titleBeing both a console and PC gamer, sometimes I find myself neglecting one or the other due to a lack of time to do both. Recently it has been console gaming. When I do have time to play, I always have to fight with finding a controller that is charged and ready to go; I just don’t have time to wait around for it to charge or to mess with awkward play and charge setups. I was sorting through some of our PR and came across a product that fit the bill perfectly for me: Konnet’s Power Pyramid. Let’s take a closer look.

IMG_4824_lanoc_frontIn the US you can only buy the Wii in the white variety. If you wanted the colors that Nintendo teased us with at expos long passed, then keep dreaming. Enter XCM, a company which specializes in case replacements for consoles and handhelds. How do they stack up against the official thing? I will be reviewing the II Hot Rock case for the Nintendo Wii.

100_2116 [LanOCsm]If I accidentally hit the R1 button and skip another scene in my movie, I may go insane. And what button brings up the menu? Square? Why isn't there some kind of simple remote out there, one that's not huge and inconvenient, but one to help capitalize on one of the PlayStation 3's greatest features? Thankfully, there is. Nyko's BluWave Infrared remote may be the answer, and they've generously sent us a sample to see for ourselves.

nykoicy 024 [lanoc_sm]The next gen of gaming consoles finally found the salvation that had been hinted at ever since Nintendo tried incorporating a wireless receiver for the original NES. Wireless controllers have finally been adequately and correctly instituted into this current wave of systems. However, in doing so, two of the three leaders of console world, Nintendo and Microsoft, have become the battery companies' best friends. Granted, the controllers on any platform have a decent battery life, but if you find yourself with no rechargeables or replacements on hand, well, you're S.O.L. In the end, the former of the two, rechargeable batteries, are without a doubt the way to go (sorry Duracell), not only saving you from constantly purchasing replaceable disposables, but also allowing for convenient charge methods. Today, we sit down with Nyko's latest, the Charge Base 360.

img_3635lrNintendo may have struck an untapped gold-mine with their latest console, but it seems to come at a high price for those of us who were once devoted and loyal fans.  The casual crowd is the company's target this go around, much to the dismay of the rest of us.  So for a lot of people, the Wii sits as a very expensive white paperweight in their home.  I, for one, often go months at a time without powering on the console.  Occasional flukes serve to breathe some life into the system, with first-party Nintendo titles being the most obvious.  However, what I've found to be a hidden gem on the Wii is the light-gun game remakes, as well as the new ones developed specifically for the Wii.  These games take the one advantage Wii controls have, ie pointing the controller at the screen, and utilize it in a very natural way.  Of course, when you play a light-gun style game, you are missing a critical component of the equation: the light-gun.  Simply pointing a Wiimote at a screen and imagining that you're shooting bullets out of it is kind of lame, so quite a few companies have developed light-gun shells for your Wiimote.     Thrustmaster, being one of them, sent us their Dual Trigger Gun NW to test on its own and against perhaps the most popular shell, the Nyko Perfect Shot.  Here's how it measured up...

img_3621lr-lrsmIt doesn't matter what your interest or hobbies are there will always be a group of people who aren't happy with having the same thing as everyone else. Because of that people "mod" or modify just about anything you can think of. There are large industries just about creating parts specifically in the automobile industry and more recently the computer industry. You will find those same people in the console gaming community, people like Ben Heck have made a name for themselves doing just that. Because of that popularity there are company's now that make parts to help you along if this is your thing. XCM is one if not the biggest company that does this. Today I will be looking at a replacement case with led lighting for your Xbox 360 controller. This is very interesting for me both because I love to mod everything and because I hate how I can't ever tell the difference between my Xbox 360 controllers. I'm hoping that this case will satisfy both of those issues.

100_1464-lanocsmEveryone hates cords. They're messy, tangle easy, and are simply an unwanted restriction. With the next generation gaming consoles putting some much emphasis on wireless controllers and accessories, companies have begun to eliminate wires that do still exist. One of the more obvious is the cord that connects the Nintendo Wii's remote the the nunchuck controller, and ThrustMaster generously sent us their solution to test.

100_1354-lanocsmThere are quite a few reasons why a person would need a new 360 hard drive shell, which is essentially an enclosure in the console gaming world. One may be simply that the factory shell has broke, another may be that you simply don't like the color of your current shell. But the third, and perhaps the instance where XCM holds value, is for system mods; no where on this shell do you see the company's name, advertisements, numbers, or writing of any kind. It is simply a blank shell, ready to serve whatever your purpose may be.

img_3101-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallThe PC vs. Console argument has been an ongoing battle. With new consoles focusing on online play the issue mainly comes down to controls in FPR and RTS games. Diehard PC gamers have a hard time playing those games with a controller, and console gamers don't see the need for a keyboard and mouse. Until recently, if you wanted to play console games you had to use a normal controller. XCM recently released their Sniper 3.0 Plus, an adapter to be able to use a mouse and keyboard on your favorite console games. Well considering or focus on gaming and gaming gear I had to get my hands on the Sniper 3.0 Plus. As a PC FPS gamer, I could not wait to jump in and see how well I could do on console games with my preferred input device.

