Here is the news as reported by Game-Over! during July 1997
(For the latest news click here)


July 1997


All Female Quake Tourney

An important event is on the horizon in the Quake gaming community - the All Female Quake Tourney is fast gaining momentum around the Web and has the backing of id Software.

The tourney currently has over 50 registered female Quakers ready to do battle... and more are signing up. Seems as if women around the globe are coming out of the woodwork for this event.

MSNBC will be featuring a segment on female Quake players and this particular tournament. Besides id Software... Rogue Entertainment, Ritual Entertainment, Imagine Games Network, and Pseudo Online Network have joined in to help this tourney become a huge success.

To find out more, check out: http://plaza.v-wave.com/silver/qc/aft.html


$5,000 Grand Prize in "Light Files" Mystery Contest Remains Unclaimed; SouthPeak Officials Perplexed

CARY, N.C. (June 19, 1997) - It's been eight months since the murder of fictional daytime soap opera star Karla Masefield was revealed in SouthPeak Interactive's on-line mystery The Light Files(tm): Death in Broad Daylight. And it's been three months since additional clues were posted that could lead amateur sleuths to a lucrative $5,000 prize for solving the mystery.

Nearly nine thousand visitors to http://www.lightfiles.com have reviewed police interviews, photos of evidence and crime scenes, witness statements, newspaper clippings, suspect and witness profiles, soap opera scripts and other evidence. But as of today, the "reward" money remains unclaimed.

"It pains me to see this money sitting here without anyone stepping forward to take it," proclaimed Armistead Sapp, president of SouthPeak Interactive. "I can't get any work done with all these hundred dollar bills strewn across my desk."

More than 40 clues point to the perpetrator of a fictional homicide, but entries must be submitted before the October 31, 1997 deadline for the contest.

The Light Files: Death in Broad Daylight was written by Lee Sheldon, SouthPeak's Senior Game Writer/Designer. Sheldon is a two-time Edgar Award nominee for mystery writing and Writers Guild of America nominee for outstanding achievement in television writing. In addition to writing and co-designing the critically acclaimed CD-ROM game, The Riddle of Master Lu, Sheldon is a 20-year television veteran who has written and/or produced for such series as Star Trek: The Next Generation, Cagney and Lacey, Charlie's Angels, Blacke's Magic, Edge of Night, and Simon & Simon.

SouthPeak and The Light Files are trademarks of SouthPeak Interactive LLC. Video Reality is a trademark of SAS Institute Inc., used under license. All other tradenames referenced are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.


New Games from Maxis

SimCity 3000

Availability: 4th quarter 1997 Platform: Windows 95

SimCity 3000, the next generation in city simulation, draws players into the cities they create like never before. Users will be able to immerse themselves in a totally 3D environment and view their cities anywhere from street level to 50,000 feet in the air. In SimCity 3000, everything and everyone is moving, simulating, animating and communicating. Players will watch and query their SimCitizens as they go about their daily lives. Sophisticated microsimulators will be built into most buildings allowing for detailed control over businesses and other facilities. Buildings, city scenarios and disasters have been designed in a modular plug-in format so players can load optional sets in the future to enhance and customize their playing experience.

Features:

Full navigational control to view city from different points in a 3D world.

A fully detailed street level view offers the highest level of realism.

Sophisticated microsimulators allow players to adjust the parameters of simulation on individual buildings; impacting events around the building and neighborhood.

Ability to place a building anywhere in a neighborhood.

Hundreds of new buildings to choose from, such as coffeehouses, gas stations, farms and burger stands.

Gain information by observing pedestrian activity, watching traffic conditions, witnessing crimes in progress, and detecting urban decay.

Obtain direct feedback by querying citizens on the street.

New, more sophisticated advisors can help run all aspects of the city.

Total city 3D surround sound experience.

Modular plug-in format enables players to add new buildings, disasters, and scenarios as they become available to enhance the playing experience.

