Roccat, the German-based gaming peripheral company, already boasts a plethora of gaming mice, keyboards, and headsets, not to mention that it also has its own esports team. At CES 2015, the company showed off its latest products, some of which seem to show a new plan for the company.
The first step in that new direction comes with the Ryos Phobo, a revamped version of the Roccat Phobo concept shown in 2012. It sports Cherry MX switches and features two USB ports, but lacks the NUMPAD keys. The big difference between the Phobo and its other products is that it comes with a unique driver called Swarm.
With this driver, users can bring their smartphone to the gaming experience as a second screen for peripherals when attached to an Ipuri smartphone stand and connected through two Bluetooth channels. You can configure settings on each of your Roccat products as well as access different programs on your PC all from your smartphone.
In an age where almost everyone now has a smartphone, using it to control peripherals and launch games makes some sense. It removes the need to switch between multiple programs on the computer screen to change your keyboard or mouse settings; you can just change them on-the-fly with a smartphone.
If you're looking for something more familiar, the company also upgraded its MK and TKL line of keyboards with the MK FX and TKL FX. Both keyboards feature Cherry MX switches and two USB ports, but unlike the Phobo, the two devices come with RGB LEDs, giving your keyboard a more colorful palette. Also, the MK FX comes with NUMPAD keys while the TKL FX does not.
On the mouse side, Roccat also announced its Nyth gaming mouse, which shows off a new innovation for gaming mice. In some ways, it's similar to Mad Catz's R.A.T. PRO X because you can easily swap out the buttons on the side as well as the side parts. The interesting part about the whole thing is that you can also create buttons of your own for the Nyth, but that requires a 3D printer. Instead of continually waiting for approved parts to choose from like Mad Catz, Roccat pretty much lets users create their own buttons to fit their play style.
Finally, the company also added to its Kave headset lineup with the Kave XTD 5.1 Analog. Its brother, the Kave XTD 5.1 Digital, offers a lot of features such as 5.1 surround sound, Bluetooth link to your smartphone to allow phone calls during gameplay, and a sound card to increase its audio quality. It seems that the Analog version has about the same features as the Digital, but according to Roccat, it's 25 percent lighter than the Digital version and its "sound engineering goals have catapulted the XTD 5.1 Analog's audio to new heights."
The Ryos Phobo is expected to hit stores in Q3 2015. The Nyth has a release window in Q2 2015, and the Kave XTD 5.1 Analog should be coming along in Q1 2015. No prices were given for any of the devices. The interesting part for Roccat is its Future Ready program, which is the company's plan to ensure that its latest products, such as the Nyth mouse and Swarm driver, will still be able to work with future Roccat products.
This works because of the Swarm software having central control over multiple Roccat peripherals, and customizable parts such as on the Nyth mouse that adapt to every player's needs. It seems that most of Roccat's products down the road will either have Swarm, customizable parts, or both. Either way, players are always looking for more ways to customize their gaming experience, and Roccat just might have the answer for them.
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Stay away from the Kave XTD 5.1 Digital! The only thing going for it is the fact that the discreet channel experience is solid, but the quality of the sounds is so thin, so shamelessly bad that I simply cannot believe this product was released. It is THE lowest quality pair of cans I've ever had the displeasure of buying. After two months, I'm still upset...Reply