The Premise. All the buzz of the Oculus Rift has made a giant wave in the gaming community. The games themselves may be growing more and more lifelike and advanced, but the controller interface remains largely the same. With VR headsets and omnidirectional headsets comes the need for a controller that is as immersive for action as those peripherals are for vision and movement.
The Product. Echo is a PC and Linux-compatible wireless controller designed for first-person shooters that offers unparalleled immersion. The housing for the control is a modified real firearm, not unlike high-quality airsoft rifles. With extra buttons and an added joystick, players can use the Echo as a stand-alone device for movement, in addition to realistic aiming, firing, and reloading. Fire modes can be changed from single shot to automatic, and reloading is accomplished by ejecting and reattaching the gun’s magazine.
The Pitch. The video pitch for the Echo is all about high drama, with an intense musical background and plenty of action in some of today’s hottest first-person shooter titles. The rest of the campaign’s coverage can be a little technically dense in terms of explaining the functionality of the device, but the passion and excitement of the Echo Solutions team in the attached videos is easy to understand upon seeing the controller in action. They company’s funding goal is $100,000 to bring the controller into production, but multiple stretch goals are available, opening the door for MacOS support, force feedback and peripheral add-ons, and eventually console support at $150,000.
The Perks. A product designed for elite gamers, the Echo controller is available starting at $400 pledges. Functionally, there are no upgrades available, but in terms of style points, backers can get a custom camouflage on their Echo for $700, and a personal engraving with weapon case for $1,000. The Echo supply drop will reach the battlefield in November.
The Potential. Shooter fanatics have to be salivating at the look of this controller, especially with the suggestion that if this peripheral can reach production, gamers will have a choice of their favorite gun models to choose from. Devices like these are almost always a case of novelty more than competitive control, but it would make watching e-sports that much more exciting to see a team of players running on treadmill controls and using the steadiness of their own arms to pull off their professional-grade shots.