274 Affordable Unique Custom Game Hardware

More games should use unique custom hardware.

The epidemic of plastic instruments in the mid and late 2000’s is proof that people are willing to pay for it if it adds value. Other examples include the “Toys to Life” genre, with Skylanders and Disney Infinity, Duck Hunt for the NES, the Gran Turismo racing wheel, game show games, and in some ways, the original Wii and its numerous peripherals. There are also dozens of examples of custom hardware being a commercial failure.

So, why not design more game experiences specifically around, or heavy focused on, custom hardware? All modern consoles have both USB and Bluetooth connectivity, so transferring input isn’t an issue either.

Some ideas:

  • An RPG, like Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, with a complex menu system could benefit from custom hardware to help navigate, equip, and manage inventory more efficiently.
  • A puzzle game, like the Professor Layton series, that uses physical blocks or pieces during certain puzzles.
  • An action game, like Castlevania, that uses an interactive physical map to show where you are in the castle.
  • A sim game, like Diner Dash, with additional physical elements to manage during play.

This idea came about after seeing Polytron’s very inspired Panoramical, and the optional custom hardware used to play the game.

[ Today I Was Playing: Disney Infinity 2.0 and Armello and Hand of Fate ]

October 1, 2015

#game-hardware, #game-opinion, #physical-game