ProTubeVR, the Marseilles, France-based makers of the titular VR gunstock accessory, is hoping to make a splash later this month with a Kickstarter campaign for a new haptic devkit that promises to dial-up immersion in VR shooters.

Dubbed ForceTube, the device is designed to replace the butt of the original ProTubeVR stock, providing a haptic kickback to users when they shoot.

The company says ForceTube will first start devkit production after reaching its crowdfunding goal. A second iteration, which the company plans to deliver to backers (devkit V2), is slated to add “power and electronic upgrade.”

A full, consumer-ready product release is slated to launch by the end of 2019. This version is said to include what the company calls “some ‘non-essential’ features,” with the same main features of kick-back and rumble.

 

ForceTube is said to work natively on “some [PCVR] games” running through OpenVR or Oculus SDK. Currently the company has announced only one title with guaranteed support, the Early Access mil-sim shooter Onward.

A list of other natively supported games will be announced later, although the company holds that their ‘retro-compatibility tool’ will allow ForceTube to work in any SteamVR game by letting the player change and make game profiles.

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As for the hardware itself, not much is known at this time. The device is said to connect to PCs via Bluetooth, and will feature a battery life “longer than 8 hours under real intensive use.” Both low and high frequency rumble will be available, the company says, providing up to 60-newton kick force to your shoulder with a maximum of 100w power draw per shot.

“The manufacturing process is painful and complicated, but that’s why it’s a devkit,” ForceTubeVR says.

The company is remaining tight-lipped on further details, although we’re likely to learn more in the coming weeks leading up to launch, slated for sometime later this month.

YouTuber ‘The Irish Guerrilla’ recently published a short advert for ForceTube, showing the device in action while playing Onward.

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  • Baldrickk

    I can’t help but think that it would feel wrong – not the force feedback – that looks great – but rather the whole gun-stock. It looks like it would feel very bottom heavy – and so the inertia of the whole thing will just be incorrect… If the bar connected the controllers over the top…

    • Guygasm

      Not sure how much inertia will have to do with it. This doesn’t appear to use an internal inertial weight like Striker VR. Rather it is relying on your hands to hold the stock in place on your shoulder, which then gets tapped by a solenoid driven bar.

      • Baldrickk

        I’m not talking about the stock itself.
        Instead, I’m talking about how it is connected to the controllers.
        Almost all guns have the barrel etc mounted above the grips, whereas with this, the weight is below.
        This will make the whole unit feel “odd” when moving it, as the centre of mass is lower than where you are holding it instead of higher.

        • RagnarLothbrok

          Thing is though when barrel is over controllers it leads to tracking loss with current PC VR tracking solutions. So there are no other possibilities where you have controllers + gun stock. Controllers needs to have line of sight towards the tracking system Vive base stations or Oculus cameras as well as WMR cameras.

        • CursingLlama

          Ragnar is right about the design being better for tracking purposes. Provided you are using the carbon fiber version of the protube you won’t notice the weight of it. I can’t speak for the other versions because I only own the carbon version.

      • Skippy76

        Nothing feels wrong with the protube. You dont even feel that its below the controllers.
        I play competitively and it just feels great. That being said.. Im not sure i would want the added kick of this gadget. I play 3-4 hours per night and i can see my shoulder getting black and blue because of this.

    • Caven

      You’re talking about a product that weighs about half a kilogram. It’s way too light compared to real world rifle to feel bottom-heavy, no matter where the weight actually is.

      • Leonardo Almeida

        If you play for long time a real gun weight will be terrible. For sure that´s amazing for a experience but I don´t think that I will use a heavy gun to play for hours.

        • Caven

          I agree. I was just pointing out that the light weight of the product would limit the sensation of any particular weight distribution. In fact, your point reinforces the argument, because even with perfect weight distribution the product is too light to have an authentic heft to it. But who really cares as long as it’s fun to use?

  • Zachary Scott Dickerson

    Excellent idea, Styker VR made something with a linear motor but it’s far too costly, and doesn’t let you use the wands, restricting it’s usage.

  • Andrew McEvoy

    What does “titular” mean?

    • dogtato

      ‘named after’ basically. in this case, the product is called protubevr and the company is named after it

      • Andrew McEvoy

        Ahhh ok. Thanks for that explanation mate.

    • Bob

      No it’s got nothing to do with tits. Yes those orb-like things found on both a human male (some) and human female.

      • Andrew McEvoy

        To be honest, I wasnt thinking that at all. But yeah lets make tits jokes yay nipples.

  • All this Haptic stuff. Has any one of these managed to be for sale?

    • LoL, yay, one of these days! Vests, force feedback hands, kicking gun accessories. People on YouTube seem to find them, but never the rest of us.

    • Forbidden

      Kickstarter had haptic vests for sale last year but the company went out of business. I heard they are awesome but cost $800. You could feel where you got shot and it had cold/warm features.

  • Jerald Doerr

    Bad design… The tailstock should be sliding instead of that little pad… It would give you far more realistic feeling without kicking back your VR controller throwing off your aim x2 because of kickback programmed into games already. But I guess they spent time thinking or testing it over..

  • I feel it more useful as a device for LBVR entertainment, that something to use at home