The Sinden light gun is a new and interesting project to create a lightgun that works directly on all types of TV without any sort of extra peripheral.
It has a camera in the gun that works at 60fps and actually calculates where on the screen you are pointing the gun at. It does this by introducing a small border around the game window that the gun uses to calculate position.
The huge advantage of this approach (apart from not needing anything except from the lightgun) is that it requires no calibration, can be used at any reasonable angle to the TV and works on any screen type out of the box.
For more information about why we need this technology and why you cant just use a normal old style light gun you can watch this video:
That sounds amazing – Where can I buy one?
Unfortunately, you cant yet. As of March 2019, we are waiting for the Sinden light gun to be launched as a kickstarter project.
I have never backed a kickstarter project before as it always seemed too risky. I plan to back this one though for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it looks awesome and if it does work it will be the best way to play all of the old light gun games.
Secondly, there is a lot of supporting evidence of it working on a range of platforms and emulators/games. On the website, there are many videos of the sinden lightgun being used on different games as they become playable.
Andy, the creator seems to be very invested in the community. In order for the sinden light gun to be as usefull as possible, he is working hard to get lightgun compatibility in as many emulators as possible and contributing that code back to the community.
Lastly, this is the second kickstarter for this – the first one failed!
That seems like a negative but the first kickstarter for the sinden lightgun had a number of issues like asking for too much and just being too early. Instead of giving up, the creator has worked through a lot oft he problems, got the project to a much more mature place and is preparing to launch again now that it is ready. It actually fills me with confidence.
Update: 09/08/2019 – The kickstarter exceeded its target almost immediately and wend on to raise over £200,000 (its target was £25,000).
Andy has been working hard to get everything ready for production and it looks like delivery will be in October (although he says that he has used up his time contingency getting everything perfect so its possible it might slip a little).
I am still very excited to get my hands on one when they start shipping.
Andy has released quite a few videos showing the light gun being used to play various games but there are no reviews out there yet. The lightgun is still in the prototype stage and so there are no production copies to release to testers.
Andy has teamed up with Titchgamer a respected member of the arcadecontrols.com forum to perform some testing. He took the controller himself and they spent a day testing (playing) it in every way they could think of. You can find the write up of that testing here:
It all seems very positive and just increased my excitement to get a hold of one.
As soon as I do I will be performing my own testing and posting the results here for you all.
Update – 03/05/2019: Console support.
Andy has built a prototype hardware hack that will let you use the sinden lightgun with the ps1 and ps2 directly – so no emulators – you can play the games on the origional format. That will be a great selling point for a lot of people as it makes it truly plug and play. YOu can read more about it on his blog here:
Update 07/06/2019 – Polymega Support.
A deal has been made with the creators of the Polymega console where they will use the Sinden lightgun technology to produce their own lightguns for their console. The deal isn’t going to affect the kickstarter at all as they are just licensing the technology.
In the mean time, here are some more videos of the sinden light gun in action.
Yes! It uses a border around your screen which the Lightgun detects to work out exactly where you are aiming.
Its not out yet. A successful Kickstarter is underway. The lightguns were initially going to ship in November although there have been delays and its looking like December/January now.
Apparently, new orders will be taken once Kickstarter backers have received theirs.
The exact range of colors is still to be determined but yes, there will be several options.
It is mainly aimed at the PC with emulators, but on launch, it should be working with linux, windows as well as possibly android and MacOS.
The Sinden Lightgun comes both with and without recoil. It is an option that you can pick. The creator has stated that kickstarter backers will have the opportunity to upgrade their order to the recoil model before dispatch.
How much does the Sinden Lightgun cost?
It’s not available for sale yet if the weren’t a backer. The price for backers was £80 for the base model and £130 for the recoil version. It’s likely that it will be a similar price when (if) it is released to the public.