More than a decade ago Nintendo introduced the N64, and with it came controllers equipped with a rumble feature, For the first time gamers were able to feel the impact of their games. That feature spread like wildfire and eventually made it’s way into the peripherals of other consoles and PC devices.
Gaming peripherals continued to evolve, and now a Washington based company by the name of TN Games has introduced a product called 3rd Space Vest. The product looks to take gamers well beyond the world of sight and sound, allowing them for the first time to feel the pressure of a bullet wound or the intense g-force associated with flying a fighter jet over enemy territory.
The vest is powered by an air compression system that fires pneumatic cells. There are eight contact points that delivers 10 pounds of force, each of which are arranged on the vest for first-person shooters, while a 10-cell version is specifically designed to deliver 360 degrees of pressure in racing games and flight simulators.
“It’s a perfect place to start because if you’re playing a shooter game there’s a lot of action that can be applied to the torso, and in terms of a driving game — that’s where all the action is,” said Mark Ombrellaro, Founder and President of TN Games.
The idea sounds great. Imagine playing Call of Duty on your PC, you sprint across the terrain only to be shot by a sniper, instantly feeling the pressure in your chest from the impact.
Ombrellaro’s stated that his goal is to raise the bar in terms of player game interaction, and apparently the vest is just the beginning, as he fully hopes to expand on the technology in the near future.
“What we’re going with is basically an entire suit,” Ombrellaro said. “Obviously, the vest is a start and then at CES we will be showing the arms, legs and the helmet that will go with it.”
So far, the list of supported PC games is at five, two will be playable instantly, while the other three will require a patch available via download at www.tngames.com for free. Incursion, a TN Games developed futuristic “kill the aliens” first-person shooter, as well as Activision’s extremely popular Call of Duty II game will both be supported out of the box and best of all, they will be included for free with the purchase of the vest itself. In addition, Quake 3 and 4, as well as Doom 3 (all purchased separately) will be supported with the update.
Look for TN games to aggressively seek out other titles both on and off the PC as Ombrellaro made it clear that he hopes to gain access to console games and other genres including MMORPG’s.
The vest is scheduled to be released on Nov. 21, and with a price tag of $189, the first blow you’ll feel, will be to your wallet.