Razer Hydra Revealed With Custom Portal 2 Levels
Razer have been floating a motion-control prototype for over a year now, with their clunky Sixthense peripheral providing a tantalising new take on PC input (or a shameless effort to emulate their console counterparts, depending on your point of view). However, they've now rolled out a new model
Hydra's base unit projects a low-strength magnetic field around the play area (which is hopefully weak enough to avoid frying your rig), and is attached to two wands that are equipped with dual thumbsticks. Not only can the peripheral track their location in 3D space, but the traditional inputs should allow for a range of different game experiences to take advantage of the hardware.
So, why should you care? Because Valve does. Gabe Newell has thrown his support behind the Hydra, confirming that Portal 2 will contain several exclusive stages that are custom-designed for use with the new peripheral. It's interesting to note that this goes against Valve's earlier stance of backing biometry over motion control, but if Gabe likes it, so do we. Then again, we've still got mixed feelings about the Novint Falcon...
Portal 2 will also be optimised for Intel's new Sandy Bridge processor that promises to offer a "Console-Like experience on the PC"... and combined with a motion controller, you'd be forgiven for wondering if personal computing and are headed for a convergence.
Is the PC trying too hard to emulate consoles? Would this be a bad thing for the industry or a new opportunity for the PC market? And could you care less about the Hydra? Have your say in the comments!
Kinect PC Support Hinted; Is Fastest-Ever-Selling Game Hardware
Every time we feature a new Kinect hack or mod, I tend to react like a broken record by suggesting that Microsoft are overlooking the PC crowd as an entirely new and massively profitable target audience. Luckily it seems that their top brass are warming to the idea. When quizzed on the subject by the BBC, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer issued the following titilating remark:
We'll support [Kinect on PC] in a formal way in the right time. We're trying to move beyond gaming to include the world of socialisation, of movies, of TV, and we're trying to make the whole experience accessible to everybody in the family, not just the traditional gamer.
You have to wonder if they're letting the homebrew crowd do all their R&D for them! [BBC]
In other Kinect news: We recently reported that Kinect has shifted over 8 million units over its first sixty days on the market... which is a very impressive statistic by itself, but far more intereting (or inflammatory, take your pick) when you compare it to other console hardware. The PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, and even the PS2 sold far less in their first two months, with only the GBA coming close with 4.16 million units. Since Microsoft are marketing it as a new platform, we're grouping it right in there- which officially makes it the fastest selling gaming hardware of all time. Naturally the sales models are different (especially since artificial stock shortages cause console sales to bottleneck in month 2), but hopefully this enormous install base will help to inspire a range of exceptional games. It had better. [Thanks, Gamesradar]
And Finally... Win Big In The Tournament Of Champions!
Hear ye, hear ye! As part of a new promotion, The Behemoth will be holding a grand Castle Crashers tournament on Xbox Live to determine who is the best arena fighter! On Janurary 28th, the top 100 weekly-ranked players on the XBLA arena leaderboard will start to compete in a grand tournament to win a golden 360, limited edition console and a whole bunch of yon "squishy chickens." It's a worldwide challenge that's open to every region- so remember that the weekly leaderboard opens at on the 21st!
Art thou a crasher of castles? Get thee to Xbox Live- and get practising!