French startup 3dRudder is getting ready to show off a brand new update to its foot-maneuvered VR controller lineup at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. For those who may not already be aware, the company’s previous controller – the 3dRudder Wireless – actually launched at last year’s CES. The foot controllers were designed as a way to enable a more realistic VR experience for players who don’t necessarily have enough space to set up a full room-scale VR system. While that controller made plenty of headway in that regard, the company is now back with an even better version, which it has dubbed the 3dRudder Blackhawk.
The company started improvements by adding foot straps to Blackhawk’s disc-shaped platform, ensuring that players’ feet don’t accidentally slip off and ruin whatever VR experience they are interacting with. The company as also added what it calls an “Active Dead Zone.” As the name of the new feature implies, it effectively provides players with a means to prevent awkward or erratic movements, while remaining responsive to the snappier movements often required by more intense VR titles. Beyond that, the new controller features a new, more refined aesthetic, with blue accents around the edges and LED lighting at the center. Since players will be wearing a headset while playing, it’s hard to say what purpose those lights will serve, if any. But they’ll certainly look nice and the lights may even be enough to save some owners from tripping over the controller in a dark or dimly lit room. For those who happen to own one of the company’s previous Wireless controllers, 3dRudder has gone a step further and announced a new update kit which will include foot straps and more.
Meanwhile, 3dRudder will be reportedly be accepting yet another of the upcoming event’s coveted CES 2018 Innovation Awards. That will actually represent the company’s third such award in as many years and is presumably, at least partially, a result of its newly announced Blackhawk controller. So it certainly makes a lot of sense that they’d want to show off their latest innovation at the tech gathering. Unfortunately, as of this writing, no pricing or availability information has been provided for the new controller but that should be available sooner rather than later, with CES 2018 set to start on January 9.