Function
Get Your Game On
Tan Jee Yee 
Batteries are not an issue with the Mamba Firely Hyperflux
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Razer Mamba HyperFlux

While hardcore PC gamers may argue that a wired gaming mouse is better than the wireless type, improvements have been made to wireless technology to allow the latter to function just as good. But one of the most frustrating things about the wireless mouse is the battery life – it won’t do to have it running out of juice in the middle of an intense session.

Say goodbye to such worries with the Razer Mamba HyperFlux that comes with a mouse mat called the Firefly HyperFlux, which creates a magnetic field that constantly powers the mouse so it won’t ever run out of battery. In fact, the Mamba HyperFlux doesn’t have a battery at all, making it incredibly lightweight.

What makes the mat even more fascinating is the fact that it is two-sided, with both hard and cloth sides for different friction options. Those preferring fast movement can opt for the hard side, while the cloth side is more conducive for precise mouse action like aiming.

Hyperkin is attempting to revive the Nintendo Game Boy

Hyperkin Ultra GB

If the success of the NES and SNES Classic is any indication, it is that we are always hungry for any form of gaming nostalgia. And while we have been getting several classic console re-releases –recreations of oldies ranging from the Atari 2600 to the Sega Genesis – we have yet to get any throwbacks of favourite discontinued handhelds. Until now.

Gaming accessories maker Hyperkin is attempting to revive the king of all handheld consoles – the Nintendo Game Boy. It may look similar to the now-iconic washed-out grey chassis and purple buttons, but Hyperkin’s remake is more than that.

For starters, Hyperkin’s Ultra Game Boy (GB) features an aluminium exterior as opposed to the original plastic Game Boy. The screen is now backlit, a welcome feature that is infamously missing from the old Game Boy, which had to rely on clumsy add-ons in order to work in the dark. Users can also adjust the screen’s tint with a new dial.

It has a built-in six-hour battery, which you charge via USB-C (no more scavenging for AA batteries). It also has a pair of stereo speakers, which may seem redundant seeing that the old Game Boy games only generate mono sound. However, the Ultra GB is not just a recreation for nostalgic gamers – chiptune musicians can also use it to create modern electronic tunes.

The only downside is that it won’t be shipping with built-in games. Players will have to excavate their old Game Boy cartridges or hunt them down over eBay. No actual release date for the Ultra GB has been announced yet, but it is expected to hit stores later this year.

Apart from the Ultra GB, Hyperkin is also developing the SupaBoy SFC, a portable version of Nintendo’s SNES, which plays classic SNES and Super Famicom cartridges. Players can even toggle its 4.3-inch coloured screen between 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios.

Perhaps more significantly is the GoRetro Portable, a handheld that recalls the classic Game Boy. Rather than having to exhume old cartridges, the GoRetro Portable comes pre-loaded with more than 350 licensed games, including the ones from famed developers such as Capcom and Data East.

A more novel handheld throwback would be the PocketSprite, a Game Boy lookalike that is touted as the smallest playable emulation device, which is available on Crowd Supply crowdfunding website. It is the size of a keychain and can run Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear games that you load into the device via Wi-Fi. You may have to squint to play it, but there is no doubt it would be the coolest thing you can attach to your keys.

The HTC Vive Pro ushers in a new generation of VR headsets that elevates the wireless experience

HTC Vive Pro

While Sony’s PlayStation VR may be taking the lead in providing accessibility to consumers, HTC is more content with innovating existing formula. Enter the Vive Pro, a massive update to VR headsets in general.

The Vive Pro sports a new AMOLED display boasting a combined resolution of 2,880 x 1,000, which is 78% denser than what you get on the current Vive. This should help reduce the “screen door” effect that is caused by lower-resolution VR headsets, and making images crisper and clearer.

The Vive Pro also features built-in headphones with a dedicated amp, dual mics and a redesigned head strap for extra comfort. Most VR headsets still require users to put on their own headphones, adding to the tangle of wires and cables accompanying the units.

And speaking of wires and cables, what is most impressive with the Vive Pro is the addition of the Vive Wireless Adaptor, a box that can turn the Vive Pro wireless and do away with the tangle of cables.

The Vive Pro also has a second front-facing camera to better integrate augmented reality features into the headset’s range of functions in the future. We may think that VR is plateauing, but it seems that HTC has its sights set firmly on the future.



This article first appeared in Focus Malaysia Issue 278.