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Razer envisions a future where your mouse, wrist rest, and chair vibrate when you shoot in game

By Koh Wanzi - on 10 Jan 2019, 6:30pm

Razer envisions a future where your mouse, wrist rest, and chair vibrate when you shoot in game

Razer sees a future where all your peripherals provide haptic feedback.

Razer seems to be taking a different approach to concept designs at CES 2019. While we're used to seeing outlandish prototypes like Project Valerie and its three displays, Razer's so-called concepts this year are a lot closer to reality. The Raptor gaming monitor is set to retail later this year, and the company also fleshed out a more complete vision for its HyperSense technology that I can actually see happening. 

Razer first introduced the idea of HyperSense with the Nari Ultimate gaming headset, which produces haptic feedback in response to audio cues in game. I'm still not completely convinced that anyone really needs this, but it's still a cool idea that might possibly gain more traction if it's expanded to cover more peripherals and accessories.

And that's exactly what Razer is working on. It showed off a vibrating mouse, wrist rest, and chair, all of which respond to what's happening in your game. But aside from the Nari, all of these are still strictly concept designs, and there's no guarantee they'll make it to mass production.

Still, it's an interesting idea, even if it sounds slightly gimmicky, and it does give you an idea of what a truly immersive gaming system could feel like. 

The setup I tried was still a little unrefined and there wasn't any specialized developer integration. However, I could still feel my seat rumble when I activated Pharah's jetpack, while my mouse vibrated satisfyingly every time I shot off a rocket. 

The experience could feel a little haphazard at times though. In Doom, it just felt like everything was vibrating at once, and it was difficult to assign specific feedback to a particular action in game. Still, it's likely that if Razer goes ahead with this, optimizations on the developer side could lead to vast improvements. 

For example, directional cues could be provided via haptic feedback, so you'd know that someone was shooting at you from behind. 

That said, I don't see this really catching on in competitive multi-player shooters like Overwatch. The vibrations can be a little distracting, but it does look like it could potentially play nicely with single-player titles. In addition, the technology could make for a pretty cool experience when watching movies as well.