A new map pack for Portal 2 has been released, adding new six chambers designed to be played with the Razer Hydra motion controller. The controller features two control sticks that can be used to pick up items, stretch special cubes and rotate portals. The Hydra works with all Portal 2 single player and co-op missions, but the MotionPack levels will feature special items and puzzles that take advantage of the controller's unique abilities.
The MotionPack comes bundled with with Razer Hydra controller, which can be bought in the US now through Steam, or directly from Razer for $140. According to Razer's site , the Hydra is compatible with 125 other games, including Assassin's Creed, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Call of Duty and Battlefield: Bad Company 2. You'll find the full list here .
The controller consists of a central orb that sits on your desktop and two handheld control sticks. The orb generates a low level electromagnetic field, and the Hydra uses magnetic sensors to determine the exact position and angle of the two handheld devices. Razer say the unit boasts an "ultra precise sensor for 1mm and 1 degree tracking" and "ultra-low latency" for faster response.
It's impossible to know how the Hydra really feels until it's in our hands, but a series of demo videos on the Razer site gives us an idea of the movements needed to perform in-game actions. You can watch the videos below. The motions appear smaller and more subtle than the wild arm waving that we've seen on similar devices like the Wii-mote. The Hydra is only available in the US, for now. It's currently available to pre-order from Razer EU for 140 Euros, and is listed as "shipping in June."
The MotionPack is the first piece of DLC for Portal 2, but there's more in the pipeline . We can expect more test chambers, leaderboards and challenge modes later this summer. The release of the Razer Hydra on Steam is another landmark moment. If Steam can sell a motion controller, why not any other piece of hardware?