It’s a big year for gaming at CES 2022
Laptops, desktops, monitors, peripherals, and more.
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Video games have never been a primary draw at CES, but it is still a huge week for the gaming world. We (probably) won’t see big announcements about God of War: Ragnarok, Breath of the Wild 2, or Starfield, but you will find out about new and upgraded versions of processors, graphics cards, displays, peripherals, and all the other fun stuff that make games go. In the interest of keeping the waves of news from the sprawling show contained, we’re going to run down some of the most interesting new products and services coming out of the show. We’ll update this piece every day as we get more time to look at what’s coming. For now, here are all the CES 2022 gaming gadgets that have caught our attention so far.
New laptop graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD
Both Nvidia and AMD announced new graphics cards for gaming laptops that will bump up the next wave portable gaming PCs. Nvidia announced laptop versions of its RTX 3070 Ti and RTX 3080 Ti graphics cards. AMD went a step further, announcing multiple runs of notebook GPUs: The 6600S and 6700S are for thinner, lighter gaming laptops. The 6300M and 6500M are less powerful cards to allow for better performance in mid-range laptop configurations. Lastly, the Radeon RX 6650M, RX 660M XT, and 6850M XT bolster powerful flagship designs. Many of the gaming laptops at CES 2022, even the ones we haven’t highlighted, look to get big performance boosts to their top-line configurations because of these cards.
Nvidia 3050 and 3090 Ti desktop graphics cards
In a rare move, Nvidia also announced two new desktop graphics cards at CES 2022, propping up the low and ultra-high ends of its GPU lineup. The Nvidia RTX 3050 brings ray-tracing and other benefits from the newest cards to a less powerful, but also much less expensive card. On the other end, it teased the coming of an RTX 3090 Ti, an upgraded version of its most powerful card that churns through games like butter.
Though they are exciting announcements, both come with a caveat. Since the release of the 30 Series GPUs in late 2020, graphics cards have been nearly impossible to buy. At a time when many people are paying well above MSRP for GPUs, even at retail, it’s hard not to look at the announcement and ask why Nvidia is making these cards instead of ramping up production on the ones players already want.
Intel Arc laptop graphics cards
Intel announced the laptop manufacturers are now starting to build machines using Intel Arc, the company’s long-awaited discrete graphics card. According to Intel, a long list of gaming laptop OEMS including Acer, Asus, Gigabyte, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and MSI are working on Arc-powered machines. So far, we’re only aware of one specific laptop that will feature an Arc card, the 16-inch Acer Swift X, but that will likely change as the year goes on.
Intel also announced more than 20 CPUs, including a whole range of 12th-Gen H-Series Alder Lake processors that will improve performance for gaming.
PlayStation VR 2
Sony confirmed that it has been working on a second-generation PS VR headset to pair with the PlayStation 5: At CES 2022, it confirmed that the headset is officially called the PS VR 2 and confirmed some detailed specs. The PS VR 2 will support 4K HDR gameplay at 2000 x 2040-per-eye resolution, running at between 90-120Hz. (The original PS VR runs at 1080p-per-eye at the same frame rate.) Sony also confirmed a litany of other specifics, including the fact that the headset will feature eye-tracking support, as well as the PS5’s Tempest 3D audio.
Sony also revealed a teaser for the first confirmed PS VR 2 game, Horizon Call of the Mountain. A VR spinoff of the PlayStation exclusive Horizon franchise, the game puts you in the shoes of a new character, giving you the chance to “meet” the series hero, Aloy, and other characters from Horizon Zero Dawn and its upcoming sequel, Horizon Forbidden West.
HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless
HyperX, now a subsidiary of HP, makes some of the best gaming peripherals on the market, but I generally wouldn’t describe their products as “flashy.” Their newest gaming headset, the Cloud Alpha Wireless, follows suit save for one very exciting stat. According to the company, the PC/PlayStation headset revision will last up to a whopping 300 hours on a single charge. (For reference, I’m thrilled as a critic any time a headset lasts more than 20 hours.) That’s a huge leap, so we’re pumped to see it in action.
LG UltraGear 17G90Q gaming laptop
LG is making a gaming laptop. The LG UltraGear 17G90Q is a 17-inch laptop with 11-gen Intel Tiger Lake H CPU and an Nvidia 3080 Max-Q GPU, customizable with up to 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. LG has been making strong laptops for some time, but this is the first one with a serious GPU. Who knows if it’ll be a great machine, but promising specs could lead to LG making waves in the gaming laptops space.
LG DualUp monitor
Okay, so this isn’t technically gaming-related, strictly speaking, but it is weird as hell and I dig it. LG is making a very large, almost square 16:18 monitor called the DualUp. The 2560 x 2880p display is designed to replace a dual monitor setup: Instead of two separate displays, the DualUp can run in splitscreen, so it looks like you have two widescreen monitors stacked vertically. With relatively low brightness, it is definitely not a top gaming monitor, but in a world where games like Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker can force you to sit and wait for hours to queue in, a split screen monitor seems kind of appealing.