Streets of SimCity

Release: Summer 1997 Platform: Windows 95 CD

Battle through the Streets of SimCity in this unique 3D car combat game that puts you into the heart of your favorite city. Fire on unsuspecting vehicles and destroy rival cars, but watch out for the lethal bread truck out to wreck your plans! Plot your attack against competing drivers through unique pre-built cities or import your own SimCity 2000 cities for unlimited options. Five different battle vehicles and unique weaponry such as missile launchers, mine droppers, and machine guns are available for combating other computerized drivers or up to seven other live competitors.

Streets of SimCity is a trademark and Maxis is a registered trademark of Maxis, Inc. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the properties of their respective owners.

Tycho Rising

Availability: 1st quarter 1998 Platform: Windows 95

Tycho Rising is a strategic game of lunar colonization. Players start out with a small base and use limited local resources to build their settlement into a self-sufficient colony. To develop their base, players command robots to help establish colony facilities such as habitats, mining operations, agriculture facilities and factories. Numerous disasters and other events face players as they confront not only the challenges of the hostile lunar environment, but other colonies. Players can establish trading agreements with other colonies; as well as their homelands; or opt for more combative relations. Numerous options include mission play and support for eight players.

Features:

Represent Earthly nations or devise your own, create alliances, declare war.

Multiple strategic and combat missions.

Advanced events ranging from founding a daughter colony to launching a mission to Mars.

Multiple structures to choose from including power plants (solar, nuclear fission, nuclear fusion), habitats, roads, industry (life support, farming, recycling, factories), satellites, supply drone spaceships.

Combat other lunar colonies or choose to trade with them for scarce resources (hydrogen, power, food, helium 3, titanium, oxygen, water) and territory.

Struggle through numerous disasters, including meteor strikes, rocket crashes, radiation, and moonquakes.

Onscreen advisors such as space agency head or original lunar explorer.

Scientifically accurate with information from NASA and the USGS.

1-8 players; online play via modem, LAN, Internet.

Multiple action movies with stunning 3D visuals and surround sound.

Crucible

Availability: 4th quarter 1997 Platform: Windows 95

Crucible, a solo/multiplayer fantasy action game, lets players take on the role of one of eight different heroes, each with unique powers. A myriad of monsters and impish Shifters; creatures which can move terrain, objects and traps; confront the player in 60 constantly evolving levels that never play through the same way twice. In modem and network games, players can take on the roles of monsters and Shifters, in addition to playing the hero, for an entirely new perspective on the game.

Nightfall

Availability: 4th quarter 1997 Platform: Windows 95

Nightfall is a 3D action vehicle combat game that confronts the player with constantly changing battle conditions requiring split-second decision making. As a member of a group of technicians terraforming a far-off planet for human habitation, the player rescues technicians on the planet while fighting an alien threat on the ground and in the sky. Weapons not only damage enemy ships, but can alter the planet's terrain; creating, for example, craters to hide in or deadly shockwaves. The player's ability to think quickly under pressure is challenged by a wide variety of vehicles, weapons, and equipment options; a dynamic weather system which affects gameplay; and a freely-maneuverable playing field.

Remnants

Availability: 4th quarter 1997 Platform: Windows 95

Remnants is a real-time strategy game in which teams of player-designed creatures battle each other using a unique method of combat which emphasizes tactics over chance and excessive complexity. In Remnants players custom build creatures by combining a movement ability (roll, walk or leap) with an attack ability (bite, pierce or bludgeon) and/or a defensive ability (inflated, rubber or rigid); each with advantages and disadvantages. In battle, for example, a creature with piercers will cause more injury to inflated creatures, but will cause less damage to a rubber or rigid creature. Creatures themselves can be combined to form structures like bridges and walls. Success in Remnants depends not on who builds the biggest army fastest, but on building teams with the best strategic combinations of creatures and structures.

SimSafari

Availability: 1st quarter 1998 Platforms: Windows 95 and Windows 3.1

In SimSafari, the next title in the Maxis Kids line, players are challenged to create and run their own African wildlife refuge. Players will have to choose which animals and exotic plants to place into their park, develop a balanced ecosystem and food chain, and deal with disasters. Kids will also be called upon to manage the development of a neighboring African village and oversee the construction of a safari camp to encourage eco-tourism.


