GameFrame: R3 Battlestation
Here at GameCrate we strive to be on the cutting edge of new tech and gaming hardware, but we’re all lifelong gamers, so we love to celebrate important milestones in gaming history.
Most multi-platform gamers probably have some story or favorite memory of the original Xbox console, be it the enormous “Duke” controller, massacring Covenant in Halo, or even making some of the first forays into online console gaming with Xbox Live. Even if you never played the Xbox, there’s no denying the substantial impact the big black box had on the modern console gaming market.
In 2017 Microsoft is attempting to expand its Xbox brand onto Windows 10, which has led to some benefits to even the most hardcore PC gamers. Windows Game Mode offers some interesting optimization-related possibilities, and Microsoft has taken some early steps toward offering cross-platform experiences and, more importantly, cross platform multiplayer.
November 15th is the anniversary of the original Xbox launch back in 2001. We thought we’d commemorate this important gaming milestone with an homage to the original black and neon green color scheme of the original Xbox, and with some help from a stylish Respawn gaming chair and the RGB wizards at Razer we've developed a PC gaming setup we’re calling the Respawn Razer Radium (R3) Battlestation.
The Chair: Respawn-200
Every good battlestation needs a place for the operator to sit. For the R3, we chose a band new RESPAWN-200 chair.
The Respawn-200 has bold, neon green accents that perfectly suit the color scheme we’re going for, along with a boxy, angular design. The chair has a number of areas where the accent color shows up: the shoulder supports, the logo stitching, on the seat itself, and on the wheels and legs. These stylistic elements combine really well to evoke the look and feel of the classic Xbox motif.
More than just looking awesome, it’s a great chair to do battle in. Most racing-style gaming chairs offer lumbar support, but it’s most often in the form of a separate pillow that has to be attached to the bottom of the backrest one way or another. Not so on the Respawn-200, which has an adjustable lumbar support pad built into the sturdy mesh backrest itself. For neck and head support, the Respawn-200 offers a comfortable pillow that attaches to the upper backrest in standard fashion. It also has armrests with adjustable height that can also slide backwards or forward as needed
It’s a very comfortable gaming chair that bucks some of the industry trends, which is always cool to see.
You’re going to see a lot of Razer gear in this article, and for good reason. Razer is known for making quality peripherals and accessories and for sticking RGB lighting all over the place. Of course the point of RGB is to have any color you want, but Razer is another company with a definite green and black scheme on their branding. They’re a natural fit for the R3 Battlestation.
We decided to power the whole setup with one of our in-house systems, which is built into an NZXT H440 Razer Edition case. This sleek black chassis is the perfect base for the battlestation. It’s got green underglow lighting, it’s got a green-lit power button. It’s even got green USB 3.0 ports on the front I/O panel.
The system has fairly impressive specs: An Asus ROG GTX 1080 (which, naturally, is set to to glow green though ASUS’ Aura Sync), an Intel i5-75600k @3.8Ghz, and 16GB of HyperX Fury RAM, all built onto an MSI Z270 PC Mate motherboard. We usually use this rig to power our various VR devices, but it’s a perfect fit for this more traditional gaming setup.
You can read more about this particular build, the Maingear R1, over on Unlocked.
A View to Kill
To destroy the enemy, first you must see them. To that end, we chose Samsung’s C32HG70 monitor, which is a 32” 2560 x 1440 screen that clocks a 144Mhz refresh rate. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also got a curved screen, and the stand it comes with will let you tilt, rotate, and reposition the panel to your heart’s content.
While the monitor doesn’t have any RGB lighting, it’s a gorgeous screen to put up a wallpaper of your choosing. Plus the hardware is all black, so it still fits right in with the effect we're going for here.
Hear and Be Heard
Of course seeing is only half the equation. On sound duty we hooked up a Razer Kraken headset from, so the R3 would have some oomph in the audio department. These awesome sounding headphones sync up with the rest of Razer’s Chroma-enabled products, so we managed to get some more of that green glow in there.
Tools of the Trade
Between the headset and the monitor, we’ve covered our output devices for this build. So how about the input? Sticking with the theme we’ve got going, we picked a Razer Lancehead Tournament Edition, a Blackwidow Chroma v2, and for good measure, a Tartarus Gaming Keypad. The Tartarus on our build is the older mono-colored version, which works for us because it's green, but the link here take you to a newer, fully customizable version. Because full RGB is what our readers deserve.
The Tartarus alone is probably more macros and keybindings then anyone could ever truly need, but the Blackwidow and the Lancehead provide 11 extra macro buttons just in case. And of course all three devices can be governed by Razer’s Synapse software in order to customize keybindings and lighting effects.
Peripherals like these are Razer’s bread and butter, and it shows in the attention to detail and some of the features of these devices. We have reviews of the keyboard, mouse, and keypad, which are useful if you want more specific info on any of these.
When we go for RGB in a build, we go hard. That’s why we threw in two other Synapse-compatible goodies we had: the Razer Firefly mousepad (cloth version) and something really special, the Razer Chroma Mug Holder.
If you’re salivating over the mug holder, well…we wish you good hunting. It’s listed on Razer’s website as being part of their zSILVER rewards program, but it might be tricky to get your hands on one through other means.
We also had to bring out our dark master Cthulhu for this special occasion. He’s not a computer part, but Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn and all that.
Gaming in black and green
With the Razer Respawn Radium Battlestation, we’re stoked to pay homage to the original Xbox, with its bold and distinctive color scheme. With the green-accented RESPAWN-200 chair and a plethora of Razer’s Chroma RGB peripherals, we were able to achieve the awesome motif we set out to make.
Setups like these are always fun because they allow us to flex some creative muscle and turn a PC station into art. Now it's time to enjoy some Xbox Play Anywhere games and contemplate how far we've come since the original green and black box