A gaming controller for your PC, consoles, or smartphones is one accessory every gamer should have handy. A versatile gaming controller is a quintessential piece of equipment in any setup these days. Sure options like the Xbox Controller or the PlayStation DualSense bring precise in-game controls to gain a tactical advantage. But how about a more flexible control input that is tailormade for a better user experience?
Industrial designer Dingyu Xiao of Suosi Design decided to do away with conventions and came up with the MOZER Gamepad. The controller resonated instantly with me since it solves a fundamental issue – having a single joystick layout for a varied set of games. For example, you’d need precise and fast input sticks for an FPS game, a D-Pad for sports titles such as FIFA, or a spring-loaded sling joystick for a tactile feel of shooting a stack of balls in Pool. The MOZER Gamepad makes all of this and more possible. And to top it all off, it’s wireless.
The concept is quite interesting as the user can swap the control modules instantly and it’s all plug and play. The directional pad of the controller is the one that has this modular function which Dingyu quite smartly does, I have to say. Even better, the grip of the controller hides two of the three directional pad control inputs when not in use. I’m sure gamers will be dying to get such a well-designed wireless gamepad in their hands to have a strategic advantage over their mates or online hotshots.
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DJI‘s latest drone doesn’t want you to simply operate it… it wants to put you in a virtual cockpit. The DJI FPV Drone isn’t so much about being an incredible drone as it is about boasting of its one, standout feature – the FPV or First Person View. Armed with a pretty futuristic-looking pair of goggles, a low-latency video transmission unit, and a redesigned set of controllers, the DJI FPV drone is about giving YOU the thrill of the flight by allowing you to see exactly what the drone sees… in real-time!
At the heart of the DJI FPV drone are two incredibly revolutionary innovations. Firstly, its HD Low-Latency Transmission of video that gives you the ability to view high-definition footage from the drone in stunning real-time; and secondly, its set of hardware controllers, which allow all sorts of users to experience the FPV’s glorious adrenaline rush, whether you’re a novice or a pro drone-flyer.
The quadcopter drone was built for the thrill of racing. Its uniquely curved and aerodynamic design is engineered for minimal drag, as well as to house all of the drone’s modular, removable, and replaceable parts, including the battery, camera, gimbal, landing gear, and the top shell (which acts as a helmet, protecting the drone from head-on collisions). Needless to say, if your drone ever feels the wrath of a tree or a boulder, it can, for the most part, be fixed or repaired.
Built for the thrill of racing, the DJI FPV drone boasts of a camera that’s arguably as cinematic as the ones found on its Phantom series of drones. The DJI FPV aircraft can record 4K/60fps video at up to 120 Mbps, capturing crisp details that make footage look as exhilarating as the flight. Electronic Image Stabilization reduces jitter during flight, while DJI boasts of being able to beam videos from the aircraft to the goggles with as little as 28 milliseconds of latency, up to a distance of a whopping 10 kilometers or 6.2 miles. With that kind of speed comes responsibility too, which is why the aircraft comes built-in with a whole set of preventive measures and fail-safes to ensure your drone doesn’t crash or plummet from the sky as its battery dies out. Multiple sensors located on the aircraft allow it to dodge obstacles, while smart RTH features ensure the drone makes its way back home when it’s low on battery. In fact, the gear comes pre-equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), which receives flight location information of manned aircrafts in the area, sending alerts directly to your goggles to avoid problems.
The goggles/headset forms the primary sensory element of the FPV experience, allowing you to see what the drone sees. It isn’t like your everyday VR headset, but rather sports a super-wide 150° FOV (so obstacles never sneak up on you), along with a max frame rate of 120 FPS, giving you ultra-smooth video transmission with practically no delay… so you can zig-zag to avoid obstacles like a fighter-jet, make freefall dives like a falcon, or perform stunts like a, well, stuntman! The goggles even offer a virtual training experience with the DJI Virtual Flight App for your smartphone, allowing you to race through VR environments before you actually take to the skies.
To maneuver the drone, DJI offers two controllers that unlock the aircraft’s true potential. You have the standard handheld controller which lets you operate the drone as you would any other, albeit with three different modes. The S-Mode unlocks simplified flight, giving you the freedom of fully manual flight with simplified controls. The N-Mode, however, is ideal for new users and novices, offering a traditional flight experience with safety features like obstacle-sensing. The M-Mode gives you complete manual control, intended at seasoned FPV drone racers. You can customize parameters and enjoy limitless control over your aircraft, including acceleration speeds of 0-100km/h in a mind-numbing 2.0 seconds!
