CNET First Look
Gaems Vanguard Personal Gaming EnvironmentThe Vanguard from Gaems is the most practical way to bring home console gaming on the go.
Hey, everyone. I'm Jeff Bakalar. Today I'm taking a look at the Gaems Vanguard Personal Gaming Environment. Look at this thing. All right. So I know the first thing you're thinking what in the hell is this. It's okay. I've gotten that reaction plenty of times before. The way I best describe it, this is like an Xbox suitcase. Basically that's all it is. The company Gaems they built an LED TV into one end of this case and then on the other end is a padded section that you can sit a console. Now this is only gonna work with an Xbox 360 or a slim version of the PlayStation 3. You might be able to get away with using the newest slim PS3, but because there's these Velcro straps up here, you might run into a problem when you're sliding back and forth the disk tray. Anyway, these straps keep the console in place when you're traveling and that's about it. It's kind of self-explanatory what you're getting right here. Now Gaems, that's G-A-E-M-S, that's the company's name, they make 2 versions of these Personal Gaming Environments or PGE's for short and this is the larger one. It's a special edition version that has Halo licensing. So there's all these UNSC branding on this. This goes for $350 for the 19-inch screen. They make a lower end model called the Sentry and that's 15.5 inches and that's gonna cost $250. Now each one of these comes with a small HD mic cable that hooks the console up to the built-in screen. It also includes a small remote control, but you're probably never gonna use it because you're gonna be so close to this thing. That's how I'd imagine most people will play it. Now if you look out front there's dual headphone jacks which is actually pretty awesome if you're playing with a friend and you can share the audio. Now this thing is FAA approved. You can bring it on a plane. It packs up quickly. It sets up pretty quick. All you need is 2 outlets, power for the console obviously and power for the screen. There's no battery packs or anything like this. Now while this is a great way to transport your console, it's tough to play it on a bus or plane. You need about 3 square feet of space to make you comfortable, so you're better off just waiting until you arrive at your destination to play and carrying this thing is about 20 pounds when all the accessories and the console is loaded in. Without a console it's about 9 pounds. Now there's 2 foam sleeves that come included and they sit on either side of the console when traveling. You're gonna put your wires in here, you're gonna put a controller in here, and that's about it. You don't wanna overpack these because you risk damaging the screen when this is all closed up. There's only a few inches of room in between the screen and the sleeves so you gotta be careful. Now when you're playing you have the option to make use of this kickstand around back that's gonna change the viewing angle from about 102 degrees to 90 degrees. Now the screen looks pretty good as you can see for the most part, but there's a lot of light leakage around the perimeter of the screen when you're playing a dark game. You'll actually really notice it a lot especially if you're also in a dark room; it kind of sucks but it's not a deal breaker. Also there's a bunch of blue LED's that sort of flank the screen. They're kind of annoying as well, but that's nothing a little electrical tape can't cure. Now these products are a hit with pro gamers. Also military members who are away for a long period of time and don't have access to consoles the way you and I do. Now it might not be the best gift for a casual gamer. I mean let's be honest. You need to be a pretty dedicated player to own one of these contraptions, but at the end of the day this PGE is probably the most practical solution to making a home console something it's not intended to be and that's a portable device. That's gonna do it for me. Make sure you read the rest of the review for much more in-depth take. This has been the Gaems Vanguard PGE. I'm Jeff Bakalar and thanks for watching.