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The World's First 3D Gaming Mouse

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the it-lurches-from-kentia-hall dept.


Jay Cruise writes "The world's first 3D gaming mouse was unveiled at the 2006 E3 Expo. The Game O' 3D gaming mouse offers PC gamers an 'unfair advantage' by allowing them to execute moves that are not possible using just a keyboard and a traditional 2D mouse. For example, in FPS, Game O' offers gamers a way to move forward, backwards, sideways, jump, crouch, pitch, yaw and roll without using the keyboard." For a more cynical opinion, I submit to you Ars Technica's take on the device. From that piece: "Your head just explodes. It's a terrible thing, and the nub on the side for some reason randomly makes you crouch. The man showing me the product was quick to add that you could set up the controls however you wanted. The software to do this even looked nice. This doesn't help the fact that playing a first person shooter with one hand is a bad idea. You'd still need a hand free to like, you know, reload? You could probably use those buttons, but in the demo they were set to look up and down. What if you're playing a game where you can peek around corners? You simply need the keyboard."

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E4? (5, Funny)

cryptoz (878581) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320354)

Electronic Entertainment Expo Expo?

Re:E4? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15322904)

Nah, Extreme Electronic Entertainment Expo. Haven't you been paying attention?

Re:E4? (1)

Toba82 (871257) | more than 7 years ago | (#15323020)

You're the quality control lead at the quality control department of the department of redundancy department, aren't you?

Re:E4? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15329514)

Wonder how many ATM machines and NIC cards there were at the expo? heh

What??? (3, Insightful)

benjjj (949782) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320358)

Ok, pitch and yaw in an FPS i get...but wtf would 'roll' be?

Re:What??? (2, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320479)

Ok, pitch and yaw in an FPS i get...but wtf would 'roll' be?

A buttered snack left over from breakfast, perfect for eating with your newly-free hand.

Re:What??? (1)

g-san (93038) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320717)

It's the third step in recovering from a flame thrower hit, right after 'stop' and 'drop.'

Re:What??? (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 7 years ago | (#15323493)

Maybe that look-around-the-corner move that some FPS provide, that at least gets pretty close to 'roll'.

Wrong market perhaps? (4, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320394)

This doesn't help the fact that playing a first person shooter with one one hand is a bad idea. You'd still need a hand free to like, you know, reload?

Perhaps they need to find a market segment that has a need to have a free hand whilst using a computer?

Euphemisms (2, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#15321905)

It's the right market, you just need to rethink what "first person shooter" means.

remember LogiTech's Cyberman? (1)

chaosmind (31621) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320405)

methinks this is not the first [inebraska.com] 3D mouse. (that one sucked, too.) so much marketing bullshit...

I had a Creative Labs 3D mouse that predates that! (1)

CelticLo (575344) | more than 7 years ago | (#15324131)

I found it Skipping (UK for 'Dumpster Diving'), but the drivers were for DOS, Windows 3.11 and DOOM only! Never did get it working properly in win98 I still have it though in my collection of junk.

I've owned logitech cyberman 1 & 2 (4, Interesting)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320431)

which claimed the same..

after a weekend marathon of playing descent, tweaking the cyberman, and playing again

I got it to where I could play the game better than with any other combination of hardware.

Unfortunately, by the nextweekend I couldn't remember which twist was which axis.. no muscle memory to play with.

the curve is very steep

Re:I've owned logitech cyberman 1 & 2 (1)

dyslexicbunny (940925) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320540)

I had the same problem with my Saitek flight stick. I bought it for Freespace 2 and stopped playing it once last semester got rough. Perhaps not as steep as a cyberman but a fuck-ton of buttons makes things complicated.

Re:I've owned logitech cyberman 1 & 2 (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 7 years ago | (#15321845)

My Saitek X-52 configured for a Cessna 172 with modes for taxi/takeoff/landing and cruise works so beautifully.

Then I switch it to the config for an F-15, and I'm completely lost. Like you said, too many buttons!

Re:I've owned logitech cyberman 1 & 2 (1)

soleblaze (628864) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320957)

Yeah, I had a cyberman too.. Descent was about the only game that it was good for back then. I had trouble using it for anything else, but kicked ass in descent.

