Human-Game Interface

Starwars Arcade Machine

Until recently, the most innovative game controllers have mostly been the domain of Video Arcades. Motorbikes that pull from side to side, Car simulators, flight-sim capsules, and Point’n'shoot guns to name a few.

Some of these had filtered over into the home environment. Joysticks, Steering wheels and guns could be bought for most home consoles and PC’s. In recent years however, the real driver in innovation has come from outside the Video Arcade, and has instead come from the home console developers.

WiiMote Controller

One of the notable drivers of development has been Nintendo, which has in the last few years has offered the most innovative ways of interacting with games. The DS portable touch screen, and to the motion sensitive WiiMote for Nintendo Wii..

Sony has followed with a somewhat more subtle improvement to it’s Playstation controller, the  ”Sixaxis” motion sensitive controller.

While Microsoft has not yet emulated this motion-sensitive functionality for it’s Xbox 360 controller, it will soon raise the bar for it’s competitors with the announcement of project natal, a new motion sensor technology that will allow gamers to control games through body movements, without the need to have any controller in hand.

Guitar Hero has Guitar and Drum controllers

Another sometimes overlooked innovation to the world of game controllers are the various rock band instruments that interact with gaming consoles. These includes guitars, drums and microphones.

So it is easy to see that this is an area of fierce competition, with companies trying to offer the most fun and interactive ways of entertaining their customers. But what will the future of gaming look like? What are some of the technologies either in development or available today that might find their way into the mainstream for gamers young and old?

One of the things holding back the realism of a virtual reality environment is that the player in the real world is still just standing still. There is still a feeling of not completely being there in the game world. The obvious solution to this has been the use of a treadmill to allow a players’ walking and running movements to be mirrored in the virtual environment.

Omni-directional Treadmill

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