It's been over a year since Razer and Sixense partnered up to develop a "revolutionary true-to-life, next-generation motion sensing and gesture recognition controller for PC gaming." Today we finally get to meet that controller: the Razer Hydra. As you'd expect the new peripheral will enable Wii-like gameplay across a number of PC titles, but rather than targeting a casual-gaming audience Razer is promising to take accuracy to the next level for serious gamers.
The Hydra's tracking technology works by way of a base station that emits a magnetic field, which Razer says allows the exact location and orientation of the handheld controllers to be detected with millimeter and degree accuracy. Razer is also promising ultra-low latency in order to get the most fluid and precise game experience ever.
The controller itself is reminiscent of the Nintendo Wii Nunchuk. It comprises two pieces, connected to the base station by an anti-tangle braided cable, and each features an analogue stick, four face buttons, a trigger button and a bumper, along with the magnetic motion sensors. Razer says the system was designed to be used in the typical seated in front of a PC set up, so while some may lament the lack of wireless functionality, it also means no batteries and lighter weight.
Razer has optimized the Hydra for compatibility with over 125 games out of the box, including Battlefield Bad Company 2, Bulletstorm, COD: Black Ops, Crysis 2, Resident Evil 5, and Valve's Portal 2. The controller will support downloadable configurations for future titles, and apparently can also be custom configured to work with other games.
The Razer Hydra will be available standalone for less than $100 or as part of a special edition Portal 2 Bundle for $140. Pre-orders will start in May, with shipping due to commence in June. You can check out a few more gameplay videos of the Hydra in Black Ops, Buletstorm and Left 4 Dead 2 over at Razer's website.