Razer Hydra impressions: Tremendous-exact movement controllers make it to PC, Portal 2 help in tow
Sixense was again at CES this yr, displaying off its TrueMotion-powered gaming wands. Whereas a partnership with pc gaming peripheral maker Razer was introduced finally yr’s CES, the fruit of that partnership was on show this yr, with a model identify (meet the Razer Hydra), some industrial design, and a few new Valve-created content material for the hardware within the type of customized Portal 2 tech.
Throughout our palms-off tour of the nonetheless-prototype hardware, we have been persistently impressed with the controller’s accuracy. Think about twin-wielding two PlayStation Transfer controllers besides – instead of the comparatively cumbersome means of requiring a PlayStation Eye to trace a glowing sphere to place the controllers in 3D area – the Hydra makes use of a small base station that creates an electromagnetic area with a radius of about six ft. That is it. That base station serves double obligation as a stand to relaxation the presently wired controllers on. Fear not, wire-haters, a wi-fi mannequin is within the works however, very similar to Razer’s different hardware, it may good the know-how with a wired launch first earlier than chasing the wi-fi answer.
Whereas there is no launch date or worth but, we have been informed to anticipate them early this yr which, contemplating will probably be launched in a particular bundle with the April-launched Portal 2 packed in is sensible. As for worth, Razer’s concentrating on a sub-$one hundred tag or, roughly what two PlayStation Transfer controllers would run you. That Portal 2 bundle will embrace a particular model of the sport, that features not solely native help for the Hydra controllers, however new maps and puzzle mechanics constructed solely for Hydra. In our temporary tour, we noticed “scalable cubes” which might be stretched alongside the x-axis. Stretch one aspect, rotate, stretch one other aspect, rotate once more. In a single puzzle, a scalable dice was stretched right into a bridge; in one other, it was stretched on all sides till it was giant sufficient (the mass will increase as nicely, conservation of mass be damned!) to shatter a glass flooring under.
So as to manipulate the cubes, you enter 1:1 mode by urgent ‘1’ on the fitting stick, which locks free-look on the best controller and remaps it to regulate the thing. You’ll be able to then rotate, transfer, and place the item with a powerful quantity of accuracy. Keep in mind that PlayStation Transfer multitouch demo from the Engadget Present? Adjusting the dimensions of a scalable dice is just about that. You are additionally capable of rotate and reposition portals. As an alternative of merely reshooting a portal to a different place, you possibly can seize it, transfer it, and even twist it. The exit velocity of something thrown right into a portal will carry by means of, which means some Hydra-based mostly puzzles might reap the benefits of your potential to twist and re-align portals.
Whereas Valve’s Left four Lifeless 2 was proven off final yr with 1:1 sword controls, the Sixense rep we spoke with could not affirm if that may ever be launched. He did, nevertheless, share a video of Name of Obligation: Black Ops being performed with Sixense, utilizing the Sixense MotionCreator device, which remaps conventional keyboard/mouse controls to the dual movement sticks. You may as well see apps like Boxee being managed with Sixense, although with a 6′ radius, chances are you’ll have to park that electromagnetic base station in your espresso desk for correct sofa navigation. Since that vary is wholly depending on the dimensions of the electromagnetic coil and energy offered to it, it is potential we may even see a bigger vary if shopper demand is there. Additionally not included on this launch launch: Mac help. With Razer working to make its whole product line suitable with Apple’s OS, we might think about some shopper demand there would go a great distance.
Briefly, Sixense know-how and the Razer Hydra product are very spectacular. When you’re not inclined to consider us, that is high-quality, however we might additionally level out the tacit endorsement of Valve, not solely probably the most gifted FPS builders within the business however considered one of PC gaming’s most profitable and influential supporters.