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Our Mystery Shopper visited Manchester to check out the latest trends in computer gaming peripherals, devices such as game pads, joysticks, special gaming keyboards and anything else which might enhance the gaming experience...

Mystery Shopper ? Manchester Pt One

PC World

I entered the store and told a member of staff that I wanted to buy a device for a relative who was mad on PC gaming. I wanted to get him something special and a bit different, adding that he liked first person shooters and also, on occasion, flight simulators.

She pointed to a two metre bay. "This is a special keyboard for PC gaming," she said, holding up a Logitech G15, priced £68.49. "What is different about this keyboard to normal keyboards?" I asked. Pointing to the front of the box to a LCD panel on the keyboard, she said: "This screen allows players to see options from the game – a must if you’re into gaming."

Thinking about flight games, I asked if there were any replica jet fighter joysticks. There were three joysticks available – a Logitech Force 3D Pro Joy Stick priced £49.99, a Logitech Attack 3 Joystick priced £39.99 and a Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Twist Joystick priced £29.99.
Score: 6/10

Computer Warehouse

A counter ran along the width of the store and a glass cabinet was to the left with various computer products locked inside. A salesman smiled and asked how he could help as I approached. I told him I was shopping for PC gaming peripherals such as FPS keyboards, joysticks and the like.

"I have just the thing," he said, bringing out a Logitech G15 priced £59 – the lowest price I found all day. "I also have this," he added bringing out another keyboard, this time, the Razer Tarantula, priced at £69.99.

I asked him about other products that he felt would be beneficial to PC gaming. He pointed to a cabinet where there was a Logitech Attack 3 Joystick priced £21 – again the cheapest I found all day. There was also a Razer Mouse Copperhead priced £37.99. This was a high precision laser gaming mouse with programmable buttons, which aided game-play – this was good, some great advice from this store.
Score: 8/10

Currys

As with most Currys, this was a busy store. Pretty much all staff were busy with other customers when I first walked through the store’s doors. I perused a few aisles before finding two bays with a broad range of keyboards, mice and webcams.

Trying to get the attention of one of the store’s staff was proving to be a game in itself, so I walked back to the front of the store where I saw a shop assistant. At the time he was with another colleague, who was helping a customer with a TomTom device. I approached and asked for help.

Telling him what I was looking for elicited a response I wasn’t looking for: "We only have standard keyboards, you should try PC World," he said. He did look disappointed that there wasn’t going to be sale today, though.

With nothing available, I didn’t see any point in sticking around, so I left to continue my quest to find gaming devices.
Score: 4/10

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