New York – GPS system manufacturers have teamed with video game creators to make driving more fun this year.
TomTom has partnered with Microsoft to use maps and textures from Halo, while competitor Garmin has partnered with Half-Life 2 creator Valve.
Tomtom CEO Harrold Goddijn said, "It's a competitive marketplace. We're looking for any kind of edge we can get. We felt the popular Halo franchise was the best fit for our product. Now our customers can see themselves driving a warthog through Blood Gulch instead of the Jersey Turnpike on their TomTom."
The upgraded devices allow customers to update the map views from the standard view to full 3D-textured environments from the games. Instead of the boring arrows and street names, drivers will see graphics from the popular games
Garmin has teamed with Valve for Half-Life 2 branded versions of the devices.
Pete Billingsley from Vermont said, "I'm tired of the regular maps included with the devices. Sure they're much more helpful for navigation, but I'd rather get lost in the City 17 than Burlington. And, Having Dr. Breen telling me I missed a turn is way cool."
Beta versions of the device from Garmin had "headcrabs" attacking at intersections, but resulted in too many crashes so the feature was removed.
The new skins and maps require a bit more processing power than standard units, so skins will only be available in cars with dedicated processing units in the trunk.