Though wireless gaming mice can go head to head with cabled peripherals in terms of response and performance, many gamers favor the latter for the simple reason that they don't want their battery-powered clickers to die just when they're needed most. Logitech has therefore developed the Powerplay wireless charging pad to sooth a gamer's range anxiety.
Powerplay has been four years in development, with Logitech initially looking at the kind of charging technology used to wirelessly top up smartphone batteries, but figuring it to be too limiting for gaming use – players would likely need to lob their mouse on top of a chunky pad and leave it there to charge. This isn't ideal if the battery dies in the middle of a team raid or when a firefight breaks out.
The company has opted to make use of electromagnetic resonance, as opposed to induction charging, to provide power to a static or moving mouse on its 275 x 320 mm (10.8 x 12.6 in) surface. This essentially means that players don't have to stop the game for a recharge and don't need to zone in on a small charge area to power the mouse.
Players will need to magnetically attach a Powercore module to the belly of a compatible mouse before its able to receive wireless power from the mouse mat, replacing the weight door. But the Powerplay system is reported capable of delivering charge without interfering with tracking or data transmission, so there should be no adverse effects on gameplay.
The Powerplay charging mousepad itself will still need to be cabled up to a power supply though, but it should continue to deliver juice during frantic repositioning or lifting and, as the base if just 2 mm thick, it won't feel like mousing on a raised platform.
Wireless charging is no good if you still need to cable the mouse up to a gaming computer, so the Powerplay base includes a Lightspeed wireless receiver. Lightspeed wireless connectivity is said to offer latency-free performance with a signal strength up to 16x higher than rivals in the gaming space, includes a mechanism designed to avoid interference problems and is responsive enough to match or exceed cabled gaming mice.
Logitech has announced two new gaming mice that are compatible with the Powerplay charging pad, and each built around Logitech's Lightspeed technology. The G903 and G703 both have a 200-12,000 dpi optical sensor that offers "incredible tracking accuracy and consistent responsiveness, even at speeds over 400 IPS," and durable buttons with microswitches tested to 50 million clicks.
The Powerplay wireless charging mousepad is due for release in August for a suggested retail price of US$99.99, while the compatible G903 and G703 come in at $149.99 and $99.99 respectively.