U.S. Army-branded game rifles assault CES

The Globe and Mail

These new video game rifles for PlayStation 3 are modeled after real military weapons and sport the U.S. Army logo (CTA Digital)

American video game peripheral manufacturer CTA plans to unveil a line of game accessories bearing the U.S. Army logo at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Headlining the new series is a trio of realistically modeled PlayStation 3 sniper and assault rifles that are modeled after real military weapons, sport camouflage paint, and feature removable scopes, stocks, and muzzles. Two of the guns come with the option to be used as Dualshock controller replacements for any PlayStation 3 shooter, including the Call of Duty and Battlefield games. No PlayStation Move required.

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Pictures suggest a level of authenticity that might lead casual onlookers to mistake a couple of these toy weapons for the real thing, which could be a good or bad thing depending on consumer and situation (let's hope they aren't wielded by kids during police raids).

Other accessories in the line include a pair of throat microphones that will enable “U.S. Army-style multiplayer communication,” according to a press release, as well as a more traditional gaming headset and a camo backpack designed to fit PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii consoles (though not all at once).

The Army’s move into the game accessories market ought not to come as a surprise, given its previous and sometimes controversial forays into the world of games. America’s Army, a series of free, downloadable first-person shooter games, was developed by the military and has been used in U.S. schools as a recruitment aid.

The Verge reports that money generated from the Army's licensing deal with CTA will go to the Army’s morale, welfare and recreation programs. That's as good a use as any for funds generated by the Army’s brand through the sale of entertainment products.

No word yet on pricing or availablity, but you can view the rifles, mics, rucksack and their product descriptions on CTA’s website.

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