Dogmeat may be the cutest companion in the hit video game Fallout 4, but the Pip-Boy is by far the handiest. It monitors radiation, tracks your health, contains a radio, lets you access maps and stores your inventory list. Never venture out into a post-apocalyptic wasteland without it. At last, you can get one of your very own.
The official product name is the "Pip-Boy: Deluxe Bluetooth Edition." In the game, it's made by RobCo Industries, but the real-life version is an exclusive product from retailer ThinkGeek.
The Pip-Boy Model 3000 Mk IV looks like the one in the game. It comes equipped with Bluetooth for pairing to a phone or tablet. A video of a Pip-Boy prototype shows crisp on-screen graphics in the expected green-on-black color scheme. Turning a knob with the gadget set to cosplay mode flips the screen between a map, personal stats and other shout-outs to the game.
What helps the Pip-Boy earn its $350 price tag is that it also acts like a smartwatch. It can receive messages, receive and place phone calls and stream audio through its stereo speakers. A compartment on top opens up to reveal a hidden holotape that's actually a working USB drive.
Just as in Fallout 4, the Pip-Boy is hardly a dainty accessory you can tuck away under a sleeve. It's big. Very big. ThinkGeek says it is "designed to fit most human arms." It weighs 2 pounds (just under a kilogram). You will notice it when you're wearing it and so will everyone else, which is a large part of the device's charm.
The ThinkGeek Pip-Boy only ships to the US and Canada, so most international Fallout fans will need a proxy or a buddy to help them obtain the gadget. Australian gamers can check into a AU$480 preorder directly through EB Games. It it expected to ship in the US in November.