Welcome to Hooked Up, the Gaming Nexus series that puts the spotlight on gaming related products that impact the Video Game experience. This week we take a look at products from gaming skin retailer GHSkinz.
What is it?
GHSkinz is a company that sells skins for all types of gaming (and non-gaming) gear including consoles, accessories, handhelds and mobile devices. The self-adhesive, vinyl skins are removable and have a high-gloss lamination to protect both the skin and the equipment it is applied to.
|Product Quick Reference
GHSkinz sent over some samples of their products for us to take a look at and I was quite impressed with the majority of them. The guitar, console and drum skins worked well and fit perfectly. However, like any skin, there is a certain amount of patience and skill that needs to be applied to make sure it is aligned properly and without air bubbles. After putting a piece or two on, I had a good feeling for how the material reacts as it is being installed.
One sample that particularly caught my attention was the Skullz Drum skin (see below) for my Rock Band drums. While I only had the head covers (and not the feet and support post pieces) it still looked pretty cool. I was a bit leery that the skin would impact the performance of the drum and possibly break down, but neither happened. To this day, I still have them on my original Rock Band drum kit and I have seen very little wear to the actual vinyl skin. I also have not had a note not register due to the skin hurting the responsiveness of the drum head.
While I had an easy go of it with the drum and console skins, I struggled with getting the PSP skin to work well. I eventually got it on, but it just didn’t feel comfortable and was a bit sloppy in some areas. This could possibly be due to the PSP skin having the smallest sized pieces of any sample that I worked with, but it felt a sloppy when I was done. I believe it may have been designed for the smaller PSP-2000 (Slim) and not my original PSP because some of the vinyl pieces were a tad undersized or didn’t fit the curves properly.
One of the selling points of the GHSkinz is that they can be removed without leaving any residue or sticking to the surface. During testing of both the Skullz Drum skins and PSP skin, I was able to peel them off and place them back on their original backing sheet without leaving any residue behind or the skin hanging loose off the sheet. I was also impressed with the material quality, as it is very thick and durable enough to resist tears and holes being punched into it.
||Patience a must
||Right skin, right model
|Lots of choices
The impact of a skin on any device is mostly aesthetic in order to boost visibility, but they do offer some secondary protection depending on the product. Specifically, gaming peripherals like guitars, drum kits and the Wii Fit board as well as protecting the cases of handhelds against finger prints and scratches. But let’s face it, making your console or guitar look cool and dressing up your iPod touch to express yourself are the real reasons for adding a skin.
The one thing about GHSkinz is that they offer something for just about any type of gaming gear you can think of across consoles, handhelds and accessories. In addition, if any of their existing options don’t float your boat, they are also open to creating designs for different gear that they may not offer. All that has to be done is contact them about what you are looking for and they will take a look.
The products I tested from GHSkinz did what they were expected and looked great on my gear. The overall quality and durability of the skins was very good, in addition to actually being able to recycle and reuse on different gear (you know like when your 360 gets the RROD.) While the pricing varies by item (or kit), it appears to be in line with competitor’s products and won’t break your budget. The only caution I have is to make sure that you get the right version if you are dealing with a product that has multiple models that have changed sizes (i.e. the PSP).
Where to Find/Buy
GHSkinz offers a full lineup of skins for just about any gaming product on the market right now including the Wii, Xbox 360, PSP, PS3, iPod Touch and both Rock Band and Guitar Hero equipment. You can find and purchase all of their skins at the GHSkinz website (www.GHSkinz.com).
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