Three-Dimensional Controller Support Coming to Orange Box, Left 4 Dead, More

A number of Valve's PC shooters will soon support Novint's Falcon controller (pictured left) as part of a new agreement, the companies have announced.

Serving as an alternative to the traditional mouse-based FPS control scheme, the Novint Falcon allows for three-dimensional freedom of movement and tactile response. Support for the peripheral will be added in an update distributed through Valve's digital download platform Steam.

Games slated to support the controller include Half-Life 2 and its two following episodes, Team Fortress 2, Portal and Counter-Strike: Source. Valve's upcoming Left 4 Dead will also include Novint Falcon support.

A release date for the update was not announced. Available now at retailers for $189.99, the Falcon will also be sold as part of a bundle including the pistol grip and the Orange Box at an unspecified future date.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 26, 2008 11:02 AM

    I don't quite see how that thing would give you much freedom of movement. It looks like you would be constrained to a fairly small volume, to say nothing of the rotational freedom (which I can't even fathom from that one picture).

    Why wouldn't they just make a wireless thing like the Wii controller?

    • reply
      June 26, 2008 11:03 AM

      because the Wii controller doesn't work very well for shooters.

      • reply
        June 26, 2008 11:15 AM

        and has no force feedback

      • reply
        June 26, 2008 12:26 PM

        Actually, yes, it does.

      • reply
        June 26, 2008 12:38 PM

        Metroid prime 3 begs to differ. It's just that nobody besides Nintendo themselves has done it right just yet.

        • reply
          June 26, 2008 4:15 PM

          metroid's controls weren't that great either...

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        June 26, 2008 11:35 PM

        Exactly - there are a couple of instances where it works reasonably well, but it's not great. A standard analog stick (like the 360 controller) is still far better. And of course mouse+keyboard is still the best.

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      June 26, 2008 11:32 AM

      That's what I thought too, and that's what my first impression with the thing was after taking it out of the box before plugging it in, but I discovered that the range of motion is actually quite adequate. If you think about it, you don't really move the mouse great distance either.

      The main thing as far as freedom of movement goes, is that it takes a bit of nudging the thing to different angles to center your typical resting point when you're not moving it. Once you manage that though, it's mind-boggling. I played to the first mounted machine gun you get to man in HL2, and couldn't stop myself from cackling with glee and quoting Full Metal Jacket; "GET SOME! GET SOME!" You feel like you're wielding some real power.

      • reply
        June 26, 2008 11:40 AM

        were you using that gun attachment thing?

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          June 26, 2008 11:49 AM

          no, that's not quite out yet. I actually hate the grip they do have right now (the little ball thing you'll see in other pictures), and it's my biggest impediment to really recommending one at the moment, but the grips are totally modular, so i get to pick up the pistol one as soon as it's released. :)

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