Getting Touchy Feely – Game Sensations

Stop what you’re doing and look down for a moment. Look at what’s in front of you: a keyboard, and to one side, a mouse. These are tools. But beautifully, over decades, we’ve manipulated and bastardised these tools into being a means of gaming. Do we need any more? A lot of people seem to think so.

Little buddies.

When you compare the instruments with which the PC gamer plays, with those of the console, the difference is pretty hilarious. One is a neat, ergonomic device with economy of space and design, allowing an intricacy of buttons in a simple manner. The other is a large, flat plastic lump with over 100 buttons, and a detached, movable peripheral with up to another seven buttons. And a wheel.

We have taken the tools of serious business, and like an imaginative child with some empty cardboard boxes, we’ve made a toy out of them. The means by which I’m typing these words in any moment is going to be gleefully misused to control an avatar in a fictional world. That’s a joyful thing.

To continue with the child/box metaphor, our instinct is to assume that there must be a better toy for that child. In a recent interview with The A.V. Club, Michel Gondry told the story of the beginnings of Disney World.

Take that, Disney.

“I remember reading an interview with Walt Disney, and he said how he got the idea to create Disney World. He saw his grandson playing in the sand in a little park, and he assumed he was bored. And he said he could provide him a better alternative. But what you get is, you go in this park and you spend time to queue, you have a little bit of entertainment, and then basically they try to get your money. And I truly believe his grandson was having a great time when he was playing with the sand.”

The PC gamer is constantly assumed to be needing more, pitied for having to play with the office equipment, rather than the pleasingly shaped controller. Gaming keyboards are created, designed to be more appropriate for the gamer. Mice are promoted on their abilities to perform in an FPS. But in the end, the USB attachments of pretty much any work computer can be used to play the most intricate and involved of games. There have been developments, but thematically, these have arisen from changes to the original tool, rather than deliberate adaptations for gaming. The mousewheel is probably the most significant difference in how we play now, but of course was added for scrolling documents and websites, not changing weapon.

So, do we crave more? A lot of people seem to think so. The latest attempt:


Gametrailers – our feedback to you is never forced.

A vest and helmet that will let you feel when you get shot. TN Games – the developers of the 3rd Space Vest – make this statement on their website:

“Video game characters live in a three-dimensional world, but gamers have only been able to experience two dimensions… until now. The 3rd Space™ Vest from TN Games takes gameplay beyond sight and sound, creating spatial awareness of the world your characters inhabit. Unlike traditional force feedback devices that rumble or buzz, the 3rd Space™ Vest gives you precise impact where it happens, as it happens. Get pounded with body slams, crushed with G-forces, and blasted with bullet fire.”

Clothes that hurt! Brilliant!

One of the best aspects of modern gaming is surround sound. A couple of speakers behind you can make a wonderful difference to the atmosphere of many a 3D game, allowing you to hear things sneaking up behind you, or indicate the direction of action. So no, we’ve had access to the third dimension in games for quite a while already. However, since there is clearly room for our 3D reality to merge with the 2D image at which we’re staring, would something like this help? I can’t help but think that I’ve never associated my real back with the back of a character I’m playing a game. I’ve never felt like I was missing out because I wasn’t receiving impact wounds when my avatar got shot. A sensation on my back when I’m playing is normally an indication to turn around and look away from the screen.

Do we need more “interaction”? Are games lacking phsycial sensations? People certainly seem to think so, although none has ever caught on (primarily because they all look incredibly silly, this gaming vest included). Do you want more sensation as you play? Or is the office equipment we currently subvert enough?

Top image by Ian Cuthbertson

48 Comments

  1. Jim Rossignol says:

    I had a go with that helmet and vest recently. It was kind of like being hit, just not by a bullet.

  2. Nallen says:

    I hope you don’t mind me saying I found that article a little odd, I assumed you were going somewhere with control mechanisms.

