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Razer Unveils Portable Gaming Device Concept

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the dude-what-if-the-keys-on-your-laptop-were-huuuuuge dept.

Portables 66

MerelyASetback writes "Razer has shown a new concept for a gaming device that uses a pair of 7-inch multitouch displays as well as a layer of tactile, dynamic keys on the lower screen. Much like the Optimus Maximus of yesteryear, this keyboard would enable gamers to place different screens underneath depending on the title, and even within a game — you could imagine the keys shifting to account for different POVs, levels, scenarios, etc. Internally, the concept is based around an Intel Atom processor, but there's no word on what kind of GPU would work alongside of it."

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66 comments

Razer, really? (1)

aussieslovethecock (1840034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34788700)

I just find it so surreal that these guys, every single time there's a new chance to come to market, they put out a seemingly non-erotic product that has no use when I put it in my pants. Wankerrrrrrrrrrs!

External controllers (1)

Tekoneiric (590239) | more than 3 years ago | (#34788750)

That's be great but it better damn well support my Nostromo. I don't game on a PC without it.

Re:External controllers (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34788800)

I'd say it is more of a meh. I mean c'mon it has a fricking Atom CPU! even if they went dual core Atom that is just double shitty. Seriously look at how many games like L4D already will pound the hell out of an older Pentium Dual or even a Core2Duo, and you're gonna build a gaming laptop on the Atom? Maybe it is because the screens are gonna suck serious money as well as power, but why cripple your device with such a shitty CPU?

I could see it if they went with Bulldozer or a ULV I series with an NV GPU, but you know that anything more heavy than WoW is gonna make that thing into a slideshow. An in order CPU like Atom was made for web browser and even that it does slow, it sure as hell ain't no gamer chip. Hell I've seen a 6 year old Pentium just spank an Atom, so you know any really modern games would just choke, much less the games coming down the line. The only numbers I could fine for the Atom dual is here [guruht.com] and it is a bad joke. Hell the AMD Fusion at 500MHz slower just stomps it, and nobody would think of calling the 1GHz Fusion a gamer's chip, so what were they thinking?

Re:External controllers (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34788850)

L4D already will pound the hell out of an older Pentium Dual or even a Core2Duo

Uhh. I got Core 2 Duo and I'm playing L4D2 at max settings at 1600x900 perfectly fine, CPU usage never reaches even 80%. If you bring a Core 2 Duo to a grinding halt with L4D then you're doing something seriously wrong.

Re:External controllers (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34788858)

Software-emulated DirectX? :P

Re:External controllers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789158)

That might actually be playable using Swiftshader.

Re:External controllers (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790294)

I bought an Acer Aspire One back in April (it was stolen a month or so ago). It had a 1.6 Atom N270, and I never saw anything except a weak wifi signal slow it down. Of course, I wasn't playing a modern game on it, but it streamed video flawlessly. if you used one as an IO device and had the PC doing the heavy processing, and Atom would work just fine.

What does an X-Box or Wii use for a processor?

Re:External controllers (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790600)

What does an X-Box or Wii use for a processor?

Original Xbox: Intel Celeron at 733 MHz, and its GPU is essentially a GeForce 3. Wii: PowerPC G3 at 729 MHz, and I haven't been given a solid comparison between the AMD Hollywood and PC GPUs.

Re:External controllers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34790782)

Hollywood was either R300 or R400 level I believe. Maybe something in-between. I think they have basic stats for it in the Comparison of ATI GPU page on wikipedia.

Re:External controllers (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792670)

Wow, that seems WAY less powerful than an Atom, with its 1.8 gHz dual core processor. So I'm left scratching my head here.

Re:External controllers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34788886)

Considering that the Atom can easily hold up to a P4 performance-wise, I don't see that being a problem, especially if it's dual core. My old P4 2.8GHz with a Geforce 8600GTS can run a game like Bioshock at maximum settings, so even a single core Atom at 2GHz paired with a decent GPU should be able to do the same. The Atom is the best choice because it offers low power consumption, compatibility with a wide range of PC games and is powerful enough to run quite a few of them.

