It's back to gaming peripherals again, this time with the Creative Fatal1ty Professional Series Gaming Headset. As with the Creative Fatal1ty 1010 Mouse, this is hardware endorsed by Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel; if you're an optimist that means it's hardware that will enable you to play somewhat like the man himself; if you're a pessimist, it just means that a dump truck full of Creative's money was driven up to his house. He's not made of steel, y'know.
Marketing arguments aside, the Fatal1ty Gaming Headset is a generously sized headset worn fully over the ears with an adjustable steel headband and swivel boom microphone. The first thing you'll notice when you pick up the box for the Fatal1ty Gaming Headset is how large it is; the next thing you'll notice when you extricate it from the packaging is that holding the foam headpieces in your hands feels rather like you're getting unduly intimate with a Muppet of some sort. The headpieces are very large and wrapped in extremely soft velvet, so they should fit very comfortably on anyone's head. Our test monkey (hereafter referred to as "the author") wears glasses, and the soft foam worked comfortably within frames as well.
In keeping with the behemoth style of the headset, the accompanying cable is extremely lengthy. We can't see too many gamers that will need to sit 2.4 metres away from their PCs while gaming, but it's always nice to have a bit of slack in your headphone cable. The cable also includes a sliding crocodile clip and inline volume/microphone mute switch.
As with the other products in Creative's Fatal1ty line, Wendel's signature and gamer name are plastered over every feasible part of the Fatal1ty Gaming Headset. There's a signature above the right earpiece, a Fatal1ty logo on the volume control and stylised "F" logos on each ear. This brings up a serious design consideration, namely whether a serious PC gamer (with AU$269.95 to spend) wants to spend that money promoting another gamer. In a totally unscientific study, we showed the Fatal1ty Gaming Headset to a group of Australian games journalists and posed that question; the resounding response (without technically testing the headset) is that you might look like a bit of a fool wearing them. Well, the exact words used were a touch more harsh, but you get the meaning. If the opinion of a group of Aussie games journos -- and how that view might be reflected in the wider gaming community -- is something that matters to you, it's worth bearing in mind.