CES 2010 CoverageBosco - January 6, 2010
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After getting a look at the Onza we were given a demo of a new piece of technology Razer is developing with Sixense Entertainment. The motion sensing and gesture recognition controller will likely initially seem similar to some of the other motion controllers currently being offered or talked about from other companies, but there are some important things that set it apart. The motion sensing is based on a magnetic field, which means that line of sight isn't required for the controller to work. The base station we saw demonstrated was USB powered and had a range of around six feet, though as this is a product that is currently still in development, that may be liable to change.
Applications we saw used included a specially coded version of Left 4 Dead 2, in which the motion control appeared to be precise and accurate (we were told it should track to within a millimeter for positioning and a degree for orientation). Throwing Molotov cocktails or slashing with the katana took on the kind of movements you would expect if you were holding the items in your hands. The lack of need for line of sight meant that the two handheld controllers could be manoeuvred with arms crossed or behind the back without having to worry about losing control of the action. Razer has worked closely with Valve, so you should be able to expect support in games when the controller is launched. We were told the SDK makes adding support to games relatively straight forward and that the kind of output the controller provides comes in the form of simple positioning data, which should be easily adoptable.
The second application we saw demoed saw on screen solids being manipulated, which clearly displayed how accurate the motion sensing was. Rotating and moving objects appeared to be pretty intuitive and it is believed that the controllers could provide an ideal solution for creating and editing user generated content in games. For example it could be used to create customized tracks in a racing game and could also potentially provide games developers with a standardized editing platform so they don't have to spend so much time coding their own content creation tools.
After the product demos, we posed for a picture with the Razer guys and had the chance to check out some of the other products that were on display.
One thing worth noting is the recent release of an updated driver for the company's Naga MMOG mouse, which adds more support for profiles, button assignments and macros. That means more versatility for games like WOW without having to resort to keyboard commands.