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Up close with the Battlefield 3 simulator!

The Gadget Show  Tuesday 25 October 2011

Up close with the Battlefield 3 simulator!

Remember our Modern Warfare training a while back? The Gadget Show decided to take it one step further by transforming a studio into the ultimate first-person simulator featuring the latest in entertainment technology, achingly realistic paintball gun feedback and a copy of upcoming war shooter Battlefield 3. Gamers. This is what dreams are made of.

Today’s games might promise realism, but nothing quite like this. In an attempt to create the ultimate first-person shooter simulator, The Gadget Show transformed a studio into a virtual battleground. Here’s how it all came together.

Check out our Battlefield 3 single player preview!

The simulator was housed in an Igloo Vision immersive dome measuring 4 metres high and 9 metres wide, fitted with five HD projectors to project the game onto a colossal wraparound 360-degree screen. The idea is that wherever you look, you see the action going on around you.

But what about player movement? That’s where the genius of Swedish company MSE Weibull comes in. The company have built an omni-directional treadmill that enables you to walk in any direction – perfect for simulating walking soldiers in the game. Ten overhead cameras track the player, so that whichever direction they walk is simulated in the game itself.

Ambient lighting technology from Extra Dimensional Technologies recreates real-time lighting changes found in Battlefield 3. Since being shot makes the screen go red, the lighting system can signal to a series of paintball guns when this happens to deliver the ultimate in paintball gun-powered force feedback. It’s the only simulator that’ll give players battle scars.

For firepower Jason got his hands on the the appBlaster – a clever toy gun that uses two triggers. Here, pressing the front aims the reticule, while pulling the back trigger lets the player shoot. Synced wirelessly to a PC running a copy of Battlefield 3, it proved to be the ultimate in war sim weaponry.

A copy of the game wasn’t the only gaming tech on show. A modified Microsoft Kinect camera hacked by Running in the Halls is used to track player movements such as crouching and jumping. The experience was so realistic that even SAS commander Andy McNab felt right at war.

And let’s not forget the force feedback provided by 12 Tippmann Tango paintball markers [modified by Robo Challenge] – bringing a whole new dimension to the experience.

You too can get your hands on Battlefield 3 when it arrives in stores on October 28. Read our Battlefield 3 single player campaign preview to see what we think so far.

Would you stand a chance on our Battlefield 3 simulator? Let us know in the comments section below.

See our Battlefield 3 sim in action! You won’t be disappointed

First look at Battlefield 3


Battlefield 3 simulator, Battlefield 3, gaming

User comments (14)

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Phil Jones

Absolutely with out doubt the most amazing display of gadge for gaming, I WANT ONE !!!!!!!,, also well done Suzie for testing the paintball system. I give it 5 G 's . awesome episode!! I think there are more games to try Dues Ex, Rage, Fallout 3 to name a few. keep up the good work people!!! I still WANT ONE.

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Thomas Kempen

Hi, Is it posible to rent it? Let me know

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How many must i pay, to build the same thing at home....?

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Darren Kellitt

The best Gadget show ever well done. This simulator has a real market. Is it possible to get one up and running for the public to experience? I imagine it will cost too much for anyone to actually build and maintain themselves...please tell me you are going to build one?! if so first dibs!! p.s I think there's also room for improvements, imagine it with 3D projectors! and instead of paintball's a full body suit which can give you a small electric shock at the exact location the bullet hits you...exciting stuff! Top marks for an awesome episode :)

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Josiah Munsey

Can you give a price breakdown for this? I would love to know an estimated cost with and without the paintball setup.

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Rather than use the whole surround cinema set up why not use one of the new Sony 3D head mounted display units? If you incorporated a head tracking device as well as the gun tracker you could move in one direction, look in another and shoot in another! It would be a lot smaller and more marketable for the masses. I could easily see these in arcades and theme parks before going mainstream. Is it going to be available at the live show?

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This is something I have been dreaming about for years!!! You guys are AWESOME! Now imagine a room (large room) with 8+ of these set up where you and your buddies could come play in an online game against each other. That would be the ultimate gaming experience. Now all I have to do is find out pricing put a business plan & funding together and get a gaming center open.

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Peter Childs

This is the future! Dont remember the last time i was this excited about gaming. Please tell me there is a business plan in the pipeline to bring this to either gyms or cyber cafes!

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It is weird that i was thinking about a simulation to be able to be in the game in stead of out so just let me know if you are stealing peoples thoughts thx. :)

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jamie hudson

same message just TELL ME!!! do you or do you not take my ideas

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Eric - Molewood Media UK

it cost approx £500,000. Yep half a million, months of research and trail and error.

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amber loves erin


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