    Why you would want to simulate being shot while playing a computer game is beyond me. What’s next, a face mask that cuts the oxygen I’m getting when I hold shift? Will this vest compress my chest 4″ if I crash in a racing game?

    Games are enjoyable in the main because you use or develop a skill while playing them, or because it’s competitive. Not because you wish you were actually being shot at/injured.

  3. Premium User Badge

    John Walker says:

    I was trying to depict the way we’ve subverted office tools to our gaming advantage, like the kid who makes fun for himself with the tools available – that we don’t depend on specifically designed equipment in order to be able to game. Rather than exploring the nature of these specific control mechanisms.

  4. Butler` says:

    I think it was Panasonic that are debuting some “fans” that sit at the side of your monitor blowing air onto you.

    These are to be used in combination with some fancy lamps which change colour with the intensity of the on screen action,

    I cried a little inside.

  5. Jim Rossignol says:

    You’re probably thinking of Philips amBX systems. The lights/fans are actually more of a proof of concept – the actual Philips tech is in an all purpose control system for media feedback. They could just as easily be used to script smellovision or force-feedback.

  6. James T says:

    Vest shmest, they need to be able to synthesize smell in real-time!

    I kid, but man, Half-Life would be so much more awesome if you could smell the old warehouses and the gun oil and the… antlions. And the sewers. Hmmm.

  7. Cigol says:

    Well isn’t that what is so great about the PC in comparison to consoles? It doesn’t rely upon games to exist – rather games are a by-product of its potential.

    I’m still waiting for pressure-sensitive keys/buttons though, it’s a long overdue upgrade and it’d improve gaming no end (just think of the trigger in MGS for one example).

  8. Thiefsie says:

    why on earth do they show heaps of footage for console only games while admitting its not really happening for consoles?

  9. someone says:

    Good point. I love the mouse. And console controllers do look so big and inelegant.

  10. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    I like the way the helmet moves around as if an accidentally trapped rodent was trying to get out.

  11. Jonathan says:

    Apart from Lylat Wars (the first game to use it) I’ve never been that impressed by rumble. Lylat did it great though with a long low rumble like a drum roll when you reach the boss. I admit such cleverness would be great in a force feedback vest and dancing hat, but I don’t trust the average game developer to be clever.

    I agree with Cigol although the MGS inventory was appaling. More choice in movement speed though would be much appreciated though. Even if it just boils down to the same as a crawl/walk/run that we have in HL2 et al.

  12. Daniel Puzey says:

    First off, this vest is nothing to do with PC vs console controllers – it’s just as viable a peripheral for a controller, and you’ll steill probably end up using a keyboard/mouse to *get* shot…

    There’s a reason that PC gamers like the keyboard/mouse over a gamepad, though. A mouse is dynamic and analog far beyond anything a controller’s stick can manage. The only way you could achieve mouse-like movement on a controller is to use a trackball, and those things are still horrible in comparison to a mouse

  13. Matu says:

    I’m going to give a shot at summarizing what sort of hardware should (and could) be developed into an usable state in the next ten years, leaving the speculation of what will be developed to someone else.

    In addition to the abstract controllers (mouse, keyboard, gamepad) we have gaming devices that are derived from real life, of which the most common are the wheel, pedals, joysticks and yokes. Given that they only need to mimic their real-life counterparts, why do they still feel so unrealistic? We have force feedback, sure, now we even have wheels that turn in excess of 270 degrees, just like real cars’ wheels do. We even have clutches and stick-shifters. Why does it feel so… wrong then?

    Well, first of all, they are incomplete. We don’t have force feedback in the pedals. Cars’ engines keep running when we skip using the clutch. One of the weirdest things is that flight sim yokes still lack force feedback, despite being absolutely ancient.

    Of course, we don’t have g-forces either, and that certainly poses a large problem. But as no one has made a force feedback wheel that actually feels real, I think we can ignore g-forces without feeling too guilty about it. The reason why FF feels so unrealistic today is surely bad software. Most of the hardware is pretty decent, the motors are even capable of injuring you.