Intel Chairman And CEO Challenges Gaming Industry To Seek Growth From The PC

ATLANTA, June 20, 1997 -- During his keynote address today at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Atlanta, Dr. Andrew S. Grove, chairman and chief executive officer of Intel Corporation, challenged the video gaming industry to redefine itself. Grove advised that the industry needs to expand beyond the 8- to 17-year-old male demographic and "fast twitch" games to offer a greater range of users and interactive entertainment categories on the PC platform. "The PC is the vehicle for future growth of the interactive entertainment industry," he said.

During his presentation to several thousand interactive entertainment industry participants, Grove showed how new technologies delivered by PentiumŪ II processor-based platforms are redefining interactive entertainment. He demonstrated how performance improvements to the Pentium II processor help enable new features such as Internet audio and video in conjunction with PC games with no loss in overall system response. Additionally, Grove demonstrated how the generation leap in graphics performance will deliver a more lifelike experience for entertainment titles. In an effort to illustrate how the PC offers entertainment value for the entire family, Grove held a video phone-based jam session from a living room PC with pop recording artist Beck.

"The interactive entertainment industry is undergoing significant changes which present new opportunities beyond the traditional video games market," Grove said. "The Pentium II processor redefines platform performance for consumer applications while providing opportunity for the interactive entertainment industry to reach new users and to develop new categories of entertainment products."

Arcade Games on the PC

Grove demonstrated to the gaming community how the Pentium II processor will redefine interactive entertainment for arcade-quality games as well as the desktop. In a location-based entertainment demonstration, Grove showed how Evans & Sutherland is utilising the processing power and graphic capabilities of the Intel Architecture to move a flight simulation to the PC platform, thereby reducing the cost of and adding realism to its arcade game, Virtual Glider*. Through the use of the Intel Open Arcade Architecture specification, game manufactures are able to develop arcade games on Pentium II processor-based systems today and have them run unchanged in consumers' homes in the future.


ABC Interactive Scores With New Pro Football Game for PC CD-Rom

NEW YORK, NY -- The greatest players of all time battle it out when pro football's all-time legends return to play for their original college teams in ABC Sports College Football: Heroes of the Gridiron, the first ever Windows '95 PC CD-ROM game of its kind. Gamers can choose from 32 of the country's top football programs, which feature rosters of over 1700 of the most successful players in each school's history, or create their own team using current NCAA athletes. Match-up the ultimate college rivalries while capturing the drama and glory of college football with original fight songs, mascots, team colours, stadiums and video highlights. Fans can even compete head-to-head over the Internet with an auto match-up feature that instantly partners players.

ABC Interactive Vice President Patricia E. Vance noted, "Combining state-of-the-art technology with ABC Sports' rich college football tradition and seasoned commentators, we offer both college football fans and computer enthusiasts a unique package. ABC Sports is a natural match for this innovative product."

Emmy Award-winning commentator Keith Jackson, the heart and soul of ABC Sports' college football coverage, is joined by Hall of Famer Bob Griese and veteran sports commentator John Saunders, who bring their expertise to the field with play-by-play, game analysis and a comprehensive half-time report. Players can choose exhibition, tournament or league play, as the game recreates the playing and coaching styles of each of the 32 college teams.

Deborah Wahler, general manager of OT Sports, added, "Working with ABC Sports has provided us with the credibility to create this groundbreaking simulation. The game's realistic graphics and superb audio are complemented by ABC Sports' power, prestige, and long-standing tradition with college football."

Category
Sports

Format
IBM PC and compatibles; CD-ROM only; Windows 95

Min. Requirements
Win 95; Pentium or compatible chip 100 MHz; 16
MB-RAM; 2X CD-ROM
Sound Blaster 16 or compatible sound card
2MB Video card (Win 95 compliant)
14.4K BPS modem; Internet service provider
Note: Modem not required to run game


Blue Byte Software Announce New 'Tennis Game'

June 1997 - Blue Byte Software

As if to prove that no genre is safe from its mighty reach, Blue Byte Software has announced the development of a next-generation 'Tennis Game'. Having previously enjoyed the incredible success of the Pro Tennis Tour series (513,000 copies sold world-wide!) Blue Byte Software's as yet unnamed title will not only offer tremendous gameplay, stunning graphics and extremely advanced artificial intelligence, but also support an Internet server especially created to host large, international tournaments. Take part or simply tune-in to watch the best of the best from around the world!

