In response to: "signing up shouldn't be needed to use a driver. I really dislike Cloud-based junk"
I gotta get off this thing and stop thread hogging...just one more post and I'll get off my high horse.
They aren't just mice anymore. This gaming stuff often goes beyond the norms and standards of what the hardware they started with was really intended to do. A mouse just registers a cursor and clicks at relatively low resolutions. They can do that with generic mouse drivers no problem.
Some have half a keyboard or more packed in there as well, plus light controllers, oddball timers, non standard keys, and on and on. They're also stringing chips and stuff together to allow ultra high polling rates, and really wide instruction sets (for more key roll overs over interfaces that weren't initially set up to do that).
Again...standard drivers will run that mouse too. Just like any ole PCL, ECS, or Postscript printer driver will make 99% of the printers out there print just fine. To unlock the stuff that makes the printer special....every single one of them sends you online to register for better software that lets you blow stuff up...shrink it...rotate it...alter it...scan stuff...manipulate memory and trays....and on and on. If you don't want theirs, you can opt for Adobe, or Corel, or some free and open package, or whatever....but bottom line, if you want to unlock the stuff the printer can do, you register and download something.
The bells and whistles are PC side software that in the least, tell the firmware to do things that aren't a part of the normal mouse or keyboard standards. It remembers stuff and lets you totally remap and program things. It even has compilers and stuff in there in it in some cases, as well as all sorts of patented firmware flashers and on and on. It's pretty complex stuff for 'just a mouse'...and it's actually the part that the company is developing and selling....after all...the chip sets and the bulk of the 'parts' used to build it are pretty much the same pieces and parts used for all mice ... from the cheapest to the most expensive ... made by any company.
I see where you're coming from, but I think the idea here may be to eventually develop a kind of OS for user input devices that may even someday be 'hardware independent'. Routers have it, PCs have it, phones have it. Granted a little mouse that does nothing but point and click doesn't really need it....the low level drivers already cover everything...but these products are different. People use them in combination with a whole slew of other interfaces (these days add the now standard touch screen to the whole ordeal). It's another step in empowering the user to build, create, and customize every aspect of his gaming experience...from how fast the thing polls, how sensitive it is, what each key does and where he want to bind stuff...and on and on. That's not just a mouse...that's just one step shy of a complete high level personal development platform.
I'm not particularly crazy about it in all respects...but pretty much all pieces of software this involved want to be registered or they just don't run. DVD drivers in themselves are kinda simple....and the same low level driver will work with almost all the drives (at least for basic functionality)....but to get Nero or Roxio or something on there and start actually doing something with it (like reading/buring a filesystem and files, editing or decoding audio/video) beyond spinning the thing up and streaming raw data in and out almost always requires you to go online and register something or order up some disks or a usb dongle or whatever mode of transport you need.
Free and open software also is known to ask you to register in order to grab the download. It's not all that uncommon. It's not all that much trouble. It's important for what developers do, yet it harms no one, and isn't a danger to anyone (except maybe the competition that's not making any attempt at all to maintain a connection with its user base).
Yes, there are models and brands that might seem to host a function or two totally in firmware beyond the norm. Plug and play...but those will have to be custom done for every single device pretty much from the ground up. If you do want to get into customizing what goes in the firmware under the 1.0 branch...you really will have to register some pretty deep dev kits and get into peeks and pokes! You won't be able to pull the profiles from one device and simply drop it to a key, wheel, or sensor in another one as 2.0 allows...etc. It'll cost you twice as much to develop and maintain product lines with uniformity and cooperative interdevice modes...and will take longer to get updates/grades out...and will lock you and your consumers into certain types of chips and parts.
Really, they're mostly trying to make it easier on the consumer...trying to find some small edge so they can maybe beat the competition on price points, or features, or both...and maybe get lucky and make a little money....so they'll maybe want to keep doing businesses with them, and seriously, how many 'gamers' out there aren't constantly creating accounts for this and that all over the web on any given day anyway?
Either way, consumers are going to want to go to a website and get the latest fixes and fluff. I think most do anyway, and folks haven't been complaining about it until a small company that only makes a few things trys to grow...then all the sudden lots of noise comes out to tell these little guys that they can't even think about doing what the big boys have been doing every single second for decades. No?
On cloud junk
Perhaps more can be done to make that part of it a clear option. Particularly for the gadgets clearly aimed more at high performance fps games and such that aren't all about going online and interacting with others. Thing is...the new game development is largely network based and has been for some time. You log in, play in a metaverse of some sort with a few, or even thousands of others. The folks that don't already have high end equipment, and are likely to look into buying one in the near future tend to be drawn into these newer networked games....they're also wanting to play with consoles, pads, and smartphones....those markets are growing big time...while beefy high end desktops are planing out, or even declining as the markets flood with more and more stuff competing head on.
Edited by Credo1970 - 2/25/13 at 9:28am