Novint 3D Haptic Ships at Higher Price
We knew it was too good to be true. Remember the extra-cool “Falcon” 3D haptic mouse from Novint Technologies that we blogged about way back last spring at E3? Well, it’s being made available later this year, just as Novint promised, but not at the $100 price point that was predicted at E3, at least, not yet. A Novint press release from the Consumer Electronics Show now on in Vegas flags a “Limited Edition Falcon Bundle” that will be available for $239, or $189 on pre-order, and that will ship on June 18. If you haven’t heard of the Falcon before, do read the blog post, because it’s an impressive piece of work (or if you’re at CES, stop by the Sands Expo and Convention Center, booth #72924 in the Gaming TechZone).
The pre-order bundle includes 24 original touch-enabled microgames, which probably just serve to show off the Falcon’s capabilities. (The ones on display at E3 did so quite well.) Novint also apparently has a game downloading service on which expanded versions of those games will be available for a price, which is an interesting development I hadn’t heard about before, though I can’t find a link to it. You get one free game download with the bundle.
But the company had flagged the Falcon at a $100 price point when they demo’d it at E3, and that was actually one of the most exciting things about it. A $100 version may yet be in the works, but there doesn’t seem to be anything in the current package that justifies doubling the price, so it’s hard to see how it could come down much. That would be too bad, since the low price was designed to drive widespread adoption, which in turn would drive game development, etc., etc. Committed gamers will still buy the Falcon at the higher price, but it will probably remain a relatively obscure and expensive toy, rather than the everyday tool of gaming it deserves to be. You can’t blame Novint for covering their costs, though. Let’s just cross our fingers and hope the Falcon’s components get cheaper sometime soom.