3dRudder 'Blackhawk' Offers Precision Control For Gamingby Joe Shields on January 9, 2018 7:00 PM EST
With CES 2018 in full swing, 3dRudder is back for the fourth year in a row. This year, 3dRudder is showing off a revised version of its VR foot controller called the 3dRudder Blackhawk that features a new design intended to better suit gaming purposes. 3dRudder also updated its software suite to improve the usability of the device.
The 3dRudder is a novel controller that lets you navigate 3D space with your feet, so you can leave your hands free to do other things. It supports desktop software, such as 3D CAD design applications, and it also works with VR design applications, such as the Unreal Engine VR Editor. And from day one, 3dRudder intended the device to work with VR games. The company created software that brings 3dRudder into room-scale VR and Oculus Rift Games.
The original 3dRudder supported the above use cases, but the controller doesn’t offer the level of precision many would like to have seen for gaming. You can learn to be precise with the 3dRudder in CAD applications, and in slow-paced games, but rapid movements are difficult to perform without losing footing on the device. The 3dRudder Blackhawk includes straps for your feet to solve that problem. The straps are made of a firm yet flexible material that gently clamps your feet into place. This ostensibly allows you to play games with higher intensity and not have to worry about losing your footing on the controller.
The new Blackhawk also includes an Active Dead Zone Feature which takes the intensity of your movement into account and provides a higher level of control. For example, when sitting still, the 3dRudder can still register small movements. With the Active Dead Zone, users will not need to adjust the sensitivity to counter any jittery movements as the ADZ compensates for you.
The new controller also includes LEDs that indicate the status of the device, and it includes guides along the center to help you place your feet in the correct position without having to look down. The LEDs are exclusive to the 3dRudder Blackhawk, but the guides and straps for your feet will be available as upgrades for existing 3dRudder devices. 3dRudder said that the foot guide kits and the foot strap kits would be available in February and will sell for $24 and $19, respectively. The company plans to sell the 3dRudder Blackhawk for $139, and the kits should be available in the spring.
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Written with Kevin Carbotte | Tom's Hardware