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CyWee Z / Fujitsu Air Command

The reviews on this site are the text versions of the videos on my YouTube channel. The text based reviews use (if at all) very little pictures. Please follow the link to the corresponding video in order to see in game graphics.

When people speak of "the first gyroscopic gun controller" they usually refer to the G-MATE MAG II, as this product was marketed as such. This is of course silly, as the MAG II came out in 2012 which is vastly predated by the more popular PlayStation Move controller. Even if we don't count the Move as it also pays attention to light tracking, there of course is a MAG one which came out in 2010.

What I am reviewing in this review was released in 2008. It is the CyWee Z. It was sold under different names bearing brandings of companies such as Fujitsu, SMC and CNC. Originally there were two versions, one for PC and one for a games console that CyWee sold at that time. Personally I went with the Fujitsu Air Command version as I am a huge Fujitsu fan.

The build quality of the gun is great. The trigger doesn't feel like a trigger at all, because it is way too light though. The gun lacks sights, because of the lackluster precision of which gyro guns suffer and because the gun loses its zero position very quickly. There are three action buttons labeled A, B and C. A small circular D pad is located on top of the C button. Visible from the top are the home and power buttons. On the top front LED indicator lights show the identity of the gun, which is important when using multiple of these controllers on a single machine. The controller is powered by two AA cells. By turning the handle the gun can be put into a wand configuration. This design reminds me very much of the AVS version of the Nintendo Zapper. The CyWee Z communicates wirelessly over 2.4G to a receiver dongle. The gun acts as a normal mouse on the computer and thus it is very compatible.

Every gyro gun I ever used sooner or later lost its zero position, especially after being objected to movements involving lots of acceleration. Luckily this gyro gun is very self-aware of this problem. When holding the A or B button, the mouse cursor stops paying attention to the gun. This way the gun can be repositioned and then activated again to minimize the current offset. If there wasn't an easy way to fix calibration this would be game breaking to a gyro controller. The motion sensing circuitry of the CyWee Z works as three axis accelerometer and two axis gyroscope. This somewhat shows the CyWee Z's age as current top of the line gyro controllers such as the Valve Steam controller use a three axis gyroscope adding up to a total of six axis. The most current motion sensing technology by InevenSense offers nine axis sensors, which add a three axis digital compass to the mix.

Personally I like the CyWee Z. It is a well made and appealing controller. However I can't recommend to get one of these nowadays for actual usage as the CyWee Z's gyro capabilities are vastly outdated by today's standards. It's not acceptable anymore to lose the zero position that easily. As a collector's item to enthusiasts they are great nonetheless.