Input
Aimpad gives gamepad sensitivity to keyboard controls

The Premise. The decades-old debate of “keyboard vs. gamepad” rages on as strongly as ever, with things like Steam Big Picture adding native gamepad support to bring the console experience to PC gaming. It still causes sacrifices to be made, and a better solution surely still exists.

The Product. The Aimpad is a device for gamers that offers PC keyboard-like control using analog keys for a better variation of movement. Whether sneaking around a corner or making that perfect race-track turn, Aimpad’s infrared sensor keys let gamers push their movement down with all the precision of an analog stick on a familiar keyboard style controller. When paired with a mouse, this allows for full analog control in any game that supports it. The device is fully programmable to allow macros and key remapping thanks to an included license of Pinnacle Game Profiler.

The Pitch. Aimpad is clearly serious about its gaming, showing off admitted limitations of playing highly popular, AAA games using a standard keyboard. The same games are then played using the analog keys of the Aimpad, and the difference is immediately noticeable in terms of control and performance. This kind of technology is surprisingly largely absent from the hardcore gaming market, and so Aimpad wants to change that with its dedicated keyboard controller. Aimpad wants to raise the oddly specific total of $159,999 to refine the design and enter the manufacturing phase.

The Perks. The Aimpad is available at the $119 pledge level, ready to go in February 2015. For the gamers that simply can not wait, an early prototype beta model is available in July 2014 for $799, and an earlier prototype will ship in May for backers of $1,999 or more.

The Potential. There is a lot of potential here for gamers who prefer PC, specifically for keyboard and mouse control. While it does allow for a greater variety of control schemes, the lack of analog control has been missing for far too long. The developers admit that the current design is a little lacking, so it remains to be seen what they do with the finished model, but for now, the mere promise of analog keys is enough for some people to put their money up. The simple integration of just this single feature means not having to learn a whole new control scheme (such as with the King’s Assembly). A device like this will be a great companion for the Steam Machine as well.

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