An unbelievable variety of play is available to the user, allowing you to play basic single matches, embark upon detailed training programs, or take the plunge and prove your worth in spectacular tournaments played over a number of days. The Blue Byte Internet-Tennis-Server can be used to organise and host such events, using similar tournament designs to the famous models of Wimbledon, Flushing Meadow and Melbourne. The server also updates the results regularly to provide the basis for actual world rankings

Over a hundred different male and female computer opponents stand ready to challenge you as you progress from court novice to international pro, each with varying strengths and personal profiles. Play is augmented by in-game commentary and umpire calls, as well as atmospheric incidentals such as accurate crowd reactions. Smash that lob and watch the on-lookers go wild!

An ultra-realistic and finely-tuned control system allows the user to play with an incredible level of professionalism; producing slices, lobs and smashes via joystick or pad, as well as performing special moves to deal with specific situations. And throughout play, ALL the action is realised using Blue Byte's incredibly slick 3D engine, with fast and fluid animations all in HiColour.

Supports
Intel MMX(tm) technology
3Dfx Interactive Voodoo Graphics(tm) technology
Local Network games
Blue Byte Internet-Tennis-Server

Available
Q1 1998 on PC CD-ROM


Cybernet Systems Corporation Announces New Flight Yoke & Racing Wheel

ATLANTA, June 19, 1997 - Capitalising on its leadership position in Force Feedback technology, Cybernet Systems Corporation today announced their newest Force Feedback devices, the CyberImpact Flight Yoke and CyberImpact Racing Wheel. These "state-of-the-art" Force Feedback devices are the first consumer products from Cybernet, an early developer of Force Feedback technology. For over 10 years, Cybernet has been producing high-end Force Feedback devices for the military, industrial, and research and development markets based on patented technology. Delivery of the units is expected in the fourth quarter of 1997.

With Force Feedback, tactile sensations are combined with visual and audio to produce a more comprehensive and totally absorbing simulation. Adding the sense of touch to computer gaming with Force Feedback technology gives a whole new dimension to experiencing the ultimate gaming thrill.

Whether the gaming experience is a flight or submarine simulation, a racing game, or alien combat, realistic physical resistance from every surface, vibration, collision, and recoil are transmitted to the user through these new devices. "Feel turbulence, lose traction in a tight turn, or get slammed by enemy fire. Force Feedback gives the phrase 'being there' a whole new meaning," said Hugo Feugen, President of Cybernet Systems Corporation, adding, "Gaming effects are virtually unlimited with Cybernet Systems CyberImpact Flight Yoke and Racing Wheel. With our easy to use application program interface (API), game developers can incorporate true physics into their simulations."

CyberImpact Flight Yoke and Racing Wheel are the highest quality, "state-of-the-art" devices. Both devices feature full two-axis "Real Feel" Force Feedback technology. The devices connect to any PC through an RS232 Serial Port or for legacy games, through the Game Port.

Cybernet Systems, CyberImpact, Cybernet.com and Real Feel are trademarks of Cybernet Systems Corporation.


New Product Details On The Joyrider Pro

Schelle, Antwerp / BELGIUM - June 1, 1997 - ZYKON N.V., head of the ZYKON-GROUP, announced today new details on its upcoming new product, the JoyRider PRO. World's first 4-in-ONE Game Console for Race Car, Flight, MotorBike and Combat Simulation Games for IBM PC Compatibles. ZYKON expects to start mass production by the end of July.

Innovative Features

A range of features makes playing a simulation game with the JoyRider PRO even more realistic then ever before:

* A Multi-Configurable Steering Wheel. Enables the player to use the Game Console as a Race Car Steering Wheel, or Aviation Yoke, or MotorBike Handlebars, or Combat Stick.

