Game Controllers Product Guide

Game Controllers

In a swampy jungle, your heart beats fast as you squat hidden in the bushes, the enemy approaching. You've been fighting for an hour and feel tired and hungry. You have an enemy soldier in the perfect position.

Palms sweaty, you're about to squeeze the trigger and then ... Ding Dong. It's your friends from next door, they heard about that really cool game controller you brought last week from J&R, and they want a piece of the action too! You can always play computer games with your keyboard and mouse, but what fun is that? Experience games like never before with new gaming controllers that give players more of a one-on-one with their games. Digital game pads exquisitely designed to help you play better, along with dual control joysticks, flight simulation gear, racing wheels and force feedback equipment all help you encounter games at a whole new level. There are a few things to look out for when buying a game controller for your computer, like interface and compatibility.

Besides it being a stick that creates joy, as its name suggests, joysticks are controlling devices. Unlike the traditional movements of playing games with a keyboard and mouse, joysticks and game pads allow you to have more control over the games you play on your computer. Some joysticks and game pads look and feel like the ones that come with a game station. A gamed pad is a device that usually fits in between two hands. Numerous buttons and toggles are located along the edges. Joysticks vary in size and have a stick-like figure stemming from a base. The stick usually rotates 360 degrees and buttons are located on the base as well. One hand wraps around the stick. Game control devices of course are no longer limited to joysticks and game pads. A whole new line of life-like controls has revolutionized the world of computer gaming. Flight Simulation controls and steering wheels with pedals are some of the hottest gaming gear around.



Connectivity


Most game controlling devices hook up to a computer via a game port on both Macs and PCs. Very few controllers connect using a USB port.



Compatibility


This point is crucial. There are both computer system requirements and possible software requirements that one must pay attention to when buying any game controller. Some controllers require that a computer has this much RAM, a certain monitor, a sound card, or even a certain operating system. Make sure you read all the system requirements carefully before purchasing a game control. You must also pay attention to the requirements on a desired game. Some games may require a joystick, others may require a gamepad or some other controller.



Joystick Functionality


Where do we begin on this one? Try changing weapons with one tiny subtle click of a button, moving your control up to 360 degrees for movement enhancement and flexibility, along with button functions that you're able to program. While gripping the joystick or steering wheel, the only difference it will really make is in your experience. The goal is to optimize how much fun you have by giving you more control over your game.



Force Feedback


Force feedback is a relatively new enhancement to gaming devices. In addition to the control you already have by the grip of your joystick and access to control buttons, force feedback uses technology to make you feel and hear the actions you take. For example, if you're in a game and just blew up one of your enemies, through your control device, you'd feel the shock and hear the explosion. Awesome huh? Force feedback controllers do require that you have appropriate sound cards, so make sure you'll have everything you need before you buy it. Common sounds and feels are explosions, gongs, machine guns and other vibrations. However, in order for your force feedback controller to work, your gaming software must be force-feedback compatible.



Software


Game controllers will not always come with software, but most of the time they'll come with install CDs. If you're lucky, a free game or two to try out the new hot gear.





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