Reviewed: November 10, 2007
Type: 3D Gaming Mouse
The gaming industry is in full swing and is producing games these past few years that are groundbreaking and breathtaking, but what about the peripherals that we use to play them with? The majority of us gamers are using your basic mouse and keyboard, except those who have tossed their old keyboards and mouse away for more expensive gamer friendly equipment. But even then you are using a 2D mouse in a 3D world. 2D games are a thing of the past and we need the equipment to aid us in the world of 3D gaming.
Sandio Technology brought a first to the gaming market with the release of the 3D Game O¹ Mouse. It was the first ever 3D mouse to be hit the markets, bringing a whole new way to play MMORPGs (World of Warcraft), RTS’ (Rome: Total War) and even FPS’ (F.E. A.R.). Sandio now returns back to the market this year with their release of the Sandio 3D Game O².
Aesthetics - 8
Like me, if you have never used a gaming mouse before, then the 3D Game O² will take a little getting used to. Part of the reason for that was the top mounted joystick, which happens to be right where the scroll wheel on my trusty Wireless Optical mouse is placed. But once you get past that then it is not that distracting. I’ve been working with the 3D Game O² for about a solid week now and I’ve almost never touched my normal mouse.
The 3D Game O² comes bundled with a removable wrist support for those that want a little extra support. The mouse is a little bigger that my old one so I found myself using the wrist support until I got used to the increase in size.
Unlike its predecessor, the 3D Game O² has a rather appealing look. The mouse is decked out in red, black and at first look a frosty grey. But once I plugged it in I was presented with a light show. The frosty grey is actually translucent to allow the neon blue lights to shine through, making the 3D Game O² perfect for those late night gaming sessions.
The Sandio 3D Game O² is a 2000 dpi Laser mouse with 4 different dpi setting, 400, 800, 1600 and 2000. Each resolution is also accompanied with a different color that is shown through the mouse scroll wheel, in red, blue and purple. The lowest resolution is shown by the scroll wheel being not lit up at all. The dpi setting can be switched on the fly both in 2D and 3D mode by pressing down on the top joystick or by pressing the 4th and 5th mouse buttons simultaneously. Those 4th and 5th buttons also make browsing the internet a breeze.
Durability - 7
When I first laid eyes on the mouse I expected it to be rather heavy for its size but it is remarkable light. As mentioned above, the wrist support is detachable and is held in place by a fairly sturdy plastic tab. It is not hard to equip and removes just as easy. The Sandio 3D Game O² features 3 joysticks that are pretty much mounted atop D-Pads and are fairly responsive.
Performance - 7
The Sandio 3D Game O² operates as a normal plug and play mouse from the get go, but requires you to install the drivers and 3D Input Management on the provided CD to get the full functionality of the 3D Game O². Installing the software is easy and the management software comes preloaded with 40 game profiles ranging from the new RPG “Dawn of Magic” to the classic FPS “Half-Life.” You are however not limited to these presets. You can create your own profiles and map the 12+ buttons to your liking.
I used the 3D Game O² on a number of the presets and my own created profiles and found it to be awkward at times. The 3D Game O² is designed to make use of all five of your fingers, but you’re better off using only four. I had to create a profile for one of my favorite FPS’, F.E.A. R. and it was actually pretty easy to setup. The only downside I found was that you really had to have your instruction manual to each game you wanted to add handy or write down the controls from the in-game control list and quit the game to set it up. You also had to make sure to load the desired profile before you loaded your game to avoid in-game issues, normally associated by hitting the “Windows” key.
To create a new profile you have to open up the 3D Input Management, select “New” and enter the name of the game you are going to use the profile for. You are then presented with a second screen that is used for setting up your basic controls. There is a second tab on this screen that is for Two-Finger commands. I found that the Two-Finger setup is rarely ever used but I am sure that someone will find use for them.
Steps to Load Profiles
Do NOT close out the “GameUIDTitle” window. If you close it, the 3D functions will not work in game. It is meant to run in the background. The 3D Game O² is first and foremost a gaming mouse but it does have other uses. I put it to use with Google Earth and was amazed at how simple it was to use. The 3D Game O² is preprogrammed to work with Google Earth as well as Microsoft Visual Earth, Photosynth, Google SketchUp and the 3D online digital world of Second Life.
Value - 8
The Sandio 3D Game O² retails at $79.99, putting it up near the top of the gaming mouse market, price wise. It may not be as high end as some gaming mice on the market but it still holds its own. Once I got used to the top mounted joystick I found it to be a very useful mouse. It certainly puts a new perspective on the way we will play games in the future. The versatility of the 3D Game O² not only makes it a good gaming mouse but a valuable asset to other 3D applications.
Overall – 7.5
In the solid week that I’ve used the Sandio 3D Game O² I have learned to love the freedom of using my left hand for something else other that moving my characters around the 3D world they inhabit. Being able to concentrate on using command hotkeys and chatting is so much easier. I don’t plan on getting rid of my keyboard anytime soon, but well time will tell. The only down side for me is that I sometimes forget to load up the profiles before playing, and the controls are awkward even in the best conditions. The people over at Sandio Technology have found a new way for gamers to evolve alongside the games they play.