Control Your PC with Your Smartphone with the ROCCAT Power-Grid
Remember that teaser website from two weeks ago that asked us, “Isn’t PC gaming dead?” then promised to tell us the “smartest way forward” for PC gaming? The company behind that was gaming peripherals manufacturer ROCCAT Studios, and I met with a few of ROCCAT’s representatives — including founder and CEO René Korte — so that they could fill me in on the big reveal.
Keeping silent about ROCCAT’s concept has been painstaking, but today the company is ready to publicly reveal the ROCCAT Power-Grid, a utility that — for the first time in the history of PC gaming — lets players control their games and computer with their smartphone. What’s more, the Power-Grid is completely free to get started.
René Korte said:
Some gaming companies claim PC gaming is sick and needs help. We at ROCCAT have never thought that. We know PC gaming is alive and well. It just needs to keep evolving. Power-Grid represents that natural evolution. Why? Because it makes possible the dream of millions of gamers: to stay fully absorbed in the game no matter what happens in the real world. It works with every PC, makes expensive touch-display gaming devices obsolete, and is completely free to get started. Is PC gaming sick? Hardly. Is it dead? Of course not. It’s evolving and getting a hell of a lot better.
The free-to-download Power-Grid is a tool that lets gamers connect, monitor and control their game and PC in real time without interrupting the action. The app comes standard with four control displays, called “grids.” Three grids have been preloaded with a wide range of essential gaming tools, and the fourth is completely customizable.
Grid 1: The first of Power-Grid’s pre-installed control grids is the “Incoming Center.” It routes all outside voice and text communication — from Skype, Facebook, TeamSpeak, Twitter, etc. — to an at-a-glance display on your smartphone. This means you can get messages from friends and teammates while staying in the game.
Grid 2: The “Stats Control” grid lets you quickly and easily monitor your computer’s vital data via your smartphone — info such as CPU status, hard drive space and network traffic.
Grid 3: The “Sound Control” grid allows you to set and fine tune every aspect of your gaming audio using just your smartphone. You can even independently change the audio settings for Skype, in-game music, or your media player, for example, all from one control interface.
In addition to the free Power-Grid app, gamers will need to download the free ROCCAT Power-Grid
Launcher which not only connects smartphone and PC, but also features a powerful editor that lets players create their own custom control icons, or “blocks” — like individually designed macro buttons from their favorite games, or specialty buttons like a pizza timer — for the ultimate in command customization.
Plus, you can easily share your self-styled blocks and grids with your guild mates and friends.
As cool as an app that syncs your smartphone with your PC is, it’s about to get much cooler. At the end of the year gamers, will be able to connect their Power-Grid-loaded smartphone to ROCCAT Smart Gear — new gaming hardware that delivers the ultimate smart gaming experience.
Project Phono — the Phone Board — is a keyboard with a removal numpad that reveals a slot for your smartphone. Plug your Power-Grid-loaded smartphone into your keyboard, and not only will your computer keep your phone charged, but you can reroute incoming calls to your PC headset, as well as use the keyboard to type text messages through your phone, be it on Facebook, Skype, TeamSpeak, etc.
This idea truly feels like the next step in the evolution of PC gaming. Have a smartphone? Download the app. Free. This isn’t some new peripheral that you’ll use for a month and discard. It’s useful, there’s no initial investment cost, and it’s clearly designed for PC gamers.
You can apply to beta test the Power-Grid over here.