There are a whole host of gaming peripherals due to be released soon or in the coming years that promise to usher in a new era for gaming. These bits of plastic, aluminum and various other materials will aim to make gaming more immersive, more groundbreaking and probably more detrimental to relationships!
Pioneering peripherals such as Oculus Rift, Visus VR, Samsung Gear VR and Razer's OSVR (Open Source Virtual Reality), to name but a few, are itching to gamble on our appetites for gadgets that will literally suck us into the land of our favorite games (imagine FIFA in VR!) and spit us back out changed people.
Warning: This video is a bit sweary, so watch out.
And even more niche peripherals have begun springing up from the ether, such as Virtuix's Omni, the ridiculously awesome omnidirectional treadmill that will allow you to move freely in-game...
And PrioVR, which... well, literally maps every movement you make and translates that into a game (another one for FIFA)!
And latterly this. Allow me to introduce the 3DRudder...
...The round bottomed, future skateboard, robo-hooveresque peripheral made for gaming, virtual reality and 3D design. Sliding the 3DRudder forwards and backwards will mimic a game or tools zooming action, twisting to the left or right will rotate you horizontally and tilting to the left and right will move you left and right. Simple enough, right? For $130, that's a pretty affordable slice of the future!
The 3DRudder is currently in its Indiegogo crowdfunding stage and has raised over $17,000 towards its $50,000 goal. What do you make of that? Interested?
The future of games is looking terribly exciting! These additions to the ultra-nerd's living room have been well documented over the past year, and caused a deserved furore of excitement. I mean, who doesn't want to be strapped into an hexagonal treadmill with VR goggles on their face, and then thrown back into Skyrim to battle dragons?!
But what of the gaming peripherals that didn't really take off? The unergonomic, overpriced and downright strange fruit of ancient and now defunct consoles, that aimed to aggressively cripple you? Lets have a look at ten of the... best crazy gaming peripherals.
Ten Craziest Gaming Peripherals
10 - Sega Dreamcast Controller
As much as I loved the Dreamcast, the controller was absolutely mental. Why, oh why SEGA did you put the wire at the bottom? The buttons were like trying to squeeze a diamond through tiny steel holes and what was the VMU about?
9 - Mattel Intellivision Controller
Is it a scientific calculator? The world's first carphone? Something that Flava Flav would adorn around his neck? Why were Mattel so insistent on crippling kids with this button placement?
8 - Tony Hawk Ride Skateboard
The murderer of franchises. The Tony Hawk Ride board was buggy, couldn't handle the pressure of detecting movements and made your skateboarding avatar do the strangest things. At least it was a good idea on paper.
7 - Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Controller
Erm. As cool as it looks, how are you actually supposed to play with the thing? Button placement is insane and holding it for an extended period of time would surely strain the wrists!
6 - Konami Laserscope
This is a bit of weird one, because I really want to own a Laserscope! For the sheer "MOM, LOOK! I WANIT!!" nostalgia trip. The Laserscope is a head mounted lightgun. Head mounted... light gun. That you had to yell "FIRE!" into for it to fire. Actually, I think I'll stick to actual light guns, cheers. Bye.
5 - Atari Mindlink
The future was yours to own in '84! The Atari 2600 peripheral was sold as a mystical mind reading device with which you could control games with a mere thought and a wish. But, alas, that wasn't entirely true. It actually read facial movements, so you'd have to twitch away in your living room to actually get anything happening on screen. One for the bachelors then, me thinks.
4 - Steel Battalion Controller
Another "MOM, LOOK" here with the Steel Battalion controller. The controller aided you in controlling a huge walking tank, with each button, pedal and switch corresponding to something incredibly detailed, complex and important in-game. Wonder if there's some kind of mod to get this working with Elite: Dangerous?
3 - Xbox 'Duke' Controller
It's literally all hands on deck for the 'Duke'! Look at this thing, it was an absolute beast of a controller that was nearly impossible to use with certain games and my hands aren't even that small! I'm glad Microsoft came to their senses and released the Controller 'S'. On a high note, you could always utilize the 'Duke' as a grappling hook.
2 - Nintendo U-Force
It's like a mixture between Tron and some kind of spy torturing device. The U-Force, created by Brøderbund for the NES, was one of gaming's early forays into motion control. That's pretty obvious when you look at it, right? You basically had to wave your hands around the sensor area to get something to happen on the screen, but that rarely happened. Plus there was no way to figure how to use the thing - just plug it in, wave about and see what happens. Brilliant.
1 - Nintendo Wii Bowling Ball Controller
This is a given. At number one is a peripheral that can only be used with one Nintendo Wii mini-game. Can you guess which one? It's not like there was or is anything wrong with the Wiimote, so...? Hats off to the designer that made it work though. They must have mad skills of persuasion.
So, I hope you enjoyed my little venture into the future and the past of crazy gaming peripherals. Did you own any of these and will you be buying into the future of virtual reality gaming? I think I might, for, as I said, Skyrim in VR...