Mad Catz announced something I truly hadn't expected this year. They are getting into the software business.
This sounds strange, initially, but when you see why, it starts to make sense. Mad Catz has a new type of gaming controller coming out called the Gametrak. The principle behind it is simple enough; it basically acts as a two point motion capture system. Gametrak can know how high off the ground you're holding the tracking device and at what angle. By watching the changes in position (and taking some quick configuration data into consideration), it can determine when and precisely how you're swinging a bat, using a sword or putting on the green. This is a really interesting technology, but how do you get game developers to support it? Ah-ha! That's where Mad Catz comes in. By creating their own games, they can make innovative games that utilize this new controller. If they get a large installed base, then perhaps others may start supporting the Gametrak. In the meantime, Mad Catz was showing a baseball and a golf game, with talk of a sword based game that's around the corner.
In addition to Gametrak games, Mad Catz is also creating some dance pad games. It will be interesting to see what dancing games are like if they're made by people intimately familiar with the dance pad itself.
As always, stay tuned for full reviews as these products release.