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Sova and Tyon - A Pair of Up-and-Comers

Hardware Reviews By William Murphy on July 02, 2014

MMORPG.com: Hey all!  Let’s start with the Tyon. My questions are coming from the frame of mind of an MMO gamer, and we’ve long been sold Logitech’s and Razer’s gaming mice because of the thumb buttons on the side correlating to the 1-0 keys on the keyboard.  What makes the Tyon stand up against those mice?

Tim: I think when you look at the Tyon it is pretty obvious that we took a completely different approach when we decided to build a mouse with more buttons. Therefore I think you almost can’t compare it with a Razer Naga for example. The Tyon is the solution for people who are looking for a more ergonomic button layout. It gives you six buttons right where your fingertips are, twelve if you use Easy-Shift[+], plus Fin Switch, plus mousewheel, plus side buttons – that’s a lot of options. Speaking about the side buttons: We now have a dedicated Easy-Shift[+] button, that means no more sacrificing on of your top side buttons for that function. Use it for spells, macros or other things you need in game. We invested a good amount of time in testing and optimizing the ergonomics of this mouse. The accessibility of the buttons is outstanding and that’s what makes it an interesting product also for MMO gamers. But also let me tell you this: We are not done with product announcements for this year. We just finished the warm-up.

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MMORPG.com: Can you talk a little bit about the Fin Switch, and how it can benefit PC gamers?

Tim: If you think about the button placement you usually see with many gaming mice, the buttons right behind the mousewheel are useful but kind of hard to reach. During the design process of the Tyon, it became clear that keeping your fingers in a position where you can reach the four top buttons instantly would make the most sense. At this point we also started to think about the button placement behind the mousewheel and it was obvious that it needed to be changed. The Fin Switch is a simple but very effective way to add two more klicks, because it makes use of the way your hand is positioned on the mouse. It fits between your forefinger and your middle finger naturally. You can assign any function that makes sense to you, so it is also very flexible.

MMORPG.com: The big selling point is the X-celerator, a sort of thumb paddle switch on the inside of the mouse.  What would this typically be used for?

Tim: What we had in mind for it was controlling vehicles. It makes so much sense to have an analog control for the jet and tank in Battlefield or the plane in Warthunder. You will be surprised about how different the gaming experience is, if you can assign for example nose up/down for the jet in Battlefield to it. However, it also works as a normal button and for other kinds of games. In a Windows profile, use it to scroll up and down for example. I’m pretty sure people will come up with a ton of ideas about how to make use of it. And that’s what it is all about: Giving people more options and let them pick what works best for them.

MMORPG.com: Let’s shift gears to talk about the Sova: an all in one wireless laptop keyboard and mouse-pad design to be used on the couch.  How come no one else has tried to do something like this before?

Tim: Ask our competitors. No, but seriously: I think the magic that lays in an idea like this, that it looks very simple – but actually it isn’t easy to do, if you want to make it good. From a technological point of view this isn’t a product that you can do over night. We had to develop our own wireless bridge technology to make sure it does 1000Hz polling rate. That’s what we are used to from the PC and that’s what we also wanted for our gaming experience in the living room. The ergonomics took a lot of testing and development, to find out the right measurements, to figure out what the ideal weight is and so on.  Transferring your PC gaming experience to the living room simply isn’t easy, I think that’s why so far there is no proper solution out there. With the prototypes we presented at E3 we made a big step – now let us turn the Sova concept into a real product.

MMORPG.com: How much was the upcoming Steam Box and the whole living room PC movement a factor in its design?

Tim: Well, it was the origin of it. We always liked the idea of playing our favorite games on the couch and we always thought that Steam boxes, Windows machines or even Andriod consoles can do a great job running these games. We totally understand that the controller works for many games and for many people but as PC gamers we still believe that some games are meant to be played with mouse and keyboard. And since there were no solutions on the market which would fit our needs as gaming enthusiasts, we had to build our own device. That’s how the whole project started.

MMORPG.com: Will it work on the consoles that support USB PC and Mouse, like the PlayStation 3 or 4?

Tim: Right now it does not. Let’s see what the future brings but let me say this: We are more fans of open systems like Windows, Linux or Android.

MMORPG.com: How about a mouse to go with the Keyboard though. Will players need to buy a wireless mouse to go hand in hand with the Sova?

Tim: Absolutely not. You can plug in your favorite gaming mouse – any mouse – to be as close to your PC gaming experience as possible. If the machine you connect the Sova to has your mouse drivers installed – even better. They will work through our wireless bridge and you are still able to make all your settings regarding DPI, lighting etc.
The Sova turns any wired gaming mouse into a wireless mouse but still with 1000Hz polling rate.

MMORPG.com: Can you tell us how much the Sova and Tyon will cost, and when we’ll see them hit the market?

Tim: The Tyon will be released around the end of Agust this year and it will retail for 99,99USD.
For the Sova it still is a bit early to tell. We are analyzing the feedback we got and still get. Based on that we will decide how to go on with the further development. On our website ownthecouch.gg about 96% of the visitors love the idea of the product. As a manufacture our job now is to turn this concept into a living product that is well designed, durable, innovative and affordable. This process will take some time but we will envolve people out there – so if you want to stay up to date please check www.ownthecouch.gg on a regular basis. 

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