SEPT 7th, 2011
I recently got hold of the popular GAEMS G155 unit and had a chance to answer a lot of your questions that you’ve been wondering about it.
What is the G155 you ask? For those who don’t know the Gaming and Entertainment Mobile Systems (GAEMS) G155 is a heavy duty case with a built in screen that was created so that the gamer on the go can safely transport their xbox 360 or PS3 anywhere and be ready to play within minutes.
About the case:
The case is about 20-inches wide, 15-inches tall, and 6.8-inches thick, and weighs under 10 lbs by itself. Once you have your XBox 360 (or PS3) plus accessories in the case that will add anywhere from 5 to 10 additional pounds. Inside the case you’ll find a built in 15.5” screen with built in speakers, a padded insert which form fits to your xbox 360 or PS3 unit, 2 velcro straps to securely hold your unit in place as well as 2 removable velcro pouches that you can store your power brick and cables in.
Set up of the unit takes literally just a couple minutes as all you have to do is connect the HDMI cable, plug in the power brick, and plug in the tv. That’s it!
Their ‘you can take it anywhere’ motto seems to have given some people one incorrect impression though. It is NOT self powered. While this case CAN in fact be taken ANYWHERE and played on at ANYTIME you DO need to plug it in! The case comes with a plug to power the monitor and of course you need to plug in your XBOX or PS3 to power the console so you’re going to need 2 free outlets in order to play. The chance that GAEMS will make a battery pack for the unit is pretty slim though, as that would only add not only to the overall weight of the unit, but it would also add a good chunk of money to the total price of the unit.
The screen is a 15.5” LED providing 720p HD quality for all your gaming needs. While this screen is significantly smaller than what I’m used to playing on at home, the quality is much better than most tvs that are this size. I played games like Geometry Wars and Galaga Legions DX and was amazed at how amazing the games looked on the screen. Bright colors, amazing quality! Now comes the part where you say “HD?! But all I have is component/composite cables for my xbox!” Well don’t worry, the case actually comes with an HDMI cable for you to plug right into your xbox 360 or ps3. The only bad part about this feature is that if you have one of the original 360 consoles you might not have the HDMI port available.
Another slight drawback to the screen that I found is it does seem to have a limited viewing angle, but as this is intended for only 1 to 2 players anyway, it’s not a huge issue to set this up so that the players can be in close proximity and view it just fine. Other then that the screen doesn’t have any lag issues for most games with the only exception being Rock Band games, (Which Rock Band seems to have lag issues with ALL HD tv’s so it’s not a big deal) so this unit is PERFECT for practicing on as it won’t mess up your timing at all if you’re practicing for a big Street Fighter, Marvel, or Guitar Hero tournament.
The speakers on the monitor are built in and are decent quality. While they can get pretty loud it’s best to use your own 5.1 surround sound headphones when playing to get the best audio quality. This unit comes with 2 built in headphone jacks so you don’t have to worry about splitters.
The only thing that’s really missing from this unit is a remote for the tv for if you’re doing something like watching a movie on the unit while several feet away. Since most of your time is going to be spent within a couple feet of the unit because you’re playing on it, this also is not a huge issue. Just in case a remote is something you’d really like, GAEMS DOES provide a remote that can be purchased separately. The reason why this is not automatically included is so that the GAEMS unit could hit their $299.99 price point as promised, as the remote adds another $20 to the overall total.
Overall this case is super strong and well built. While it is not encouraged to toss around your GAEMS case, I have been told that the case will keep your XBox 360 or PS3 safely in place when manhandled at the airport, and it conveniently fits in all overhead compartments on the plane as well as under the seat in front of you if you should decide to store it for playing on the plane at max altitude. If you’re flying 1st class you’ll find that you’ll have no problem playing on your GAEMS case thanks to the 2 power outlets that each person has access to. Some airlines such as Virgin Airlines even have plugs available in economy class so you can play without having to dish out the extra cash.
Should you buy this?
Since the price point makes it a bit hard hitting on the pocket of most gamers ($299.99 MSRP, $269.99 on amazon.com and gamestop.com), this case is most worth while to gamers who travel a LOT or need to be able to practice anywhere at any time. I personally have found myself in several situations where I’d get a GREAT hotel with fancy tv’s that have no component hookups available to hook my XBox 360 up to. I’ve even had the complete opposite where I find a cheap hotel in vegas where I get a 20 year old CRT tv that doesn’t even have the option to hook ANYTHING up to it and I’m then unable to practice before a tournament. With the GAEMS case you don’t have to worry about that ever happening any more! On top of that you can just take your GAEMS unit with you over to your friends hotel room and practice together which is perfect for MLG practice sessions. No more lugging CRTs from one place to another!
I also can see this being utilized by people who like to run local tournaments. There have been many times when I’ve heard of people throwing together a tournament asking people to volunteer to bring in their own systems and tvs and sometimes these tvs get broken in transport. This a lighter, more easily transportable and safer option than using your own personal tv. The screen is perfect for Street Fighter or other competitions where both players are sharing the same viewing area instead of split screen.
My personal opinion is that if you can save up for this, it’s DEFINITELY worth it!
Now to answer some of your questions that you guys have asked me about this unit:
Does the screen lag? If so how bad? – The only lag that was noticed was for Rock Band. 22 MS of Video Lag.
Does the unit cause overheating issues with the XBox 360? – While the bottom of the unit is covered by the form fitting insert, the top and the back of the xbox are unobstructed with enough space for ventilation preventing the unit from overheating. I left my 360 on and running for over 8 hours straight and my XBox 360 did not overheat.
Can you use the GAEMS case on road trips? - If you have a DC to AC power inverter with two power outlets you’ll be able to do so! You can find these online on Amazon for ~$19 and up.
Exactly how durable is the case? – While it’s not encouraged to try on your own, GAEMS said that they HAVE had someone stand on a GAEMS G155 case open stance (not directly on the center) to show that the case is tough. While I don’t encourage anyone to do the same to their unit, that should give you SOME peace of mind to know that it’s not going to break into a million pieces if a heavy suitcase gets set on top of it at the airport.
I have an older 360 model so I don’t have an HDMI port. Does that mean I have to buy a newer 360 if I want to use it with this case? – While most models of the 360 made within the past 4 years WILL have that port, if you’re one of the few that don’t have an HDMI port you’re not out of luck. I found component video YPbPr / VGA to HDMI converters online for about $40. You can probably find them cheaper if you look in the right places, so don’t toss that 360!
I live in Australia, can I get a G155? – Currently GAEMS doesn’t have a distributor in Australia, but they are working very hard on it.
Have a question? Leave a comment below and I’ll get an answer for you! Please also feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts on the G155 unit as well.