The second controller feels a lot like entering into VR territory. Styled like a joystick, or the kind of controller you’d get with a VR headset, DJI’s Motion Controller (sold separately) lets you literally control the drone with your hands. You can maneuver the drone by simply tilting and moving the joystick around, giving you an incredibly intuitive and natural controlling experience. Moreover, a dedicated stop-and-hover button lets you instantly pause the drone in mid-air (a feature that’s great in emergencies), and a return-to-home button allows you to summon the drone back with a simple push of a button. Every aspect of the DJI FPV aims at giving you unbridled control over the drone, and putting you in the drone’s virtual cockpit. Unlike DJI’s other drone offerings that are made for videography, the FPV is for the sheer thrill of being able to fly like a bird, jet, or quite frankly, like Tony Stark… minus the weapons and hand-repulsors of course!
The DJI FPV drone currently retails for $1,299 on DJI’s retail website, with an additional $199 for the Motion Controller.
Fighting game enthusiasts will immediately recognize the benefits and comfort of pulling off some fearful blows with an arcade controller. The PC and Switch have their own merits and control fineness, but trust me, there is nothing more soothing than hitting a combo or landing a punch using classic buttons and joysticks say of the 8BitDo Arcade Stick. Modern and feature-packed, the arcade stick has a classic appeal and it is designed to work seamlessly with both the Switch and PC.
If you already use an arcade stick to play Street Fighter V and Mortal Kombat on PC, you still have your reasons to go wireless with the 8BitDo arcade stick. There are three ways to connect to the PC or Switch – you can either connect via Bluetooth, patch through a wired USB-C, or even sync the controller wirelessly –2.4G receiver is concealed safely within the compartment. What really works wonders in favor of this arcade-style controller is the Ultimate Software, which gives users the option to customize mapping, alter joystick sensitivity, and create macros with any button combination. The P1 and P2 are dedicated macro buttons in case you don’t fancy tinkering too much.
Effortless to set up and play just like at the arcade, the 8BitDo arcade stick has no detectable delay in performance. The controller is nice and clicky, it has a good weight to it (4.6 pounds) that ensures it remains steady, while its rubber patches on the bottom prevent it from slipping when you have all your force and concentration centered on it. Toggling between the Switch and PC – S and X marked on the stick – is smooth and change in mode automatically alters the labels on the Arcade Stick buttons.
The Arcade Stick is a basic controller in comparison to what gamers use today, but then, it’s not targeted at every gamer there is. It’s per se for someone who wants to live that very specific arcade-like experience, and at just $90 that should be a bargain for more retro-inspired gamers.
Forget Back Tap, the iPhone’s back surface just got a whole lot more functional. Behold the Tundra, a conceptual set of gaming joy-cons that snap to the back of your phone, adding controls to it. Unlike most controllers that add buttons facing you, the Tundra give you buttons that are accessible, but don’t occupy real estate on the front of your phone. They snap on in such a way that you can easily use them with your index, middle, and ring fingers. The index fingers can easily work on the trigger/shoulder buttons on the top, and the middle and ring-fingers can be used to mash the XYAB buttons and the D-Pad. Meanwhile, your thumb can use the on-screen controls too, giving you the best of all worlds!
While the Tundra currently exist only as a concept, they present a new direction for mobile gaming controllers, providing a sleek yet functional alternative to the large, ergonomic, console-style controllers that let you mount your phone into them. The Tundra exist as sleek units that don’t add weight, mass, or thickness to your phone. They can easily slip right into your pocket, phone and all, and if removed, come with a small, pocket-friendly storage/charging case like your AirPods!
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3D concept artist Amin Dehqan has crafted a 3D conceptual model PlayStation controller that looks to be inspired by a fighter jet design (Stealth aircraft to be precise), and boy, does it look impressive! Unlike the contemporary PS controller that takes a very contoured form factor, this one has a more edgy character to it. In fact, Amin tags it as a military edition controller and by the looks of it, truly it’s one!
The keypad and the analog sticks seem so sci-fi on first look, highlighted by the cool blue hue of fused lighting under the buttons and the D-pad. The touchpad of the controller bears a similar blue array of lighting. Unfortunately, we don’t have details on whether it is a touchpad or a part of the aesthetic form factor. One thing that the designer has been so mindful of is the placement of the abrasive pattern – right where your palms would rest while playing games. This gives a grip for your hand to rest on and not slip, especially when you’ve had long sessions of gaming, and the sweaty palms tend to slip off of the edges.
Truly the controller is made for hardcore gamers who like their things sharp and don’t mind the missing contours. To be precise, gamers who want to own a swanky gaming controller for their brand new PS5 gaming console that pals are going to be so jealous of!
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