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DS SmartStylus and Xbox360 GameTrak Freedom Unveiled

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Old 26-03-2009
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DS SmartStylus and Xbox360 GameTrak Freedom Unveiled
  

A new Xbox controller and a new stylus for the Nintendo DS family have been unveiled at the Game Developers Conference in the States.

Gametrak Freedom is a proprietary and patent-pending ultrasonic 3D motion sensing technology that delivers performance, increased control and flexibility. The system is comprised of a base unit, which attaches to the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft via USB, and a hand-held controller.



Unlike other motion sensing gaming systems, Gametrak Freedom does not rely on the gamer pointing a controller at the screen, nor does it restrict the gamer to limited movements. The system accurately tracks the true 3D position and precise movements of up to four players anywhere within a given environment. This technology provides players with total control and unrivaled game play opportunities.



The SmartStylus accessory for Nintendo's DS is in its prototype stage and has vibration feedback but can include LEDs, sound and motion feedback. The latter will allow users to send control inputs to the portable gaming console even when the stylus is held at a distance from the DS

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Old 26-03-2009
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Re: DS SmartStylus and Xbox360 GameTrak Freedom Unveiled

Interestingly enough, due to the Freedom's precision, players will actually have to put effort into movements unlike the faked wrist-flicks done in current gesture-based games. In other words, buy a pane of bulletproof glass to put in front of your television this fall.
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Old 26-03-2009
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Re: DS SmartStylus and Xbox360 GameTrak Freedom Unveiled

PDP is taking an interesting approach with the Freedom in terms of software integration. Rather than waiting on developers to adapt titles for the product (although PDP says that third-party software is already in the works) they've produced their own launch title, Squeeballs through their acquisition of UK-based developers In2Games. Now when you think in-house software development you probably think unpolished microgames, but Squeeballs is actually surprisingly detailed and diverse, with a 11 different mini-game types, with a total of 150 challenges. Each of the mini-games showcases a different aspect of the Freedom's advanced motion sensing technology. One mini-game in particular, Shock, highlights the Freedom's precise motion detection. In it, you must guide a ring along a highly-electrified wire without allowing the ring to make contact. The wire becomes more and more complex as you progress through stages, requiring extensive physical movement on the behalf of the user, which is ultimately what makes the Freedom unique. Unlike a Wiimote, where you can trick the infrared sensor into detecting full movement by flicking your wrists, the Freedom's ultrasonic detection system requires full physical movement from the user, and we mean that in a good way. In order to really apply force to an in-game object, users must take full swings with a proportional level of force.

As it stands specific details regarding pricing and availability for the GameTrak Freedom have not been announced, but the product is expected to be hitting retailers in Q4 of this year.
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