If you told me gamers would be using a keyboard and mouse on a home console a few years ago, I would have laughed out loud. The concept of using those devices is typically synonymous with PC gaming and retro computing with the likes of the C64 or the Amiga 500, but the thought of using a keyboard and mouse on a Nintendo Switch in the year 2020 just sounds like a sci-fi fantasy. Enter GameSir, creators of some of the most off the wall, incredibly useful gaming devices I have ever seen from any company in recent years, and their AimSwitch VX2 gaming peripheral for consoles and PC gaming alike. Is it actually any good? Boasting a $129.99 "One combo for all consoles" slogan, there is a bold claim that this should be the first word in universal gaming technology. The website lays down the law, shows off its product's head-turning looks, and explains why you need this device in your gaming arsenal. It's the typical brash, edgy marketing from GameSir, and without even having touched the device, I'm getting sucked in!
- Connection: 2.4GHz wireless
- Wireless Technology: 2nd gen Agility X 2.4GHz technology (800% faster than 1st gen)
- Platforms: Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC.
- Switches: 36 TTC Red Switches.
- Anti-Ghosting: 7-Key Rollover + Anti-Skid Design.
- Joystick: Alps Ultra-Thin 3D.
- Durability: 50 million keystroke lifespan.
- Actuation Force: 45g-15gf.
- Actuation Distance: 2.0-0.6mm.
- Total Travel Distance: 4.0-0.4mm.
- Polling rate: 1000mhz.
- RGB Backlight: 16.8 Million colours.
- Customizable: G-Crux app.
- Connectivity: USB-C.
- Material: Aluminium Alloy + ABS Plastic.
- Battery Capacity: 3600 mAh Built-in Rechargeable Lithium Battery.
- Charging Voltage: 3.7V~5V.
- Operating Temperature: -5 C~45 C.
- Cable Length: 3.28ft.
- Dimensions: 26.77 x 18.19 x 5.59 inches.
- Weight: 1.18 lb.
- Mouse: GM400 Wired mouse.
Given its stature you expect this to be a super heavyweight chunk that you will have to lug about and set down somewhere sizeable. This is not the case as it rests neatly on your knee, or space-savingly on a desk, thanks to its non-slip surface and lightweight aluminium alloy construction. Placing the keyboard to my left knee and the mouse on my right side on my sofa I found a reasonably comfortable stance to get to grips with. The mouse features a super lightweight body, a plentiful braided cable, two buttons on the left-hand side (unfortunately not ambidextrous), a DPI switch in the centre, and it is beautifully brightly illuminated with RBG lighting, making it striking and visually appealing from the moment you plug it in. The DPI swaps between 400, 800, 1600, 2400, 3200, 6400, and 12000 dpi, lighting up in a colour coded fashion for each configuration, which effortlessly and quickly fine-tunes your experience no matter which device you choose to use it on. The 3.5ft cable somehow felt a tad short in my opinion if using it on a desk with a PC, however for consoles, because it is plugged into the keyboard itself, it is perfectly adequate across your lap. The GM400 mouse is a reasonable inclusion, it suits the purpose and fits the aesthetic GameSir has chosen, but if you already own a better one then that's fine, as you can quite easily swap it out for any other USB mouse you may prefer to use instead.
Out of the box, my VX2 required an update to use it. The update was from 1.40 to 1.41 and was done successfully thought Bluetooth connection to my phone through the trusty G-Crux app. Once updated I was able to quickly set the VX2 combo to Switch, Xbox One, PS4, or PC via a simple drop-down which then offered me pre-configured defaults for certain games, such as Splatoon 2 or Gears 5, which makes the set up even faster thanks to other users uploading tried and tested configs, while always able to tweak this myself should I want to. G-Crux has proven itself time and time again to be easily customisable and simple to use. It's truly a sinch to get to grips with and it stores all your favourite presets across all your Gamesir devices. Connection to each console is very simple: plug the wireless receiver into your console, plug the mouse into your keyboard, set the G-Crux app to your chosen console, and go. This unit features 36 TTC mechanical red switches that have been rated for 50 million strokes, which would see even the most seasoned touch typist last a long while, but even with their snappy mechanical touch, I can't help but feel that these switches and caps have been chosen as a cost-saving inclusion which invariably reduces the overall quality feel of the unit. Like the included GM400 mouse, it's a generally decent outing for this sawed-off-keyboard, and while it doesn't raise the bar, it's more than adequate for console gaming use versus similarly budgeted peer devices. One nifty feature it does have though is that with a quick click of the FN+4 keys you can swap into joystick mode where the WASD keys become magically mapped to the stick. Placement of your thumb on the stick is good, except if you were ever required to strike the spacebar at the same time. The overall key spacing seems well placed enough not to give you major issues or cramps, and functionally you can always remap whatever you want wherever you desire across any of the 36 keys, and even craft macros, via the app.
Using the device on consoles is an experience. Granted that, as standard, consoles choose not to provide a keyboard and mouse as their default peripherals, it feels strange to then expect to be able to use this load-out at all on your home consoles, even more so on a Nintendo Switch. Once you have it in place, and you fire up your game of choice you then have to remember where you mapped everything and how you're going to play therein. Obviously the onscreen prompts in-game still specify R1, X, Y or ZL etc on occasion, and it's up to you to have memorised those staples in this new combination. It certainly takes a while to get to grips with it, especially if you're attempting to play a platformer or adventure game as there is a clear disparity with those genres being easy to play with a mouse when compared to FPS and RTS titles. Invariably FPS games benefit hugely here, as GameSir specialises in augmenting this genre above all else. Whether you're into Fortnite, Wolfenstein, Turok, Doom, Paladins, or even Overwatch, you will quite simply adapt and come to love this configuration far quicker than anyone else.
GameSir seems to want to reinvent the wheel with the VX2. They have cut off all the chaff in engineering the keyboard down to the bear one-handed "WASD" essentials, they have repurposed your PC gaming spacebar-thumbs into Joystick pushing destroyers, and imbues you virtually unlimited unrestricted ability to modify, customise and adapt it into your go-to personalised gaming weapon. What they achieve here is visually stunning and undoubtedly technologically refined, but is it all entirely necessary? The answer is obviously no, however, the VX2 is another option for you to discover if you feel the need for specialist equipment for an exacting play style. This will definitely give you a slight competitive edge over traditional controller toting players on consoles, but don't expect miracle results immediately, there is a definite learning curve to using this equipment.
|What We Liked . . . AIO universal solution for FPS gaming on any console Solid construction, reasonable build quality RGB everywhere for night time use A huge amount of customisation||What We Didn't Like . . . Left-handed only for using the mouse at least Makes a weird high pitch sound when in use TTC switches aren't everyone's favourite|
out of 10
It's great to see a universal console device so well-made and well-rounded, but I'm unsure how well it fits players needs. Sure it's perfect for FPS/RTS games, bringing across that superior PC style control via keyboard and mouse, but then it goes back on itself with a weird tiny joystick that though it works fine, I can't fully get my head around. If you weren't playing within these genres I begin to doubt that this set up would be of much use to anyone, however, the recent surge in popularity of looter shooters and battle royale games assures me that there is a specific and huge market that GameSir is unquestionably tapping into.