New peripheral lets you bang away without worrying about your screen.

It wasn’t so long ago that you could visit your local game center and see a guy wailing away on Taiko No Tatsujin blindfolded and backwards. While those guys are pretty die-hard and probably still there, most normal people don’t get to see them anymore with COVID-19 keeping us at home, not to mention arcades themselves gradually closing up shop.

▼ Will we ever return to this normalcy?

Luckily, the plethora of home gaming options more than make up for the loss, but certain experiences like rhythm games are harder to adapt. For example, I tend to get light-headed whenever my kids play Taiko No Tatsujin on a smartphone or tablet. It’s just something about children repeatedly and wildly hitting expensive glass electronics I guess.

However, it’s a problem that’s easily solved by 39thanks’ upcoming peripheral Rhythm PAD Controller. This simple rig brings the tactile enjoyment back to rhythm games on touchscreens in a safe and clever way that doesn’t require any batteries.

All you have to do is apply one or all of the five suction cups to the desired location on the display. Then, whenever that cup’s corresponding button is touched, the static electricity in your fingertip sends a signal through the wire and triggers a tap on the screen.

It can work with most devices that have touch screens including the Nintendo Switch. However, the makers warn that certain products like the iPhone12 that contain highly magnetic parts might not function properly because the magnetic field interferes with how the controller works.

It doesn’t even have to be rhythm games. Any app with a static five-button interface can be controlled with this. For example, virtual drum kits can also be fitted with the cups and Rhythm PAD Controller comes with two conductive metal drum sticks that double as styluses.

▼ With the sticks you can feel just like a stock photo model pretending to play the drums

Crowdfunding is set to begin for the Rhythm PAD Controller on 8 February on the Japanese site Kibidango. Those who pledge can get single and double models for 10 to 20 percent off the expected retail price.

Then we shall see if the public is truly hungry from some tactile rhythm action at home by pushing 39thanks to their goal of 1.3 million yen (US$12,000). As for the product itself, I’ll pass judgement once I see a percussionist from a world-class orchestra take one for a spin.

Source: Kibidango, PR Times
Images: PR Times
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