* Rubber Steering Handles. Provide a realistic feeling.

* Pedal Unit. The included pedals can be used as "Accelerator & Brake" or as "Rudder Control System". The Pedal Unit provides a great deal of reality.

* Separate Professional Throttle Control. Gives the player more control when playing Flight-Simulation Games.

* 3 x 4 Fire Buttons System. The 12 Independent Fire Buttons can be used at any time, in any simulation.

* Turbo Fire Switches. Continuos Firing Possibility.

* Point of View HAT. Easy controllable thumbstick.

* Combat Stick. A regular Professional High End JoyStick.

The following configurations can be achieved with the JoyRider PRO

Car Configuration. The JoyRider Pro Console will act as a Car Steering Wheel, Pedals can be used as Accelerator and Brake, Fire Buttons (A, B) & Turbo Firing Option are at your disposal. External JoyStick Connector is active. (Throttle , Point of View Hat, Fire Button C & D and Combat Stick are inactive).

Airplane with Throttle and Rudder Control Configuration. The JoyRider Pro Console will act as an Aviation Yoke, Pedals can be used as Rudder, Throttle is active, Fire Buttons (A, B, C, D) & Turbo Firing Option are at your disposal. (Point of View Hat ,Combat Stick and External JoyStick Connector are inactive).

Airplane with Point of View HAT and Rudder Control Configuration. The JoyRider Pro Console will act as an Aviation Yoke, Pedals can be used as Rudder, Point of View Hat is active, Fire Buttons (A, B, C, D) & Turbo Firing Option are at your disposal. (Throttle ,Combat Stick and External JoyStick Connector are inactive).

Motorbike Configuration. The JoyRider Pro Console will act as Motorbike Steering Handlebars, Pedals can be used as Accelerator and Brake, Fire Buttons (A, B) & Turbo Firing Option are at your disposal. External JoyStick Connector is active. (Throttle , Point of View Hat, Fire Button C & D and Combat Stick are inactive.

Combat Stick with Throttle and Rudder Control Configuration. The JoyRider Pro Console will act as a Multi-Function JoyStick. The Combat Stick can be used as a Direction Control Unit, Pedals can be used as Rudder, Throttle is active, Fire Buttons (A, B, C, D) & Turbo Firing Option are at your disposal. (Point of View Hat, Multi-configurable Steering Wheel and External JoyStick Connector are inactive).

Combat Stick with Point of View HAT and Rudder Control Configuration. The JoyRider Pro Console will act as a Multi-Function JoyStick. The Combat Stick can be used as a Direction Control Unit, Pedals can be used as Rudder, Point of View Hat is active, Fire Buttons (A, B, C, D) & Turbo Firing Option are at your disposal. (Throttle, Multi-configurable Steering Wheel and External JoyStick Connector are inactive).

Two JoyStick Configuration. The JoyRider Pro Console will act as a plain JoyStick. The Combat Stick can be used as a Direction Control Unit, Fire Buttons (A,B) & Turbo Firing Option are at your disposal. External JoyStick Connector is active. (Throttle , Point of View Hat, Fire Button C & D, Pedal Unit and Multi-configurable Steering Wheel are inactive).


Sierra Announce Quest for Glory:Dragon Fire Demo to be Available in Late August

Dragon Fire is the fifth game in Sierra On-Lines Quest for Glory series. In this chapter Silmaria, the silver city by the sea on the island kingdom of Marete, is in serious trouble. The Ruler has been assassinated by a deadly poison and an unknown assailant. The fishing villages have been invaded, and the fortress walls of the city are besieged with Mercenary Soldiers from Hesparia. The sea folk who once were peaceful have declared open warfare against sea travel. Even the countryside has become overrun with deadly monsters. A centuries-old prophecy of doom foretells of this, and more. If a hero does not step forth soon, a primordial Dragon will rise from the centre of the island, and all will be destroyed by its flames.

