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Tony Hawk bigs up his new peripheral

"Responds like a real skateboard."

Tony Hawk has hailed his Tony Hawk: Ride skateboard peripheral as a "marvel of new technology", and said we'll be playing with it this autumn.

His confident Twitter follows today's first pictures of the plastic and rubber peripheral.

Sensors are place on the board at the front and back, as well as to the left and right of the middle. These pick up feet and hand movement to emulate grabs, kicks and pushes to propel the player forward. An accelerometer inside gauges movement such as 180 spins and manuals - skateboard wheelies.

"Throw the controller out and just stand on the board and it responds to every motion," Hawk told GameTrailers. "It responds to you grabbing it, to you kicking it up, to you turning it one way or another... It's like you're really skating but on a blank deck on the carpet."

In use, the board appears slightly smaller than a proper deck, and can be tilted left and right to turn. Tricks don't require users to actually flip the board around, but on expert mode, "You need to either be very accomplished on this or know how to skate," said Mr Hawk.

But, he added: "Anyone can stand on the board and be in the game, riding it." Apparently you can even sit on a couch and play.

Incidentally, controlling the game by pad is not an option, because Ride is built from scratch for the board. There's no word on price, but a Guitar Hero-like GBP 70 sounds about right.

The game visuals is presented in "stylised reality", and gameplay is split into three modes: Trick Session, Challenge Session and Speed Session. Users won't start the game as a "zero", but instead go from "hero" to "superhero".

Tony Hawk: Ride has been in development for two years at RoboModo. Series creator, Neversoft, now looks after Guitar Hero.

In closing, the lanky Tony Hawk mentioned that the board could be used to emulate a snowboard or surfboard in the future. Ooh.

Tony Hawk: Ride is in development for "all console platforms". Specifics haven't been mentioned.

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