|Min OS X: Not Supported Requires: USB Port|
I’ve considered buying a gamepad for my computer for things like Virtual Game Station but never felt the need to purchase one. That all changed after I played 4x4 Evolution 2… What a game! The next day, I found myself searching to buy a gamepad. I found a good price on a Nostromo N45 from Belkin.
The “Box”The Gamepad came in a box with apparently no software, but the info on the box said “InputSprocket compatible”, so I didn’t worry about drivers...until I thought about OS X. After getting home, I got the Pad out and searched the box. There is a little space between the box and the support for the Pad where the software disk and a very poor manual reside. The overall presentation is good, but the manual could use a little more “meat”.
Features45Belkin’s pad is a modern twist on the old Sony Dual Shock Controller. It has a Digital-Pad on the left, two analog sticks centered down, seven face buttons (four on the right, diamond shape, and three on the center) and four shoulder buttons. All the buttons feel comfortable enough, but the shoulder buttons could have a little more “spring-reaction” because they are somewhat slow when returning to their original position.
The form factor of the controller, to the eye, appears to be really awkward. But when held down, the n45 is really comfy. The handles are smooth and the buttons and sticks have are slightly textured so your fingers won’t slip.
The bottom of the controller has a strange bar that connects between the two handles. I haven’t used it much since the controller can stand on its back. I assume it is for portability or for storage. (A hanging controller? Not likely…)
Installation & ConfigurationThe drivers CD is of no use to us Mac users because it is a Windows only disk. Besides Belkin does not make Mac-specific drivers for the Nostromo line so no drivers are included and no drivers can be found on Belkin’s web page.
As always, USB installation on the Mac platform is simple, just plug and play. Unfortunately, this comes with disadvantages, but we’ll talk about them later.
Games are normally configured though the InputSprocket Panel accessed by games in their respective controls settings or preferences. You can select the Hatswitch (D-Pad), X, Y, Z, and Rz axis or the buttons of the controller for movement or for normal game functions. It’s a snap to configure…
Although your experience may vary, I didn’t need drivers for OS 9 or OS X, but features are limited to what InputSprocket and HID manager recognize by default. In almost every game I tested, all the buttons, sticks and the D-Pad were recognized.