    On to output devices.

    Resolution is not the key to ultimate realism. Think about PAL/NTSC TV: the resolution seriously sucks and yet you do not doubt for a minute that what’s going on in the picture is real (if you ignore what it is they are telling you, of course. Current world events are so surreal I’ve honestly given up all hope that humans can get their act together). Ultimately, the detail your eyes can see is really limited, only the central part of your field of vision is sharp by and measure. So it’s much better if the picture is large, so that it takes up a lot of your FOV. Larger and larger LCD’s are released all the time, but they are by now physically so large that it’s hard to find room for them. I think one viable solution are video goggles…

    …which large hardware companies have overlooked, perhaps unwisely. I understand that miniature high-resolution displays are difficult to make, but I have a hard time believing that it’s impossible. It’s very likely that they are lagging so much behind our XZWTFROFLVGA displays because of poor funding by the big companies. They would certainly be worth it if used in conjunction with head- and eye tracking…

    …of which only head tracking is remotely usable today, and only with Naturalpoint’s TrackIR, which is really weird to use with today’s flat monitors. Where’s eye tracking? Tiny digital cameras have face, smile, even blink detection, and computers with the huge processing powers they now have can’t manage eye tracking? That’s just weird.

    Wait, flat monitors? What do I have against those? Well, first of all, they are flat. Huge displays would really benefit from being curved, although I do admit that there are problems with that concept, namely a fixed viewpoint and that it’s only necessary with the largest of all displays. Monitors have another hardcore fault today though…

    …which is that they are not 3d. Seriously, why the fuck iup with that? Surround-sound systems have been in the mainstream for almost ten years now. Stereo photography has been around for over a hundred years, yet we are still looking at a flat image on our screens. I don’t really understand why this is. The technology is certainly out there, nowadays even without the cumbersome headgear (autostereoscopic displays). Although, about that headgear…

    …what if someone would incorporate head tracking, eye tracking, stereoscopy and video goggles into one? That’s right, it’s the 90’s dream of virtual reality all over again. Except now it should really be possible to do it. And with modern, photorealistic games, there’s actually a POINT for these VR headsets. Imagine, my fellow gamers (even those who don’t play sims), how magical it would be to fly in an old biplane, look around and even directly below you… we are almost there graphics wise (FSX is really amazing if your rig can handle it – mine certainly can’t), it’s about time someone takes it to the next level.

    And finally, there are those spherical treadmills you can walk inside to play first person games with. I realize that they because of their size, they wouldn’t fit into most gamers’ homes and the amount of material would make them pretty costly as well, but I think they are cool enough and simple enough to make them at least an option for hardcore rich gamers and/or arcades. You would obviously need VR goggles.

    I could care less (anyone else actually hate that phrase?) about anti-bulletproof vests that only have a few air cushions without all of the above.

  14. Tak says:

    To me, there is a bit of difference between input devices and ‘experience enhancing accessories’. K/M combo, gamepads, wheels, sticks, all that mess fall into the first. Sound, this rodent-trapping hat-and-shirt, amBX fall into the latter.

  15. ran93r says:

    I use a trackball 90% of the time, working & gaming and have been for oooh, seven years or so. If i can’t be arsed to drag the G9 from out behind the monitor I will even play FPS games with it. It took about an hour to get used to it and honestly, work-wise I would never go back. As a poncy designer I have an A4 Wacom tablet which I use for a lot of fine work where both the trackball and mouse just fail, sometimes it not always about pixel perfect analog precision.

    I have never liked feedback systems in control devices and I doubt very much if any kind of neural interface would make me draw any better, tracking eye movements to draw lines is nothing beyond what we are already doing manually. Now if Paintphotoshopworks could actually draw what I imagine, that I would buy.

