Touchy Novint Falcon Finally Coming in June

Illustration for article titled Touchy Novint Falcon Finally Coming in June

We've been following Novint's Falcon controller since its birth, and now the folks at Novint tell us their pasty white baby is ready to make its debut. The Falcon will be out June 18th for $239. In a nutshell, the 3D controller lets you play games via a handshake-like grip that offers a more realistic experience via force feedback and tactile sensation. The Falcon will come with 24 mini games and a four-game sports pack, which will include titles like air hockey and tennis. So how does it play/feel? For the most part, it's pretty smooth.

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Illustration for article titled Touchy Novint Falcon Finally Coming in June
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Illustration for article titled Touchy Novint Falcon Finally Coming in June
Illustration for article titled Touchy Novint Falcon Finally Coming in June
Illustration for article titled Touchy Novint Falcon Finally Coming in June
Illustration for article titled Touchy Novint Falcon Finally Coming in June
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Both the air hockey and Half Life 2 demos were glitch-free. The grip is a little awkward at first, but nothing you can't get used to after a few minutes of play (Novint mentioned they're planning additional grips, like a pistol grip for shooters, for about $4 a pop). My only complaint is that it's pricey at $239. You could buy a Wii for that (if you can find one). And without the proper support, you essentially have a $239 paperweight. My advice: wait to see what games will support it (the Novint reps said they'd have a full list closer to launch) and decide on that.

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DISCUSSION

I played with a couple haptic controllers that looked a bit like this at Siggraph last year ($100 well spent!).

Anyways, having briefly played with a (presumably pro) controller and used the Wii a bit, I'd say the experience is very different - this type of controller gives very strong feedback - if you run into a wall, it feels like you cannot physically move the controller past that spot - which is something no wireless controller can really mimic. Very neat.

Here is a neat article that talks about some other upcoming haptic devices, - I tried the cell phone one (okay) and the forehead sensor one (kind of amazing): http://www.newscientisttech.com/channel/tech/m…

(also the article quotes a $100 price point for the Falcon!)