You also have to consider that this is meant as a handheld gaming device. As such, it still more powerful than a DS, PSP, Wiz, Pandora or any other handheld on the market.

Re:External controllers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34790010)

Atom is nowhere near Pentium 4 on clock per clock performance. In fact "The performance of a single core Atom is about half that of a Pentium M of the same clock rate." according to wikipedia.

That said I think Atom would be quite sufficient for this kind of portable gaming thing.

Re:External controllers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34790842)

The Pentium M and Pentium III were both faster than the Pentium 4 in a clock for clock comparison. Don't believe me? Have a look for yourself [cpubenchmark.net] . Pentium 4 2.8GHz scores 415 and Atom Z550 2.0GHz scores 386.

Multithreading (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790474)

and you're gonna build a gaming laptop on the Atom?

As Anonymous Coward pointed out [slashdot.org] , the Atom is more powerful than the CPU in a PSP, 3DS, or older iPod touch. (I'm unsure about comparing it to the A4 in the iPod touch 4.) I'd imagine that games designed for an Atom-based platform, especially one with the GeForce 9400 in an ION chipset, can look better than games for almost any existing gaming handheld.

An in order CPU like Atom

Each of the three cores in the Xbox 360 CPU is also in-order. But like the Xbox 360 CPU, the Atom CPU has multithreading so that if an instruction gets stalled, instructions from the other thread fill the pipeline.

Re:Multithreading (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34791258)

There is a couple of SERIOUS PROBLEMS with your comparison. One, you are talking about CPUs that were custom designed for gaming compared to an off the shelf in order Atom, and Two, You are talking about devices that had custom ultra low resource gaming OSes VS running Windows 7 plain Jane.

I'm sorry, but that is some pretty big fucking differences there tepples. That is like saying "A Cesna and an F16 are just alike, since their both planes" but if you put one against the other I don't think anybody here would want to be in the La Bamba plane, do you? And the reason those here say "Atom plays streaming video great!" is because it is often paired with something like this [xbitlabs.com] and allow me to QFT a piece from that article "Otherwise, Atom is a useless chip in HTPCs"

So I stand by my statement. Every single benchmark we have seen of Atom CPUs have shown us two things, One it was made to be REALLY cheap, and Two it was made to be REALLY low power. Now does anyone here actually associate really cheap and really low power with WINDOWS GAMING? Anyone? Beuller? Windows gaming never has been and never will be really cheap and really low power, not unless you consider Windows gaming to be Farmville.

Ports to this device (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34791452)

One it was made to be REALLY cheap, and Two it was made to be REALLY low power. Now does anyone here actually associate really cheap and really low power with WINDOWS GAMING?

No, but it's precisely what we expect of handhelds. You assume that should this device take off, no developer will target it. I could even see the device containing a stripped-down Linux to run games that the developer cares about porting.

Re:Multithreading (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34793786)

The PSP has a MIPS R4000 CPU. A MIPS R4000 was not specially designed for gaming. The PSP (the original) also had only 32 MB of RAM.

The 3DS is rumored to have (I haven't seen official specs yet, maybe they're handy online somewhere though) two ARM 11 CPUs. The ARM 11 is not specially designed for gaming.

The PowerPC in the Wii, the PowerPC-based processor in the XBox 360, and the Cell (PowerPC main core with eight specialized media-processing cores) of the PlayStation 3 are not especially designed from the ground up for gaming, either.

These are all general-purpose cores. Some of them, especially in newer units, have been tweaked a bit towards gaming. The real bonuses these things have, though, are high throughput I/O, high throughput memory, and specialized media (audio, video, etc) processors besides the CPU. Games are computer applications. Most of them require lots of processing of video and audio. Some also require lots of number crunching for accurate physics. Many newer titles require sophisticated handling of data from several nodes for fair network play. These are all things workstations. servers, supercomputers, mainframes, and clusters have been doing for years.

What gaming hardware companies do is design products and engineer technology to be mass produced so it is affordable for a mass market. Very little of it is brand new technology that is invented just for gamers.

