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Features & Specifications
The Novint Falcon is a largish device that provides a 3D workspace of 4” x 4” x 4” and has force feedback capabilities of greater than 2 pounds. The resolution of the device is 400 dpi and overall dimensions are 9” x 9” x 9”. The Limited edition version of the Novint Falcon I am looking at also included a limited edition grip that is clear so you can see the inner workings.
Games & Use
At first glance it might be hard to tell just exactly what the Novint Falcon is for. If you think of it as a mouse replacement that offers force feedback normally found in racing wheels and joysticks you have the idea. The goal for the device is to provide gamers a way to feel objects in the game at a price the average person can afford. The Novint Falcon Limited Edition costs $239, not exactly cheap but within the means of most gamers.
When playing games that are Haptix compatible the new world opened up by the Novint Falcon is fantastic. For the first time you aren’t only seeing things in your games, you can touch them as well. For instance if a box is on screen in the game you can feel its contours and if a wall is rippled you can feel the ripples as you glide the mouse pointer over them.
The Novint Falcon also reminds me of a Nintendo Wii controller in that it allows you to operate items in some games like you really would. For instance in the Feelin’ It sports Pack that the Novint Falcon ships with you have to do the correct motions with the Novint Falcon to get the games to work. If you need to swing something in a circle you actually have to move your hands in a circle.
As cool as it is to play these Haptx enabled games, the need for special programming is the Novint Falcon’s biggest downfall. You can’t simply pick up a game you like and get the full benefit of the controller from your games.
The Novint Falcon also has a learning curve. As a gamer with years of playing with a mouse using 2000 dpi or more of sensitivity it feels so slow when using the Novint Falcon. Turning your character in
Penumbra: Black Plague feels ploddingly slow when compared to doing the same thing with a gaming mouse. A Haptx version of Quake Wars is coming this August and I can’t see how in a game that moves as fast as Quake Wars does the Novint Falcon will be very usable at the speed you are able to move it.
The Novint Falcon is great for kids too; my 3-year-old daughter loved the mini game where you use a hammer to squash bugs trying to get your food. You lift the hammer with the Novint Falcon and you can actually feel the weight of the hammer in your hand. Slam it down and the motion of the controller stops where the tabletop is so you can actually feel the impact.
Overall the Novint Falcon is a very interesting device. The biggest drawback is the lack of top-tier games that are Haptx enabled. Novint is working on that though and more top-tier titles are coming soon. The Novint Falcon works very well, even if it is a bit sluggish for a gamer used to much more sensitive mice.
The Novint Falcon is certainly one of the most interesting and unique computer peripherals on the market. If you are looking for a controller to bring force feedback style action to your mouse the Novint Falcon is the gadget for you.
Tech and Car expert Shane McGlaun (Google) reports about what's new in these two sectors. His extensive experience in testing cars, computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
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