To Haul!

Well, I didn’t get the OCZ NIA. Didn’t get the Falcon either. I’m intrigued by both and will probably pull the trigger on one when my birthday circles ’round next month. I steered clear for now though. Instead, I got this:

my new bag

Maybe it’s just a product of getting old, but I’m pretty excited about my new bag. Of course, it is light-years better than what I’ve been using:


I won’t get into a whole photo series, but if you could see the frayed edges and holes in that trusty, old Triple 5 Soul backpack then you would understand. Its time had come. The new hotness is a worthwhile replacement, and will serve me well during the coming Sundance trip. I’ll miss the old bag though; it’s seen me through a lot. R.I.P.

I am still wrestling with the NIA vs Falcon question though. I’m thinking more in conceptual terms now since I’m not getting either one for at least a month, if even then. Still though, it’s an interesting conundrum.

Mind-control in video games is by far the cooler option, but it really does sound a whole lot like learning to use a new control system which is as far removed from reality in some ways as the current wave of input devices. Really, I see our gamepads, Wii remotes, keyboards and mice as having the edge since there’s a physical thing to interact with.

It probably feels intuitive to dart your eyes around the screen and have the game respond accordingly. This is notably the least functional aspect of NIA by the way, at least according to reports. However, I can’t see how other input commands – such as clenched teeth – could really feel natural when tethered to, say, firing a weapon.

The Falcon, on the other hand, enhances the physical sensation of interacting with the virtual space. The best example I read – I believe it was on Joystiq, but I honestly cannot remember – described a scenario in which the Falcon’s motors lock in place when a boss zombie pins your avatar in Left 4 Dead. Now that’s just neat. Especially if your hand is physically wrenched in a direction as a result of the action, which seems to be the case. If only they weren’t charging for individual game profiles.

I’d still love to hear firsthand impressions of either device from any of you readers. Same goes for any thoughts you have on the Think vs. Feel control systems. Do you think there’s really a future in video games for brainwave-reading devices? Do you think the approach taken by the NIA moves in the right direction?

How about the Falcon and the added level of immersion it promises? Is it worth paying a premium for new games if you can have the extra layer of engagement with the game-world? Do you even want to experience the realistic feel of weapon recoil from your video games?


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