Gamers think of themselves as the high-end market, and for home-model PCs that's true. In a bigger picture, though, gamers are the segment between professional workstations and business office PCs. Most gamers don't have the system budget for the type of rig used for product design engineering, architectural drafting, film editing, special effects, a financial analysis, remote vehicle piloting, computational geology, bioinformatics, electronic trading, or medical imaging. Stuff that filters down from professional computers gets put into gaming PCs, then into consoles, then into mass-market PCs, then into phones.

Re:External controllers (1)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789664)

It could be the start of something interesting that brings console users back to PC Games. I would be rather wary of buying one after my own personal experience with the razer lachesis mouse which for a 40 something pound mouse it was unusably glitchy. Took it back and replaced it at the store and the next one was just the same. So yeah once bitten.....

Re:External controllers (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790490)

I also tried to use Razer mice for a while, but have too decided to be done with them. Had a diamondback that had random pointer spasms, mouse twitching around when not being moved. Have heard stories of other users having ridiculous problems with more recent Razer's as well, such as the mouse getting occasionally stuck into horizontal movement only. Tried the Lachesis for a brief time but that mouse was a lot of wrist pain to use in long sessions. Supposedly some of the Razer issues are firmware related, but most other companies manage to get it right the first time without resorting to firmware updates. And at the price those mice retail for, the problems are really inexcusable.

Due to problems being so common, I even know people who actually purchased the Best Buy extra coverage on them. And for once it might be a good idea since the mice seem to be plagued with so many issues. Of course if that catches on Best Buy might start losing money on that deal.

Went back to Logitech with the G500 and have never looked back. A great follow-up to anyone who was a fan of the MX518. Plus it's basically got all the features that Razer boasts about anyway, and it also works right out of the box.

Re:External controllers (1)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790740)

Yeah the Lachesis I have random and frequent locks on x or y axis.. mouse pointer spasms if you click on a non hard mouse mat, tiniest piece of dust makes it go nuts and sometimes it goes all exorcist on me and jumps around the screen. Tried it on my girlfriends computer with the exact same issues, updated firmware, drivers and nothing. Whats the point of a mouse that has all fancy LED's, macro software and an arsenal of buttons if it fails to move your pointer accurately from A to B.

Re:External controllers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34791176)

I've just got to ask: Does a mouse give that much better response over a thumb-style trackball? Mind you I'm not too big on FPSes, but I've been playing Morrowind, STO, and a number of other games with moderate reaction time requirements and honestly I get *MUCH* better response and much less handstrain out of using the trackball over the mouse, and additionally can set it up basically anywhere with no 4+" square mousepad taking up space.

But YMMV, so please do explain your reasons/rationale.

Re:External controllers (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34797206)

Yes, it does.

High-sensitivity max acceleration. I don't need to move the mouse more than a centimeter to do a full 360. My typical playing area is the size of the mouse + one inch on all sides.

Nice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34788752)

I hope they sell a unit!

Looks fancy, but... (3, Insightful)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34788780)

..it looks like the game needs to support this thing for it to work properly, and that's where all these fancy ideas usually fail; it'll get 2-3 games that supports it, but in a year everyone's already forgotten about it and moved on. It'd be different if they went ahead and developed an actual standard API that games could use to display parts of their UI on other devices and that API worked with every manufacturer's devices, it might actually catch on! But.. well, given how short-sighted and greedy companies usually are they will just try to lock people to their own devices and then wonder why it didn't work.

Re:Looks fancy, but... (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34788810)

Who has time to look at their keyboard and decipher icons when gaming? Once you've got the basic keys down you rarely need to look down, and the letter keys are just as useful for finding your bearings when you do. I used to really want an Optimus just because it is such a cool gadget, but now I don't actually care.

It might help slightly for learning shortcuts in stuff like design applications and games, but I'd like to see some research. I think it maybe would actually just act as a hindrance as people come to rely on looking for the icons rather than their muscle memory and spacial awareness.

If I always have a reference available, it stops me from trying to remember things as I would if I didn't have the reference (where I'd probably recourse to trial and error, which would reinforce my memory of what's right and what's wrong). Examples of such things that I tend to still look up these days being the syntax of lesser used control structures, string processing commands and regexp stuff in PERL. If I couldn't Google for this stuff I'd have memorised it by now.

