E3: Saitek, Logitech Unleash Flood of Controllers
9:30 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story
E3 isn't just about software and console games -- there is always tons of game hardware on display, from joysticks to gamepads to speakers and more. Of course, there are always some unique items on display, such as a pair of speakers built into a plastic seat designed to rumble your posterior when you get gibbed; yes, we did try that out last year, and no, it did not sell.
Thankfully there is plenty of useful gaming hardware as well. Peripheral makers Saitek and Logitech both launched new product lines, and due to the magic of USB and Apple's Input Sprockets, all of the devices they are about to ship will essentially be Mac-compatible.
Many of Saitek's peripherals are force-feedback, which of course does not exist on the Mac platform as of yet. However there are plenty of devices that still might aid your gaming. One interesting device is the SP550 USBStick and Pad Fusion, which is an all-new USB product that switches between controllers without disconnecting, perfect for first-time players and those who enjoy a wide range of games. ($30 retail).
They introduced two racing wheels, the R100 and R80; the first is a low-cost, no frills $30 model with separate gas/brake pedals and a space-saving design, while the second is an ultra-cheap $20 wheel with no pedals, gas and brake are on the wheel itself. That's low price point for those who are tired of racing with the keyboard.
They also have a new flight stick on display, which they summarize in a press release:
The X36, which has long been considered theworld’s most advanced flight controller, has been transformed into the mighty X45 Digital Stick and Throttle offering the most realistic flying experience. This new model has a host of features to make it more like the real thing complete with covered missile launch button, backlit A and B buttons on the stick and D button on the throttle. The X45 comes with the latest programming software, at the stunning price of only $79.95 retail.Sound like a great product for flight sim fiends. Other products include a $15 gamepad designed for new gamers and the P8000 Command Pad, which is essentially a keyboard for games designed to provide programmed shortcuts for many games. As Saitek has introduced several Mac products in the past (such as the amazing Cyborg 3D Joystick) we'll be sure to quiz them on Mac-specific drivers for any of these devices.
Logitech has launched a triple attack at the expo, with three new controllers for three types of gaming. Here is an excerpt from their press release:
WingMan Formula GP – A precision-engineered wheel that takes the gamer closer to the experience of driving a racecar, Formula GP has been updated with a USB interface. It also includes a comfortable wheel, featuring rubber hand grips and precise steering control. Four programmable buttons provide convenient control of car functions and view changes, while two wheel-mounted shifters provide for easy gear changes. For accelerating and braking, realistic gas and brake pedals are mounted on a weighted base. Formula GP carries a suggested retail price of $49.95 (US) and 129 DM or local equivalent in Europe. Mac OS compatibility through InputSprockets is mentioned in the PR. They have also launched a new WingMan Action Pad, which seems to be a direct response to the Saitek Command Pad mentioned above. A hybrid controller designed for many games (including RTS and FPS). Here is a description:
WingMan Attack 2 – An entry-level USB joystick with a new, modern design for increased performance, Attack 2 carries a suggested retail price of $19.95 (US) and 49 DM or local equivalent in Europe. A rapid-fire trigger, versatile grip handle and five programmable buttons make the stick versatile, while the buttons are positioned with the Logitech “Thumb Sweep” design for fast action. A high-precision throttle is mounted on the base and provides smooth and accurate power settings.
WingMan Precision USB – With its new USB functionality, Precision USB features six programmable buttons and carries a suggested retail price of $9.95 (US) and 29 DM or local equivalent in Europe. To help defeat any opponent, it also includes digital controls, fast-action triggers and a precise 8-way D-pad.
Designed for all levels of PC gamers and all types of games, WingMan Action Pad offers impressive functionality, including a highly responsive and ultra-accurate analog mini joystick, at an attractive price point,” said Ted Hoff, vice president and general manager of Logitech’s Interactive Entertainment Division. “For under $20, we are giving gamers the options they expect, plus a few options that will be nice surprises.” We hope to bring you images from the show floor of all of the controllers mentioned, so be sure and check back with IMG throughout today and over the weekend.
Action Pad features seven standard programmable buttons and two triggers that can be programmed for up to 16 combined functions at a time, and an easy-to-reach throttle control. In addition, gamers are treated to a precise and comfortable 8-way digital D pad, an extremely responsive analog mini-joystick, and a convenient plug-and-play USB interface. It includes a dedicated Mode button which allows the user to quickly change the roles of the D-Pad and analog mini-joystick in mid-play a convenient feature in many games, including sports titles and the popular new cross-genre games.
|Other Mac Games News for Friday, May 18, 2001|
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| E3: Firsthand Report on Myth III: The Wolf Age||3:40 PM|
| E3: MacCentral on Apple at the Expo||2:30 PM|
| E3: Glimpse of Stronghold||2:10 PM|
| E3: Hardware Roundup From the Show Floor||12:04 PM|
| IMG at E3, Day Two||11:46 AM|
| E3: MOO3 Mac Dev Update, Promo Materials||11:25 AM|
| E3: New Unreal II Images, Previews||10:25 AM|
| Apple Lays Out WWDC Game Track||10:09 AM|
| Cro-Mag Rally Updates for OS X||9:49 AM|
| E3: Saitek, Logitech Unleash Flood of Controllers||9:30 AM|
| E3: Bungie Fanfest Reports, Q&A||8:57 AM|
| E3: Report on Blizzard Titles, Release Dates||8:47 AM|
| E3: World War II Online Update, June 6 Release||8:35 AM|
| E3: Warcraft III Trailer, Movies||8:31 AM|
|View all of the Mac games news for Friday, May 18, 2001 on one page|
|Mac Games News for Thursday, May 17, 2001|
| E3: Return to Castle Wolfenstein Site Launched||4:19 PM|
| MacGamer Previews Civilization III||4:19 PM|
| E3: New Myth III Images Revealed [Update]||3:24 PM|
| E3: Images From The Expo, Part One||3:06 PM|
| E3: Disney Unveils Mac-Friendly Lineup||2:39 PM|
| E3: Tentative MacSoft Release Dates||1:29 PM|
| Blizzard Patches Diablo, Warcraft II BNE||1:07 PM|
| E3: Civilization III Sneak Preview, More From MacSoft||12:54 PM|
| Vortex NG Updated to 1.0.3, Fixes Bugs||12:24 PM|
| Classic Gaming Updates for OS X||11:37 AM|
| Westlake To Port Deus Ex to PS2||10:58 AM|
| E3: Star Wars Jedi Outcast: Jedi Knight II||10:33 AM|
| E3: More Max Payne Movies, Images||10:13 AM|
| Shadowbane Reveals Guild Halls||10:02 AM|
| E3: Unreal II Preview and Interview||9:58 AM|
| IMG Heads to E3||9:44 AM|
| Sound Blaster Update on UT, Deus Ex||9:31 AM|
| Rune Multiplayer/Patch News||9:27 AM|
| Westlake Lines Up the Releases||9:25 AM|
| MacCentral Visits MacPlay||8:52 AM|
|View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, May 17, 2001 on one page|
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