Main features and ergonomics
MonsterGecko has placed the controls not only in a manner that suits the aesthetics of the product, but also in a way that improves response time and comfort levels.
The most obvious features are the aluminum triggers, which include the primary trigger and the secondary grip trigger beneath it. The primary trigger correlates to clicking the left-mouse button, while the secondary trigger handles right-clicking. The location makes complete sense, since for almost all users, firing a weapon is handled with a left-click. It actually feels more visceral to pull a trigger when shooting in-game targets than it does to click on the mouse. This does take some getting used to, however, so you might notice your performance drop off a bit during the learning period. Instead of the rapid tapping of a mouse button, we found that we had to re-teach our finger to pull the trigger repeatedly, and we noticed that finding a "sweet-spot" was the hardest thing to perfect. In a similar vein, using the secondary trigger required more of a full grip than a simple squeeze of the middle finger. If we tried to squeeze the trigger, we often found that we would slightly lose control, and push the entire unit upward. As with any new product, it does take a little getting used to.
On the other hand, some aspects of the PistolMouse worked for us right from the start. The scroll wheel is just that, a large red scroll placed right where the thumb lies, whether the user is right or left-handed. The wheel is large, yet sensitive, enough to quickly and accurately scroll through options, and can also be pushed in to act as another button. As with any mouse, these buttons can all be mapped within the game to match what suits you best. The grips on the handle are purported to be using a gel-like substance, and we would have preferred it if that were true. Instead, they felt more like a solid resin. It afforded the same sturdiness used in the rest of the construction, but it would have made long-term gaming more comfortable to have a softer grip.
The high resolution optical sensor was placed towards the front of the PistolMouse, resulting in increased sensitivity and quicker turning ratios. The packaging lists the resolution as a sustained 800dpi at 14 inches per second, but production models have an optimized lens raising the actual resolution to 900+dpi. The forward placement of the sensor allows users to swivel the mouse, which makes 180 degree turns a snap. In actual UT2004 gameplay, there was one instance where we jumped off of a structure while being chased, snapped our wrist around thus turning the character around to face our enemy, and quickly rattled off some return fire. There's no way to describe how natural it felt to move the crosshairs in this fashion.
One of the key design elements of the PistolMouse FPS was to improve the ergonomics for players during extended play. Almost all current mice, including those that are geared for gaming, place the user's hands in a position that forces players to use weaker muscles for moving side-to-side. The shape of the PistolMouse places the hand in it's natural position with the palms placed inward. In addition, the forward sensor allows users to use stronger muscles for side-to-side aiming.