Click to viewThis has to be one of the coolest, most useful ghetto hacks ever: a modder called the2jakes built a mechanism to control the analog joystick of a PlayStation 2 gamepad with his head. Using just an ingenious rig, a baseball cap and a USB cable extender, his homemade head-mounted display controls the game view with the natural movement of his head, rather than using his thumb. In this video he uses his invention to look around while playing Test Drive Unlimited.
[Update: more comments from the2jakes after the jump, including the components for his hack]
Jesus Diaz: How long did it take for you to complete?
the2jakes: As far as I can remember, 3 hours. This is just a beta version, I only wanted to see if a PS2 analog joystick was a good way to achieve head tracking for the Playstation 2. The final goal was to
add it to my homemade HMD. That's why you only see me testing it on my TV in this beta version video.
JD: So there will be a second version?
t2j: To be honnest, there won't be any "final" version of it, for several reasons: firstly, too few PS2 games integrate "free look" function. I only know Test Drive Unlimited and Ace combat Zero that have this function. I prefer waiting for the PS3, since I couldn't find any Sixaxis device for the PS2. That would do much better the job... I believe there is much more to do for the PS3.
JD: Why the PS3?
t2j: Didn't you noticed how poor this console is regarding its peripherals? I'm really disapointed about it (the PS3 has been launched a long time ago now, and Sixaxis is so cool I can't understand why they didn't build any cooler peripherals with it (other than gamepads). For now they didn't integrate "free look" function in GT5 Prologue on the PS3... I've tested it... it's sad. You only get a binary style view (left or right, no smooth free look.) I hope the'll add this to this game: then for sure you'll see a mod of mine to do good head tracking.
JD: How much money did you spend on it?
t2j: Well I used an old PS2 controller..., an old USB extender, two chopsticks, and a metal hanger. In other words: costless
Apart from being a mod genius, the2jakes is a Frenchman who loves gaming, VR and real car racing. He says he always liked building peripherals for his PC. He made his own first racing wheel 11 years ago and since then he has been doing all sorts of mods, including a dynamic racing seat with built-in subwoofers, servos and a video projector, all made with home components.
His first attempt to create a head-mounted display was made "using ordinary off-the-shelf stuff I had." This included a helmet and a graphics tablet (of all things). "I know, it's kind of big and heavy," he says, "but was fun to build."
He even created a model with built-in 8-inch TFT display with a SVGA connection to his PC and integrated sound:
Please, someone give this guy loads of money and his own game peripherals company.