower than you might expect.

For the last several years, gaming headsets have settled into a safe and comfortable groove. Quality drivers tuned with some trademarked number of chambers to have relatively neutral audio, metal headband construction, and a decent noise- cancelling mic alongside whatever features are normal for…


A proven audio platform meets new spatial sound tech

Official marketing image provided by Roccat

Hot on the heels of Turtle Beach’s awesome new Recon 500 gaming headset, the company’s PC division Roccat announces the Syn Pro Air wireless PC gaming headset.

This headset has a brand new form factor that looks quite different from the ELO series I reviewed earlier this year. Like that model, this features a combination of Turtle Beach audio technologies and Roccat industrial design. The drivers here are the excellent Nanoclear speakers found in popular Turtle Beach models like the Stealth 700 Gen 2. …


The new sweet spot for price vs features?

Photo taken by the author.

The Roccat Pyro is launching boldly into a challenging space in the keyboard market. It’s priced directly against a plethora of other popular mechanical keyboards and also has the excellent legacy of Roccat’s products to uphold. Can it take on all that while also delivering a balance of price and performance as the new entry point into Roccat’s mechanical keyboard ecosystem?

Fortunately, yes, it more than delivers. This is an excellent keyboard option for those seeking an impressive and affordable take on keyboard fundamentals. I like it so much that it’s joining the Vulcan TKL Pro on my permanent gaming…


Great performance in a luxurious frame

Photo taken by the author.

Headphones can be broadly split into two price categories.

First, there’s the mainstream consumer segment. These headphones tend to go for less than $300, and these days are more likely to be wireless than wired, though there are still wired contenders out there. Most studio headphones also technically fall in this category since they’re usually around $100 and can offer a lot of crossover appeal for those that want a rugged build to go along with their sound performance.

Secondly, there’s the premium audiophile market. These headphones usually cost over $500, sometimes well over $500, and offer all sorts of…

Alex Rowe

I write independent tech, game, music, and audio reviews and analysis from a consumer perspective. Support me directly at https://ko-fi.com/alexrowe

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