Interesting Gaming Interface

I found this really interesting- the goal is to bring the precision (and scroll wheel!) of a mouse to a handheld controller. Analog sticks are limited for things like aiming, and games often compensate with some degree of automatic lock-on.

He talks about development challenges and seems to have even manufactured some unique parts as he refined the concept. I had the obvious reaction of “why not just a touch pad” and he’s been exploring that too, and there are good reasons for his approach.

The form factor is so strange, but appears to be extremely functional.

Interesting, but as you mention there’s a software interaction piece that’s different between consoles and PC gaming which means refining the input can help (mapping a 360 degree field of fiew to a ~1" range of motion is obviously miserable) - but the fact that so many games have compensated by providing auto-aim instead to try to level the playing field, especially now that so many games have cross platform play. A lot of players have figured out that you actually can be better by leveraging those systems more than you can with a mouse and keyboard these days.

Definitely- this is a very niche and nerdy project about complete control. Not something many people are even asking for- I wonder if there are other applications for a handheld precision interface.

I watched a sonogram recently and the hardware interface was more specialized than I would have expected–

The mouse-controller hybrid is a more precision for a familiar handheld interface. The US Navy replaced joysticks with xbox controllers for controlling some periscopes because they provided the right level of control, were familiar to their users, and saved weight. Maybe there’s an application in remote control devices like drones or even remote surgery.

Check out these images of (probably very different) robotics-assisted surgery interfaces–

A tablet and stylus!!

And this thing for surgery in the nasal passage:

I think the real reason I found the video so interesting was the problem solving- so I’m definitely searching too hard for the problem to this solution.

Steam tried the touch pad idea a few years ago with their controller when they tried to launch a Steam Console. As I understand it the controller had similar goals - create a controller with the ease of use and form factor of a dual-analog console controller and the precision and variety of use of a mouse - as it had to work with both ports of Xbox/Playstation games designed around a controller and Steam’s giant back catalog of PC titles designed around a keyboard and mouse. The general consensus was that while it worked okay in just about every game, it wasn’t great at any of them. Players more often than not chose to switch back and forth between peripherals for the best possible control in any given game rather than staying with a single controller that was mediocre at everything. On the plus side, it look relatively interesting and was pretty comfortable to hold.

I don’t like the PS5 and Xbox controllers. As an old PC gamer they simply do not feel right for me.

They would be great for classic platform and arcade games I’m sure.

But for 3D games they feel lousy to me coming from mouse and keyboard.

Which is why I avoid gaming on console altogether.

I feel Sony and MS should start from scratch and create a more imaginative handheld controller.