100_1270 Let's be honest: when it comes to expressing yourself, cute stickers and colored plastic just don't seem to cut it. So when you decide to to deck out your guitar peripheral, you want to do it with some style. AxeWraps graciously sent us one of their Rock Band guitar skins, The Blaze, to put to the test.

img_0217-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallI recently reviewed the Guitar stand from Dudethingcreations. As it turns out, they aren't alone in the market for Guitar Hero and Rock Band guitar stands. A company by the name of Measure Twice Products also produces a 4-guitar stand with a drastically different design. They also produce a Wall mountable hanger available in two different designs. Today we will be looking at both; I plan to figure out if their stand will stand up to our abuse.

img_0223-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallBetween our unhealthy obsession for Guitar Hero and Rock Band games and the need for equipment for the LanOC events we have a few too many guitars lying around. Because of this we began to have a nest of guitars and wires. Considering the popularity of the games I'm sure we are not the only one with this problem.  Because of this there have been a variety of company and people who have many creative ideas on how to deal with this problem. A couple of guys in Texas had our same problem and designed a stand to hold 4 guitars and one microphone. After "selling like hotcakes" on Ebay they decided to step it up with a new website and some additional help, and that's how Dude thing Creations came about. Today I will be taking a closer look at their Gaming Guitar Stand. This will hopefully help clean up the mess in our living room.

The Sony Playstation 3 as a console has so far offered up a questionable gaming experience for those who have purchased it.  Realistically, however, the system does have its own distinct titles - many of which deliver solid multiplayer content.  Resistance 1 and 2, LittleBigPlanet, and Warhawk all serve up delicious online fare just for starters and with the inception of Home for the PS3, it's safe to say that like the Xbox 360, online play is an integral part of the PS3 experience.  At this point, in order to maintain an edge in an online game, a headset is basically required in order to establish proper teamwork.  Since Sony hasn't seen fit to provide their supporters with an official Sony headset as of yet, it's up to the third parties to pick up the slack.  This is where Logitech comes in with their Cordless Vantage headset, an interesting device fit to take advantage of the PS3's Bluetooth capabilities.  They were kind enough to send us one, so that we might put it to the test.

When the Wii was announced the wireless remote shaped controller caused confusion an intrigue. A system without wires was a welcome change to the console coming with a mess of a wired controller and a premium price to go wireless. Then the nunchuck came to light and there was a collective groan. A wireless controller with wired peripherals sounds like madness. MADNESS? This is Nintendo! They promised a solution but never delivered which led to 3rd party companies like Nyko to swoop in and save the day. I will be reviewing the Cord Free nunchuck by Nyko.

So how many times have you broke a Rock Band kick pedal while playing "Run to the Hills" on expert? None? Me either. Drums are too damn hard. I have, however, managed to break two while playing savagely through the medium career.  All this serves to prove is that the Rock Band peripherals are terrible. Not that this is news to anyone at this point.  It's a good thing that some people have taken up a proactive solution to this problem.  The visionaries at Rock Pedal have formulated an answer to kick pedal woes:  the Rock Pedal.  Coincidence, or company name based off the product? You be the judge. Silly comments aside, they were kind enough to send us not one rock pedal,  but two in preparation for the LanOC v3 Drum-off.  Since then, we've had the opportunity to test the product proper, and this is what we thought....

There isn’t anything like being in the middle of a game and having to stop to change batteries. Let’s hope you have fresh batteries someplace in the house. If not its going to mean you’re going to have to make a quick trip to the store to pick up few AA batteries. This is where Nyko comes in with their Charge Station for the Xbox 360. Check out what we thought of it.

CPU heat has presented an interesting problem since the dawn of the computer decades ago. Whether you are a hardcore overclocker, or are merely attempting to build the most stable system possible, extraordinary cooling solutions must be relied upon in order to dissipate heat in a reliable manner. In order to keep pace with newer and hotter components, companies like Tuniq, a division of Sunbeamtech, offer up creative new products to help beat the heat. Tuniq TX-2 is their latest thermal compound, and we’re going to see how it measures up.

Shredding with Slash, blazing through the umpteenth solo of Through the Fire and Flames, becoming a national idol, and taking down a rock deity in a grueling battle of axes is an everyday thing for most of us. No longer can our guitar skills be measured on this mortal plane, rock gods we have become....when it comes to Guitar Hero that is. This game has become a worldwide phenomenon, sweeping the young and the old into its frenzied maw. Unfortunately, when something grows as popular as Guitar Hero has, it's a little difficult to remain unique when millions are lugging around the same machine molded toy guitar. Our friends at HeroGear have come up with a solution to this with guitar skins specially designed and fit to add a little flair to anyone's guitar:

 

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