Controller patent

Nestled in the Steam Machines Beta Test Agreement, like a babe in swaddling clothes, is the news that Valve is making a controller to compliment its recently-announced PC-console-Linux chimera.

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You didn't expect Valve to announce its own OS without a box to run it on, did you? Today they announced that they would be partnering with multiple developers as well as creating their own prototype hardware in 2014, as well as a beta program for current Steam users to see what they've been cooking up.

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by Joseph Leray

"EVE-VR" is an Oculus Rift-supported multiplayer spaceship dogfighting game developed by a group of artists and programmers at CCP Games, which is more famous for MMOs like "EVE Online" and "Dust 514." As the trailer above illustrates (sort of), the hook is that the Rift headset renders everything in a full 360 degrees, from the cockpit, to your wingmen at your sides, to the enemy missiles bearing down on your back.

I actually got to play "EVE-VR" this spring at Fanfest, CCP's annual fan celebration, back when it was just called "EVR." I'd never played an Oculus Rift game before, but its promise of immersive virtual reality became clearer -- and more exciting -- as I realized I could physically move my head to see the shattered asteroids, neon-colored lasers, and enemy fighters swirling around me.

"EVE-VR" also uses the Rift's three-axis motion tracking for its missile guidance systems: you can blow enemies into space dust just by looking at them.

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It's a wacky time to be a gamer -- I mean there have always been peripherals and gizmos promising to "take you to the next level™." From the NES Power Pad to the Sega Activator to flight sticks, racing wheels, and everything in between, we've longed for a time where we could digitally leap into our games. We saw a huge push over the last few years with motion controls and more recently VR has been within the grasp of the common gamer with Oculus Rift. And while the previously mentioned VR goggles are setting its sights on capturing a market there's only one thing it can't simulate -- the act of feeling like you're in a game.

Enter the Virtuix Omni VR Treadmill, a goofy yet intriguing concept, that will have you virtually hoofing around in you favorite digital world. We've seen the prototype but now it looks like the creators are turning to crowd funding to bring VR even closer to the masses.
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frank_lee_pong

"Pong" is the game that started it all, and it's about to come to life in a whole new way. On the evening of April 19th, the 83,360 square-foot, north-facing wall of Philadelphia's Cira Centre will be transformed into a massive, functional version of the classic arcade game, kicking off the third annual Philly Tech Week presented by AT&T from April 20-27th.

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IndieCade East

The West Coast has been having all the fun since 2009. Sure, they have the sun and the surf (if you like that kind of thing), but up until last weekend, they had independent games as well. IndieCade, the internationally recognized festival of indie games had been staked out exclusively in Los Angeles for the last four years, leaving the East Coast gamers and devs to play by themselves. However, that all changed last weekend when IndieCade kicked off their inaugural East Coast expansion at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. The three-day affair included many of the staples of the West Coast conference, including expert panels, workshops, keynotes, and most importantly games.
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Sifteo Cubes

New gaming platforms don't come along every day, so when they do they're always worth taking a look at. In 2011 years ago a small tech company, Sifteo Inc., headed up by David Merrill and Jeevan Kalanithi - two products of the MIT Media Lab, released an innovative gaming product, the Sifteo Cubes. They were a collection if small, 1.7 inch blocks with clickable LCD screens that communicated wirelessly with one another, allowing for responsive information to be passed between them, creating a system of tangible interactive objects. While they were pioneering, they we not without their limitations (requiring a computer to transmit data, a limited number of applications, hardware restrictions, etc.), but served as a great introduction of the concept for consumers and developers alike. Today Sifteo announced an updated, second generation of the Sifteo Cubes to build on the solid ground of the first generation by improving the platform in just about every way.
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Touch controls make tablet gaming pretty tough to enjoy and a lot gamers won't even bother giving it shot. However, as tablets become more and more powerful, developers will be able to create more high quality games. Thankfully, one manufacturer sees the potential and is in the process of creating the Wikipad, a powerful Tegra 3 powered tablet accompanied by a console-style controller attachment.

In a recent interview with GamesBeat, the company behind the device (which happens to share the same name) revealed the final specs for the Wikipad and the device looks pretty promising. Read More...

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Earlier this year, at E3 2012, Microsoft introduced the crowd to their new SmartGlass technology that adds a second screen to games in much the same way Nintendo's Wii U will. Not too long after that they revealed the Microsoft Surface tablet. Now, it looks like Halo 4 may be the first game to come packed with Surface functionality. Read More...

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For years gamepads have been using force feedback to make us feel more immersed in the games we're playing, but simple vibrations (while handy when the volume is low) don't provide different feedback for different actions or situations – its always the same rumble. The gamepad prototype you see above aims to change all of this with a new tactile feedback system embedded in the dual analog sticks. Read More...

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