Archive for August 27th, 2006

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Orange SPV M3100 bug identified

Muff and I have been playing more with the Orange M3100 today and have identified a bug in the hardware!

Orange SPV M3100 Joypad

The bug that we have seen affects the Joypad on the SPV M3100. To put it simply, if you press and hold the joypad in any direction, then whilst the joypad is held down you press and hold ANY other key, once you release the joypad button the device ‘thinks’ that the joypad button is still being held down. Even changing direction quickly is not always recognised.

This may not sound like anything to worry about but it does mean that something as simple as ‘rolling’ around the joypad can produce undesired results. For a real world example, imagine playing a game where you use the joypad at the same time as other keys (say a shoot-em-up or a platformer) on the M3100 and not being able to fire at the same time as moving OR changing direction quickly to avoid getting hit, but things still move in the same direction on screen.

From a developers point of view it does mean that the M3100 will be almost impossible to write action games for.

This seems to be another example of the Pocket PC/Smartphone platform going backwards rather than forward. The first SPV device had a 9 way joypad but later models went down to just 5 way pads. Inconsistent hardware design is a nightmare for developers!

We believe that the problem is not limited to the Orange version of the HTC Hermes device. If anyone wants to confirm this or test it for themselves then do the following: Open the Start menu and start scrolling down using the joypad, as you see the selection bar moving downwards roll the joypad to the left or right and then roll it upwards. Do you notice that the scroll bar is still moving down?? Imagine that within games!!

EDIT: Confirmed on the HTC TyTN too!

Matt

[Technorati tag(s): smartphone, Pocket PC, Tracy & Matt, Orange, M3100, HTC Hermes, HTC TyTN, SPV, Orange SPV M3100]

Posted in: Phones