WinXP doesn't feel the Force Feedback
Gamers using Microsoft's SideWinder Force Feedback game controllers and wanting to upgrade to WinXP are in for a bit of a shock - not all will work.
At the launch yesterday Steve Ballmer boasted to the audience that WinXP could support 24 languages, more than 1,000 PC models, 1,700 applications and 12,000 devices. These do not appear to include several members of the SideWinder Force Feedback (SWFF) family.
A quick check on Microsoft's online hardware compatibility list shows only two models are directly supported, with a few more having available drivers.
The list is none too easy to follow, with a huge amount of SideWinder controllers having similar names, but those falling under the no support banner include: SWFF Precision Racing Wheel; SWFF Pro [Gameport]; SWFF Wheel [USB]; and SWFF 2 [USB].
Confusingly, some of these models, with slightly different descriptions, fall into a category which does have a driver available, even if not directly supported. Other SideWinder controllers on the list are haphazardly supported (21 are, while 29 fail).
Logitech is even less lucky; neither of its two force feedback products listed make the grade, although its 'Cordless Rumblepad' does. Of course, it didn't write the OS. ®