E3 2005: Level Up
MonsterGecko Takes Aim
Product: GeckoBlaster Gyro Controller
Company: MonsterGecko
Date: 05/28/2005
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At E3 2005, MonsterGecko introduced its 2005 product line featuring the new GeckoPad PS and GeckoPad XB wireless controllers, MonsterPad gaming mouse pad, the award-winning PistolMouse FPS high-performance gaming mouse, and a sneak peek at the highly-anticipated wireless GeckoBlaster? Gyro Controller. All of this looks interesting, but the one to really keep you eye on is the GeckoBlaster?.

Ain McKendrick, co-founder and CEO of MonsterGecko, was quoted as saying, "We first revolutionized the PC gaming experience with the PistolMouse FPS, and now we are doing the same for PlayStation and Xbox gamers with the wireless GeckoBlaster Gyro Controller. Its official debut will happen later this year." I got a chance to try out a proof of concept model of the GeckoBlaster and I say, "Viva la revolution!".

First, don't think "light gun". This controller is for first person shooters. If you think about it, in a FPS game, you always shoot in one place - the center of the screen. You merely target things by moving your view around until the thing you want to shoot is in the center of the screen. The GeckoBlaster is used to move your view around. You hold it like a pistol in a two-handed grip, then turn the gun left, right, up or down to rotate in that direction. If you need to turn all the way around, there's a button you can press when you reach the furthest you can go in a direction that stops the input momentarily to allow you to return the gun to the center position. As I write this, I realize how contrived and awkward this may sound, but take my word for it, even with the proof of concept model, it was very intuitive to use.

I'll touch on the proof of concept model that I keep stressing, to offer an explanation of that. The model that I got to try out was large and bulky, and was quite obviously intended for connection to a PC for calibration and testing. More to the point, I used the term prototype twice while referring to the GeckoBlaster and was interrupted and corrected both times by the MonsterGecko representative. The expected design of the actual controller is like the picture shown here. I don't have a picture of the proof of concept model, but I fully believe that the appearance of this model has little to nothing to do with the finalized product, as the appearance, the controls and the performance should all be improved.

At any rate, I'm quite intrigued with the GeckoBlaster and will have a full review when we get one in for testing. Actually, I have made it clear to MonsterGecko that I'd be more than willing to preview a prototype when they get to that stage, so we might have some more to report that much sooner.

Geck0 aka Robert Perkins

GameVortex PSIllustrated TeamPS2