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Immersion Releases 'Force Feedback' Software For PC

by Rainier on Oct. 1, 2003 @ 9:53 a.m. PDT

Immersion Corp. today released TouchWare Gaming, a breakthrough software product for the PC gaming industry that adds force feedback effects to the vast majority of all PC Windows-based games, whether they were originally designed with force feedback or not.

Force feedback, also referred to as haptics or simulated touch, can dramatically enhance a game by allowing a user to actually feel on-screen events, user movements and commands. Despite force feedback's broad appeal, over 90% of PC games still have limited or no haptic effects. To solve this problem, TouchWare GamingĀ® analyzes a game's sound effects, converts them using sophisticated algorithms, and maps them into appropriate force feedback effects on old and new PC games running on Windows 95 or higher. Games come alive with a wide range of touch sensations such as the crushing force of totaling a car in Rock Star Games' Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the blast of a spell in Electronic Art's Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets, and the boom of a corner kick in EA's FIFA Soccer.

"The few hundred force feedback PC games on the market today pales in comparison to the worldwide installed base of over 4 million force feedback gaming peripherals," said Dean Chang, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Technology Adoption and Partner Services at Immersion. "We developed TouchWare Gaming so the owners of those 4 million peripherals plus future buyers of force feedback gaming peripherals can experience realistic and fun force feedback in thousands of new and old PC games, regardless of whether a game developer explicitly added force feedback support or not."

In the five years since 1998, the number of installed force feedback peripherals has grown to 4.62 million. It is estimated that today only 15 percent of all gamers have force feedback peripherals. Now the other 85 percent will have compelling reasons to buy products made by Immersion's licensing partners, including Logitech, Microsoft, Saitek, Thrustmaster and Belkin. TouchWare Gaming software fundamentally changes the gaming experience, enabling players to enjoy force feedback in PC games by easily installing the downloaded software.

Chang continued, "After years of research, we have created an intelligent way to turn sound waves into haptic effects. This technology breakthrough shows our long and deep commitment to the gaming industry."

Pricing and Availability

TouchWare Gaming is available as an easy-to-install download for gamers at for $39.95. For a limited time only, Immersion is now offering TouchWare Gaming at a discount price of $29.95.

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