Saitek’s new controllers for the space simulator Star Citizen caused a sensation at CitizenCon 2015. The show took place at Runway Visitor Industrial Park at Manchester Airport, with a real supersonic Concorde airliner as the backdrop. New items are categorized as HOTAS Hands-on, Throttle and Stick and are various combinations of joystick, motor lever, keyboard and additional modules.
Saitek’s futuristic controllers for the space simulator Star Citizen
Elements of the Saitek Star Citizen controller can be merged with each other to create unique configurations for different play styles and types of spaceships. “The basic idea is that you can take it apart and combine parts with other devices,” commented Carl Jones, chief operating officer of developer Roberts Space Industries. – For example, you can fly with a joystick and keyboard, joystick and lever, two joysticks, or any other set of Star Citizen controllers. Using such kits is as easy as using a regular mouse or gamepad.”.
Several interesting technical solutions are implemented in the concept. For example, the keyboard splits into two parts – the main and number blocks can be detached from each other and used separately or a motor control lever can be placed between them . There are special trackballs on the joystick and lever under the thumbs – so players can target objects that are not on the ship’s course of travel during flight.
A small display built into the keypad’s numeric block provides the most important information a pilot needs. In addition, the premium version of the controller will also have a large OLED display that shows all the details about the mission and state of the ship.
The design of the new space controllers pleasantly surprised visitors to the show. Respectable gaming magazine Polygon’s expert Charlie Hall called Saitek’s new creation “the best HOTAS concept of the decade” and “the most ambitious flight controller for the PC in years.
The Star Citizen game is being developed by Cloud Imperium Games Corporation. The project combines elements of a classic flight simulator, online multiplayer and first-person shooter. Gillian Anderson and Luke Skywalker’s Star Wars actor Mark Hamill provided the voice-over for the game’s storyline.
Video from the Saitek Star Citizen concept presentation: //polygon.com/2015/10/15/9540153/star-citizens-custom-joystick-looks-positively-stunning
Video with simultaneous translation: 4xQlfbj8SNQ?t=1h3m9s