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Motion controllers make great virtual reality lightsabers

Motion controllers make great virtual reality lightsabers

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One of the things that gaming — and by extension, virtual reality — has given us is the opportunity to live inside our favorite fictional worlds. In the Oculus Rift, you can ride Marty McFly's hoverboard. You can make the Death Star trench run from Star Wars. Continuing in that vein, gaming peripheral company Sixense has created a demo showing us what fighting with lightsabers might feel like. It's one of the most obviously fun, relatable things to do with motion controllers, even for people who are otherwise skeptical of VR.

Sixense previously worked with Razer on the Hydra motion controller, which became much more useful after the Oculus Rift gained popularity. It's currently preparing to ship a new wireless control system called the Sixense Stem, which was funded on Kickstarter in late 2013. The Stem is a platform that can track the position of up to five sensors on a user's limbs and head. In the video above, they're built into a pair of controllers, which act as lightsaber hilts and move when the player does. It's the same theory behind the swordfighting demo for Sony's Project Morpheus VR headset, which can be paired with Move controllers. The grips on those controllers don't look much like a lightsaber, but the tracking seems very responsive. In theory, you could also create a custom hilt and slip a Stem sensor pack inside.

Stems are available for pre-order and expected to start shipping in October. A basic pack of two controllers and a central hub costs $299, while a full five-sensor system goes for $579.99. If you don't already have an Oculus Rift headset and haven't pre-ordered one, October is also the soonest you can hope to get one of the DK2 development kits. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like you can play Sixense's lightsaber demo yourself, although a VR-enabled version of the video is supposed to be coming soon. The chances of an unofficial version coming out once other developers get access to the Stem, however, is pretty high — you could even fight a friend instead of a machine.