Of course, this comes from a guy who would later kick ass with a joystick/mouse combo in q2 and especially aq2. Of course, it's been so long since I played with a joystick that I just use the keyboard/mouse combo now.. and I get my ass kicked in everygame :(

Re:I've owned logitech cyberman 1 & 2 (1)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 7 years ago | (#15321022)

bah, I thought I was going to be all smart and be the first to mention this. I had one of these but it sucked. There's also the spaceorb, which also does all of this as another poster mentioned. I've still got my spaceorb and was pretty good with it once upon a time.

World's first my.... (4, Insightful)

jnik (1733) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320437)

Does nobody remember the Space Orb? I've had one in my basement for five or six years now, and I keep saying "I'll pull it out and learn how to use it one of these days." It's a full 3D, 6DOF, dang hard to use controller.

Re:World's first my.... (2, Interesting)

rossifer (581396) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320876)

I agree with your question. The SpaceOrb had full 6-D control in 1993 (3 rotation axes, 3 translation axes).

I loved that thing. Descent was the absolute best game for that controller. I could finally take out bosses with the SpaceOrb that I just couldn't get with joystick and/or keyboard. It provided so much control. Always ended up stopping "game time" after a few hours because my hands would get cramps.

No need to mention that's also the only real reason to stop a different kind of activity... ahem.


Re:World's first my.... (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 7 years ago | (#15321311)

I think you're confused, SpaceOrb is no older than 1996, 1997 more likely. I remember because it came out after Quake; they got American McGee to give it a hardy endorsement, if I remember correctly.

Re:World's first my.... (2, Funny)

Eideewt (603267) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320902)

I never did buy one of those, and as a Descent player I've been kicking myself ever since.

Re:World's first my.... (1)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 7 years ago | (#15321048)

I actually did learn to use mine at one point. It was pretty nice once you got used to it. It's been sitting in a closet since like 2001 now, though.

Re:World's first my.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15321528)

Does it still work?
If it does, would you be interesting in selling it?

Contact me at ion _DOT_ simon +DOT+ c (AT) gmail \DOT\ com.

(Remove the DOTs and ATs for a working email address)

Space Orb 360 (2, Informative)

JCZorkmid (693710) | more than 7 years ago | (#15321166)

SpaceOrb 360 is the greatest game controller ever made (IMO, of course). I still have three of them (two for backup). I love it. Especially for games that have multiple walking speeds (push a little bit, move slow, push harder, move fast).

I thought it was the easiest, most obvious game controller I'd ever seen, but a lot of other people couldn't use it. Not saying I'm "better" in any way. I just think that it was made for a certain type of brain, and I've got one.

I hope all three never break. Jay at Birdman's Lair [planethardware.com] is trying to make his replacement drivers work for Vista.

Re:World's first my.... (1)

Eideewt (603267) | more than 7 years ago | (#15321381)

Logitech seems to make 3d controllers that work on the same principle. They're intended for 3d design and stuff, but maybe they could be shoehorned into games too.

Re:World's first my.... (1)

jnik (1733) | more than 7 years ago | (#15331127)

Same tech, actually. Logitech bought 'em and decided the CAD market was a better fit than the gaming market (or at least more profitable). My problem was always that I don't have a very steady hand so fine control was difficult--a few quick tries with it put a lot of concussion missiles into the wall.

Re:World's first my.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15323521)

Oh yeah - isn't that the one Woody Allen used in Sleepers?

No wonder you keep it in the basement with you.

So that's what we were doing wrong. (2, Funny)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320444)

Makes sense to me... If only somebody had told me that my mouse didn't have any height. Then perhaps I wouldn't have been able to see the light reflect off it... Wonder why I kept loosing it.

I wasn't aware 3d controllers were new (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320462)

Logitech, under their brand 3DConnexion, has had a 3D mouse for years called the SpaceMouse. As far as I know their SpaceBall (yes that's really the name) is more popular, as you use it and a normal mouse in tandem.

I guess the story here might be that this device is more consumer oriented... And that it seems to suck.

