You know you’ve got a winning product when everyone who tries it comes away with huge grins and can’t stop talking about the experience. Which was exactly what happened at the TN Games booth today. The FPS Gaming vest is a new gaming peripheral aimed at the first person shooter market. Looking like a flack jacket, the vest will actually "punch" you when you get hit. Not only that, but it punches where you get hit too. It doesn’t bruise, but you definitely know you’ve been fragged and where the shot came from.
Now for the fun part. At the show they’re demonstrating a prototype helmet to add on to the system. When I first heard about this I had a few reservations. I mean, you don’t normally say "yes" to someone when they say "Hey, wear this helmet that will hit you in the head".
It works though, and works well. Playing the demo game I got taken down by an alien, and the fatal shot came straight to the back of the head. Ouch…
Gaming hardware is dead in the water if it doesn’t have title support, which is why TN have developed drivers for a bunch of common games including Crysis, Half Life 2, Medal of Honour and F.E.A.R.
The vest without helmet is available now from the TN Games website for $169 which seems pretty good value to me for the experience. The helmet is still prototype and there’s no final price or availability yet. You need a USB connection and presumably some sort of power for the air compressor.
The unintentional model in the photo is Adam from VeniceTheMenace.com, who had the misfortune to be there as I was walking around with the camera!