Novint has announced that it has come to an agreement with EA to release several of their games, Madden ’08, Battlefield 2142, Need For Street ProStreet, among others, through their N VeNT software. In doing so, they will be adding drivers which will allow the Novint Falcon to be used as a controller. Wait a second, have you heard of “Novint”, or this “Falcon” controller thing, and why is EA releasing games to be used with it? Let’s take a step back for a second.
The Novint Falcon made its debut at E3 ’06 when it was covered by IGN. Since then it has been showcased at GDC and several other large conferences, so what gives, why hasn’t anyone really heard of it before and what the heck does it do? The Falcon is a bit tough to describe so I’ll start off with a quote from Novint themselves, “The Novint Falcon is a first-of-a-kind game controller that lets you experience realistic 3D touch and force feedback when playing touch-enabled games.” I know, I know, you still have no idea what the thing does. I didn’t either, until I watched the following video from GDC ’08.
You might be thinking, oh that seems pretty sweet, but it’s only for shooter games? You should take a look again at the picture at the top of this post. See that mini-death-star like ball? That’s what the Falcon comes with as it’s primary controller. The gun is an attachment that one can use for added realism (awesomeness). Novint also talk about the possibilities for a steering wheel add-on as well as a pair of handlebars that mimick a motorcycle (Light saber anyone?).
Okay, so I lied a little, I had heard of this before, but with the high cost ($240) and a limited game catalog, I didn’t really think that it had a chance. However, with the likes of EA backing the hardware, that opens all sorts of new doors. It currently comes with 24 minigames among a few other titles that appear to be a Wii Sports like collection. With the EA agreement, you can buy EA games directly through N VeNT or if you have the game already you can pay $10 to get the haptics update. So lets hear it, would you pay the cost of a Wii to play PC games with this innovative 3D touch controller?