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Logitech Interview with Christopher Pate

Logitech recently announced the Driving Force GT, the official steering wheel of Gran Turismo, for PlayStation 3 and we were able to get in touch with Christopher Pate, Gaming Product Marketing Manager for Logitech, to answer a few questions about the Driving Force GT and other Logitech products for game consoles and computers.

DreamStation.cc: To get us started, can you tell us your name, job title, and a little bit of background information about you and Logitech in general?

Christopher Pate: My name is Christopher Pate. I am the Gaming Product Marketing Manager for Logitech’s gaming wheels. Logitech has been developing force feedback racing wheels since 1999, and our first force feedback wheel for PlayStation®2 shipped simultaneously with Gran Turismo 3. We have released five different wheels (GT Force, Driving Force, Driving Force Pro, Driving Force EX, Driving Force GT) for PlayStation consoles in the last nine years, and have had a close working relationship with Polyphony Digital during that time. Our goal with all of these wheels has been to provide the end user with the most satisfying driving experience possible on any platform.

DreamStation.cc: Logitech just announced the Driving Force GT steering wheel for PlayStation 3, how does it compare to the Driving Force Pro and other previously released steering wheels for PS2 and PS3 by Logitech and other companies?

Christopher Pate: The Logitech Driving Force GT was meticulously designed by Logitech and Polyphony Digital, Inc., the developer of the Gran Turismo series. Unlike other wheels, the Driving Force GT features a unique realtime adjustment dial, a first for force feedback wheels, allowing people to fine tune the car’s balance by adjusting the brake bias, traction control and other game settings. Now, with the Logitech Driving Force GT wheel, drivers can have unparalleled control of their car, extending the realistic racing experience.

DreamStation.cc: Which games are compatible with the Driving Force GT besides Gran Turismo 5 Prologue and Gran Turismo HD?

Christopher Pate: The Logitech Driving Force GT works with most major racing titles including Need for Speed: Pro Street and Formula OneTM Championship edition.

DreamStation.cc: Does the Driving Force GT work with the PlayStation 2 or will it work with backwards compatible PS2 games on the PS3?

Christopher Pate: While it was designed specifically with Gran Turismo 5 Prologue in mind, the wheel is also compatible with all titles that support the Driving Force Pro wheel.

DreamStation.cc: Do you plan to bring a similar wheel to Xbox 360, PC or Wii?

Christopher Pate: Logitech works closely with the gaming community and dedicates to providing peripherals that are desired by the market. Currently, Logitech offers the G25 Racing Wheel, a high-end PC wheel, and the DriveFX, an Xbox 360 racing wheel with axial-feedback technology. To help consumers identify which products work with which gaming platforms, we provide platform designations under our product game listings on our Web site, www.Logitech.com.

DreamStation.cc: We would also like to touch base on some of the other peripherals available from Logitech for gaming consoles and PCs. How hard is it to compete in this market against other competitors and also the 1st party peripherals from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo?

Christopher Pate: Logitech works closely with platform manufacturers to develop products that deliver the best gaming experience. Many of our products are licensed by Sony or Microsoft. Logitech has been able to deliver award-winning products and technologies that have revolutionized the gaming market. Some of these gaming advancements include 2.4 GHz cordless technology for gamepads and headsets; force feedback, 900-degree rotation and a six-speed/sequential shifter for gaming wheels; a redesigned directional pad (d-pad) with four points of contact on gamepads; hot-swappable batteries and weight trays for gaming mice; and an interactive LCD screen for gaming keyboards.

DreamStation.cc: What are some of the most popular selling Logitech products currently and all-time? How many have been sold?

Christopher Pate: Logitech is the world’s leading manufacturer of computer mice with more than 800 million sold and has sold over 50 million webcams worldwide.

DreamStation.cc: How hard is it to continue to come up with innovated devices that push the envelope on how we play and interact with games and our PCs?

Christopher Pate: To satisfy the demanding needs of gamers, Logitech conducts extensive research and surveys, follows hundreds of gaming forums and engages gaming enthusiasts in round-table discussions. As a result of Logitech’s continuing interactivity with the gaming community, the company offers innovative, high-end peripherals that give gamers the tool they need to win, on their preferred platforms.

DreamStation.cc: I see you have recently revealed the new Cordless Desktop Wave keyboard that is contoured to cradle your fingers while typing. How long was that product in development? Do you recommend it for PC gamers or mainly the people that do a lot of typing?

Christopher Pate: Logitech has been involved in the design and engineering of the Comfort Wave Design since late 2005. The innovative Logitech Comfort Wave Design wave-shaped contour of the keys cradles hands naturally, significantly increasing keyboard comfort for mainstream PC users who want to do more, more comfortably. But for gamers, Logitech recommends the G15 Keyboard. The G15 was designed to provide an unprecedented level of programmability and control. The G15 keyboard offers an integrated LCD screen which can be customized to view vital in-game information, system status, CPU memory available or data from other applications without interrupting game play. The G15 keyboard also offers PC gamers a tactical advantage with six programmable G-keys - and three mode keys - to create useful macros on the fly that play-back with a single key press.

DreamStation.cc: I am guessing you use focus groups to find out if people will like these new devices, is it hard to judge if they really like something or do you usually know five minutes after they pick something up that the device is going to be a winner?

Christopher Pate: Research and development for a product can take months up to years to conduct. Logitech does extensive research and testing of new technologies and designs with consumers so that the products it brings to market reflect what consumers want and need- so there are many factors to identify whether or not a product fills a market opportunity.

DreamStation.cc: Do you see Logitech ever making an Xbox 360 or Wii controller?

Christopher Pate: Currently, Logitech offers a racing wheel, the Logitech Drive FX and a dedicated Harmony Remote 360 for the Xbox 360. Logitech also offers a keyboard for the Wii platform and USB gaming microphones for both systems. We are always considering the newest platforms as opportunities to provide great peripherals.

DreamStation.cc: It doesn’t look like the two PlayStation 3 controllers (ChillStream and Cordless Precision) you currently offer provide SIXAXIS motion sensing controls, do you plan on bring out a Logitech controller with SIXAXIS and force feedback capabilities?

Christopher Pate: We cannot comment on unannounced products. In general, we are always looking at the market and the technologies that drive it, and we make product development decisions based in large part on this research.

DreamStation.cc: Are there any other new products on the horizon coming from Logitech that you can let us know about or give us some hints about?

Christopher Pate: We do not have anything to disclose at this time.

DreamStation.cc: Thank you for your time and we wish you and Logitech all the best as you continue to bring out innovative products for video game consoles and PCs.

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Logitech Interview with Christopher Pate

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Posted by: cnc137
Date: April 3, 2008

Categories: PC Features, PlayStation 3 Features, Wii Features, Xbox 360 Features, PlayStation 2 Features, PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360, Features

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