Gaming is a couch-based activity, but the problem is that it takes up all of your television. Increasingly, this is a problem, at least if advertising for the Wii U and Nvidia Shield is to be believed. But there is hope, and you can find it on Kickstarter!
The Cross Plane is essentially a small TV with a controller bolted onto it that you can use to play video games from any console on a “wireless video interface.” Basically, it’s a small TV with a bunch of buttons. You can swap in a control pack on the back of the device, and as long as it’s got a transmitter slotted into its HDMI port, you can play on anything that plays games.
Steam On The Couch? It’s More Likely That You Think
So essentially, what this is is an accessory that extends gameplay functionality, or turns pretty much any console you own into a Wii U. The controller design is pretty much what you’d expect; it’s got all the buttons you need, the triggers on the back, and so on. It also looks modeled after the chunkier portable systems, so that’s a useful touch. But we do foresee some difficulty for this Kickstarter.
A Problem That’s Already Solved
True, the multi-system capability is an an advantage, but the Wii U does this out of the box, the PS4 will do it with the Vita, and PC gamers already have the NVidia Shield. More problematic, though, to my mind, is the controller layout. The thumbsticks are above the four-button layout, which means you’ve got to shift your whole hand to hit a button, and that’s a bit problematic with games that need those face buttons. Secondly, having had long, bitter experience getting gamepads to work on the PC, I’ve got to question just how smoothly using Steam on this thing will be.
Finally, this costs $350. Why buy an accessory when you can buy a console? Nonetheless, we can see this having a niche appeal; if you’re interested, the Kickstarter is going on right now.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.