You have been summoned to Silmaria by the Archmage, Erasmus. You must enter the Rites of Rulership, and prove your worthiness to become King. You must stop the assassin before all your friends are murdered, and you, too, die from his poisonous blade. You must prevent the Dragon from rising from the fire, or destroy it by whatever means you can. You may win a kingdom's throne, pursue a fair woman's heart, or you can die with all friends who depend upon you. Only the greatest Hero in the world can accomplish this. That's why YOU were summoned.

Together with four other competitors, you will face the challenges of the seven Rites - Freedom, Conquest, Valor, Destiny, Courage, Peace, and Justice. Around all of you, a deadly web of deceit and murder tightens. It will take all your wit and skills to survive. Who is behind the series of assassinations? Who is trying to make the dark Prophecy come true? Who can you trust and who is playing their own power game in their Quest For Glory? You will need to know these answers, if you are to survive Dragon Fire.

Available in late August, the demo will feature:

* The Particle System: This is probably the coolest effect -- you have to see it to believe it. It allows bubbles to trail our hero while he/she swims underwater. During a battle blood splatters and sparks fly. Explosions are absolutely realistic and spectacular. When a fireball is thrown a particle trail follows it. To fully appreciate our particle system you must see it at night.

* Sierra's day to night system is in. Windows gradually illuminate as night arrives, stars become visible and increase in brightness. Torches and fireplaces flicker.

* Nine rooms are featured in this demo: Westgate, Townsquare, Thieves Guild, The Famous Adventurers Correspondence School, The Docks, Dead Parrot Inn and Casino, Gnome Ann's Land Inn, the Bank and an underwater scene.

* You'll be reacquainted with some old friends and meet many new characters: Elsa, Wolfie, a mysterious man who has a thing for daggers, the head of FACS, Pholus and more.

* Animated backgrounds such as waterfalls, twinkling stars, torches and incidental incidents.

* You'll get to battle a couple of bad guys.

* Lots of sound fx and samples from some of the themes.

* And of course, the Dragon AVI is included.

3D Acceleration

3D accelerator cards will enhance some of the games features but we aren't dependent upon them. They won't enhance our voxels or panoramas any but we're looking into including some polygonal objects that will take advantage of this hardware.


Top Publishers Pledge That Holiday Season's Hottest Games Will Support Microsoft's Newest Joystick

Microsoft Corp. today unveiled the Microsoft(R) SideWinder(TM) Force Feedback Pro at the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3). The joystick, which adds the sensation of touch to the gaming experience in supported games, incorporates Microsoft's unprecedented digital-optical technology. When it ships this autumn, SideWinder Force Feedback Pro will include three hot entertainment titles: Activision's Interstate '76, LucasArts' Star Wars Shadows of the Empire: Battle of Hoth and Playmates Interactive Entertainment's MDK: Mission Laguna Beach.

The SideWinder Force Feedback Pro adds sophisticated tactile force feedback effects to supported PC games that previously offered only sight and sound. Developers from nearly every gaming genre have jumped on board to create games that deliver these new sensations, from the finesse touch of the g-forces encountered in a hairpin turn to the raw force of a machine gun recoil.

"Force feedback is a major trend in the evolution of PC games, and SideWinder Force Feedback Pro is quickly gaining wide support," said Richard Brudvik-Lindner, marketing manager for game devices, hardware group at Microsoft. "Most of the hottest games this holiday season will support the exhilarating force feedback sensations and the crisp responsiveness of Microsoft SideWinder Force Feedback Pro."

More than 20 of the top PC game publishers are supporting the joystick, including Activision Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., GT Interactive Software Corp., LucasArts Entertainment Co., Microsoft Games and Sierra On-Line Inc.

"By adding tactile feedback to a joystick that offers lightning-fast graphics and responsiveness, Microsoft is delivering a premium sensory gaming experience," Brudvik-Lindner said.

