Have you ever played a game and thought, ‘Wow, I really wish I could get more in touch with my character and feel their pain and excitement’? No? Okay, have you ever wanted to look completely dorky while gaming? Of course you have!
TN Games has decided that gamers needed another peripheral that would make them outcasts in most modern societies, and introduced the world to the 3rd Space Gaming Vest. The basic principle is this; you plug a vest into your computer that interacts with the game. The vest has eight pneumatic cushions embedded in it (four at the front and four in the back) that operate independent of each other. The vest is connected to your PC via USB, as well as being attached to an air compressor the size of a paperback novel.
Setting the vest up is easy enough; you install the bundled software, connect the vest and open up one of the supported games (for a full list of supported games go to tngames.com/games.php). The vest we tested came bundled with Call of Duty 2, and we were actually impressed with its performance. The best part about using the vest in a FPS game is that you get tactical feedback that extends beyond your point of view, so if you get shot in the back you will feel where that shot is coming from. Using certain weapons in game will also give you a feeling of recoil near the shoulder.
The pneumatic pumps also work in other genres, like racing games. Here the vest will apply a constant pressure to simulate G-forces rather than the short burst it uses to simulate a gunshot.
The vest comes in different sizes, and it’s important to get a snug fit so the sensors sit in the right places. All the straps are adjustable and it’s available in black and woodland camouflage (so no one can see you playing games). Interestingly, the developers have just released a pink version as well – but no word on its compatibility with My Little Ponies Online as of yet.
We were understandably sceptical about these vests when they arrived at our test centre, but we were impressed with their accuracy and the fun they provided. The range of games is ever expanding as well, so there’s a fair chance you’ll find your favourite in there.But it doesn’t matter how good the product is if it makes you look like a complete idiot. The company behind the vest is currently working on a helmet as well, which would complete the look and possibly see you on your way to an insane asylum. Come back to us when you’ve replaced the pneumatic pumps with electrodes that shock the living daylights out of you.