ACT-LABS GS - Page 2

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Wow… there is quite a lot of hardware bundled in the package. Here's a list of them :

  • 01 x GS Base Unit
  • 02 x GS Gun Unit
  • 01 x GS Handheld Motion Controller Unit
  • 01 x GS VGA Pass-through Box
  • 01 x 7.5V DC Power Supply
  • 01 x User's Guide
  • 01 x Registration Card
  • 01 x Setup CD

The base unit, guns and motion controller are made of sturdy plastic and come in a classy silver finish. The various components of the GS belong to a completely different class from the gun systems seen in game consoles. The GS units do not have a cheap, tacky look to them and possess sleek curves that would make a designer car green with envy.


The Base with Guns and Hand Controller

The Base Unit
The base unit is the heart of the system and contains the "brain" of the entire GS. The top of the unit has holsters for the two gun units and the rear contains a holder for the handheld unit. The rear panel of the base unit has a three-position switch that is used to calibrate the GS to the video hardware. All components of the GS are connected to this base unit.


The "Brain" of the System

The Gun Units
The gun units have a sci-fi look to them and would fit easily in the worlds of Star Trek and Babylon 5. The trigger on each gun does not have the tacky feel characteristic of cheap console guns and it snaps back solidly. There is a rubber grip on each gun that allows for firm and comfortable handling.

Each gun unit has two buttons. The first is the trigger while the second is on the side of the gun unit and is accessible using the thumb. The second button is duplicated on both sides of the gun unit so that it is easily accessible to right or left handed shooters. The cable from each gun unit plugs into one of the two circular 13 pin connectors on the back of the base unit.


One of Two Gun Units

The Handheld Unit
Other than the guns, the GS also has a handheld unit that is used to emulate a mouse or control movement in games. The handheld unit seems like a cross between a phaser gun and a microphone and looks downright cool. Its primary purpose is to serve as a motion controller in FPS games such as Quake 3 and Half-Life. For right-handers, this would mean holding the handheld unit on the left and a gun unit on the right for fragging action.

The GS handheld unit consists of an analogue thumb-operated control stick and three buttons. Buttons one and two are on the front of the handheld unit and pressing down on the control stick operates button three. The cable from the handheld unit plugs into one of the two circular 13 pin connectors at the back of the base unit.


The Handheld Unit

VGA Pass-Through Box
The GS uses a pass-through box for operation of the GS unit. Unlike the pass-through connectors for Voodoo graphics cards, the pass-through box of the GS is not passive. This means that the GS has to be powered via an external power supply for the display and GS to work. You just have to unplug your monitor's cable from the PC and plug it into the VGA output jack on the pass-through box. After that, just connect the VGA plug of the short cable of the pass-through box to your video card's output.

In addition to the VGA connectors for input and output of the video signal, there is a small thumbwheel control on the side of the housing to adjust the brightness of the flash used for reading the screen. In short, this adjusts the sensitivity of the device.


The Pass-Through Box

Software Bundle
Other than the drivers for the GS, the Setup CD includes a full version of Activision's Top Shot. This is a pretty standard target shooting software that includes skeet shooting and target boards for target practice. Top Shot is a bare bones shooting game basically used to test the feel of the gun units. The graphics are not spectacular and game options are limited, so I don't think players will get a kick out of it. Note that a patch for the game is out and you can get it here. This patch is required for the new GS 1.02 drivers.

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