Imagine entering a dungeon and having an interactive map at your fingertips without having to navigate menus on the main screen.
Imagine running a new game and get real time feedback on CPU and GPU info such as loads, temperatures and fan speeds without needing to run an overlay on your screen.
Imagine getting that annoying call from your girlfriend to tell you you were meant to pick her up 30 minutes ago, and answer that call in-game via your gaming headset.
Well now you can do this, and more, with Roccat Power-grid.
The new, and I have to say free (though that can change – more later) software will be available on smartphones ‘soon’ and is currently in Beta on IOS.
So, what can you do? Well, there’s a bit of something for everyone it seems.
Stay connected – You can keep in touch with gamers and friends via multiple communication methods such as Skype, TeamSpeak and Facebook
System Monitor – You can keep track of vital system info such as CPU and GPU usage, which includes individual cores, RAM usage info, system temperatures and much more.
Control Centre – Control your system settings and game options on the fly without leaving game, such as audio control.
Command Centre – Customise your ‘grid’ to display in game options such as spells, attacks, buffs and defences, all controllable by your phone.
Expand – Although you get one for free, more custom grids are available at a cost (no details as of yet) which allows you to customise multiple grids for multiple games.
Share – Made an awesome grid? Send it to your friends!
In the future Roccat are planning to release some Power-grid based hardware such as the Phobos keyboard; which as a charging/connection dock on board, and the Apuri 2.0; which functions as separate charging/connection dock.
This all sounds wonderful, but where can the real benefits come in, and why would you want it? Well let’s look into potential applications here (these are conjecture on my part, not anything specifically outlined by Roccat)
As mentioned above, in MMO’s an in dungeon map would be pretty handy – especially if it has annotations as to drop locations, enemies and points of interest.
In RTS’s you could select a unit and have all their info displayed on your phone, including possible upgrade trees and vital stats.
In FPS’s, you just got shot – Oh No! Bring up the info of the guy that shot you and hunt him down for revenge!
You got a new game and want to see how your system performs, so call up the system info while in game and see exactly how much your system is being pushed to the max!
You get a phone call in game, rather than hitting pause and chatting – put the call through to your headset and chat away while hiding in cover/destroying the opposition!
Personally I think this whole idea has a ton of potential. It does however skirt the line between helpful and gimmicky at the moment, and it will be a hard task to keep things appealing to gamers without coming across as a pointless bit of software clogging up your phone. Roccat however do seem to have their thinking caps on and their development pushing in the right places, here’s to hoping it’s a success!
Check out the website here: http://power-grid.roccat.org/
Check out the potential hardware applications here: http://power-grid.roccat.org/?page=hardware
Please leave any comments or views below, it will be interesting to get other peoples’ views on whether you think it’s a great idea or useless gimmick.