  16. Premium User Badge

    John Walker says:

    I recognise the disjointed nature of that. I was more trying to explore how simple PC gamers tend to have things, and how there’s never been anything that’s caught on beyond our office equipment. Apologies for the confusion conflating the two.

  17. Jonathan says:

    Reply to matu: link to youtube.com Johnny Lee got it covered.

  18. Dinger says:

    The PC gaming market is schizoid. On the one hand, if you play by the (old) console rules, everyone has a keyboard and mouse, so that’s what your primary input should be. On the other hand, the PC gaming sets itself apart from consoles (and from console testing) in sheer configurability. It’s a fair bet that no two people in this thread has the exact same arrangement of hardware bits in their computer.
    So PC has a “mainstream” dictated by keyboard, mouse, and what integrated video can supply, and a “hardcore” featuring fancy video cards and all kinds of little toys. What I don’t fully grasp is why developers who are building the latest-and-greatest game, for which many people will go out and upgrade their video cards, often fail to consider supporting all those other little bits of USB kit that are likely to be floating around.

    As for VR tricks and 3d: they have yet to be comfortable or practical, as far as I know.
    Force feedback isn’t as clear as all that. For example, on flight sims, the yoke/stick is centered, and force feedback resists movement to that center. The forces being simulated, however, are quite different: there’s a lot more throw in the stick, for one, and the stick centers to where it’s been trimmed, not the middle.

  19. Jeremy says:

    Yeah, I have to say I was expecting a review of new technologies meant to replace the keyboard and mouse, though force-feedback vest wasn’t what I had in mind.

    I wonder if the reason we don’t have 3D displays, etc. a la Matu’s comment isn’t the same reason we still use basically the same keyboard and mouse from 20 yrs ago – it works well enough. Why bother paying a lot of money for such a small benefit? Especially for gamers who aren’t rolling in dough.

  20. AbyssUK says:

    Force feedback mice with analogue buttons, the future is bright.

    I used to have a mouse with 2 normal buttons, a mouse wheel which was also a button, another button near the pinkie and on the thumb a digital 8-way pov hat.. it was brilliant!. I believe it was a Saitek so it broke in like 6 months… shame…

  21. Matu says:

    Jonathan, I’ve seen that. It’s neat, practical and very possibly usable, but 1) It’s still not real 3d 2) It’s yet to be picked up by a large company. Except NaturalPoint with its TrackIR, of course.

  22. James T says:

    As for VR tricks and 3d: they have yet to be comfortable or practical, as far as I know.

    Very true, although the subject does remind me of this neato Wii Head-tracking demonstration. It appears to be a simple thing to build, and comfortable for users (just gotta wear a little visor, maybe a pair of earpieces or something, and put a sensor thing under the screen); I don’t know how difficult it would be to program complex environments/interfaces for it (I suspect ‘not very’, actually, but I’m no coder), but it could open up all sorts of options in game design; in action games alone, being able to look around a corner by physically leaning would be… awesome! And having more latitude to examine environments in adventure games… A glove peripheral could allow for ‘Minority Report’-style interaction with the UI or the game itself (sorry if I made anyone mentally picture Tom Cruise), and all sorts of other clever stuff.

    edit: Oh, we’ve covered this, I see. At any rate: fuck ‘real 3D’! there’s plenty that can be done with what’s on display right there.

  23. Cigol says:

    There have been force-feedback mice already haven’t there, intellitouch (?) or something. I remember the advertisements about compatibility with the original Black & White.

  24. Essell says:

    “Get pounded with body slams, crushed with G-forces, and blasted with bullet fire.”

    Nice – could they make that sound any more appealing?

    “Feel the impact as you get kicked to death in the street, or glassed on the back of the head by a fat man! Just $169!”

  25. Nallen says:

    I think the reason why we’ve never got ‘beyond’ the Mouse and Keyboard is because they’re excellent in most respects. I certainly don’t feel like I’m making do or need more, it’s the superior choice.

    Infact probably the only problem with them is that they require a surface, but I’m not willing to give up the analogue control of a mouse for that.

