Electric shock game controller has great potential

Multi-player combat games just got even better. Now, when you shoot your opponent, they will really feel it
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

Multi-player shoot-em-up games will get a little extra kick soon with the launch of a game controller that gives users electric shocks.

The Bioforce controller takes the concept of force-feedback to a new level. It is shaped like a typical handheld game controller, but also has four electrodes attached. These are attached to a user's skin, and deliver a slight electric current when he or she is hit during a game.

Mad Catz, the company behind Bioforce, believes the new device will be particularly suitable for combat games. "There is nothing quite so entertaining as going head to head in a fighting game and actually watching your real-life opponent wince when you land a good in-game punch," said Mad Catz product manager Steven Sandwisch to Space.com.

Mad Catz was quick to offer reassurances that the Bioforce is safe -- insisting that similar technology is used in certain anti-seasickness products. Bioforce contains three 1.5V batteries, which deliver a charge of up to 16 milliamp through the electrodes. This isn't enough to hurt -- but it can cause muscles to twitch.

While players will not be able to actually their opponent, the Bioforce could provide a particularly satisfying way of winning. Apparently, repeated shocks can cause the inflicted player's muscles to go into a spasm, which can be enough to make them drop the controller.

No release date has been set for the Bioforce.

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