Re:Looks fancy, but... (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34788840)

Who has time to look at their keyboard and decipher icons when gaming? Once you've got the basic keys down you rarely need to look down, and the letter keys are just as useful for finding your bearings when you do.

If we were talking about a full-blown keyboard then sure, but you quite obviously missed this is about portable systems where space is limited. And in such cases being able to change the glyph the button represents is actually useful.

I think it maybe would actually just act as a hindrance as people come to rely on looking for the icons rather than their muscle memory and spacial awareness.

There is no loss of muscle memory or spacial awareness here. Again, I don't think you checked the announcement at all: it has physical keys. The glyphs on those keys can be changed, but the physical keys remain there. As such a user would still be perfectly able to develop muscle memory.

Re:Looks fancy, but... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789096)

When I'm at home I'm on my 9 inch netbook (I actually use it at work too, but with a full sized keyboard attached). You can't get much more limited than that while still having a fully blown PC, but I can still touch type on the keyboard.

Of course they'd still be able to develop it, but if they are in the habit of looking at the keys to see where stuff is, they're going to be slower than if they just get used to simply pressing the key they want without looking. Eventually they should get to know the keys (though with some people this is definitely not guaranteed), and then the icons on the keys are nothing more than a frivolity.

Actually, I'd probably find that having the icons always change for each game would just be annoying, because you will have to look down to see the controls instead of the game just saying "press X to do blah". Fixed markings are great for being able to play any game without looking away (especially thinking of console gaming here, since obviously on a full sized keyboard you may want to glance down if you need to quickly press a key very far away from your current hand position - though really you should try to have every button you're using close to your hand unless you're playing a flight sim or something).

DS (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790624)

you will have to look down to see the controls instead of the game just saying "press X to do blah".

Nintendo DS games appear to work around this.

Re:DS (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34791098)

Indeed, but they do also have fixed buttons with fixed names for more action oriented games. I'm not saying the customisable button area is completely pointles. If games are designed with it in mind like Gaygirlie suggested then I'm sure it could be used in interesting ways. But for PC games where everyone has different hardware, using one of these things is not really going to have any advantages over just using a keyboard or having clickable icons on-screen.

I still like my idea of being able to use your phone for this sort of thing rather than having to buy a customised gadget. If everyone has USB connectible touchscreen phones anyway, and games have support for custom icon panels, then we might as well make use of them. Maybe for example in Fallout instead of pausing the game to look at your PIP boy or whatever it was called, you could just check your real phone. That would be kind of a fun gimmick.

Re:DS (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34791240)

If everyone has USB connectible touchscreen phones anyway

The service for such phones typically costs 70 USD per month. My phone costs me less than that per year through Virgin Mobile USA. So we can't depend on all players having a phone.

Re:DS (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34791376)

Well, maybe not right now, but in say 10 years perhaps. I thought service costs were completely independent of the phone model, at least if you buy the phone outright. I bought my Droid outright and just put my company SIM in it, so I get free calls and data on a nice phone.

Unlocked phones? What unlocked phones? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34791522)

I thought service costs were completely independent of the phone model, at least if you buy the phone outright.

Smartphones aren't commonly sold outright where I live. For example, I can't walk into an electronics store, try a phone, flash my credit card, and walk out with a paid-for unlocked phone. Instead, electronics stores sell unactivated phones that are still locked to a carrier. Some (e.g. T-Mobile G1) won't even start apps without a SIM inserted, instead being locked to only make voice calls to emergency services. I could buy an unlocked phone online, but I'd have no way to try it first (cue return shipping and 15% restocking fee if it ends up unusably unergonomic), and they're still often twice the price of an iPod touch because they're meant to compete with an iPhone, not an iPod touch.

Re:Unlocked phones? What unlocked phones? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792330)

Hmm. With my Dell Streak I tried it in an O2 store to see if I'd like it, then ordered online. Thankfully our company uses O2 anyway so there was no unlocking to bother with. I do appreciate being able to browse on the go with my phone at a decent resolution, and can read books on the Kindle app etc. There will probably always be people who just want a simple rugged phone, but I think the majority of folks will have smartphones in 10 years. There must be a lot of cheap used iPhones and the like around already.

