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CES 2008: TN Games

Posted by: Chuck at 1/13/2008 3:30 PM
While CES didn't have a lot in the way of new games, the show did feature a lot of new ways to interact with your games.  An example of this was found at the TN Games booth where they were showing off their 3rd Space HXT equipment lineup.  Currently TN Games is offering two vest (one for FPS games, one for racing games) and a helmet that are lined with small inflatable air bladders.  The bladders inflate in response to events in the game and provide a level of feedback for the game.  In FPS games the bladders inflate when you get shot while racing games inflate to show the G-forces when you round a corner.

I got the chance to check out both sets of equipment while at my appointment and it's fairly decent equipment.  The vests are big enough that larger games aren't going to have any problems (I'm not what you would call "slim") and it does add a bit of realism to the game. The FPS vest has eight air bladders (four on the front, four on the back) and while the game they showed at the booth wasn't that impressive, feeling the shots on your body does really change your perspective on the game a bit.  The helmet was also interesting and while the unit at CES was a prototype it really makes you a bit more aware of headshots in the game.  Hardware like this usually fails because developers don't support it but the folks at TN Games already have drivers for several other big FPS games like the Half-Life 2 games and Crysis

The FPS vest was nice but I liked the racing vest just a bit more even though they lost power to the demo station half-way through the demo.  The racing vest has a big air bladder in the front and back with smaller ones on the side.  Instead of indicating when you've been hit the vest is a bit more subtle as the air bags inflate to indicate G-forces pulled through turns.  It's not as glamorous as the FPS vest but I can see racing fans flocking to it as it really brings you further into the game.  I also wonder if they folks at TN Games couldn't market this same vest for flight sim fans and make a mint there.