Gametrak Freedom motion control announced for the Xbox

motion-control1

Edit: Motion controller dated -Read Here

Performance Designed Products (“PDP”) revealed its Gametrak Freedom motion sensing controller at the GDC in San Francisco yesterday. This is an interesting announcement, but what is not clear is whether this is the controller that Rare have been rumoured to be working with.The Freedom is said to be better than the Wiimote and does not rely on infra red. How much software support it will get is also unclear. It would make sense that there will be a lot of Wii games that should be easy to port to the 360, but will the Freedom be supported by MS?

 

Microsoft’s acquisition of 3DV Systems

(makers of the ZCam digital camera) has been heavily rumoured recently, so this announcement has bought some confusion to the situation. There are now a few questions that need answering.

  1. Are MS bringing out their own motion controller? If so, having two competing for market share would surely be confusing to the consumer.
  2. Are MS taking a two pronged attack to motion control, letting PDP have the controller while they concentrate on ZCam? This might make sense as combination could work well together.
  3. Are MS holding back the ZCam for the next generation of Xbox and letting third party developers dictate the progression of motion control on the 360? I find this unlikely.

What is certain is that the situation needs some clarification. We’ll let you know more when we hear more.

Here is the press release:

Los Angeles, CA – March 26, 2009 –Performance Designed Products (“PDP”) unveiled its latest technology that will change the face of gaming, introducing two new products at this week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Gametrak Freedom™ is a proprietary and patent-pending ultrasonic 3D motion sensing technology that delivers performance, increased control and flexibility. The system is comprised of a base unit, which attaches to the Xbox 360 video game  and entertainment system from Microsoft via USB, and a hand-held controller. Unlike other motion sensing gaming systems, Gametrak Freedom™ does not rely on the gamer pointing a controller at the screen, nor does it restrict the gamer to limited movements. The system accurately tracks the true 3D position and precise movements of up to four players anywhere within a given environment. This technology provides players with total control and unrivaled game play opportunities.

PDP will launch the Gametrak Freedom™ exclusively for Xbox 360 in fall 2009. The system will be bundled with “Squeeballs™,” a game specifically developed to showcase the technology. PDP recently received a worldwide product licensing agreement to publish games for Xbox 360, and “Squeeballs” is their first Microsoft-approved title.

“Squeeballs™” is a collection of over 150 unique challenges that showcases the capabilities of the controller. In the game, Squeeballs are toys that are manufactured on a secret island somewhere in the Pacific. Before the Squeeballs can be sold to children across the world, they must be fully tested by the players of the game. By using the controller, players can blow up, cook, slice, bat, bowl, shoot and bounce the Squeeballs with greater accuracy than is capable with any other controller.

 

2 Responses

  1. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  2. […] Read more details on the the Gametrak Freedom and accompanying game Squeeballs here: […]

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