- The Cooler Master MK850 emulates analogue sticks and triggers
- Gamers can move more precisely in various types of games
- The MK850 costs $200 in the USA and will launch in India in a few months
Cooler Master has launched the MK850 mechanical gaming keyboard with eight configurable pressure-sensitive keys that can emulate the analogue input of a console-style game controller’s analogue sticks and trigger buttons. This should give gamers all the comfort of a desktop keyboard and the sensitivity and accuracy of a controller. The Q, W, E, R, A, S, D, and F keys on the Cooler Master MK850 are equipped with infrared sensors that can measure the position of a key all along its 4mm actuation length. Users switch between standard keyboard and various styles of controller-centric input by switching between five profiles designed for different types of games.
Cooler Master uses infrared technology developed by a company called Aimpad. What the MK850 keyboard does is essentially emulate an Xbox controller plugged into any Windows or Linux PC. Gamers can use slight finger twitches and adjust the pressure of their key presses to register different intensities of input, for example when controlling a car’s acceleration and braking or simply moving around in a first-person shooter.
Setting up and using the Aimpad feature isn’t going to be very easy though, and games will have to support analogue controllers. According to Cooler Master’s own FAQ, the analogue keys have to be calibrated each time the feature is turned on, which can take a little time. Some games might not recognise the virtual controller as Player 1, in which case the keyboard might need to be unplugged and reconnected.