ThinkGeek.com • $100
The faux-wood-grain cabinet, the ball-topped joystick, the glowing quarter slot—everything about this iPad accessory is designed to evoke wistfulness in any gamer raised in the wilds of mall arcades. The iCade assembles in minutes and links via Bluetooth to your iPad, which slides through a hatch at the unit’s top and serves as its game screen. The heavy-duty arcade controls are compatible with more than 100 oldie-but-goody games—from Asteroids to Tempest—in the Atari’s Greatest Hits iPad app (support for more games is promised). The only thing missing is a trackball for classics like Centipede and Missile Command, but the joystick is still a satisfying alternative to the iPad’s clunky touch-screen controls.
Mamba gaming mouse
Razer • Starting at $130
While console gamers flail around with motion-sensing contraptions, PC players are happy to stick with their time-tested mouse-and keyboard control scheme—which means a good mouse can make a big difference on the first person field of battle. Razer’s wireless Mamba is the best. Its 6,400-DPI sensor allows for incredible on-screen accuracy, giving Modern Warfare warriors a leg up in scoring long-range head shots. The one-millisecond response time and ultrasensitive acceleration sensor are more than a match for even the most caffeinated gamer’s jittery reflexes. If you go down in a blaze of Battlefield 3 glory, it won’t be due to mouse lag.
Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Omega wireless headset
Creative • $200
If you have to endure trash talk from 12-year-old racist homophobes while you’re playing online games, you might as well give yourself every advantage to frag the little fuckers. The Omega’s surround sound lets you hear foes creeping up behind you. Shout your own trash talk into the noise-canceling mike, which you can detach when you want to listen to tunes without looking like a Time-Life operator. The Omega connects to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 via a simple base station that also sports an input for TVs, MP3 players, and media streamers. PC and Mac users can tinker with an included software suite of sound-tweaking effects.
2011 Penthouse Holiday Gaming Survival Guide, Also See: