Virtual reality first person shooter games are about to get a lot more exciting thanks to Impulse Gear’s quest for the most immersive shooter experience possible. The developer's debut game, Farpoint, comes out on May 16 and it’s bringing with it a new gun peripheral from Sony called the Aim Controller. With the controller, PlayStation VR could become the premier platform for virtual reality FPS games—at least until the Vive tracker and its accessories hit the market.
Impulse Gear’s founders formed the company to build first person shooters for VR. The company felt that the current controller offerings fell short of delivering the experience that it was after. Move controllers offer tracked hand control, but they don’t offer a locomotion system. The PlayStation Dual Shock 4 controllers offer locomotion control through the form of thumbsticks, but a gamepad restricts your ability to aim in VR. Impulse Gear worked closely with Sony on this creation.
The PlayStation Aim Controller features a glowing ball like the Move controller, which lets the camera track the controller’s orientation. The controller features handles for both of your hands. The rear handle includes a trigger for your index finger and a thumbstick and the four PlayStation input buttons (ex, square, circle, triangle) for your thumb. The front handle includes the D-pad buttons, a second thumbstick, the share and options buttons. The left and right shoulder buttons are also on the front of the controller where your index finger would rest.
Sony said it “prioritized the position of the trigger button and analog sticks” over buttons that aren’t used as frequently in shooter games. The company also put the effort in to ensure the controller could be used with either hand so as not to leave out left-handed gamers. All of the buttons are in central positions on the controller’s tube-like chassis.
Sony said it designed the Aim Controller with the tube-like structure so that the peripheral doesn’t look like a real gun. The company said it chose a design that would allow anyone, including young children, to “feel comfortable playing with it.”
Comes with 'Farpoint,' supports several upcoming games.
Impulse Gear had a big hand in developing the PlayStation Aim Controller, but the peripheral isn’t just for Farpoint.
Yesterday we learned that Arizona Sunshine would grace the PSVR platform next month and it would feature full support for the Aim Controller. Phosphor Games is bringing PlayStation Aim Controller support to The Brookhaven Experiment in a patch on June 26, promising that Sony’s new peripheral brings a whole new way to experience the game. And Bolverk Games said you’ll be able to go fishing with the PlayStation Aim Controller in Dick Wilde on the same day the controller comes out.
First Contact Entertainment was also quick to embrace Sony’s VRrifle controller. First Contact Entertainment’s VR shooter ROM: Extraction debuted on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive in December 2016. We now know that the game will make its way to PlayStation VR this summer. The PC VR versions of the game require Vive or Touch motion controllers to play. The PSVR version of the game supports the PlayStation Move motion controllers and the new PlayStation Aim Controller.
First Contact Entertainment said it reworked the game to support the Aim Controller. The developer reworked the rifle models to ensure that the game offers a 1:1 representation of where your hands are on the gun. The developer also changed one of the core mechanics of the gameplay to work better with the Aim Controller. ROM: Extraction features grenade-like orbs that you can throw into a group of enemies with one hand and shoot the orb with your other hand. With both hands on the controller, throwing an orb like a grenade wouldn’t work. First Contact Entertainment implemented a grenade launcher to replace the hand-tossed grenade method.
The fact that First Contact Entertainment found it necessary to alter the game’s mechanics to fully support the Aim Controller raises questions about how versatile the controller can be. By using the Aim Controller, you’re giving up the freedom to move your hands independently in the game, which could limit the use cases for the controller. We’ll just have to wait and see how developers embrace this promising new peripheral.
The PlayStation Aim Controller is available in a package deal with Farpoint. Sony also offers the controller individually, but the company said that it has limited quantities available for the standalone peripheral.