Phones not sold in stores (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792600)

With my Dell Streak I tried it in an O2 store

For one thing, O2 doesn't operate in my home country. For another, a Dell Streak without service is still very expensive (twice the price of iPod touch or Archos 43).

then ordered online

As I understand it, trying in a store with the intent of buying online marks one as a "demon customer" to the store's management. And it still doesn't address the problem of discovering that a phone fails to run apps without a SIM, or products that one can't find in any nearby store. For example, back in May, I tried three local stores that sell cell phones; none carried the Nokia N900 phone. More recently, I couldn't find a single store that carried the Archos 43 Android-based media player.

the majority of folks will have smartphones

Even primary-school children, whose parents make much of the market for E-rated games?

in 10 years

Such a time horizon is off the radar of home entertainment product makers.

There must be a lot of cheap used iPhones and the like around already.

Like the iPod touch, these can't run any app not in the App Store without a jailbreak. Would Apple accept game controller apps in the App Store?

Re:Phones not sold in stores (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792756)

a Dell Streak without service is still very expensive (twice the price of iPod touch or Archos 43).

Indeed, but it's bigger, it's in the gap between the iPhone and the iPad, and I do consider it worth it (obviously, otherwise I wouldn't have bought it!). I might still get a 9 inch tablet at some point, since the Kindle reader isn't available for Linux, but the 5 inch Streak is fine for now, even for reading eBooks.

Even primary-school children, whose parents make much of the market for E-rated games?

Actually, yes. I don't know many kids that young, but I have heard of kids that young having iPhones..

Such a time horizon is off the radar of home entertainment product makers.

I wasn't offering them any advice, I was just considering what will likely be possible by then :p

iPod touch, these can't run any app not in the App Store without a jailbreak. Would Apple accept game controller apps in the App Store?

I don't know, I don't pay much attention to the details of what Apple are doing, but there will definitely be plenty of Android devices around. Whether they'll be able to run the apps using an older version of the OS might be an issue though. There are many apps that shouldn't technically need the latest version, yet do anyway.

Re:Looks fancy, but... (1)

Toy G (533867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34788954)

Available research tells us two things:
1) It's easier for people to use well-designed icons than to memorize keys or key-combos, especially in the short and medium term. (this is still contentious among power users, but it's a long-proven fact, originally established by Xerox and confirmed by Apple research)
2) people don't really like interfaces that dynamically change too much. This was determined the hard way by Microsoft (see XP Start menu and Office 97/2003).

So we can probably deduce:
1) this sort of interfaces are very good for non-power-users, to reduce learning curves in general and possibly gain a bit of speed in executing tasks
2) however, changes must be triggered in predictable "manual" ways by the user himself, i.e. when you launch a specific program. Things like automatically changing keyboard layout when switching windows would probably make people hate it, if not handled in a very visible way (i.e. big on-screen alerts that your keyboard has changed).

This said, I'd love to see a full laptop trying out this concept. It would probably be crazy expensive in the short term (screens are among the most expensive parts in laptops, and here you'd have TWO for each product), but could be very useful, especially in education/training environments.

Re:Looks fancy, but... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789154)

This said, I'd love to see a full laptop trying out this concept

It was out a couple of years ago, the Optimus. There's a link in the summary. I don't think it can have been a very big hit, haven't heard much about it since, though I heard loads about it in the years leading up to its release.. and was excited at first, but then lost interest after a year or two. I think it was around £150/$300, so not really impulse buy territory, you'd have to have a seriously good use for it.

I think you're right that the icons on buttons would be useful when it comes to using complicated applications, but considering this specific device is pitched as a gaming concept, I don't think it has any real value for that use. For most games you tend to want immediate speed - you don't want to have to look down at the keys to see what's what.

If it's a game where you don't need to be quick, you might as well just have a normal touch screen instead of separate buttons. Buttons are good because they allow tactile feedback so that you don't actually need to look at what you're pressing and can keep following the action. Also I think having fixed names for each button is very useful for this same purpose.