    There certainly is room for a handheld input device, in any game which has analogue movement controls (flight games and racing games are the only things that spring to mind) but anything that requires you to effectively ‘click’ on an area of the screen will always be best with a mouse – an object devised and refined over the years for this single purpose.

    Be it Point and Click Adventures (Sam&Max), Point and Click Adventures (CoD4) or Point and Click Adventures (Supreme Commander) you’re not going to beat a mouse for pointing and clicking.

  26. Zeno, Internetographer says:

    Quite frankly, the keyboard/mouse setup is a major factor in why I’m a PC gamer. What it lacks in ergonomics it more than makes up for in precision and customization.

    The only real evolution of this that I would want is a mouse that can be used without a surface, just because I’m almost always on a laptop.

    As far as the sensation game thingy goes, really, I think it’d make the whole experience decidedly less immersive, since you’d be brought back to the “real world” with a jolt every time you got hit. Of course, I’ve not yet used one of these, so I might just be full of it.

  27. MacBeth says:

    Spot on Nallen – we have an evolutionary situation going on, with unnatural selection of mutations i.e. new force feedback toys/datagloves etc. The ones that work (mousewheels) live on, the ones that don’t (pretty much everything) do not. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what we have now, in terms of allowing a convenient mix of digital and analogue, precision and complexity. *Maybe* there’s a revolutionary step forward but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    re. 3D screens – *clearly* the technology is not out there because people are trying very hard to do this, it would be licence to print money if you could crack it. You don’t think Samsung, Phillips etc. aren’t R&D’ing away on it right now? Probably the biggest difficulty is now the amount of information you need to broadcast/generate/store/manipulate

    also:
    I could care less (anyone else actually hate that phrase?)

    Speaking for pedants everywhere… yes, I hate it because it should be “I couldn’t care less”… if you *could* care less then you evidently care to some extent…

  28. Noc says:

    One thing that the mouse and keyboard can’t do at all, though, is flight. And I mean it. You can do driving with a keyboard, and you can do it better with a thumbstick, but you don’t really need a wheel to get the range of control you need. Simulation and immersion aside, you’re either going Left or Right.

    Flight, though, needs proper 360 degree steering. Four arrow keys doesn’t do it, mouselook does LOOKING really well but can’t really catch on to steering, and thumbpads feel too imprecise. So if you want to fly, you really need a joystick.

    And I propose that THIS is why the Flight Sims have been dying out as late. Since they’re the one class of PC game that absolutely NEEDS a peripheral that’s entirely useless for anything else. Any computer needs a keyboard and mouse to function, but buying a flight sim also entails dishing out for a ugly stick-shaped peripheral that will take up space on your desk whenever you’re not shooting at Tie Fighters.* Neat ones shaped like a guitar? A necessary expense. But a joystick?

    *Lucasarts really needs to remake X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter, instead of making more games about Jedi. But that’s a rant for another time.

  29. Matu says:

    It only costs as much as a game though, and that’s if you buy a good one with rudder control. You can get a very decent joystick for the cost of only a few Peggles.

  30. Noc says:

    I know. It’s not a huge expense in the greater scheme of things, but in an age where games don’t come with manuals anymore because having to READ something would make them less accessible,** necessitating another shopping decision and another purchase reads as a con.

    **Remember the Homeworld manual? The one that came with an in-depth description of the history and culture of a planet that got torched three missions in? Good times, that.

  31. Dinger says:

    Very true, although the subject does remind me of this neato Wii Head-tracking demonstration. It appears to be a simple thing to build, and comfortable for users (just gotta wear a little visor, maybe a pair of earpieces or something, and put a sensor thing under the screen); I don’t know how difficult it would be to program complex environments/interfaces for it (I suspect ‘not very’, actually, but I’m no coder), but it could open up all sorts of options in game design; in action games alone, being able to look around a corner by physically leaning would be… awesome!

