Sandio Game Oí 6D0F 3D Gaming Mouse. Itís a cumbersome title to a product that could be cumbersome. Boasting not only the ability to move the mouse along the familiar, flat X and Y axes, but also providing roll, yaw, and Z axis support, the Sandio mouse is quite ambitious.
To attain the capability of giving a user full 3D controls, the mouse has three ď3D ButtonsĒ attached to it, which work rather like hat keys on joysticks. Theyíre essentially only four-directional though they do appear like analog thumbsticks more than anything. The only true full demo of the mouseís capabilities is provided by an included test utility which has the user manipulate a cube in empty space. By pressing the left and right 3D buttons in opposite directions, itís possible to cause the cube in the test demo to rotate. The top 3D button moves it away and towards the user, as well as side to side. Itís possible to rotate the cube and move it in a direction, and create angled movement (though itís strictly limited to 45 degree angles due to the 4-way nature of the buttons).
In games the mouse has its ambitions curtailed somewhat. Itís possible to replicate map and movement controls, for example, which can free up the left hand entirely. In games like Civilization IV this is rather simple to do, but even in Rome: Total War the mouse is capable of taking full control of that gameís elaborate camera. This takes some getting used to and in our time with the mouse we didnít ever replace the keyboard, though if we applied ourselves itís not hard to imagine being keyboard independent for at least camera movements. The problem is that thereís little to do with the left hand other than select unit groups or give stance orders. Weíre sure that if a game was developed with the mouse in mind, more functionality could be naturally transferred over, but at the moment we know of no such title. One can easily imagine the utility in a game like EVE, however.
However, the mouse does have other benefits. Much like programmable joysticks with the aforementioned hat switches, the Sandio Game Oí mouse can have its 3D Buttons programmed with key presses. There are no macros, unfortunately, but the mouse can replicate shift, ctrl, and alt-key combinations. All in all, the three buttons give up to 12 commands, which can make life easier in a first-person shooter, RTS game, or even an MMO like World of WarCraft. Ultimately, the mouse can take over strafing, weapon switching, weapon modes, score menus and all sorts of controls normally reserved for a keyboard.