Razer was definitely one of the booths we we're excited for, hearing rumors of the first gaming console hardware from the company being displayed at CES. To our surprise, they not only had this but so much more, including a new type of interface none of us expected. The Onza, named after a predetory cat, is the a Razer controller for the Xbox 360. This controller comes equipped with adjustable tension on each of the joy sticks, allowing you to increase/decrease the resistance when moving the stick. Think of it like adjusting the DPI on you 360, how easy or hard it is to tranverse the pixels on your screen. Razer has also added an additional trigger button on both sides, which are programmable to any of the other button functions. For instance, if you find it difficult to run by pressing the analog stick down for long period of times, the third trigger button can be assigned this operation. This is acheived by using a switch on the back of the controller. The directional pad also saw upgrades, acting as four discreet buttons as opposed the Microsoft version, allowing more precision. This controller is marked for a third quarter release of 2010, with an MSRP of $49.99, and Razer has hopes to have this in physical retail shelves as well as online order.
The new Chimaera headset compliments the Onza, replacing the Microsoft version on the Xbox 360. These headphones feature 5.1 surround sound with semi-conductor and a 5.6 ghz signal broadcasting. The stand that it comes with not only gives the Chimaera a slick resting spot when not in use, but also recharge the headset via metal prongs the connect to transfer charge. This set is compatible with any controller and slated for a quarter three release, due at the same time as the Onza, with an MSRP of $129.99.
The most exciting concept, of course, was the new Sixense controller, which was only in development kit mode at the time of the demo. The Sixense is a dual wireless wand control system, using a receiving magnetic pillar and magnetic signals to produce motion control in the game. Yes, this sounds very familiar. However, rest assured that Razer has no intention of walking away from the core gamer market. That being said, this interface is extremely cool. The demo on hand was a modified version of Left 4 Dead 2, meaning first and foremost that Razer and Valve have partnered together. The third company to complete the triforce is Sixense, a company concentrated on gaming and more recently, of course, motion control. The Sixense system works very simply: a magnetic coil in the stand receives the magnetic signal from the wands, and mimics it in game. This system has 1mm of position and 1 degree of orientation accuracy. All the animations in L4D2 we're completely based on the user. As the demonstrater played through a small area withthe katana melee weapon, his exact movements we're copied in game. There are certain functions, such as jabbing to shove, tilting softly to the right to reload, and pulling up to jump. The charcater's movement is controlled from two analog sticks on either wand, and there are buttons used to do things such as 'use' and fire. At the time of demonstration, there was a lag of 40ms in the response time, but this is only a concept currently, and the response time is something Razer is working on.
Additional information on Sixense can be found at www.sixense.com.