It's really great to hear this, but I wonder are the previous devices so different? At some level they accept the same kind of 6DOF input, buttons, and are supported as HID devices.
Is the Space Navigator so different from, for example, the Spaceball 5000 USB? I program for a living and technically I see 2 very similar USB devices, which don't really need low level drivers, but software to benefit from the drivers.
For example, the Spaceball 5000 and all of it's functionality and 12 buttons are seen by USB HID software like ControllerMate. This makes the buttons and interfaces usable if you create schemes in ControllerMate. No drivers necessary (but app support is "diy").
Or in Maya, via Mel Script... no drivers necessary (just mel scripts) to see 100% Spaceball 5000 functionality in Maya on Windows or Mac (haven't tried on Linux).
These examples illustrate to me how little the drivers actually do, in relation to the complex software that accepts the relatively similar 6DOF & button hardware input and then does meaningful things with it.
It sounds like the problem isn't in drivers, but in app support, which 3DConnexion is working hard on. By why block these older devices from benefiting from the new app support?
Is it so hard to allow these older & still very usable & functional devices to be seen by the existing app support, even if technically unsupported? Their longevity is a testament to 3DConnexion hardware quality, and surely us existing users paid enough for them already? For example, I paid $350 for my Spaceball 5000 USB a few years back, and I 'got a deal' on it as most of them were being sold for more than $500!
Please allow these older devices to benefit from the new app support, they're just USB HID devices and there seems no reason to block them.
No reason, other than to simply force existing customers to upgrade to new devices, which I can guarantee will bite 3DConnexion in the ass. Barring some real hard data that prevents adding older devices to the "supported in drivers but technically unsupported" list, I for one promise to do my part to let everyone know that 3DConnexion practices in dishonest business (and in the internet age, this actually means something).
Please, don't become another Wacom! Do HONEST business, let your engineers spend a week on allowing these older devices and make your existing customers happy.
Reminds me of selling cars, when cars were new. Car salesmen encouraged 'prospects' to buy a new car every year, despite customers just wanting a car that lasted longer. They just didn't understand that people don't mind investing in quality if they think it will last. Eventually some compromise was reached