Immersion in gaming is something developers have sought to accomplish since the advent of 3-D graphics and advanced polygons. Tactile feedback is important for humans to identify with activities and situations.
Many companies, such as Immersion, use haptic feedback in video game controllers to convey a sense of inclusion. While other companies like TN Games, develops more radical equipment to enhance “the realism of entertainment media through advanced sensory experiences.”
TN Games recently announced that it is developing a force-feedback helmet that will function with their already released 3rd Space Gaming Vest. The HTX helmet is designed to deliver “blows to the head when you are fired upon.” TN Games promises players a level of immersion in their games never before felt. The ability to feel bullets whiz by your head or the feeling of a “headshot” would certainly bring a new level of fear to your games.
The technology behind TN Game’s force feedback products is a small air compressor system that inflates/deflates air pockets inside the gaming gear that delivers up to five pounds of force per actuator. According to TN Games, five pounds of force feels similar to dropping a roll of pennies six inches above your stomach. Each actuator is capable of independent firing rates and force. The specifics are being controlled via TN’s proprietary software drivers in conjunction with supported games.
TN Games insists that the Gaming Vest and the HTX Helmet are both safe, fun and poses no physical danger as long as it’s being used according to instructions. We are not sure if such level of immersion is necessary for you to fully enjoy a game of Call of Duty but if you are so inclined and prefer a side of pain to your entertainment, the 3rd Space Gaming Vest can be purchased directly from TN Games for $139.99 USD in three different styles and colors. The HTX Helmet is currently still in development but has an expected release sometime in 2009.