Motion capture in gaming has been a bit limited; flailing around in front of the Kinect is all very well for casual games, but doesn't really cut it for hardcore joystick jockeys.
YEI Technologies has come to the rescue with its PrioVR motion control rig – it's a set of sensors that you strap to your torso and arms (and, optionally, your legs) that capture orientation and position data and translate your movements into your game.
Naturally, we had to have a go.
Getting the PrioVR suit on is a bit of a palaver – it helps if you have your own valet to help with all the straps and clips. After calibrating the sensors by holding your arms out in front of you for ten seconds, you're good to go.
YEI Technologies has created a demo game in which you run around blasting zombies – and with an Oculus Rift headset on, it's remarkably intuitive. Movement and shooting is controlled by a pair of Wii nunchuks, with aiming simply a matter of pointing and shooting.
You can even whip out a baseball bat and set about the zombies, though in practice it involved more frantic waving of the arms than was strictly dignified.
The framerate was generally smooth, and we didn't detect any noticeable lag in movement. And there's no denying that aiming and shooting with your arms makes more sense than using a gamepad in conjunction with an Oculus Rift headset.
There are a few issues as regards practicality, though; strapping yourself into the PrioVR is a faff, and the micro USB connectors joining the sensors together have a tendency to come loose – something we're assured the makers are dealing with.
Beyond that, there's the question of how many game developers will build in support for a niche device like the PrioVR – though if they have any sense they will, as it makes for an incredibly immersive experience.
Pricing for the PrioVR starts at US$300 for the upper-body suit, and US$400 for the full rig; a Kickstarter campaign will kick off on 14th Feburary. How romantic.