The latest trend with video games is to play opponents over the Internet. While battling human opponents in your favorite game can be more challenging, you might want to take online gaming one step further and shoot at each other using the MSN Missile Launcher.

This toy plugs into two USB 1.1 port of any Vista/XP/2000 PC and includes an integrated webcam along with three foam missiles. The idea is that you plug this toy into your computer, plug another toy on your buddy’s computer (either in the next cubicle or anywhere on the planet), and connect with your friend through the MSN Messenger program.

Through MSN Messenger, you can control the MSN Missile Launcher connected to your buddy’s computer and your buddy can control the same toy connected to your computer. With its three foot long USB cable, each missile launcher can be placed within the general area of the PC.
Using the integrated webcam on each toy, each player then swivels the missile launcher up, down, right, or left to find the target (the other person). When you see the target through the webcam, click the mouse and fire a foam missile. After three shots, your friend will have to reload the missile launcher and you can start playing all over again.

To add to the fun, the missile launcher includes sound effects and can fire its foam missiles up to fifteen feet. If you don’t have a friend with an MSN Missile Launcher, you could hook this up to your home PC, control it from work, and use the included paper target with a bulls-eye to practice shooting the missile from work. (You’ll only get three shots before you’ll need to rush home and reload the missile launcher though.)

Rather than shoot at the paper target, you could also use this toy to monitor the activities in your home and fire at anyone in your house such as your spouse, kids, or even a burglar. Unfortunately, this toy lacks the ability to use its webcam as a motion-detection device to fire at targets automatically in the absence of your control.

For $60, the MSN Missile Launcher is a unique gift. After playing a few times, the novelty of firing foam missiles at each other may soon wear off, however. Still, if you’re looking for something different that can keep you amused with your computer, the MSN Missile Launcher may be the gift for you.

Pros:

  • Fun idea for competing against your friends
  • Easy to setup and use

Cons:

  • Limited long-term playing appeal
  • Only works with Vista/XP/2000, no Macintosh support
  • Only works with MSN Messenger

Available here for $60










Wallace Wang