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Force Feedback More Affordable

Techstination feature for Thursday, December 24, 1998

Force feedback gets more affordable. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. If you are one of the many who enjoy computer racing games (sound) a force feedback steering wheel adds to the fun. It lets you feel the bumps, turns and crashes. Logitech's Wingman Formula Force uses the new USB port technology and has a suggested retail price of about 180 dollars. It uses I-Force technology developed by Immersion Corporation. You'll have to look for games designed to use it. Microsoft has its own force feedback standard...and its own force feedback wheel. Microsoft's Don Coyner...

"It really enhances the gaming experience. Say for instance you're driving a race car and you hit a patch of ice. The wheel would go loose just like it would in your car. If you're going over a bumpy road, you would feel that in the steering wheel."

The Microsoft wheel uses the typical joystick port, is big in performance and in a suggested 199 dollars. InterAct is just out with a 129 dollar wheel. It's a solid performer for the money. If you want force feedback on a budget, there's also the new FX Force handheld wheel...

"And it's a handheld device that has a steering wheel on the side that has a trigger for gas and brake. It has six programmable buttons."

And, says, InterAct's Tim Patterson, it will sell for under forty dollars.