For gaming companies looking to showcase hardware instead of software, CES is a great place to highlight up-and-coming technology. It’s not all about expensive, new ideas though: there’s definitely a place for quality technology that’s reasonably priced as well. As it happens, PDP showed off a couple of particularly interesting products this year: the Afterglow AG9 Premium Wireless Headset and the Afterglow Prismatic Wired Controller for Xbox One.
The Afterglow line of products is typically known for affordability, but both the AG9 and Prismatic Controller both offer high-end functionality at a lower cost than most competitors. The AG 9 headset comes in both Xbox One and PS4 flavors, and offers a fully wireless experience with either console via a USB dongle. The headset includes 50mm Neodymium drivers both standard on most headsets nowadays. It also includes Afterglow’s signature lighting in either blue for PS4 or green for Xbox One. The extendable, padded headband fit comfortably over my head, and the cups fit comfortably over the ears with a leather-style covering to keep out external sound.
What was most impressed me but what most impressed me was the sound that came out of the headset; in both its Pure Audio and Bass Boost modes the audio was crisp and energetic, while the bass felt explosive and rumbly. I only tried it for a brief time, but at $99.99 it seems like it could rival the current king of the sub-$100 wireless headsets, the Sony Wireless Gold headset, particularly since it has a Xbox One version.
The Prismatic Wired Controller, on the other hand, won’t work with Sony hardware, but is a lower-priced substitute for the current king of controllers, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller. You won’t find removable D-pads here or swappable weights, but you will find high-quality ALPS thumbsticks and six customizable macros via rocker wheels on the underside of the controller, an increase from the 4 macros available on the Elite.
As the name implies, it also includes fully configurable Prismatic lighting, which can be set to any shade of any color using the controller’s thumbsticks, and a 3.5 mm jack for easy headset usage. Though I prefer the feel of matte-finish controllers over glossy plastic, it’s hard to argue with the Prismatic Controller’s $49.99 price point, a not insubstantial 1/3 cost of the Elite Wireless.
PDP is bringing some great functionality to the budget market, and we plan to bring you more in-depth coverage of their products as they are announced. Keep an eye here at Popzara for reviews and more.