Robust On-Board Processor Enables No-Sacrifices Game Play

SideWinder Force Feedback Pro's powerful 16-bit on-board processor enables realistic force feedback effects ranging from raw forces, such as the crack of a baseball bat, to finesse forces, such as centrifugal force. The processor permits simultaneous multilayered forces, generating sensations that offer continuous feedback to a gamer's performance. It also helps ensure that the joystick can generate these sophisticated force feedback effects without degrading on-screen graphics, a drawback found in force feedback joysticks that rely on a host PC's CPU to process such effects. Two precision DC servomotors in SideWinder Force Feedback Pro's base generate the force feedback effects that gamers feel through the grip.

Digital-Optical Technology Offers Precise, Reliable Performance

SideWinder Force Feedback Pro uses digital-optical technology to deliver more precise, reliable gaming than traditional analogue joysticks.

Other SideWinder Force Feedback Pro features and benefits include these:

Greater programmability. Players get eight user-mappable buttons, an eight-way POV hat switch, 3-D rotation and throttle control, plus a shift button that doubles the function of each in supported games. In addition, users can turn the stick's forces down or even off, allowing the SideWinder Force Feedback Pro to be used as a traditional joystick.

More precision. Microsoft's renowned digital-optical technology, which makes gaming faster and more precise than with traditional analogue joysticks, now functions with the new thumb-operated 3-D throttle wheel to provide more precise speed adjustment.

Greater customisation. SideWinder Game Device Software 2.0 includes pre-configured profiles for 30 top games. Used with the shift key, it lets users map keystrokes to the eight buttons in supported games, swap game axes, adjust joystick sensitivity to amplify stick movements, program keystrings and multiple keystrokes, and emulate a CH Flight Stick Pro or a Thrustmaster joystick in a DOS Box running under the Windows(R) 95 operating system. The software lets gamers save their favourite complex moves or manoeuvres to a single button.

Enhanced ergonomics. SideWinder Force Feedback Pro joystick features a new, more natural grip. Control buttons are repositioned toward the front of the joystick base to offer a more comfortable, intuitive layout. A new digital-optical, thumbs-reach throttle control lets gamers adjust speed with an innovative thumb wheel.

Microsoft SDK Makes It Fast, Easy to Add Force Effects

Microsoft is offering a software development kit (SDK) for the SideWinder Force Feedback Pro that makes it fast and easy to add force feedback effects to supported games. The SDK includes a Visual Force Library tool that lets developers add 100 force effects to games, and then instantly customise them with the ease of drag-and-drop functionality. Visual Force Library allows publishers to quickly create a broad range of compelling force feedback games with effects ranging from ice to plasma cannon fire without adding significant development time.

Because SideWinder Force Feedback Pro is based on open DirectX(R) 5 protocols, developers can use Microsoft tools to create force feedback effects that work with any DirectX 5-compatible force feedback joystick.

System Requirements and Availability

To use Microsoft SideWinder Force Feedback Pro and Game Device Software, users need a 75 MHz or better Pentium CPU running Windows 95, 8 MB RAM, 7 MB of available hard disk space, a double-speed CD-ROM drive, a Super VGA 256-colour monitor and a Sound Blaster-compatible sound card.

Feedback forces are only enabled with games using Microsoft DirectInput(R) Force Feedback API 5.0 or later. Microsoft will offer a serial dongle as a fulfilment item for gamers with non-standard sound cards. The dongle uses the serial port and bypasses the sound card. Force Feedback Pro works only with Windows 95-compatible games. Users should check their games for minimum requirements.

Microsoft SideWinder Force Feedback Pro will include Activision's Interstate '76, LucasArts' Star Wars Shadows of the Empire: Battle of Hoth and Playmates Interactive Entertainment's MDK: Mission Laguna Beach. It is scheduled to be available in October 1997 at an estimated reseller price of $149.95.

Note: Microsoft, SideWinder, Windows, DirectX and DirectInput are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Activision is a registered trademark and Interstate '76 is a trademark of Activision, Inc. Star Wars is a registered trademark and Shadows of the Empire and Battle of Hoth are trademarks of Lucasfilm Ltd. MDK, and MDK: Laguna Beach are trademarks of Shiny Entertainment, Inc. Other products and company names herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Dave Wadler (Game-Over! News Editor)

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