Re:Looks fancy, but... (1)

Toy G (533867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789514)

Optimus was a standalone keyboard, too heavy and expensive to be really attractive outside specific niches (plus, they made some very controversial decisions, and didn't really push hard to get into the mainstream).

This is supposed to be a ultraportable gaming laptop, a concept I find really "meh" (would you really play WoW on a 7'' screen?), nevermind the keyboard.

I'd like to see the likes of Toshiba or Fujitsu marketing a full 15'' laptop with this sort of keyboard under $ 1500 / £ 1000, I'm sure there would be a market for it.

Re:Looks fancy, but... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789960)

Yeah I wouldn't want to do all of my gaming on a small screen (though handheld consoles are okay when away on holiday or whatever). I think putting this kind of tech into a laptop is pretty wasteful unless we get nice modular designs where you can re-use the keyboard.

In fact that's just a great idea overall, as having to buy a new screen with each laptop is also pretty wasteful - better to just be able to upgrade the base and attach your own flat panel to the top. The manufacturers would make less money if they did that of course..

Re:Looks fancy, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789534)

If the Optimus was only $300 USD, I would have bought one. It's still in the $1500 USD price range though. Only a rich idiot would waste that kind of money on something so trivial. If you want a fancy keyboard, though less advanced, just get a Luxeed [luxeed.com] for about $120 USD.

Re:Looks fancy, but... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790000)

Ouch you're right, I thought it was only about £150 and still thought that was expensive. The mini is $150, that's probably what I was thinking of.

Seems like there is a good opportunity for someone to make Android/iPhone apps to turn phones into programmable keypads for games and other apps. If you've already got a capacitive multitouch screen at your disposal, why not use it?

Re:Looks fancy, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789860)

> This said, I'd love to see a full laptop trying out this concept.
http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/10/09/12/1421201/Acer-Dual-Screen-Multitouch-Laptop-Leaks-Out
http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/10/11/27/179212/Early-Look-At-Acers-Iconia-Dual-Touchscreen-Device

Re:Looks fancy, but... (1)

Etiko (1391455) | more than 3 years ago | (#34788958)

One of the comments in TFA actually had a quite clever way of dealing with this.

Since the top LCD is also a touch screen, let the user define his own icons by touching the relevant space on the top screen and then that image block will automatically map to the bottom LCD.

Problem solved. And no special support needed from the game.

Re:Looks fancy, but... (1)

Kashgarinn (1036758) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789776)

You're probably wrong as this emulates a keyboard, so probably in the driver you map what button on this thing is what button on a regular keyboard, and then you map commands in your game to those regular keyboard keys.

So no real need for games to specifically support this, it'll work for everything right out of the box.

Re:Looks fancy, but... (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790020)

..it looks like the game needs to support this thing for it to work properly, and that's where all these fancy ideas usually fail; it'll get 2-3 games that supports it, but in a year everyone's already forgotten about it and moved on. It'd be different if they went ahead and developed an actual standard API that games could use to display parts of their UI on other devices and that API worked with every manufacturer's devices, it might actually catch on! But.. well, given how short-sighted and greedy companies usually are they will just try to lock people to their own devices and then wonder why it didn't work.

It looks like this is aimed at running PC games... In which case it could probably be handled much like my Nostromo (or just about any decent gaming mouse). Typically you'll have a layer of middleware that makes the device talk to the game correctly. With the Nostromo, I'm able to program a single button on the device to execute a series of keystrokes that the game then responds to. The game doesn't need to know how to talk to my Nostromo, the game needs to know how to respond to a keyboard and mouse.

Re:Looks fancy, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34791552)

I hope to see this awesome gaming and keyboard technology in my new Microsoft Courier tablet!

What use is it? (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 3 years ago | (#34788804)

I don't know what uses there are for a keyboard displays like this and the Optimus. It's one hell of a cool gimmick and is sure to be a great conversation starter, but to actually use it? I hardly ever look at my keyboard. I don't want to!

Re:What use is it? (1)

muntis (1503471) | more than 3 years ago | (#34788880)

Vote parent up. On screen buttons are designed to bee easily accessed by mouse but shortcuts on keyboard for fingers. If I'm not looking at keyboard then how it will improve my SC2 gameplay? Was the screen touch screen? If yes then game controls should be redone, I don't think that using finger as mouse pointer will work good enough. It's strange how seemingly unintuitive mouse have become more simple and intuitive than pointing a finger.

