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Posts with tag falcon

World of Warcraft, and lack of it, at E3

I was lucky enough to go to E3 this year with the Joystiq crew last week, and while I had planned to cover some stories about WoW for you guys, the biggest story I came back with was: that there was no story. I didn't hear or see World of Warcraft mentioned once. When Blizzard said they were not showing at E3, they meant it -- I didn't even hear a competitor mention their name.

There was one mention of Blizzard at the Activision press conference on Tuesday. Mike Griffith name-dropped Blizzard once just to say the merger had happened, but there was nothing at all about World of Warcraft or any of Blizzard's properties. And I had planned to try out the Novint Falcon controller with WoW. I did try it out, and it is an interesting, if expensive, PC game controller, but Novint told me they didn't have it working in a form they wanted to show off with World of Warcraft yet.

Kind of strange that the biggest game in the world didn't get a single mention at the biggest game show in the world, but then again, it's not that weird when you consider that E3 has scaled way down by magnitudes from past years. Companies aren't as interested in the event when there are many, many other ways to market and show off their games to journalists, and considering that Blizzard has invested heavily in not one but two giant events of their own this year, it's no wonder they don't want to spend any money at E3. Shame that we couldn't bring you more WoW coverage from LA last week, but we'll be back there in October, and there'll be plenty of news to report then.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, BlizzCon, Worldwide Invitational

Breakfast Topic: Controllers R us

The Falcon controller just looks silly, doesn't it? Everything we've heard about it so far says it's pretty underwhelming -- the feedback doesn't work quite right, the controls seem a little less intuitive than a keyboard and mouse, and in general, it just looks strange. Fortunately, I'll be able to know for myself next week -- I've already got an appointment to check out the controller (and how it plays WoW) at E3 next week.

But in the meantime, until I can get my firsthand impressions of the Falcon up here, what are some other strange controllers that actually do work with WoW? We've heard a lot about the Zboard, which seems like a pretty good combination of a keyboard and a custom controller for Blizzard's MMO -- anyone used it? A lot of people have posted before that they use the Logitech G15, and that's really just a keyboard, except for the extra display and macros. I've used Switchblade to play with an Xbox 360 controller (and found it not nearly as easy as playing with a mouse and keyboard). And I know some players, multiboxers usually, will even use foot pedals to supplement keyboard and certain macros.

Ever played WoW with a weird controller? Is there something out there that you swear by that's not the standard mouse and keyboard? Me, I'm perfectly happy with an Apple Keyboard and my Logitech gaming mouse -- at least until I try the Falcon next week. You never know, maybe I'll fall in love with it and decide that $190 (!) is worth it.

Update: I couldn't remember the name of this one, but a lot of people in the comments (and a lot of folks before this post) have mentioned the n52 Speedpad as a good controller option.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Hardware

3D touch interface for WoW due later this year

Keyboards, mice, and hand-controllers are so 2007. Get with the modern times, willya? Today we discovered that a 3D touch interface is on the horizon for WoW gamers. Using this weird robot-type gizmo, you'll be able to actually feel everything your character does in the game: casting spells, reeling from enemy attacks, feeling objects, bumping into things, and whacking ogres on the head! (I seriously want to bonk some ogres on the head with this thing. I expect it will feel somewhat hollow, like smacking a pumpkin.)

The gizmo is called a Falcon game controller and it aims to replace your mouse or joystick. The Falcon is already usable with some other games, but Novint Technologies is now creating WoW drivers for the device using the LUA scripting system. You can map up to 36 actions to it for which the controller will provide feedback that you can feel in your hand and arm. You can watch a demo on the company's website, or a more hands-on demo in the video below. When the drivers are released, you can download them at Novint's website. We'll keep you up to date so you'll know when you can grab them. The Falcon controller sells for $189.99 on Novint's website. No word on what the drivers will cost, if anything.

Filed under: News items, Hardware

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