Call this a curiosity. While we were catching up on GDC stuff, we stumbled across Roccat's answer to the tired "Is PC Gaming is dead" question. Its answer, as a peripheral maker, is naturally a big fat "No," but it has added an interesting caveat: PC gaming needs an iOS, Windows Phone 7, or Android companion app.

Allow us to introduce you to Roccat Power-Grid, an app that can sync with your Skype or Teamspeak channels, give you real-time readouts on CPU temperature and hard disc space, allow you to tune game audio on the fly, and lets you create custom macros for your favorite games complete with themed icons.

Roccat plans to give the app away for free, but will support it with fancy keyboards that ship with USB phone docks. Check one out:

Roccat believes millions are going to jump on its companion app, and while our guts have to disagree with that, we do see the appeal. Keyboards that ship with those programmable buttons on the side are often big, expensive, and look silly. Using a smartphone to do those tasks specifically certainly sounds preferable.

We'll keep our eyes on this. As PC gaming evolves, so does what we do with it. Bringing our phones into the fold seems like a pretty organic development in the scene. If it catches or not, however, remains to be seen.

[via Kotaku]

  • Mike

    Those bros should throw an iPad on that keystack, forget that tiny iPhone. Go all out, gamebros.

  • J.Shamblin

    How well do gaming keyboards do on the market? How many of those people with gaming keyboards are willing to buy a new one just to use a free app, especially if the app works without it?

    Sounds like a bad idea, but I wish them luck.

  • subshell001

    I am looking forward to this - I have desperately wanted an app to fire off KB macros when playing Mac/PC games, particularly ones that have a lot of different keyboard commands (RTS, X3, etc). There is a surprising lack of these sorts of apps, yet the engineering effort is not that bad. Any similar app is meant for full control of your computer, without the ability to form a custom layout.

  • Adams Immersive

    As a hopelessly addicted desktop-control-scheme customizer and controller junkie, I welcome this option! (I’ve hacked some of this functionality via various apps not meant for it.)

    I’ve long wanted something that let me create a custom layout on the iOS device, which would then send keystrokes/other signals to my Mac, as a custom “extra keyboard” with things like communication and inventory buttons—stuff you don’t need to “twitch” in an instant, but you do need to use easily without remembering a dozen alphabet keys. (There’s an app in the App Store that sort of does this—I forget the name—but not well enough.)

    I don’t know if Roccat’s app will fill that particular need of mine or not.

  • Gnoupi

    It's not only for extra buttons, it would be great to have an extra info screen. Not so much for a game itself (I would usually prefer that on the main screen), but more for the extra stuff: chats, updates, news, GPU temp, system load, etc.

    Subscribed for beta, can't wait to see how it goes.

  • rekzkarz

    Not sure why people are nay-saying?!?  Just don't buy one if you don't want one!

    As a PC owner with 2 non-touch screens, I have been wanting some type of interface that also displays stuff.  (I have a Wacom pad too, but it's got no display & is not usable as an interface.)

    I don't have an iPad, but it would make sense to work on either iPad or iPhone.

    Never understood why we need all these extra cables for each device anyway -- why NOT change the keyboard to be more?  But don't make it $200!

  • TonyDaws

    I wish the connection for the keyboard was above the keys rather than on the right.  More space for the mouse is a plus, and would put the screen more in the user's field of view.  Only negative is that it makes it incompatible with a percentage of customers who have roll-out keyboards where something like this wouldn't fit.

    • Bob Mayer

      That keyboard has no number pad, so is probably the same size as most keyboards.

      • TonyDaws

        True, but I use keyboards without number pads already so it still adds width in my case.  More importantly though I think just being closer to the user's field of vision would really be beneficial.  Its a lot easier to look down slightly from your screen and hit a button on that screen right above the home row instead of looking off to the right and down and having to pull your hand off farther... just don't see that as useful.

      • nate emigh

        Lol seriously? Rollout keyboard? I am sure this keyboard is not targeting people with space issues... And you seriously need some space issues cause Roll out keyboards... suck. So incompatible with what? 2 Percent of people who use keyboards?

        Bobby is right 

        Also in the picture I can see a little bluetooth logo... so you can prolly place it anywhere. making it compatible with most smartphones.

        its literally 3 keys and half an inch of space for a NumPad. My mouse (track ball is 1-3 feet from my keyboard at any given time, My 42 inch monitor (HDMI TV) is 4-5 feet infront of me, and my 17 inch is about a foot. My Keyboard is in front of the 17inch. So I look at my 17, then down slightly at my keyboard, then up and to the right to my 42, then my hand comes from the right to scratch my nose where my mouse is.

        If you are worried about space, Don't get this keyboard, if you don't like the attempt of ergonomics, Don't buy it.

        All in all, they are possibly targeting iSO and Maybe Android and Windows Mobile devices, Gamers, who already spend stupid money on really powerful computers that wont be using the full capabilities of their system for another 10 years, gamers in general that feel they would get bennies from it, and Possibly computers that run Load bearing servers and they can easily monitor thier computer (then again, their could be an app to watch that from any location)

        Who knows, if you can find a use for it go for it. 

        I laughed a little when I read: 

        " Its a lot easier to look down slightly from your screen and hit a button on that screen right above the home row instead of looking off to the right and down and having to pull your hand off farther"

        Its not like you are having to turn around and look up in the sun to see this. So instead of looking slightly down, you are looking slightly down to the right.

        I am amazed how lazy this generation is getting... 

        This planet is doomed.