Not a bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34789324)

Tactile feedback isn't new, but it hasn't been perfected to a point of being usable yet. The rest is already done with existing technology, just not how you expect. Think a pair of iphones/ipods/ipads in a setup like the NDS_XL and put something that beats the snot out of the iphone and 3DS together and you'll have something I want. Till then Intel Atom is pathetic, and the ability to play games on one is a joke, just like intel's graphics.

Captcha: Atomize

not gamers (1)

Tom (822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789538)

Obviously designed by people who are not gamers. Where is my analog input device? Keys only? Hello? How am I supposed to look around in a 3D game, or point and shoot, or turn, or do practically anything else that requires more than just keys?

Nope, these jokers think that PC gaming is all about the keyboard - just watch the ad video. Yeah, right. Because the keyboard is what makes PC gaming what it is. Errr...

mouse? (1)

tero (39203) | more than 3 years ago | (#34789662)

So, how'd you go around playing something like Quake - or even World of Warcraft without being able to use the mouse for free-look/turning?
Seems like a cool little gadget for quick remote login - but I'm quite sure the pricetag will make it rather useless for that purpose just as the lack of mouse (together with small screen) will make it useless for "real" gaming.

Intel Atom sucks for games and the newer one gma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34790352)

Intel Atom sucks for games and the newer one lock in the older Intel gma video.

Even Atom + nvidia is not that good.

Re:Intel Atom sucks for games and the newer one gm (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790642)

Even Atom + nvidia is not that good.

But it's better than, say, PSP. On a 7" screen, you wouldn't need the graphics cranked up as high.

BLEH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34790526)

I play handhelds (ds, psp, phone) due to their simplistic controls. If I wanted to play a game that uses that many keys, I'm going to use a laptop.

Bah... I thought this was a post about Razor (1)

Fibe-Piper (1879824) | more than 3 years ago | (#34790592)

the awesome scooter technology from the 90's. Now that would be a wicked awesome company to define a new innovative gaming device for future generations!

Awesome comedy sketch... oh wait. Really? (1)

phirewind (531662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34792432)

Notice what they were demoing on the screen? Quake 3. That's 12 years ago, sir. Not even Call of Duty, or Joint Operations, or Battlefield 1942? And you're talking about modern gaming in the portable platform? As a developer, I would be simply too ashamed of myself to show that in public, as if my target audience wouldn't be able to identify it. "Oh look, flashy pictures and things that move! Is that a new awesome game? Yeah, sure it is..." I'm sure it's probably a licensing thing, they could have even done enough changes with the open source to say that it's not actually Quake 3, so there's no licensing issues. I wouldn't think Razer would have a hard time getting a game publisher to let them demo something better. Still, I just couldn't believe my eyes. Not to mention that it's "portable", except you still need to have a desktop surface for the mouse in order to actually play the game. At least that's better than them thinking you could use the 7" screen as a touch-mouse, since we've all seen how much that sucks on smaller devices. "I think I'm aiming at it, but I can't see what's under my finger".

And I love how the first guy is just so serious the entire time. It could be a complete parody, and he wouldn't even have to change the tone of his voice, and it would be hilarious. In fact, for the first minute, I thought it WAS a some sort of industry comedy sketch by The Onion sponsored by Razer, and was waiting for the final punch line. "PC gaming has always been impossible in a portable form factor." My immediate thoughts were "Hah, you mean my laptop? The joke must be some huge desktop gaming rig in a backpack with an armrest for the new Razer mouse... Oh, the punch line is, they're demoing Quake 3, and they're serious? Wow."

This thing could actually be a significantly awesome device, but that preview was just so misguided and self-detrimental that I can hardly bring myself to care.

Epic Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34847576)

as a gaming device, too large and bulky. But kudos to a new kind of Netbook concept. I mean, seriously they did nothing more then take a netbook and put the Optimus keyboard on it, this is not innovation. People are "blown away" way to easily these days.

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