Samsung M8 smart monitor
Samsung makes a lot of great TVs and gaming monitors, but the M8 stands out because it will feature the ability to play games over streaming services without a PC. Like previous M-series monitors, the M8 features an OS similar to Samsung TV that allows it to use streaming media apps. The M8 adds support for game streaming services, including the ability to connect wireless controllers directly to the monitor. (It also features a new SmartThings hub, allowing you to control smart home devices, independent of your PC). Of course, it also seems appealing by conventional monitor standards at a glance: Though Samsung hasn’t released the full specs yet, it is an ultra-thin 32-inch 4K display. That is enough for me to keep an eye out for more information later in the year.
Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 curved gaming monitor
Samsung is also making waves with a more conventional gaming monitor. The Samsung Odyssey Neo G8, a smaller version of the company’s TV-sized 49-inch curved Odyssey Neo G9, claims an industry first. Like the G9 Neo, Odyssey G8 Neo is a mini-LED panel with an intense 1000R curve that runs at up to 240Hz. Unlike the G9, however, it supports 4K resolution; according to Samsung, that makes it the first 4K/240Hz monitor on the market. Samsung hasn’t released pricing or availability info yet, but it’s safe to assume that it won’t be cheap.
Samsung Gaming Hub
Samsung is also generally expanding its commitment to gaming support in its televisions with a new smart TV “gaming hub” to let players navigate all the gaming options available through their screen. Like existing smart TV offerings for media streaming services, the gaming hub will allow you to pick and choose what to play from a single UI, rather than swapping between platforms. The service seems to be heavily focused on streaming options, with support for Nvidia GeForce Now, Google Stadia, and Utomik. That said, your consoles will also have a place on the hub, as well as gaming-focused video from YouTube Gaming. The Samsung Gaming Hub will launch on “select” (read: some) 2022 Samsung TVs.
Samsung also has some minor, but specifically gaming-friendly hardware upgrades coming to its 2022 TV lineup, including models with 144Hz variable refresh rate, AMD FreeSync support for gaming PCs, and high-end models where every HDMI port supports HDMI 2.1. (For more on Samsung and other new TVs, we have a separate CES 2022 TV rundown).
HP Omen 45L gaming desktop
HP has a pretty wide array of gear launching across its many gaming lines, Omen, TK, and peripheral maker HyperX. Out of everything they’re showing, we’re most interested in their high-end desktop HP Omen 45L, which features top-of-the-line specs and a new proprietary “Cryo Chamber” cooling system. The Omen 45L features strong specs, including an Intel 12th-Gen i9-12900K CPU, an Nvidia 2080 Ti graphics card, up to 32GB of RAM and 1TB of NvME storage. What we’re interested in, though, is the cooling: The 45L features “Cryo Chamber” cooling, which puts the PC’s radiator outside of the main chassis to provide additional cool airflow. HP claims the cooling system leads to better cool and a quieter gaming PC.
JBL Quantum TWS true wireless earbuds
Using earbuds as an alternative to a gaming headset is usually not a good idea. The lag from a Bluetooth connection is normally enough to throw any player off their game. JBL’s attempting to crack this small conundrum with its first “gaming” wireless earbuds, the Quantum TWS, which features both Bluetooth and a 2.4 GHz wireless dongle. It’s worth noting that JBL isn’t the first to take this approach, but they may be the first to supply a truly viable option. Based on their previous Quantum headsets, particularly the flagship Quantum One, it’s worth keeping an eye on.
Speaking of which, JBL also has three new Quantum headsets on the way, as well as a microphone made for Twitch streamers, the JBL Quantum Stream.
Hyte Keeb SR65 Mechanical Keyboard
Hyte, the newish components and peripherals division of made-to-order PC manufacturer iBuyPower, is expanding into PC gaming peripherals at CES 2022. The company’s first mechanical keyboard, the Keeb SR65, has a transparent base that shows off adaptive RGB lighting… And that’s about all we know. Despite the lack of info, the keyboard has a striking aesthetic with big media controls and futuristic vibe that sets itself apart from a lot of the keyboards we’ve seen over the past couple of years.
In addition to the actual products coming out of the show, many companies create “concept” devices that are meant to show what might be possible in the not-too-distant future. Occasionally these ideas turn into actual, shipping products, but most of the time they are just meant to get people excited about what’s around the corner.
Alienware Concept Nyx
Alienware reintroduced a concept gaming feature called Concept Nyx, which would allow a powerful PC to stream games to any screen in your home. Based on reports from The Verge, Gizmodo, and others, Nyx would allow you to play games on a variety of connected displays, and switch from PC monitor to TV on the fly. Nyx will also allow one machine to run up to four games on various screens. (Assuming it’s paired with a machine powerful enough to run four games.) Nyx feels like a middle point between Steam’s Remote Play, which lets you stream a game from one PC to another via your home network, and streaming services like Stadia and Amazon Luna. It would require immensely powerful hardware to support a household full of gamers, but is a fascinating idea nonetheless.
Razer Project Sophia gaming PC desk
If gaming chairs are currently rising in the public eye, then gaming desks are the next wave. There are already quite a few of them out there. Most of them are simply desks designed to pair nicely with a gaming PC setup. In true “concept gear” fashion, Razer’s Project Sophia takes the idea of a gaming desk to its logical extreme – a desk-shaped modular gaming rig with a PC and monitor built in, along with any other add-ons you might need. It is almost as ridiculous as the custom gaming pod concepts we’ve seen at CES in the past (and present), but I’m also interested in seeing gaming desks with more meaningful games-focused features.