    In fact, TrackIR 4 does this, and TIR shows up like another game controller. The problem is that it requires the developers to write a new set of interactions with the game. TIR is supported fairly well in the nerd-end Flight Sims and racing games, but as far as I know, the only FPS that uses it is Armed Assault, and while many like their implementation, I’m not too thrilled by it (they buffer your movements, so you turn your head and your virtual view moves slowly to your “head position”; no leaning in vehicles, and so on).
    Also, the Wii demo captured something that most TIR implementations don’t do: most TIR implementations decrease the FOV as you move forward. The Wii demo did the opposite: giving a cool “window” effect.

  32. Kadayi says:

    I recall years ago (like 1990ish) William Gibson wrote a short story for The Face, which featured something similar. I must admit I’m surprised no one developed one before now. It seemed like a neat idea in the story.

  33. Grill says:

    Tom Francis from PC Gamer was playing with that OCZ device yesterday that allows you to control games with your brain. Quite impressive by the looks of it.

  34. Nallen says:

    In fact, TrackIR 4 does this, and TIR shows up like another game controller. The problem is that it requires the developers to write a new set of interactions with the game. TIR is supported fairly well in the nerd-end Flight Sims and racing games, but as far as I know, the only FPS that uses it is Armed Assault, and while many like their implementation, I’m not too thrilled by it (they buffer your movements, so you turn your head and your virtual view moves slowly to your “head position”; no leaning in vehicles, and so on).
    Also, the Wii demo captured something that most TIR implementations don’t do: most TIR implementations decrease the FOV as you move forward. The Wii demo did the opposite: giving a cool “window” effect.

    The thing is, that’s for looking about, not actually playing the game, right? I bet you your head-eye coordination is 100x worse than your hand-eye coordination. Sounds counter intuitive but of course 9/10 times we only move our eyes to what we’re looking at, not the rest of our head.

    Then you’re back to this issue of it just being worse than what we have now, hence the reason it’s not going to catch on in any major way.

  35. Manu says:

    “One is a neat, ergonomic device with (..) and design, allowing an intricacy of buttons in a simple manner. The other is a large, flat plastic lump with over 100 buttons”

    What kind of troll is this ?

    My mouse and keyboard are ergonomically designed, and are adapted to the games I play.

    I hate playing an FPS without a mouse. I feel like I’m back in time, playing Golden Eye on the N64 …

    Too many buttons on the keyboard ? Well, how many do you need to play world of warcraft, for instance ?

    Don’t get me wrong, I like playing on console (well, I only have a DS, and the stylus allows mouse like input ^^), but having 100+ keys allows for so much more possibilities..

    When I played Oblivion, I got infuriated with the controls : In a shop I couldn’t select more than one thing, or use the keys “enter”, “backspace”, and so on. The whole thing felt like it was made for a four-button controller.

  36. Crispy says:

    Didn’t you already do a piece on this jacket on RPS last year? Forgive me for sounding impudent, but just the one example for what could have been a fuller-bodied piece seems a bit… waif.

  37. Simon says:

    The PC could do with a controller that makes the mouse & keyboard inputs and lays it out in an ergonomic device. The pain I had in the mousearm during college was something I could’ve certainly done without.
    Sort of the other way that console people are talking, a controller with more rather then les inputs.

  38. Premium User Badge

    John Walker says:

    Manu, caaalm, pixie dust.

    I didn’t say “too many buttons”. I said that there were lots of buttons. I’m celebrating the mouse and keyboard. It’s by far my preferable choice of input. My point has only ever been that PC gamers make do with what they’ve already got, and don’t want for fancy gizmos. (Even if your keyboard is a fancy shape, I bet you couldn’t comfortably throw it in the air and catch it again. It’s still not an object that’s been designed purely for the purposes of gaming).

    Crispy: I saw the video on Gametrailers and it got me idly thinking, so I posted my thoughts on what happy-go-lucky folk we PC gamers are. That’s all.

