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Feature: The Next Decade of PC Gaming

As 2010 draws to a close, we look back and marvel at how far PC gaming has come over the past decade. The start of the new millennium brought technology and trends that will resonate for years to come. So we take this opportunity to examine some of those technology trends and see how they might grow over or fizzle out over the next ten years. Here are our predictions of what PC gaming might look like in 2020.

NeuroSky releasing PC game mind-based controller in October

We all would love to live in a world of flying cars and robot servants but sadly we have some limitations. One of them has been trying successful to make a PC game controller work well with just a person's thoughts. We've seen the Emotiv Epoc product pretty much crash and burn. Now NeuroSky has announced plans to release a new PC headset called the Mindwave that will apparently have some game applications.

Our sister site Engadget doesn't have a lot of info about the Mindwave yet other that it's set for release sometime in October and that it will be priced reasonably at between $80 and $100 (the Emotive Epoc costs three times as much). Will this be the device that makes us dump our mouse and keyboard? Doubtful but it might be at least a step in the right direction.

Emotiv Epoc gets reviewed; results are not promising

We've been following the saga of the Emotiv Epoc mind-based PC game controller headset ever since the product had a pretty disastrous public media demo at GDC in 2008. The $299 device was supposed to usher in a new era of controlling games with your mind. After being delayed by a year, the Emotiv Epoc finally shipped to people who had spent their money on pre-orders late in December 2009.

Our sister site Joystiq has posted up a special review of the device written by Rick Dakan who some of you may know as one of the co-creators of the original City of Heroes MMO. We will leave you to read Dakan's final verdict but let's just say it's not a huge shock to find out that the Epoc doesn't live up to the company's hype or the headset's promise.

Mind-based PC game controller offers downloadable game demo


Emotiv has supposedly shipped its first wave of its Epoc mind-based PC game controller products (some people on the company's forums report they have receive their packages). But the package does not contain any game applications in the box. Now Emotiv is offering a game demo on their web site that was made especially for the Epoc controller.

The Spirit Mountain demo appears to be the same game demo that was used to introduce the controller at the 2008 Game Developers Conference. The game from developer Demiurge Studios lets gamers use the headset to, among other things, lift in-game rocks and other objects with your mind. If anyone reading this has the headset let us know if it really works well with the demo.

Emotiv PC gaming mind controller shipping this week?


It's been delayed for over a year but this week is supposed to be the week that the Emotiv Epoc controller is scheduled to ship via mail order to those who have pre-ordered it. Just in case you haven't been following along for the past couple of years, the Epoc PC game controller goes over the head and uses brain activity to control in-game actions.

The controller made its debut at the Game Developers Conference in 2008 but a live demo of the device in front of the media didn't go over too well. In other words it didn't work (the company blamed wireless interference). Since then Emotiv has kept something of a low profile. But now the company is claiming that their orders for their first shipment are all sold out and any new orders will ship in two weeks. The $299 price tag is still pretty steep, though.

Is the Emotiv Epoc PC thought-based controller really coming out soon?


It's been a longer wait than first announced but it looks like Emotiv might actually get their long awaited Epoc PC thought based controller to its customers just before the end of the year. The device' official web site indicates that "limited quantities" of the device will ship to US customers only on December 21, just a few days before Christmas, for $299.

The device, which is supposed to let PC gamers control actions with just their thought while wearing the device on their heads, made its official debut at the Game Developers Conference in 2008 with a press event with lots of media attending. It turned out to be a bomb as the Epoc did not work as expected (at the time he company blamed interference from nearby high-powered wireless equipment).

While the device was supposed to go on sale by the end of 2008, the company delayed its release and went into semi-stealth mode until recently. During the GDC 2008 demo the company announced that developer Demiurge Studios would create a game specifically for the Epoc controller but there's no sign of such a game being included with the device.

[Via Engadget]

Emotiv still plans to release brain-based PC game controller

At GDC in 2008, a start up company called Emotiv tried to demonstrate a new brainwave-based PC game controller called the EPOC to a ton of journalists at a press conference. Unfortunately the device didn't work as advertised (the company blamed interference from nearby high-powered wireless equipment) although the EPOC seemed to work better at the Emotiv booth following GDC.

At the time Emotiv announced that the EPOC would go on sale to the public for $299 by the end of 2008. However Big Download learned last year that the company had decided to move the launch date to sometime in 2009. Emotiv, however, decided to bypass exhibiting at GDC this year as a stand alone exhibitor (they did appear at Intel's booth though)

A few weeks ago, however, Emotiv announced on their web site that the SDK for the EPOC was now available to purchase for game developers and other software companies to create applications for the device. The SDK comes with the actual EPOC controller itself but pricing starts at $500. So what about the long promised consumer version? Big Download contacted Emotiv once again and their PR rep responded with this statement: "We are getting closer to the consumer product release and will be making announcements about this in the coming months." The statement added that the price for the EPOC will remain at $299.

Emotiv Epoc "brain-wave" PC controller delayed until 2009

Last February, a new tech start-up company called Emotiv Systems held a big press event at GDC to show off their Emotiv Epoc PC game controller. They claimed that the head-mounted controller used brain waves in order to control in-game actions such as levitating a boulder with just your mind. Unfortunately, the public demo didn't go as planned; the device simply didn't work in front of the media who attended the press conference. The company said after the event that interference from other wireless transmissions were to blame for the controller's issues

At the time of the press event Emotiv stated that the Epoc controller would go on sale by the end of this year for $299. However, Big Download has learned via a chat with the company's PR rep that the controller won't be out this year as planned. The new release date for the Epoc is for sometime in 2009. According to the PR rep we spoke to over the phone today the delay was simply because the company wanted more time to make sure the deviced worked as planned.
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