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Force Feedback, positive vibrations

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If Apple's calculations are correct, the release of Mac OS X 10.2.3 could facilitate the adoption of the Mac as a gaming platform.

The secret in a small and for someone insignificant portion of the update code that includes support for Force Feedback technology and that determines the physical "response", with vibrations and rollers, of the joysticks connected via USB.

This system, now very popular in the PC world, was to be introduced also for Mac at the time of the late Game Sprockets. The abandonment of the set of extensions on which Apple based its hope of relaunching the Mac as a gaming machine, following the abandonment of the Classic OS, delayed the adoption of Force Feedback.

The technology now reappears and is implemented, as an article by Maccentral explains, thanks to the collaboration with Immersion Corp, leader in the PC world that after four years of collaboration finally brings Force Feedback to the Macintosh.

The use of Immersion technologies is a great advantage because the vast majority of PC peripherals that support Force Feedback are compatible with them. Microsoft itself included support for the Immersion system in DirectX (which Immersion itself helped develop). Therefore, on the market there are already many joysticks, steering wheels, pedals and pads capable of supporting Force Feedback. Many of them have already been tested with Mac OS X, says Immersion, including MOMO Force, MOMO Racing, Formula Force GP, Force 3D and Strike Force 3D from Logitech, Cyborg 3D and Saitek's R440 steering wheel, but also Gravis's Eliminator Force Feedback and several Thrustmaster products. All products that support Immersion's TouchSense technology should, however, work with the new OS.

Immersion says he is available in an interview with Maccentral to support developers who want to add Force Feedback to their games. For now there are three titles that are able to provide a "real" answer to the joystick: Nascar 2000, F1 Championship and the future Tony Hawk 3. Many other titles, however, will arrive in the future as PC games that support the Immersion system are 500.

It should be noted that in the future Force Feedback technology could also be implemented in other fields of use, as it always happens on the PC front. These include medicine, for example, and the world of education.