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CES 2014: Tivitas Sinister Hands-On

Posted by: John at 1/8/2014 9:03 AM

There are already a few gaming keypads out there such as the Logitech G13 and the Razer Orbweaver. At Showstoppers, the Sinister from Tivitas aims to be something unique in that area.

Right off the bat, the Sinister has interchangeable controls. Buttons and analog sticks are on these little squares that can detach and reattach to the base unit letting you customize where the button and stick placements are. If you want the buttons by the thumb, just move it there. If you rather have an analog stick, place that piece in that slot. It’s pretty unique and should offer a nice level of customization for gamers.

The customization doesn’t stop at the control level as the entire device and shift and change to suit your hand. Change the grip style by moving and sliding a few things around. The Sinister is made to make sure your hand is comfortable during gameplay.

ViviTouch technology is embedded into the Sinister to offer haptic feedback. The demo at Showstoppers had me firing a gun and I could feel the kickback from each individual bullet leaving the gun when my hand was resting on the Sinister. The hope is more unique effects will be felt in the Sinister from games making it a more immersive experience, something that rumble just doesn’t let you do in current controller incarnations.

The various prototypes at Showstoppers may look a little crude, but the potential is there. I like that you have a great deal of customization and the haptic feedback is pretty slick. The team behind the Sinister is hoping to have a beta in six months and then see from there. I always like these little products that try and add to the gaming experience and the Sinister has the potential to offer something unique and useful.