More companies are cramming more features into their gaming peripherals these days, and SteelSeries is pushing the envelope with its Rival 700 gaming mouse that offers, among other things, a tactile pulse to give you in-game cues and a little OLED display that can show game stats or flair.
You can customize both the vibration types–the pattern, duration, and so on–and the in-game events that trigger them.
“You have complete control over how each one feels,” reads the Rival 700 product page. “Health, ammo, mana, disables, headshots, and stuns can all be individually set to start a Tactile Alert. For example the moment you get stunned, you can set an alert to go off and stop the instant the duration of the stun ends.”
Precision gamers may be concerned that the constant buzzing could throw off their movements, and that may well be a serious issue with the Rival 700, but SteelSeries, at least, is aware of it and attempted to adjust.
The product page states, “The Tactile Alerts have been carefully placed in the center of your mouse, so you feel the pulse strongly in your palm. By directing the pulse to only move up through your hand, as opposed to left and right, Tactile Alerts will never impact your mouse’s tracking so you can keep your pixel-perfect aim.”
Even assuming the haptics on the Rival 700 are as useful as SteelSeries claimed, the OLED display seems more like a fun bit of flair than anything particularly beneficial. The screen is located on the lower left side of the Rival 700 mouse, right where your thumb rests. Although SteelSeries stated that you can see in-game stats “in between rounds and while waiting to respawn,” it also seems keen to promote more banal applications, such as your gamer name, logos and animated GIFs.
On the other hand, it can also display mouse settings, and you can adjust them on the fly without software. Really, then, it may come down to how slick the UI is to use and whether or not you can see the screen at all based on how you place your thumb on the mouse.
There is, in any case, software available, in the form of SteelSeries Engine 3. From there, you can adjust the number and type of settings you’d expect from a gaming mouse.
Beyond the headline features, the Rival 700 features SteelSeries Switches (rated for 30 million clicks) with L/R buttons “built with a special reinforced plastic.” You can swap out the rear palm rest piece with a 3D-printed nameplate, and the palm rest itself can be exchanged for one made with different materials.
Under the hood is a PixArt PMW3360 optical sensor with up to a 16,000 CPI resolution. This is a hefty mouse at 135g–unsurprising given the extra components inside. It has seven programmable buttons, too.
You’ll pay for all of the aforementioned extras; the Rival 700 comes in at $99.99. You can buy one now directly from SteelSeries.
Can Your Brain Handle It?
The subtext here is what is perhaps most intriguing: The amount of data that people are processing while gaming continues to grow and evolve. In addition to onscreen information, people set up macros to trigger certain action or events, adjust various settings on the fly on mice, and so on. With additions like the ones on the Rival 700, gamers are now getting haptic data, as well, and they can also peek at the mouse’s OLED display for extra bits of data.
Are there gamers out there that can handle such a firehose of information? Or are the evolving methods of notification making it easier to process all the data coming at you in a fast-paced game?
|SteelSeries Rival 700 Gaming Mouse|
|Sensor||PixArt PMW3360 optical gaming sensor|
|Acceleration||50g (no hardware acceleration)|
|Switches||-SteelSeries Switches (30 mil clicks)|
-Reinforced L/R clicks
|Polling Rate||1000 Hz / 1 ms|
|Cable||-Includes two cables, short and long|
-Short: 1 meter, braided
-Long: 2 meter, braided
|Dimensions||124.85 x 68.46 x 41.97 mm (HxWxD)|
|Software||SteelSeries Engine 3|
|Misc.||-OLED display (10 fps refresh rate)|
-Rear palm rest-mounted 3D-printable nameplate
-Can swap palm rest covers
|OS Support||(Did not state)|