Novint Falcon Gaming Controller:
Novint had a table set up at the CES Unveiled press event held in the Venetian Hotel where their Falcon gaming controller was on display. This device is intended to replace a computer mouse in many different 3D games, and was of most interest when configured with their Pistol Grip gun attachment.
Instead of resting your hand on your desktop and moving your mouse in two dimensions, you grip the gun and move it in three dimensions to more accurately simulate the use of a gun. The concept seems like a good idea, but you do have to consider a few things. The range of motion seemed adequate during a brief gaming session, but you will be limited by the compact reach of the arms connecting the controller to the base unit. Additionally, you better make sure you have a chair with an adjustable armrest that can support you while in this position, as I can see fatigue setting in rather quickly otherwise.
The motion of the gun relied more on wrist and forearm motion than on your full arm, but it is more realistic than palming a mouse. Another cool boost of reality comes from the fact that the gun provides a bit of recoil when firing. Pull the trigger on a mouse, and you will get no such kick.
The Falcon retails for about $150 at many retailers, but the Pistol Grip is not included. It is a newer addition to the line up and is listed for sale on the Novint website for about $20. A combo package of the Falcon and the Pistol Grip can also be purchased, and when bundled together you get a handful of games to go with it, too.
Lian Li PC888 Full Tower Chassis:
New Lian Li cases are generally worth checking out, if not for the engineering than for the design. The item at the center of their display at the Sands Convention center, the PC888, definitely lived up to those expectations. The blue aluminum full tower chassis has a distinctive look that reminded me of the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai [image link]. Lian Li seems to be going for a comparison to a sail boat, but it looks like this famous hotel to me thanks to the curved front, flat back, spire on top, and what even might look like a helipad where Roger Federer and Andre Agassi could play some tennis.
The case features three compartments for thermal management purposes... The top compartment houses two optical drive bays (with stealth bay covers), the next compartment houses the power supply, and the lower compartment houses the bulk of the system components. In this area you will find four hot-swap SATA drive cages, and plenty of ventilation to keep the motherboard, processor, and other components cool.
Other features of interest include a removable motherboard tray, three 120m blue LED fans, fan speed controller, integrated card reader and front panel connections, a windowed side panel, and special attention paid to making cable management neat and easy.
CES may officially be all about the consumer electronics gear, but it is also about kicking back in Las Vegas and having a little fun. This year the emphasis on fun was perhaps a little higher for the Bigbruin.com crew, but we still managed to hit most of our 'business' related events. There are thousands of people, companies, and products to see at CES... And there has to be something of interest for just about everyone. This brief write up took a look at seven products that may not have been covered everywhere, but they are still pretty interesting. As the handful of products that haven't been officially released come to market, I hope that we can take a closer look to follow up on 'real world' performance.
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