While E3 is the ultimate showcase for the video gaming industry to present their upcoming titles, it’s not just about the games themselves, but about what we use to play said games. Enter companies such as Mad Catz, Power A and Turtle Beach, offering products ranging from peripherals to headsets. The hardware company that stood out the most this year for us however, was SteelSeries, who came to the show without a booth but with a backpack containing a laptop, a mouse and a headset.

Why spend so much money on a flashy big booth when you can get up close and personal with the products in a 1-on-1 setting says Kim Rom, CMO at SteelSeries. Instead, SteelSeries will go all out on the booth front later this year at BlizzCon, where their licensed Diablo III products will certainly win over the loyal (and patient) Blizzard fans.

As we found a spot in the corner of the noisy show floor to sit down and discuss some of the upcoming SteelSeries products, Rom first introduced me to their Diablo III Headset.

SteelSeries Diablo 3 Headset

Picking up and holding the Diablo III branded headset, the first thing any user will notice are its light weight and its unique design. The unusual light weight of the headset allows for long periods of play – it is for Diablo III players after all – without straining your neck. The gothic design with matte-black finish, emblazoned with red-orange details and embedded LED lights, fit within the style of the game and arguably make it a sort of collector’s item.

From the image above, you can see the comfy closed leather earcups which suppress outside sound, letting the 50mm driver units do their magic as players enter Sanctuary. The LED lights, 18 in total, light up the circular red lines on each ear cup as well as the Diablo III logo on the sides. There’s a switch to turn off or on and to cycle through its 3 lighting options.

The headset will also include SteelSeries’ signature, uni-directional retractable microphone-system for clear voice communication through Battle.net®. Its in-line volume and mute controls are found on a durable, double-braided nylon cord with a USB connector. For players looking for more control over their sound settings, the headset is also powered through SteelSeries Engine software, where they will find microphone volume and equalizer settings via an easy-to-navigate Diablo III interface. The Headset MSRP will be $119.99 / €119.99.

SteelSeries Diablo 3 Mouse

Playing Diablo III or any other game with a headset is optional, but playing with a mouse is necessary. Enter the SteelSeries Diablo III Mouse witch its simple, yet elegant and durable design. The 7-button optical mouse features a laser sensor with up to 5,000 CPI. From its symmetrical design, it’s no surprise that the device is ambidextrous, but the most impressive feature of this SteelSeries mouse and why it may become a must-buy for Diablo III players are its buttons. Seeking help from a company that designs durable industrial switches, SteelSeries has designed their Diablo III mouse to endure a guaranteed 10,000,000 clicks. In comparison, your normal mouse will usually last only 1-3 million. How fitting for a game where you constantly click to play.

Like the SteelSeries Diablo III Headset, the mouse also features three “demon red” light-up areas for the scroll wheel, logo and CPI Indicator, with switches for its lighting options and to turn it off.

While the mouse hardware was built for battle, including the double-braided nylon cord and gold-plated USB connection, the software and setting capabilities are easy to navigate through preloaded, SteelSeries Engine software. Compatible with both Mac® and PC, the software offers players a drag & drop Diablo III-themed interface with pre-defined skills and game commands. All 7 mouse buttons can also be quickly remapped for a personalized set-up. The SteelSeries Diablo® III Mouse’s MSRP will be $69.99 / €69.99.

To complete the Diablo III set, there are also two mousepads that will retail for $14.99 / €14.99 MSRP. Photos of the mousepads, mouse and headset can be seen below in the gallery [click to enlarge]:

The SteelSeries Diablo III products can best be described  by the following three words: durability, quality and style. If that’s not a selling point, their price points sure should be. The product line, which also utilizes a Diablo III-styled user interface, will be available for purchase at BlizzCon come late October. By then we should hopefully find out the official release date of Diablo III.

The SteelSeries Diablo III line earned a nomination for Game Rant’s E3 2011 awards for Best Hardware. Be sure to check out all of our E3 2011 coverage.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

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