We first got wind of the “Delta Six,” a super-realistic assault-rifle controller for those who like to put the FP into their FPSes, back in October. Predictably, the gun’s purpose and look didn’t play well in mainstream coverage, so it was pulled off the market. Now it’s back, after a successful $US200,000 Kickstarter.
Delta Six is brought to you by David Kotkin of Miami, a teacher who developed the Avenger (the product behind this comprehensively embarrassing shitshow) and was able to retire from his career in education off the money he made. Kotkin correctly noticed the mainstream squeamishness with developing super-realistic gun controllers and figured that was where his next project lay.
Things started out well enough but after this story and others started appearing, the Delta Six found few allies in public. Kotkin told the Miami Herald that the notoriety scared off a public relations firm, “whose owner cited ‘moral reservations,'” and that Arduino, the microcontroller staple of PC and console mods, itself backed away from a partnership because of the potential stink. Originally planned to sell for $US89 with conventional backing, the Delta Six’s May Kickstarter listed $US225 as the unit’s retail price.
If you wondered what the potential stink might be, the Miami Herald contacted our old friend, the disbarred opportunist gasbag Jack Thompson, for his opinion. Thompson ventures that “you’ll probably see legislation at the state or federal level to outlaw this kind of thing for sale to civilians.” OK.
It’s not to say reasonable people don’t have their reservations, too. Even Kotkin’s wife won’t let their 11- and 8-year-old sons play with the Delta Six, but she’s otherwise proud of his inventiveness and accomplishments. “When it comes to the gaming gun, you look at all the violence that’s occurred and it’s really difficult for me to say this is a great idea,” she said.
Speaking as someone who has reviewed three rifle attachments for the PlayStation Move, I don’t think it’s a great idea for other reasons. People keep pushing for more and more realistic gun peripherals, forgetting that it’s actually a less efficient and more physically demanding way to play an FPS. Kotkin’s weapon certainly does look realistic, and aiming down sights by peering through a scope, or reloading by shoving against its clip assembly does sound neat. But once the novelty of these things wear off, you’re still standing in front of your television, using your hands to move your field of vision, and getting shot to pieces by people making smaller and faster motions with their thumbs.