CrunchArcade
e3 2010

Forcetek's Xio arm-mounted controller is… promising?

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What can one say about a controller that fits onto your arm like a brace and uses the position of your elbow and wrist to control games? Well, it’s kind of awesome: more hardware during a decidedly minimalist gaming trend. But it’s also extremely limited and potentially very expensive. As I noted when they announced it, it’s based on technology used for physical therapy — low-resistance exercise and all that. Somehow I doubt it’s made to be affordable, especially when Forcetek’s dream is a full-body exoskeleton. Man, are you kidding me? You can’t even get people to shell out for a second Nunchuk!

I saw it in use at E3, though I didn’t get to try it out (I was in a hurry), and although the demo guy seemed to be pretty competent with it, I don’t see much of an advantage over something like the Move except in the force-feedback area. It probably will run out of power a lot faster, too — unless they do something clever like use resistance to movement to charge the device.

It was behaving a bit strangely due to the huge amount of WiFi in the area (much like at Nintendo and Apple’s press conferences) but control looked pretty smooth. I’ll wait till I see the final model, though. This one looked like a bunch of sphygmomanometers held together with velcro.

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