The 8 Best Gaming Hardware Reveals From CES 2024
These are the new handhelds, controllers, giant displays, and more that caught our attention.
A whole lot of gaming hardware announcements were squeezed into 2023. Sony’s PlayStation Portal handheld, an updated Playstation 5, and multiple handheld PCs, to name a few. So CES 2024 finds the industry in a bit of a downswing.
While there’s always new gaming laptops and accessories, the big kids at the gaming table tend to use their own events to announce their own devices. Microsoft isn’t going to announce a new Xbox in Las Vegas. Don’t expect a Nintendo Switch 2, either.
That leaves the attention that is at the Consumer Electronics Show for the niche, weird, and decidedly enthusiast hardware. Giant screens, experimental sensory accessories, and the option for RGB lights just about everywhere. Luckily enough, CES 2024 still has all of those things in spades.
1. MSI Claw A1M Gaming Handheld
MSI’s new Claw A1M handheld PC looks a fair bit like the Asus ROG Ally, with its chunkier, boxy shape, 7-inch 120Hz high refresh rate display, and custom game launcher. The difference is that rather than going with AMD’s Ryzen chips, MSI has thrown in its hat with Intel. The MSI Claw is the first of this new class of gaming handhelds to use an Intel Core Ultra 7-155H processor, the company’s new “Meteor Lake'' mobile chip with a dedicated NPU for handling AI tasks. Because of that, the Claw is capable of Intel’s XeSS AI upscaling in games that support it, theoretically allowing it to play more demanding AAA titles that wouldn’t traditionally run on this kind of device. It has the same 16GB of RAM as the Ally too, and a larger 53WHr battery in comparison to the Ally’s 40WHr one.
2. Hyperkin Mega 95 Handheld
For people of a certain age, you’re either a Sega Genesis kid or a Super Nintendo kid. Hyperkin’s Mega 95 gaming handheld is for the Genesis kids. The Mega 95 has a 5-inch screen that can switch between 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratios, with the appropriate button layout to make playing Genesis games easy. Not unlike the Analogue Pocket, the Mega 95 can play actual Genesis and Mega Drive cartridges via hardware emulation rather than relying on (completely legally obtained) ROMs with software emulation. Hyperkin promises it’ll get 10 hours of battery life, but other details, like how much it’ll cost or when it’ll be released are yet to be announced.
3. Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro
Asus releases multiple gaming phones every year, and unless you fall into that specific mobile gamer niche, you might never hear about them except at CES. The Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro is notably tamer than past phones, even with a customizable matrix screen on the back. This year, Asus actually actively tried to make a thinner phone — the ROG Phone 8 Pro is 8.9mm thick in comparison to last year’s 10.3mm ROG Phone 7 Ultimate. That hasn’t made it underpowered, however. The ROG Phone 8 Pro ships with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, up to 24GB of RAM, and up to 1TB of storage. Whether you’re attaching it to a controller, using Asus’s Air Control feature, or just tapping away, you’re going to be able to play some high-quality Honkai Star Rail without issues.
4. Hyperkin DuchesS Controller
Hyperkin didn’t stop at the Mega 95. The company is also planning to stoke gamer nostalgia with the currently in-development DuchesS Controller. The thick, round controller is designed to work with the Xbox Series X, Series S, Xbox One, and Windows 11, but if it seems familiar, that’s because it looks like the Xbox “Controller S” that shipped with later original Xboxes. Hyperkin’s remake has the same look, but it thankfully has modern touches like Hall effect joysticks and triggers, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Like the Mega 95, though, we don’t know when it will be released or how much it will cost.
5. Razer Project Esther Haptics Gaming Cushion
Razer always brings something weird to CES, be it an all-in-one desk that has a built-in display and gaming PC or an air-filtering, light-up face mask. In comparison, the Project Esther cushion might not seem exciting, but of anything Razer’s brought, it seems the most like a real product. Project Esther is a haptic seat cushion designed to fit most chairs, with Razer’s Sensa HD haptics system made of 16 actuators that can vary their intensity, speed, and duration. Project Esther connects to your computer over a 2.4GHz connection for a low-latency positional vibration experience, and while it currently doesn’t have a release date, it certainly seems like something people who want to feel their games will enjoy.
6. Acer Predator Z57 Gaming Monitor
These days, you might spend less on a Samsung Odyssey OLED G9, but the Acer Predator Z57 is the hot new display on the block — and boy, is it a looker. At 57 inches, with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 7,680 x 2,160 resolution, the Predator is a whole lot of mini-LED. It supports picture-in-picture and split-screen setups across two HDMI 2.1 ports or a DisplayPort 1.3 port. You could even run your PS5 on one side and your work computer on the right if you’re really feeling freaky. For $2,499.99 that privilege doesn’t come cheap, but the Predator Z57 beckons all the same.
7. LG UltraGear OLED Gaming Monitor (32GS95UE)
LG’s new 32-inch UltraGear 32GS95UE OLED gaming monitor might not have the size of the Acer Predator, but it does have a very unique skill. You can switch from its 4K (3,840 x 2,160) at 240Hz default state to full HD (1,920 x 1,080) at 480Hz with the click of a button. LG claims this lower resolution setting could be used during a competitive fast-paced action game (think Valorant) where a higher refresh rate would be useful, while the 4K setting would work better for slower-paced narrative games where you’d really want to soak in the details. Paired with LG’s class-leading OLED technology, it could be a must-buy once we actually learn how much it will cost or when it will go on sale.
8. Asus ROG NUC Gaming PC
Intel originally created the NUC (Next Unit of Computing) concept as a model of an easily upgradable and compact mini-PC. Intel sold its own kits and mainboards, but the idea was that the NUC concept could inspire other PC makers to use the form factor too. That never really happened, and rather than cancel the program outright, Intel licensed the name and designs to Asus. The Asus ROG NUC is the first sign that the deal will actually bear fruit. It’s a tiny gaming PC with an Intel Core Ultra 7 or 9, and either an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 or 4070 GPU. Asus made it so this compact gaming PC can be stood up vertically or laid down horizontally, connect over Ethernet or Wi-Fi 6E, and be simple to set up on a desk or under your TV. There are no firm details on when it will be released or what it’ll cost, but with all the new interest in small gaming PCs thanks to handhelds like the Steam Deck, there very well could be an audience for it.
INVERSE brings you everything from the fun and futuristic world of consumer technology at CES 2024. For all the latest technology coverage from the show, go to the INVERSE CES 2024 hub.
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