The Steam controller reignited the debate over the best input device for games. Traditional gamepads work great from the couch and for certain kinds of titles, but they're not ideal for shooters and RTS games that require precise aim and fast, sweeping movements. The keyboard and mouse still reign supreme for those genres, but they're a little unwieldy on the couch—or most of them are, anyway. Roccat's new Sova looks like it might actually work.
Billed as "the future of couch gaming," the Sova is basically a lap-friendly keyboard with a humongous mouse pad on one side. The whole thing is anchored to a brushed aluminum base that covers the entire footprint. Cushioned leg rests sit below, and a cable channel runs down the front. The channel is meant to be used with wired mice, which can plug into one of multiple USB ports. Those ports piggyback on the keyboard's "latency-free" wireless connection to the host PC.
The unnamed wireless connection requires battery power, and Roccat says the Sova can game for 12 hours on a single charge, presumably with a wired mouse attached. I'm not sure you'd want to play for longer than that in one session.
On the keyboard side, the Sova is lined with 74 keys backed by Cherry MX switches. The press release doesn't indicate which MX switch types will be available, but there's backlighting for all of 'em. Gamers probably won't miss the numpad and paging block, and the narrower stance should be easier to balance on one's lap. The mouse pad also "extends and retracts based on personal preference."
A post on Roccat's Facebook page indicates that the Sova is still in development, so that's probably why there's no word on pricing or a release date. As a frequent couch gamer, I definitely like the idea. We may have to test one of these things when it's ready for prime time.