Hardware and Gear

Published on February 16th, 2015 | by gareth


GRIFTA the Gamepad goes modular

This project has the potential to change gaming controllers for the better at first glance and we are going to follow this one along.

You can see their video and detailed information at the link below.

Grifta Video

Milton Keynes, UK: Grifta A hardware start-up has re-imagined and re-engineered the classic gamepad. By dividing the gamepad into independent left and right hand units, they have created a modular system that lets gamers configure a console controller to work with a wide variety games and gaming platforms.

Since the arrival of the console, gamers have been divided into two factions; those who chose to play with a gamepad and those who prefer a keyboard and mouse. The Grifta designer Paul Weatherstone has come up with a game controller that will appeal to both camps. The Grifta’s ability to combine the standard gamepad format in one hand and the precision of gaming mouse in the other might just be the trick to tempt hardcore PC gamers to swop their desks for the comfort of the living room sofa. Classic gamepad fans won’t be disappointed either, the Grifta comes with rapid action shoulder switches, eight extra buttons, and to ensure exact thumb positioning, the soft hand grips come in three sizes. The designer was clear to point out that from the start of the project that a modular layout was meant to be the answer to the drawback of the standard controller when playing games with Oculus Rift type VR headsets. The Grifta can be adapted to become a gesture gaming device with the addition of an infrared module. This uses so called “Antlers” to track arm and hand movement in a very similar way to the method used by Oculus Rift to track their DK2 headset.

A flat gamepad can’t compete. This controller is designed to provide performance and speed. You can even use it with your gaming mouse.
The Grifta is a modular gamepad system. It consists of a left unit, a right unit, and connector module. Together they create an advanced gamepad with superior performance and ergonomics.

The typical console gamepad has been developed over the years to be a compact “one size fits all” device. The ergonomic principle is: fingers and thumbs must be arranged around the flat plane of the main PCB (Printed Circuit Board). The PCB is the rigid electronic board upon which the joysticks and buttons are fixed to and it’s this unsophisticated sandwich construction layout that dictates the ergonomics. The tail is wagging the dog!

A Gamepad can be so much more

Our solution is to bring the gamepad components to the fingers and thumbs. The triggers, buttons, joystick, and D-Pad are placed to suit the ergonomics of the human hand, and not for the convenience of a simple manufacturing package.

Flat-plane approach vs. ergonomic approach. “Bring the components to the fingers and thumbs”

This approach increases the costs slightly but the result is speed and comfort. If it fits, you’re faster.

We believe that “one size fits all” is just a myth and that’s why the Grifta has soft silicon rubber handgrips, that come in three sizes to ensure your thumbs are in exactly the right position. Once again, if it fits, you’re faster.
Classic console gaming is faster with a Grifta, because the D-Pad and ABXY buttons are precise mechanical components. Mechanical switches can be pushed way faster than soft rubber switches. Just ask any gamer with a mechanical keyboard.

The shoulder buttons are capacitive switches, placed right in front of your trigger finger, and they require the slightest of touches to engage, this layout is not only more comfortable it’s very fast, because instead of moving an index finger up and down which is not repeatably fast, it uses a backward and forward finger movement.

About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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