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Gaming Environments: Create an Alternate Reality at Home

July 25, 2012 | Comments

More people than ever before are playing games on smartphones and tablets - and not only when they're out and about but at home, too.

Even so, there's a good reason why epic games like Mass Effect 3 aren't available in mobile form. What's the point? It would be like watching The Avengers on an iPhone - not so thrilling, especially if you've experienced it on a big screen (at home or at the movies).

Today's blockbuster video games can be every bit as engaging as their Hollywood movie counterparts, offering plenty of reasons to want to grab a controller and hunker down in a fully-equipped home theater. Hard-core gamers don't just play the game - they live the game, whether they're careening around a race track, attempting a buzzer shot from mid-court or blowing away an alien robot that just descended from the sky. In other words, they thrive in an environment that pulls the gamer into the game.

Shake, Rattle and Roll

While a fancy home theater with wall sconces and a popcorn machine would be nice, what you really need is a high-performance audio/video system-one that will make the most of the extraordinary graphics and riveting soundtracks that define today's best video games.

Consulting a professional home theater installer is a great way to get a fix on the staggering number of options and narrow the field to setups that fit your room and your budget. The key elements you'll be looking for include:

  • A large high-definition (1080p) TV or video projection system-one with outstanding contrast to show all the menacing detail dark scenes have to offer.
  • Exceptional 3D performance to bring your alien adversaries to life.
  • A surround-sound setup with at least five speakers - three across the front and two in the back of the room - and a hulking subwoofer. Actually, there are quite a few compact subwoofers that can really deliver the boom; either way, you need a good subwoofer to add depth to the mayhem and two or more surround speakers to deliver sound effects that will make you flinch and duck.
  • Tactile transducers that literally shake the couch, floor and walls for those who need to really feel the action.

Finally, if you're budget allows, consider adding soundproofing. It'll go along way toward keeping late-night multiplayer sessions - and possibly your marriage - intact.

To learn more about how to take gaming to the next level, consult a CEDIA professional. Click here for a list of CEDIA member electronic systems integrators in your area.