HTC recently started accepting orders for the Vive Tracker universal tracking devices, which open the doors for a wide variety of trackable VR accessories for the Vive platform. Hyperkin’s Hyper Blaster, a pistol-shaped controller, is one of the first Vive Tracker accessories available, and Vertigo Games didn’t waste any time supporting it. Starting today, you can opt into an optional beta build of Arizona Sunshine that enables support for the Hyper Blaster pistol.
The Hyperkin Hyper Blaster pistol peripheral takes advantage of the pogo pins on the bottom of the Vive Tracker to pass button input data to the tracker, which then relays the signal wirelessly back to the host computer. The Hyper Blaster includes a trigger, menu button, grip buttons, and a trackpad, which means that you can replace your wand controller with a pistol. In fact, Vertigo Games took it one step further and baked in support for two Hyper Blasters so that you can dual wield.
To try the beta, right click on Arizona Sunshine in your Steam Library and select properties. Navigate to the Betas tab and, from the drop-down menu, select the Hyper Blaster testbranch. Once you have the Hyper Blaster beta installed, launch the game and open the setting menu. On the Input page, you can assign a Tracker to one (or both) of your hands.
If you don’t yet have a Vive Tracker, you can pre-order one for $99 from Vive.com (opens in new tab). The Hyperkin Hyper Blaster is and Amazon exclusive and it's currently available for pre-order $149 (opens in new tab) with an expected shipping date of December 22. The Hyper Blaster bundle includes the pistol peripheral, a Vive tracker, and a copy of Stress Level Zero’s Duck Season. If you don't yet have a copy of Arizona Sunshine, you can grab a copy from Steam for $39.99
No need. The controller comes with a code for Duck Season.
I question how is this supposed to be significantly better than using the stock controllers that come with the Vive. They already have triggers, and offer nearly identical functionality to these peripherals. Aside from having a slightly different shape, these controllers don't seem to bring much to the table. Is playing a game with controllers that have a different grip and larger triggers really worth $300?
Light-guns like the Nintendo Zapper were different in that they brought control options to the system that the stock controllers simply weren't capable of. Being shaped like a pistol also made sense, because you could actually see the controller while playing the game, and needed to line up your shots using the actual sights on the barrel. In VR, you can't see your controller, so it doesn't really matter what the parts you aren't touching are shaped like. Having an extended barrel on a controller like this serves no real purpose, and only increases your chances of smacking the controller into something.
The Vive Trackers themselves could be useful for other purposes, but if you want to track your legs and a pair of firearms in a game, for example, you are going to need a lot of trackers. And considering that you'll likely want multiple, the trackers themselves seem a bit expensive for what they do. VR's "early adopter tax" still seems to be in full effect. Just check out the other Vive Tracker add-ons featured on their official page. Here are two pieces of plastic shaped like paddles for $80...
There are also straps to simplify attaching the trackers to one's limbs or other objects, which aren't priced quite as bad at $15 each, but why isn't something like that included with the trackers themselves? Granted, you could make your own for next to nothing, but considering the straps likely cost less than a dollar to manufacture, they should be something that's included in the box, rather than a third-party add-on, considering the price. A single Vive tracker alone costs as much as two Oculus Touch controllers with an extra camera sensor. You would think that with more VR headsets starting to appear on the market, they would try to price their peripherals a bit more competitively.
The "Hyper Blaster" itself is at least a lot more substantial compared to the plastic paddles, but there will undoubtedly be better options available down the line. I can't imagine that it does a particularly great job of simulating weapons other than pistols. Even the game it comes bundled with, Duck Season, apparently still expects you to use it alongside a Vive controller in the other hand to reload and pump the in-game shotgun, since unlike the simulated light-gun depicted in the game, they didn't add a pump mechanism to the peripheral. It seems like it would be better for a VR firearm to be reconfigurable, to simulate more kinds of weapons, although in a game that allows you to switch through multiple weapon-types, reconfiguring it when switching between them might be cumbersome.