With a pair of surprisingly okay video game movies under his non-existent belt, Sonic the Hedgehog is on a roll in a way he hasn’t been for a decade or two. But even the most obsessive Sonic fan might pause at the latest designs from boutique keyboard maker Higround. After all, Sonic is very much a console gaming icon. What’s the point of getting a bunch of stylish PC gaming accessories emblazoned with a Genesis-era blue blur?
Conceptual issues aside, these 65% mechanical boards might have a lot of appeal for die-hard fans. Note the pixelated printing on the Green Hill Zone keyboard: Sonic himself is hanging out on the S key, and his life and ring counts are put cleanly on the space bar. It’s meant to be paired with the desk mat of the same design. There’s also a matching set featuring Sonic and his edgelord rival Shadow, if you’re more into the post-2000s era of the series.
For my money, I’m more interested in the keyboard designed to commemorate the Dreamcast, Sega’s fondly-remembered final home console. Note the wire frame that’s spread along the keys, and the arrow keys meant to indicate the controller’s colorful A/B/X/Y scheme. I especially like the orange triangle on the Escape key, which matches the power indicator on the console. Sadly it looks like there’s no matching desk mat for that design.
Assuming they follow the pattern of Higround’s previous keyboard releases, these will be standard 65% designs (note the full arrow keys) with PBT keycaps, Kailh Box switches with hot-swap PCBs, USB-C cables, and RGB lighting. The keyboards and desk mats will “drop” on the website at noon Pacific tomorrow. As Gizmodo notes, there are no prices, but previous licensed boards and mats from this supplier cost a reasonable $135 and $50, respectively. At least some of the keycaps will be sold separately ($60 each), but again, will only work on 65% layouts.
Michael is a former graphic designer who's been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.