Developments to Watch
THIS JOYSTICK BRINGS NO JOY TO VIDEO-GAME GIANTS
A small company in Albany, N.Y., is tweaking the noses of the twin giants of the video-game world with an unlicensed joystick it says will add realism to familiar video games. Triax Technologies says its Multi-Function joystick will let game makers create better versions of games made for the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the two main 16-bit game machines. With the arcade-style joystick and new game cartridges, players will be able to vary the speed of game characters, move them at any angle, and also move them closer or farther away, instead of their being trapped in a single plane of motion.
Triax says some leading publishers of video games plan to enhance their games by adding software that will communicate with a chip in the Triax controller. Among them, it says, are Electronic Arts, Sunsoft, Tengen, and Namco. Nintendo and Sega tend to prefer that players use their controllers. But Triax says it isn't worried about legal challenges because its new chip doesn't interact with their machines, only with the game cartridges, which are made by independent companies. Says Nintendo spokeswoman Eileen Tanner: "These types of products come out all the time."EDITED BY PETER COY