Either way, 3D controls aren't new, they are just not common at home.

http://www.3dconnexion.com/products/3a.php [3dconnexion.com]

Re:I wasn't aware 3d controllers were new (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320920)

I've got an old IBM brand version of the SpaceBall... picked it up for $10 on eBay... I use Solidworks at work a lot and though it would be cool to have. once you get used to it's sensitivity it's really quite intuitive to move around the 3D object on the screen. But overall it's pretty useless, I tried seating it up to play Quake once but you hand gets tired really fast for the functions you'd normally use WASD for.

it's one of those ideas that looks good on paper but really not that great in practice. Unless they modified this thing to make it easier to nudge and hold in the linear directions... though I highly doubt it.

Re:I wasn't aware 3d controllers were new (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#15321216)

Ya games tend to be good on the controllers for which they were designed. For example I got a Wacom Tabletreceantly and I got thinking about some games like RTS's. Hey, maybe this tablet would be real good... No, not really. It works, but the mouse is much better over all.

Hmm (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15320494)

The World's First 3D Gaming Mouse

You mean the Nintendo Wii?

Yo motherf*cker Wii? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320525)

Slashdotted, and nyud.net doesn't have the page, so how does compare to the Wiimote?

Old idea (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320531)

I remember using a "Spaceball" in 3D CAD back in the mid 90's and it wasn't that new then.
I never understood why they didn't catch on as they worked quite well.

You simply had a rigid ball and you had to move it the way you wanted your part to move, push, pull, twist etc.

Re:Old idea (1)

canozmen (898239) | more than 7 years ago | (#15321529)

I think the Spaceball works wonders in 3D modeling and CAD tasks only. It is hard to get used to, and nobody would put much effort to learn it if it's not part of their job. My main gripe is that you expect the ball to move but it does not. It only senses the pressure you apply. The following part from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F16 [wikipedia.org] is about a similar issue with the F-16 controller, and how they fixed it by allowing a little movement.
This lack of mechanical linkages between the control stick and the flight surfaces led to an unusual characteristic in the design of the control stick: originally, it did not move. The control stick instead detected pressure applied by the pilot and translated that pressure into control of the aircraft. This arrangement proved uncomfortable and difficult for pilots to adjust to, so the control stick was given a small amount (less than a quarter of an inch in any direction) of play.

Re:Old idea (1)

weaselguy (974665) | more than 7 years ago | (#15324590)

I still have a Space Orb controller which is based on that. Support for it was pretty well abandonned which is too bad. It took a bit to get used to, but it improved my (relatively meager) FPS performance fairly significantly. The ball doesn't really move much so you have to get used to just applying the pressure needed and not expecting any real motion feedback. It's also a little unique in that it came out as a serial device at a time when most game controllers used the game port. This made it laptop friendly as well. As I recall, there was a big conroversy when it came out because it had a button that could be used to do an instant 180 degree flip in a space shooter I can't remember the name of now. That move couldn't be done with ANY other controller at the time so if you were playing online, it gave you a fairly major advantage. You'd get somebody on your tail, hit the button and blast them without having to find a place with room to actually turn and face them. Other controllers soon came out with the ability to do that needless to say and much of the whining about 'cheating' died down.

The controller I'd like to see -- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15320554)

like a lot of good technology, has already been desigend by by sci-fi/fantacy writers long ago.

I want a controller like a magician's wand - pressure sensitive kinda like the button on my laser pointer, and aware of it's position, orientation, speed, etc.

It can work as a pointing device (exactly like a laser pointer) as well as a 6-DOF controller very intuitively.

So what'd it take to make one that works?

Re:The controller I'd like to see -- (1)

Evangelion (2145) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320694)

If you exclude the pressure sensitivity on the buttons (which was tried with the PS2, and failed to be useful), you're describing the Wii's controller.

Re:The controller I'd like to see -- (1)

Masami Eiri (617825) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320811)

I beg to differ, the AceCombat games used the pressure-sensitivity on the square button to zoom the map, except you had to jam down on it to see the whole map.... Wait... you're right.

Re:The controller I'd like to see -- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15324064)

Metal Gear Solid 3 kind of did okay with pressure sensitivity. Let go of the trigger quickly to fire, slowly to lower your gun. I usually didn't fire by accident.

Re:The controller I'd like to see -- (1)

24Gamer (933358) | more than 7 years ago | (#15326270)

you idiot, this is nothing like the wii remote, it uses analog sticks to control movement and conventional mouse movement for aim, there is no motion sensing involved (part from the laser).

