This is an exciting new piece of hardware from PDP who are a peripheral manufacturer based in the US. They make pretty high quality third party controllers mainly as well as headsets etc for PC, Xbox and Playstation.
The PDP Mars Lightgun looks really interesting. It appears that PDP have recognized that a lot of people enjoy playing light gun games and the only thing that stops them spending money on it is that there is nothing decent to buy!
The Mars Lightgun is a 2 part system that uses a laser emitted from the light gun that is captured bouncing off the screen by a camera positioned nearby.
While one of the big selling points is that you don’t need an IR bar, you do still need a camera instead. On the other hand, most people don’t really care if they need an IR bar or camera as well as the gun, they only care that it is accurate. The IR bar light gun solution is not great in terms of consistency and this solution promises to be way more accurate. If this tech lives up to its promise then I am very excited indeed!
Here is an interview talking about the details and how it works:
I think that one stumbling block to this new tech is the lack of new games. We all know that there is a great back catalog of excellent light gun games but yoiu can’t play them on a current generation home console and that would be a problem. PDP are addressing this by releasing their own games.
The first one is called Qubits quest. It looks very similar to the old rescue shot where you protect your character as it moves through the world. Of course, this is a modern game and so it looks beautiful.
Voyage of the Dead
The second game is called voyage of the dead and looks like a more humorous version of the House of the Dead Games (in that it has zombies!)
Again, it looks great but there is not much information about this yet other than the PDP website.
See more Detail at http://mars.pdp.com/Games
The big question in my mind is if this system will be compatible with all of the old games. If it is then I’m totally cool with having a camera pointing at the tv. As I said above, having extra kit isnt a problem, just the accuracy.
To work with emulators and the old games on PC, all that needed is for it to operate as a mouse with absolute coordinates (that way, when you pull the trigger, it sends a mouse click at the exact place that you are pointing at). This is probably the most straight forward way for it to work anyway so I am very hopeful that they will keep it open and let it work with a wide range of devices.
One thing that does give extra hope is this video of a early prototype being used to as a mouse pointer on a PC and also beig used to play some of the old classics – Time Crisis 2, Virtua cop and House of the dead on the PCSX2 emulator on a PC. It looks pretty sweet.
Check out the PDP Mars twitter feed for up to date information:
There isn’t much further information about the PDP Mars yet, just a couple of videos from the conventions, but I will be updating this page as I learn more. In the mean time here is another look at it from GDC 2018:
There is no exact date yet but all of the sources point towards Q1 2019 – So it should be out pretty soon!
How much will it cost?
Again, there are no exact figures yet but it should be pretty reasonable. it looks like the base pack with a gun, camera and a game should be in the sub $100 range with other packs available containing multiple guns etc