Students at the University of Massachusetts Lowell Robotics Lab have adapted an "on-screen joystick" for use on Microsoft's Surface table with Portal and Flight Simulator. The DREAM (Dynamically Resizing Ergonomic and Multi-touch) controller is activated by putting five fingers on the table. The joystick will then resize itself to the user.
The controls don't look nearly as efficient as a keyboard and mouse, or as comfortable as a gamepad, but it gives a good idea of the interface we may eventually use on the "iPad XL." Check out the video after the break for the full effect (and be prepared to mute the audio).
Portal, a puzzle-oriented add-on game for Half-Life 2: The Orange Box and Half-Life 2: The Black Box takes players' perceptions of spatial reality and literally throws it for a loop. Using a portal gun, gamers place portal ends on any surface and then run through them. The laws of physics will be bent to the breaking point, because gravitational pull can turn into upward or horizontal force to travel across distances. As puzzles become more challenging, some with dangers like gun turrets, players will be forced to think quickly, but must be careful not to fall into an infinite loop and get stuck.