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Solid Art Labs’ King’s Assembly peripherals. (via kickstarter)


The debate is centuries old, ok maybe not that old but the rivalry between keyboard and mouse users and those that prefer handheld controllers when gaming has been raging for over two decades to say the least. Which one gives the greatest edge over their opponents? Which has the least input lag and (more importantly) which are more comfortable to use during long gaming sessions? These are just some of the few debate topics that can be found in the gaming community regarding their peripheral of choice, however what if all three could be utilized at the same time? Would the debate still rage or would it actually entice gamers to come together and embrace one another as equals (it’s a longshot but it could happen)?


One company is looking to crowd fund a new device that may quell those debates by combining all three peripherals together for the ultimate gaming input devices. Solid Art Labs has initiated a Kickstarter crowd-funding initiative to help get their King’s Assembly control system off the ground. The system itself is actually comprised of two ‘controllers’ of sorts that feature 30 keys separately for each hand, which are situated on a curved ergonomic plastic inlay for supposed easy access. User’s palms rest on a uniquely angled rest for comfort while typing or gaming, providing easy thumb access to the analog 2-axis joystick with its five keys positioned on the inside of both devices. The rest is fully adjustable to fit all hand styles as well and features a no-wobble mechanism so it does not shift while moving the device. It should be noted that the control system can be fully customizable with different program configurations depending on the task at hand.


This is where it either becomes cool or outright funky as each device houses a Pixart 9800 optical laser sensor, which effectively turns each device into a mouse as well, with each controlling the same cursor on screen. Ultimately, that could become confusing when gaming, however future programming goals would see the addition of a disabling key that would shut off one of the laser sensors as well as mapping one for slower movements (for sniping). The ‘mouse wheel’ is actually controlled by each analog joystick (increased confusion), which is used for scrolling and tilting with the speed increased by how far the joystick is pushed in the corresponding direction. Since Cherry MX switches are used in the system, the controllers do not come cheap, with pledges of $200 or more to get both devices (alternatively, you can get one for $120). While some may find that using the King’s Assembly may be too difficult to game with, others may find it advantageous, as the numbers seem to demonstrate as Solid Art Labs initial goal of $20,000 has reached over $100,000 in funding.

 

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