The wildcard award category is our way of covering all our bases without having to hand out 30 awards for every perceivable product category out there. With such a wide open category for an award, it was difficult to narrow down the nominations to only three products. We’ve reviewed many excellent products this year that don’t fit into our traditional awards categories, but only three could make it to the final round.
I’m pleased with the nominations we’ve selected, however. Not only because they’re all fantastic products, but they’re also all relatively budget-friendly picks. Perhaps proof of what us PC gamers value these days, in what can be a very expensive hobby otherwise.
What we’ve also got here is representation for virtual reality and racing games. Two popular offshoots of PC gaming, it only feels right to give them their dues with a nomination each. As a sim racing fan myself, it feels good to highlight some cheaper racing gear that’s genuinely decent. You don’t have to spend heaps on a direct drive wheel with more torque than your nan’s car.
So, here are our three eclectic nominations:
Best of the rest 2023: the nominees
Meta Quest 3
The new and improved version of our favourite VR headset, the Quest 3 comes with a few major improvements.
If you’re looking at this headset from a purely PC gamer perspective, meaning you’ll be using it tethered somehow to your PC, then you’ll care most about the new, higher resolution panels. This headset delivers 2064 x 2208, which is a decent improvement on the already pretty good Quest 2.
The Quest 3 is also quite a bit smaller for its pancake lenses. This stack of compact lenses offers a wider FoV than the Quest 2, and it allows the headset to shrink quite drastically in size so it doesn’t stick out from your face anywhere near as much.
For non-PC users or anyone looking to use it as a standalone design, the Quest 3 also offers a better XR2 processor, more RAM, and new AR features through better cameras.
Read our Meta Quest 3 review.
Corsair TC100 Relaxed
A gaming chair. Yes, it might seem bland or boring next to a VR headset that gobbled up billions in development, but you have to understand something: a cheap gaming chair that’s actually good is a rare thing. A rare thing indeed.
You’ll find an overwhelming number of cheap chairs on the internet, often from brands you’ve never heard of. I’ve come into contact with a few of them, and I’m usually left reeling at the quality. This Corsair, however, is cheap and actually built well.
It might not come with the high-end features of some other premium chairs, and it doesn’t have any gimmicks, but it’s a solid, comfy, and reliable chair from a reputable brand. It’s tough to find that, it really is.
Read our Corsair TC100 Relaxed review.
The T128 delivers a genuinely great feeling wheel that redefines what a budget-friendly racing setup should look like.
The wheel portion shares a surprising amount with this wheel’s more expensive sibling, the T248. The hybrid belt + geared drive offers a lot of force feedback in this price range, and it’s accurate enough to help you build up genuine race craft.
The only let down are the pedals, which are quite measly. There’s only two of them, and they’re really not much fun, but you can upgrade to another set in the Thrustmaster lineup easily enough. Personally, I’d put up with them as long as I could while saving up for the much improved T3PM.
Read our Thrustmaster T128 review.
The winner of the PC Gamer Hardware award for the best of the rest will be announced on New Year’s Eve. All three are deserving, but only one will be crowned. Stay tuned for the results.