The Active Network


Microsoft Announces Three New Hardware Products

SideWinder Game VoiceSideWinder Game Voice The SideWinder Game Voice brings a new sensory dimension to PC gaming by allowing players to communicate within games (over the Internet or LAN) and to take advantage of voice activation of game commands via a stereo headset connected to an eight-button control unit.

With the Game Voice, online gamers can easily choose between broadcasting their voice to the entire group or directing their communications to private team channels.

While online or offline, players can take advantage of Game Voice's voice command functionality. To activate this feature, a gamer needs only to press a button and then speak commands such as "change weapons," "attack," "jam radar," or "eject" to respond swiftly and intuitively to any situation they might find themselves in during gameplay.

SideWinder Strategic CommanderSideWinder Strategic Commander, The first of its kind, Strategic Commander is a left-handed device that works in conjunction with the mouse and keyboard to greatly enhance gameplay in strategy games. Strategic Commander makes the most critical control tasks available with the touch of a button, eliminating the need to execute a complex series of keystrokes.

The sleek design of Strategic Commander gives gamers access to the most critical building and unit-control tasks through six programmable buttons. By using three modifiers (or shift buttons) and a three-position profile switch, up to 72 key combinations can be programmed into the gaming device. Strategic Commander also enables smooth map scrolling ideal for use with 2D strategy games. This, combined with fluid camera movements, will allow gamers to take full advantage of next-generation 3D games.

Cutting-edge features and functions include these:

  • With its efficient grouping of programmable buttons and navigation and camera movement capabilities, the Strategic Commander eliminates awkward keyboard commands in strategy games while enhancing mouse functionality.
  • Six buttons, three modifiers, and profile switching combine for 72 possible key mappings, allowing users to easily adapt to any gaming scenario.
  • Record on-the-fly key mappings and on-the-fly profile switching facilitate quick adjustments for new circumstances in the game.
  • Fast, easy map navigation and camera control enhance 2D and 3D strategy games.
  • By using illuminated buttons that alert users when they are in the process of recording a new key mapping, and show which buttons are available for programming, Strategic Commander greatly reduces the possibility of inadvertently overwriting programmed functions.
  • Strategic Commander's leading design brings comfort during intense game sessions.
  • Strategic Commander's USB compatibility takes advantage of the latest technology afforded by Windows 98.

SideWinder Force Feedback 2Microsoft SideWinder Force Feedback 2

The Microsoft SideWinder Force Feedback 2 joystick takes PC gaming to a higher level by improving the existing "tactile feedback" in over 200 supported games. Gamers experience more than 100 force-feedback effects, such as the sensation of your aircraft being peppered by enemy fire, or the feeling of fighting turbulence while coming in to land.

Microsoft SideWinder Force Feedback 2 features custom-designed mechanics that deliver exceptional precision. With a comfortable handle and the added weight of the on-board power supply, it offers ease of use and stability for balanced gameplay.

Force Feedback 2 enables more effective gameplay through buttons that can be programmed for 16 different functions, and gives gamers control at their fingertips through optimized button, trigger, hat switch and throttle layout.

Cutting-edge features and functions of Force Feedback 2 include the following:

  • Power on-board, not in the cord, which enables an immersive gaming experience by delivering lightning-fast forces.
  • 16-bit 25MHz on-board processor, which delivers over 100 forces for enhanced realism.
  • New and improved push throttle, which provides a better indication of motion for more realistic and intuitive gameplay.
  • Compatability with over 200 force-feedback-enabled games currently on the market as well as all other PC titles that employ a joystick.
  • New button layout, rotational control and comfortable handle, combine to give Force Feedback 2 a cutting-edge look and feel.


  *   *