A crazy place at the best of times, the internet has given birth to a plethora of PC peripherals that are capable of all manner of things — like simulating realistic bullet damage in Call of Duty, or providing you with an ultra-realistic controller for your train sim. (All aboard!)
We've scoured the bowels of the internet to bring you some of the weirdest peripherals on the planet today.
1. King's Assembly
Dubbed 'A Computer Mouse Full Of Awesome' this bonkers control system looks like it's been chiselled out of Superman's Fortress Of Solitude ice cave. Although the finished model of the King's Assembly is purported to be in a sexier black & purple finish. It's a retro-futuristic dual-handed control system with curved keys, and a thumb pad. To use, slide them over a desk like air hockey paddles.
2. The Qwerkywriter
Never felt quite as immersed as you'd like when playing Bioshock? Then look no further than the Qwerkywriter steampunk keyboard, complete with roller and return bar. Unfortunately it doesn't ping at the end of a line.
3. Touch Screen Camera For Laptop
This snappily titled gadget claims to turn any screen into a touchscreen. The long-necked camera hovers over a monitor like a hungry praying mantis, so it's not exactly discrete. Users will need to hold the supplied fat stylus, so it's not strictly touchscreen either. It's an interesting concept, and the gadget could be used to play, say, Trine 2 (which has native touch controls). It's also cheap, but the jury's out as to if it'll catch on.
4. RailDriver Desktop Train Cab Controller
Every train-spotter's dream, a fully functioning set of 34 buttons, levers and knobs designed with the sole purpose of controlling a virtual train. The RailDriver Controller even has an inbuilt bass speaker that vibrates the controller to add realism. All you need now is a hat and whistle and one of those little paddle things they use to wave trains off from the platforms.
5. ODiN - World's first projection mouse
Named after Odin the Norse god of war, but looking more like a pocket Optimus Prime, this Kickstarter has reached its goal with over 40 days to go. Odin projects red lasers from his eyes, forehead and mouth in the shape of a touchpad. There are no buttons, just tap the desk. Gestures such as zoom and swipe are supported. It fits in a top shirt pocket and is easier to move around than a traditional touchpad and, most importantly, looks way cooler.
6. 3RD Space Gaming Vest
The reason many of us play FPSs is to experience the excitement of warfare without the pain and subsequent post traumatic stress. The 3rd Space Gaming Vest aims to change this. It'll let you "Sense the direction and force of bullet fire". The vest uses compressed air to simulate different attacks such as knives, rockets, all the way up to full-on explosions. It works with Call Of Duty, Battlefield and Bioshock. And sounds terrifying...
7. Mad Catz Cyborg amBX Gaming Lights
Boasting 16 million colours, the Mad Catz Cyborg amBX is a set of physical lights that change colour depending on the game you're playing. They can even let you know which direction you're being shot at from. Place them either side of your monitor and they'll flood the room with rich colours.
Looking more like a shonkily constructed Lego spaceship than a controller (particularly in blue), Sinister aims to bring console control simplicity to PC. It claims to retain the accuracy of a mouse and keyboard setup, offering the "best of both worlds". It's still in the development stage at the moment.
Street Fighter will *never* be the same again... the PrioVR is a wearable suit of up to 17 sensors that track your every movement. The video shows kills done by doing a roundhouse, punches and even a deadly handclap that explodes an NPC's head. It's compatible with Oculus Rift. Is this the future of gaming or just another gadget to make you look like an idiot in the comfort of your own home?
Office frustrations are often let out with a few pints in the local after work, or a high spirited debate in a corridor that's a little too close to the kitchen so everyone can hear. Axpro has come up with another solution, equip workers with USB BB sniper guns. Aiming is done from a computer using the on-board camera and it apparently has a whopping 8 metre range. Stocks appear to be limited but we found it available via Yahoo Taiwan.
11. AlphaGrip AG-5
It looks like a mash-up of every single control pad in history. The AlphaGrip has a trackball, a fully functioning Qwerty keyboard and an array of buttons on the back that would make even the most experienced of woodwind players feel a little faint.
12. HP Sprout
HP hasn't diversified into Christmas groceries quite yet – the Sprout is actually a full computer system with a touch mat under the monitor that tracks your every move (similar to the Odin earlier on in this gallery), but it can also scan any object placed on it using the overhead camera. It claims to merge digital and physical worlds using 'Blended Reality'. It's sort of like a giant high resolution dual-screen GameBoy.
13. Virtuix Omni
We get it, Virtual Reality is the future, but it's still early. The two biggest contenders, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are still in their youth, making for a still rather limited experience. Walking around in real life for example doesn't exactly equate to traversal in-game. With Virtuix Omni, however, you're free to walk around unbounded by the square footage of your living room. Plus, you can work off that cheeseburger at the same time.