Razer’s Sixense-infused Hydra motion controller was the coolest thing we saw at CES 2010. Now, nearly 17 months later, we finally know when you’ll be able to buy the thing: June. Pre-orders will begin in May, and you can expect to pay $140 for a Hydra bundle that includes Portal 2. The version of the game included with the controller will come with a special MotionPack DLC loaded with levels designed specifically with the Hydra in mind.
Curiously, there’s no word on how much standalone versions of the Hydra sold without Portal 2 will cost. You won’t have to pay for the bundle to get the MotionPack DLC, though. Razer’s Hydra FAQ says the DLC will be available to anyone who owns the controller and a copy of Portal 2. If you’ve had enough of GLaDOS, the Hydra should also work with a wealth of other PC titles. Razer claims the Hydra is supported by 125 additional games, including big names like Borderlands, Bulletstorm, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, and Mass Effect.
To refresh your memory, the Hydra is based on Sixense technology that uses a magnetic field to track the controller. The system is precise enough to detect changes in position as small as a single millimeter and changes in orientation of as little as one degree. So that you don’t spend all your time gesticulating wildly, each controller also comes with with a thumbstick, trigger, bumper, and four additional buttons.
Although Razer says the Hydra will be supported by loads of games, I wonder how many of them will play better with the motion controller than they do with more traditional control schemes. I’ll probably still end up buying one, though. Razer has been working closely with Valve, and the number of casual titles on the supported-games list gives me hope that indie developers will be keen to exploit the controller’s true potential.