The holiday season is fast approaching and lots of Mac-using girls and boys (and men and women) are thinking of, giving and receiving computer games. To take full advantage of the games, you'll need the right peripherals. Being Santa's helpers, we've compiled a look of some of the accessories out there for Mac gamers. This is part two.
Logitech (http://www.logitech.com) has been a maker of Mac compatible gaming peripherals for a long time and has quite an extensive line-up of products -- though, alas, many of them are Windows only. Following is a list of their Mac compatible gaming products.
The $119.95 Gaming Keyboard G510 sports a GamePanel LDC and 18 programmable G-keys. With three macros per key, you can configure up to 54 individual functions per game, including single keypresses, complex macros or intricate LUA scripts. You can also create macros on the fly. Separate headphone and mic jacks and mute buttons mean you can use any analog headset with 3.5 mm plugs as a USB audio device for digital communication.
The Extreme 3D Pro is a $29.99 joystick with 12 action buttons, an eight-way hat switch, and a rapid-fire trigger. The $69.95 Force 3D Pro has all this, plus force feedback that lets you feel every force at play -- turbulence, touchdown, recoil, and crashes.
Logitech also makes two wireless headsets -- the $149.99 F540 and the $159.99 G930 -- as well as one wired, Surround Sound headset, the $129 G35.
MacAlly (http://www.macally.com) makes two gamepads for the Mac. The $29.99 iShockX offers dual shock feedback motors and connects via USB. You control the action with four axis, 12 buttons with D-Pad, two analog sticks, a Turbo Fire button, and Mode selector. The iShockX is ergonomically designed with a rubber body to provide a smooth and comfortable grip. Its vibration/shock function is activated by the driver and controlled by a game's software.
The $39.99 iShockII works with any Mac game, and is programmable so you can emulate the keyboard or mouse movements. It's a force feedback game controller with fully programmable buttons, two round analog thumb sticks for joystick simulation games, an eight-way directional button, and four top mounted action buttons. The ShockII supports two-player mode.
Serious gamers are familiar with Mionix, a company that makes a gaming accessories for Macs and PCs.
The Naos 5000 Gaming Mouse (http://www.mionix.net/page.php?al=naos5000) -- approximately $80-- has an ergonomic design, a balanced weight tuning system, 128kb of built-in memory, customizable colors and a SQAT (Surface Quality Analyzer Tool). By using SQUAT, you can judge the appropriateness of the surface you’re using the mouse on. Hit the Analyze Surface button, mouse around as the software works, and it’ll give you a rating.
The $59.99 Naos 3200 Gaming Mouse (http://www.mionix.net/page.php?al=naos3200) has an ergonomic design, 3200 dpi LED-optical sensor, customizable colors, seven programmable buttons and an in-game dpi switch.
The Saiph 1800 Gaming Mouse (http://www.mionix.net/page.php?al=1800) -- approximately $50 -- has an ergonomic design and in-game dpi adjustment with seven dpi-steps. It's equipped with the latest 1800 dpi laser technology. The $70 Saiph 3200 Gaming Mouse (http://www.mionix.net/page.php?al=3200) boasts an ergonomic design, in-game dpi adjustment, a weight tuning system and a 1.8mm lift distance.
The $75 Keid 20 Headset (http://www.mionix.net/page.php?al=keid20blk), available in black or white, is specifically developed for gaming. The 50 mm driver is optimized for clear and precise sound, according to the folks at Mionix. The large-size ear pads have an ergonomic design and are equipped with a special memory foam that forms after your ears. The headband is flexible and auto adjusts to your head.
Tomorrow: part three
-- Dennis Sellers