Saitek Announces Action Pad
8:38 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story
Saitek, makers of many fine game controllers including the Cyborg joystick, has announced the Action Pad, a left-hand controller designed to replace the keyboard when playing first-person shooters and real-time strategy titles. Rather than hunt-and-peck with one hand to find the dozens of keys these titles often require, this device lets you assign up to 38 commands to its buttons, and even has a scroll wheel. Here is the press release:
A surge in popularity of games requiring keyboard and mouse commands presents a dilemma for gamers: How to get an edge when using a keyboard (designed in 1885 to slow typists down). Very little has been available to help these gamers using the keyboard. Microsoft introduced the Strategic Commander, but that was only for strategy and role-playing games. But nobody offered a left-hand controller suitable for strategy and action games, until now. For the price of a mouse, Saitek has introduced the Action Pad, designed for use along side the keyboard, a controller that performs superbly with strategy and fast action games. Ultra-responsive, lightning fast, and featuring soft touch buttons that are as quiet as a mouse, the Action Pad does double duty for the extremely low suggested retail price of only $29.95. Based on extensive research, Saitek identified a high level of frustration about controllers among gamers who like to play many different types of games. With that in mind, Saitek developed the Action Pad, the first left-handed controller to offer gamers a total solution to controlling keyboard and mouse. The Action Pad works equally well for strategy games such as Age of Empires and action games that require fast response such as Quake 3, Unreal and Half-Life.This product is tough to visualize without one right in front of you, but unfortunately their web site has yet to be updated with an illustration or other details. The most similar product on their site is the Action Pad and Mouse GM2, under the Mice section of their product list. We'll bring you more details when they are available.
The new Action Pad lets strategists program moves, select units and scroll maps. In contrast, the action gamer needs the speed, a key feature of the Saitek pad. Also compatible with Macintosh OS9, the Action Pad features USB (Universal Serial Bus) for quick and easy setup. The Action Pad comes with powerful Saitek Gaming Extensions software that allows players to create new game maneuvers to outwit the enemy. Ergonomically designed, the Action Pad has an 8-way hat and six programmable buttons that work with the shift key to produce 38 commands. The thumb wheel adds even greater game control.
"For the price of a mouse, Saitek's Action Pad is a double duty, left-handed controller that works alongside your keyboard," said Nicolas Gibbons, managing director of Saitek. "Products like Strategic Commander work for strategy titles, but many gamers do not want to invest in a controller limited to a specific class of games." Gibbons added.
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