Foxconn took a very unique approach with its
FV-N88SMCD2-ONOC videocard. Instead of including games with the high powered videocard, it included a special USB 3D game pad. I think we can agree there is no point in bundling games that will be out of date quickly when you can include a game pad that will last for years ahead - and make your own games more fun to play!
The USB 3D Game Pad that Foxconn includes with the
FV-N88SMCD2-ONOC is essentially a copy of Sony's successful and comfortable
Playstation dual shock controller. The controller is all black with a soft
rubber surface texture that makes holding it for long hours pretty comfortable. The buttons are all translucent blue, and not illuminated except for a pair of function keys at the center of the controller. If you've played the Playstation console, you'll get the hang of this controller very quickly.
The Foxconn USB 3D Game Pad uses the Playstation controller design; it
works well and is very comfortable. Large and small hands rest comfortably around the
USB 3D Game Pad, and the buttons are in very natural locations. The rubberized surface
gives a good grip.
Aside from the driver for the game
controller, there's no extra software required. Simply calibrate and set
the buttons accordingly through Windows' built in game pad configuration, and that's it. After you load up the game, you may have to configure the game to take advantage of the game pad but that's usually pretty quick. Unless of course you're playing games like Rainbow Six: Las Vegas which only works with actual Xbox 360 controllers... so just keep in mind that some games may be picky about the controllers they work with.
from the left: the digital eight way directional pad, just below that is
the first analog stick. To the right is the second analog stick, note you
can use the analog sticks as buttons by pressing down on them. Analog is
particularly useful to use in those racing simulators, or any shooter
that allows you to vary your movement speed. The four main buttons are
on the right hand side. Buttons 11 and 12 are miscellaneous and can be set
within the game, they have no natural function though. The USB 3D Game Pad supports
an automatic feature, that means you only have to press and hold
the bottom for it to cycle between on and off. You have to
press the middle analog button to enable analog control, finally the clear button exits
The USB 3D Game pad had no problems working with games
like Need for Speed Carbon (or the NFS family) and the analog feature certainly does come handy in racing simulators. In particular, I enjoyed how much easier it is going around long corners with the analog controller, it's certainly more graceful than tapping the directional key on the keyboard.
are like the L1, L2, R1 and R2 buttons on the Playstation controller.
Unlike the PS3 controller which buttons L2 and R2 are analog, buttons 7 and 8
on the USB 3D Game Pad are digital.
There are no buttons on the bottom of the controller. The grips are textured with
a rubberized material to provide a soft, almost suede like feel to the entire
Along with the USB 3D Game Pad, Foxconn also bundles in a dual molex to six pin PCI Express power connector with the FV-N88SMCD2-ONOC videocard. The Foxconn GeForce 8800GTS 320MB videocard is dual monitor compatible and natively supports dual digital outputs. Should you want to connect analog displays to the system, there are two DVI to analog converters with the package. Last but not least, the FV-N88SMCD2-ONOC supports TV and High Definition output via a video break out box. The little connector supports composite/S-Video connections to standard definition televisions along with the Y, Pb, Pr high definition connectors. HDMI is supported through the DVI output connectors, but you will need to have your own DVI-to-HDMI adaptor cable for this.
Up next, a quick look at the technology behind the nVidia Geforce 'G80'