Re:The controller I'd like to see -- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15329655)

I didn't even notice the analog sensitivity of the buttons on the Dual Shock until I was playing Sly Cooper 3. They have some really gnarly puzzles where you search a paintings for hidden numbers using a magnifying glass. Press the X button down a little bit, and you zoom the magnifying glass in half-way. It was cool, but pretty damn useless. Who wants to hold a button down half way for long periods of time?

Those analog buttons are probably the most useless piece of controller technology a company ever sunk money into.

I saw a keyboard with a mouse under it recently (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320585)

I thought that was just as silly as well.
Heres a link [combimouse.com] for the curious.

Re:I saw a keyboard with a mouse under it recently (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320758)

I'm a little disappointed. I expected at least a little bit of duct tape involved based on your description.

My mouse is 2 dimensional? (1)

Wyrd01 (761346) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320615)

That's odd... I could have sworn all the mice I've used over the years have existed in three dimensions.

Re:My mouse is 2 dimensional? (1)

boldtbanan (905468) | more than 7 years ago | (#15320941)

I would hope they existed in at least 4+ (time, etc.). Otherwise you must be the fastest mouser in the world...too much pr0n for you.

Wii Games (2, Interesting)

Nosklo (815041) | more than 7 years ago | (#15321195)

I wonder if it will make possible to play PC-emulated Wii games without an "Wiimote adapter"?

waiting for good config... (1)

teh MrCrow (965340) | more than 7 years ago | (#15321268)

i think that the 'unfair advantage' in FPS games would be the ability to freely adjust your running speed.

Re:waiting for good config... (1)

Eideewt (603267) | more than 7 years ago | (#15321420)

That's the thing I like about playing FPSes with a gamepad. The analog sticks make for great running control. I'd love to see a gamepad with a nice trackball for my right hand and an analog stick for the left.

It's a preference issue (1)

Blinocac200sx (955087) | more than 7 years ago | (#15321270)

Me I like a trackball and a flight throttle for my 1st person shooters (throttle up is stand, throttle back is crouch/prone, and the colly hat is great for strafing)

One handed control sounds good to me (1)

DavidV (167283) | more than 7 years ago | (#15322816)

I have been thinking about building my own device to replace the WASD, etc. controls as I lost my left hand nearly 10 years ago, maybe using a tilt board adaptation of a joystick on the floor to use with my feet. At the moment I just use the keys with the end of my arm, which is not very effective, this sounds like a good ready made solution to try.

Re:One handed control sounds good to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15327677)

I remember reading a few years back of some people using the rudder controls from flight joysticks or steering wheels as controllers for quake. You could set those up as extra buttons.

3D Mouse (1)

Holmesey (973917) | more than 7 years ago | (#15323453)

Hi guys and girls, I think this is an EXCELLENT idea! But you could never replace the keyboard with just a mouse. There simply is not enough space to put all the butttons!!! The mouse would help in situations where you need to do fast tactical things like jump, shoot & roll all at the same time. But then you get to reloading, pausing, driving, zooming etc. THERE SIMPLY IS NOT ENOUGH SPACE FOR BUTTONS!

Where's the Strafe ? (1)

call.me (914208) | more than 7 years ago | (#15323558)

Not once did the player in the demo strafe left or right and when i think about how it works i can't see that you can. What a lemmon.

Yet another (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15327220)

There's yet another, probably older than those 3D mouse: the RingMouse. It was probably in the late 90s PC Magazine. It was a ring with a strip containing 3 round buttons, and had no wires. It seemed like a winner to me, though I could not buy it. It failed to stay in PC Magazine (or whichever mag it actually was) for very long, and never got an actual review. So I'd say it waren't gud either.

Color me intrigued (1)

{tele}machus_*1 (117577) | more than 7 years ago | (#15333609)

While this mouse might not be the end all be all for FPS games, it seems it would be excellent for World of Warcraft. All jokes about one-handed gaming aside, sometimes I just want to be lazy and slouch in my chair and do everything with the mouse (without having to waste time clicking a dozen different icons). Seems like this mouse might enable to do just that.
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