  39. THX-1138 says:

    I have a pair of E-Dimensional 3D glasses, and they do make an impact on immersion. The depth perception changed how I played games like Oblivion, as distance is easier to judge with ranged weapons and drops seem much higher. Same with others like Quake 3 and ArmA.

    As far as mouse keyboard is concerned, I was playing COD4 last night, without bieng able to see either the keyboard or mouse, and realized that I could move how I liked, when I liked, and aim as well as my reactions and coordination let me. Controls are about letting the player play the game without even thinking about the buttons they press, and although it is better if the controls themselves are realistic and immersive, (e.g. steering wheels) I personally believe that as long as you can react and move in the game as you desire, then the controls shouldn’t affect immersion.

    (And yes I am aware of how lame ED glasses look, but they work so I don’t care)

  40. Dinger says:

    The thing is, that’s for looking about, not actually playing the game, right? I bet you your head-eye coordination is 100x worse than your hand-eye coordination. Sounds counter intuitive but of course 9/10 times we only move our eyes to what we’re looking at, not the rest of our head.

    Uhh… I’m gathering you haven’t tried TrackIR or the camera-based clones.
    Most of the time, you do use your eyes to look at things. But, like in real life, you can’t look over your shoulder just by moving your pupils. And, as great as mice are for aiming, they’re a pain in the butt to swing over your shoulder and then straight ahead, especially if you’re trying to move at the same time.
    Likewise for driving. When you come up to a series of turns, you instinctively look at the exit of the turn, not the entrance: you look where you’re going. A separate “view” key doesn’t give you the precision you need to do this.
    So, no, I have to disagree: it’s not “worse than what we have now”; it is better, and it has the potential to be much better, and (if mass produced) relatively cheap.
    I’d also question how “looking about” is “not actually playing the game”. In just about every 3D game, “looking about” is a key element of “playing the game”.+

    Still, I love the insight of the Wii demo: treat the flat screen like a window into the world and not the player’s view.

  41. sh33333p says:

    “I could care less (anyone else actually hate that phrase?)”

    Yes, I hate that phrase because it is a common mistake. The correct saying is “couldn’t care less”, meaning “I don’t give a rat’s ass about that”. “I could care less” means you do care to some extent, although the extent of your caring is not defined.

    Erh, oh, the vests, right… Silly idea. Completely unnecessary. I like how in the interview he had a critical tone when he mentioned that the consoles all have a proprietary interface (which actually, unless I’m mistaken, is not the case with regard to the XBox360 controller), but he stopped short of saying that his vests use an open standard to communicate with the PC.

    What I would love to see is some kind of one-handed controller with an analogue stick and several buttons to replace WSAD. I really love analogue sticks for movement, but I’ll keep my mouse for aiming, thank you very much.

  42. teo says:

    I don’t know anyone who has tried Track IR and hasn’t been really positively surprised by it. Most of the negative feedback you hear is from people who’ve never tried it.

    The gaming vest seems cool, they’re coming out with a more powerful one too which they say can simulate G-Forces. If it works I’d be up for that

  43. Cigol says:

    Just to offset the TrackIR love – you can get a free, albeit crapper, version using your webcam/cap/some LED’s and the freetrack software (google it).

  44. Yhancik says:

    The (cyber) S&M community rejoices.

  45. po says:

    If the control pad is so good, why do console games have auto aim? (And I’ve seen a few PC games that turn it on when you hook up a control pad too).

  46. Mori says:

    What’s funny is that some repurposed office tools are still more accurate and useful for playing games with than specially designed controllers. Although some kind of rumble feature would be nice, but it’d probably be shit in practice

  47. KindredPhantom says:

    They need to make a full body suit version of it, so we can have accurate crotch shot feedback.

  48. dude says:

    that mouse at the top of the page is well good i use it for gaming it works perfectly i looked for ages to find a new one to replace my a4 tech .blah blah