Team Up With Your Friends for Hot Action Gaming on Your PC

Editor’s note:
References and hyperlinks to some products have been removed since publish date due to changes in product availability.

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 24, 1996 — — Drop what you’re doing and rouse your best friends (or your deadliest gaming enemies) for a no-holds-barred session of your most challenging PC game. With the Microsoft® SideWinder ™ game pad, announced today, you and up to three of your friends can compete head to head to find out who’s No. 1.

The SideWinder game pad joins the SideWinder 3D Pro and SideWinder Standard joysticks as the newest member of Microsoft’s line of game control devices for the PC. The game pad uses the same innovative Digital OverDrive technology developed by the Microsoft hardware group for the SideWinder 3D Pro joystick.

“With the introduction of the SideWinder game pad, Microsoft continues its commitment to bringing action-packed gaming to the PC,” said Rick Thompson, vice president of the hardware group at Microsoft. “The SideWinder game pad gives gamers what they want – a comfortable, full-functionality pad with multiplayer support and customizable software at a price they can afford.”
Winning Features, Serious Comfort and Durability

Sure, it’s fun to play a few rounds of your favorite game against your PC. But joining in with up to three friends (or fierce rivals) can be infinitely more fun and challenging. SideWinder is the only game pad that offers full-function, multiplayer gaming without requiring a junction box. Gamers can daisy-chain up to four SideWinder game pads for rousing head-to-head competitive play in games that support multiple players. All buttons and triggers on daisy-chained SideWinder game pads stay fully functional. So crank up the action!

The game pad’s six buttons, two finger triggers and eight-way Cross Keypad are within easy reach for those quick-reflex maneuvers. Its ergonomic design offers a comfortable fit for a wide range of hand sizes and allows gamers to maintain a solid grip. Microsoft designed the SideWinder game pad to withstand the rough-and-tumble that inevitably occurs when the action heats up. The quality and durability of the Microsoft SideWinder game pad is backed by a one-year warranty.

Customizable Software; Hardware Hot-Plugging

Today’s action games are getting more complex, and the SideWinder game pad helps gamers meet the challenge. The Game Device Profiler software for the
Windows® 95 operating system, which ships with the game pad, lets players create macros and map hard-to-remember multibutton combinations or keyboard strokes to a single game pad button, for swift-and-deadly strokes. In addition to making it easy to program up to eight shortcut moves per game, the software enables players to redirect button assignments in games written to support the SideWinder game pad.

The SideWinder game pad also supports hot-plugging, which means gamers do not have to restart their PCs when additional devices are added or unplugged. Gamers can also hot-plug any joystick into the SideWinder game pad, making it easy to switch between the two devices. Software automatically detects changes when the Microsoft SideWinder 3D Pro joystick is hot-plugged.

Games Sampler

The SideWinder game pad also ships with a sampler of three Windows-95 based games, so gamers can jump right into the action. Samples of the following games are included with the game pad:

  • GEX ™ from Microsoft. This side-scrolling action game delivers strong, diverse game play and a zany story line. The game’s protagonist, a wise-cracking gecko lizard named Gex, engages players in a twisted story based on themes from classic TV shows and “B” movies.

  • Time Commando from Activision. Battle time’s deadliest warriors in this ultimate roving action and fighting game. Gamers master more than 40 lethal weapons and journey through nine stunning 3-D worlds, from the Prehistoric to the Future. Fight your way through time, or you’re history!

  • Microsoft Marbles. Try to be the sole survivor in this fast-paced, hilariously irreverent, action-packed multiplayer game. Choose from four funky marble characters, such as the Schreckster with his sonic scream, or Bertha Burp, who traps her enemies in burp bubbles. Each character has unique offensive and defensive moves, and the first one to knock the others off the crazy 3-D playing fields wins the game. Microsoft Marbles is a sample of the full game Microsoft Manic Marbles ™ , scheduled to be available in February 1997.

Pricing, Availability and System Requirements

The Microsoft SideWinder game pad is scheduled to be available in October everywhere Microsoft products are sold, for an estimated retail price of $44.95. It ships with customizable software and a games sampler on CD-ROM.

To use the SideWinder game pad and Game Device Profiler software, game players need the following components:

  • Personal computer with a 486SX/66 or higher microprocessor

  • Windows 95 or later operating system

  • 8 MB of memory

  • 6 MB of available hard disk space

  • Double-speed CD-ROM drive required for Game Device Profiler software installation

  • Sound Blaster or compatible 15-pin game port

  • Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device

  • VGA or higher 256-color monitor

Established in 1982, the Microsoft hardware group has built a reputation for technical expertise and innovative product design by developing and launching a series of successful, category-leading devices designed with attention to ergonomics, ease of use, durability and technical innovation. Recently introduced devices from the group include the SideWinder 3D Pro and SideWinder Standard joysticks, and the Microsoft IntelliMouse ™pointing device. The group offers other products including the award-winning Microsoft Mouse 2.0, Microsoft Natural® Keyboard, and Microsoft EasyBall ™ mouse for children.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ “MSFT” ) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, SideWinder, Windows, IntelliMouse, Manic Marbles, Natural and EasyBall are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

GEX is a trademark of Crystal Dynamics

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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