Love them or loathe them, motion controllers are sweeping the gaming landscape and changing the way many people interact with their games. For the most part, PC gamers have been left in the shade with much of the attention being directed towards the consoles. Now it appears Razer wants to bring motion gaming to PC players with an exclusive Portal 2 controller.
Unveiled at CES 2011, the Razer Hydra is a new piece of PC hardware which has been made and designed for exclusive use with Valve’s Portal 2. Unlike other motion controllers, the Hydra forgoes the use of infrared sensors or cameras; instead a small base station generates a six-foot electromagnetic field that allows the controller to move in a completely 3D manner. The end result is accuracy that Razer promises will be within one millimeter and one degree of real life movement.
To further appeal to potential Portal 2 buyers, Razer has partnered with Valve to create exclusive content that will come packaged in a special premium bundle, expected to be priced under $100. With this content, the controller will be put to good use with new and exclusive levels as well as brand new techniques that can be used to solve puzzles. Aperture Science boxes can be enlarged, shrunk, and thrown using the Hydra, while the portal gun can be controlled directly with the use of the controller.
Unfortunately, no further insight was given as to future games that might support these controllers. With no other official alternative controllers available to PC gamers, this may for the time being be all the motion sensor gaming PC players can expect, though Microsoft did make hints at CES of a future marriage between Windows and Kinect.
While this writer thinks the integration is highly impressive, it does come across as as a very niche product. Given the estimated price and the content mentioned, it’s hard to see casual gamers being swayed into making this purchase for what is essentially DLC and a peripheral controller. Even hardcore fans of Valve and Portal may find themselves put off by the perceived lack of long-term life in the product.
Maybe Razer will announce future partnerships and turn this into a product that genuinely becomes more. Nevertheless, we here at Game Rant are very excited about Portal 2, and any opportunity to enhance the experience is welcome indeed.
Would you be willing to purchase these controllers for just one game? What other games would you like to use these in?
Portal 2 is expected to be released in late Februray 2011 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC platforms.
The Razer Hydra will release concurrently with the PC edition of Portal 2.