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Friday, December 20, 2002
Immersion Brings Force Feedback to Mac OS X
9:08 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

With the release of Mac OS X 10.2.3 comes many new goodies for Mac gamers, including a very exciting announcement from a company called Immersion, which has brought their force feedback technology to Mac OS X. "Haptics" is the technology of touch, and it has the potential for far more than just popular vibrating console "rumble packs."

Immersion's haptics for OS X will support true force feedback in USB peripherals such as racing wheels, gamepads, and other devices. The new touch technology will debut with three Mac titles to begin with, including Tony Hawk 3, NASCAR Racing 2002 and F1 Championship, though more are expected to follow soon.

Here's the full press release:

Immersion Corp. (NASDAQ: IMMR) today announced support for the new Mac OS, to bring haptics—the sense of touch—to Mac software and hardware developers. Also known as force-feedback technology, haptics adds realism to the virtual world by enabling users to feel shock waves, pings, thumps and other sensations while interacting with their computer. Immersion’s force-feedback capabilities are now Mac-ready and software developers can incorporate a world of effects into applications running on Apple’s latest operating system, Mac OS X 10.2.3.

“Haptics enables a better gaming experience for Apple's customers, and also means that Apple developers can create better games, peripherals, and education software” said Jeffrey Eid, Vice President of Computing and Consumer Business Group at Immersion. “Mac users are early adopters with high standards; it’s natural they will want to experience a more realistic environment with touch.”

The first use of force-feedback is expected to occur in the field of gaming, where Force-feedback technology for games and peripherals—such as joysticks, game pads, and steering wheels—has become ubiquitous in the PC market. Immersion anticipates similar adoption for the Mac as was seen in the PC gaming market where in six years, adoption jumped from 10 games with force feedback to more than 300 games today.

For more information on Immersion, IMG has posted a feature taking a look at the technology. The article also contains an interview with Immersion's CTO Dean Chang about how this implementation works on Mac OS X. Here's a clip:
IMG: Will Mac users be able to pick up any USB force feedback device and have
it work with the supported OS X game titles?

Dean Chang: Any standard USB force feedback product should work with Mac games that support force feedback, however it's always best to check the product specifications on the box as well.

IMG: How difficult will it be for Mac developers to add force feedback technology into existing and future games?

Dean Chang: The API was designed to make it very easy to port Windows games with force feedback to the Mac. Response from developers has been extremely positive in terms of its ease-of-use and broad functionality.

For much more, read through IMG's story linked below. And watch for more information on title's supporting Immersion in the near future.

Complete Immersion: Force Feedback on the Mac

Other Mac Games News for Friday, December 20, 2002

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IMG Giveaway: EV SonicXS 2.1, Last Day!10:50 AM
Hands-on Preview of Master of Orion 310:20 AM
F1 1.0.1 Patch Adds Force Feedback Support9:41 AM
Heroes of Might and Magic IV 2.2.1 Update9:08 AM
Immersion Brings Force Feedback to Mac OS X9:08 AM
Mac OS X 10.2.3 Released with Updates for Gamers9:08 AM
The Belt, MAFFia Postmortems Posted9:08 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, December 20, 2002 on one page

Mac Games News for Thursday, December 19, 2002

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Harry Potter Returns to the Mac9:44 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, December 19, 2002 on one page

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