A Sova For Your Sofa
Who wouldn’t like to sit on the sofa, comfortably playing a game with a keyboard and mouse? This is what Roccat asked right before the company set out to provide an all-in-one couch-gaming solution that didn’t result in awkwardly bent limbs and a sprawl of wires. We're not sure if the folks at Roccat were being humorous or straightforward when naming their device quite simply: Sova.
Today we're posting exclusive photos, drawings and renders that Roccat shared with Tom's Hardware Germany.
It’s easy to come up with a design idea in your mind, but if you want to get other people on board with it, having a pencil and some paper handy is absolutely essential.
Tenkeyless Saves Some Space
With space at a premium, Roccat settled on the reduced tenkeyless keyboard layout in order to give the mouse as much space as possible to roam around freely.
Taking Shape On Paper
Daydreaming, brainstorming and kicking around ideas is all well and good, but in order to actually build the thing, the conceptual drawings must also continue to evolve.
Form Follows Function
A cutting board with handles? Maybe a flying saucer? Roccat certainly has its own design style, which makes the company's products easy to identify just by looking at them. The trick is to translate the huge lap tray idea into an acceptable design without sacrificing form or function.
After Some Tinkering, Things Get Real
Following some work with the jigsaw, we were permitted to relax on the couch with the Sova’s first wooden mockup with Roccat’s Power-Grid attached.
A Professional Gamer as a Lab Rat
Ko "HyuN" Seok Hyun is a Team Roccat member from South Korea. He loves playing StarCraft II, and he does so very successfully - and probably earns a nice bundle doing so, too. Here you can see him using a slightly modified version of the earlier mockup, sans Power-Grid.
A Desk for the Lap
The professional gamer seem astonished. Is it the shock that the Sova is actually usable, or bewilderment that anyone would even think that it could be?
Entering Three Dimensions
After putting the pencil and paper, as well as the jigsaw, back where they belong, it was time to iron out the details on the PC, where the first real design renders were created.
Mechanics at Work
Bad news for those who prefer a nice, squishy, rubber dome keyboard: it looks like the keyboard part of the Sova will use mechanical switches. Cherry MX Black, now made by the ZF Friedrichshafen AG in Germany, were used for the mockup and are also reportedly on the short list for production.
Laptop-Inspired Wrist Rest
As with another ubiquitous lap-based device, the notebook computer, the Sova most definitely needs a wrist rest. In a pinch, this space can also double as an easy-to-clean place to rest a slice of pizza.
No it's not dumb. Mouse is easily the most accurate controller there is - and many pc games require more buttons than what controllers have. I've been using a setup like this over 15 years...
The 360 controller is just about the best setup but the Windows UI doesn't work with it by default and as you enter / exit games, not all of them hand control properly back and forth between programs (from game to XBMC or Steam). Let's not even talk about games with splash screens that you need a mouse to get past.
If you figure out the controls (like with a PITA configured Pinnacle Game Profiler or similar), there is still a small matter of PC UI on most games, which is just way too small for living room use. The majority of PC games are still designed with a default assumption that you have a monitor in your face.
Maybe with Steam Machines this will change but at this point consoles are still the best choice for the living room, I'm sad to say.
I used to try gaming on my tv, since it's larger, but my 1600p monitor wins.
Otherwise, it was all solved with a 20$ tv tray.